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(Post Link) post #1 of 7 Old 07-01-16 Thread Starter
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A few post test drive Questions

Hi there,

Despite trying to avoid buying another Fiat group motor I have found myself test driving a 4C today, it was a last minute decision after letting my prior Fiat/Alfa/Abarth dealer experience talk me out of considering one, having tried some other things I wanted but discovering I didn't fit in the cars I wanted to buy I thought I'd just give the 4C a punt and see.

My buying requirements were powerful, rwd, normally aspirated manual sports coupe, clearly its not many of those but I have always liked it, it's a thing of beauty, the drive went well, perhaps British press had me expecting such a turd that I came out with a mostly positive experience.

I didn't expect to fit in it, having struggles in a few others but now I know that it is a possible contender I need to give it some serious thought.

So my questions for owners are,
  • rattles and creaks, is that normal after 10k? I'm thinking probably due to its low volume kit car like build but could be going easy on it because I like it.
  • It had a damp boot, very wet, I did wonder if it was condensation from engine heat, are there known issues with water ingress.
  • It was my first time driving a twin clutch auto, it felt smooth, but seemed slippy, is that normal?
  • Anybody managed to lower the seat, whilst I fit, once I put a helmet on clearance is tight, I could do with an extra 1/2 inch to an inch more, on my MX5 I am modifying seat rails to gain such due to similar clearance issues.
  • The paddle shifters felt poor in action, are there upgraded items that make it feel like more of an experience changing cogs?
  • Pricewise what sort of deals are there to be had on a new one, the one I was looking at was a year old, 45k, with 10k on it, doesn't seem a million miles away from a new one

Last edited by sandys; 07-01-16 at 20:37.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandys View Post
Hi there,

Despite trying to avoid buying another Fiat group motor I have found myself test driving a 4C today, it was a last minute decision after letting my prior Fiat/Alfa/Abarth dealer experience talk me out of considering one, having tried some other things I wanted but discovering I didn't fit in the cars I wanted to buy I thought I'd just give the 4C a punt and see.

My buying requirements were powerful, rwd, normally aspirated manual sports coupe, clearly its not many of those but I have always liked it, it's a thing of beauty, the drive went well, perhaps British press had me expecting such a turd that I came out with a mostly positive experience.

I didn't expect to fit in it, having struggles in a few others but now I know that it is a possible contender I need to give it some serious thought.

So my questions for owners are,
  • rattles and creaks, is that normal after 10k? I'm thinking probably due to its low volume kit car like build but could be going easy on it because I like it.
  • It had a damp boot, very wet, I did wonder if it was condensation from engine heat, are there known issues with water ingress.
  • It was my first time driving a twin clutch auto, it felt smooth, but seemed slippy, is that normal?
  • Anybody managed to lower the seat, whilst I fit, once I put a helmet on clearance is tight, I could do with an extra 1/2 inch to an inch more, on my MX5 I am modifying seat rails to gain such due to similar clearance issues.
  • The paddle shifters felt poor in action, are there upgraded items that make it feel like more of an experience changing cogs?
  • Pricewise what sort of deals are there to be had on a new one, the one I was looking at was a year old, 45k, with 10k on it, doesn't seem a million miles away from a new one
Really? never driven a TCT but find it slippy, comments re paddles nullified also, and its not a kit car. However it has zero creature comforts or sound deadening so the noises you might not hear in mass volume production cars become more apparent. Id prefer a cubby bin instead of the radio and speakers. Plenty of speculator cars the net dude.
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(Post Link) post #3 of 7 Old 08-01-16 Thread Starter
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It felt as if gear changes were riding the clutch to smooth out, I've never driven an auto like that, I rarely drive an auto, we have an SLK its changes feels a bit more positive in action, I will try another it might just be how a TCT behaves and why it feels less jerky than the Merc.

It has similar creature comforts to my MX5 (which has bugger all, in fact the 4c is more featured packed, positively luxurious in comparison ) I am used to in car noises and hearing the road, stuff being kicked up etc, on that score I thought the 4C was quite well insulated but there were these massive creaks up front on slow turns going lock to lock, again I will try another.

re the paddles, why are they nullified? felt worse than my g27 game controller, they should surely feel better in an actual car.

I have been doing some research on the seat height, it would appear that cars have adjustment via unbolting, can't say that I spotted that when I was looking but I'll be honest I was looking for a lever rather than race seat rails, are they all on race style seat mounts, just wondering if perhaps the one I viewed was fixed and that is why it did not catch my eye.

Last edited by sandys; 08-01-16 at 12:07.
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Mine always creaked and rattled from day one. As it's mostly plastic you can hear a lot of 'exaggerated' sounds, especially if you drive over any loose debris which makes you cringe as it sounds a lot worse than it really is. The damp boot is probably not ingress just poor design. Every time the boot is opened in wet weather it all runs into the boot so I would imagine that it's just as a result of repeated openings during the recent weather. The TCT offers smooth changes but can also be 'harsh' under extreme acceleration, not quite sure what you mean by 'slippy' but it can be punchy and jolt into the next gear, (again, only under extreme acceleration), but I find that quite an exciting aspect of the car. Yes, the gear shifters do seem flimsy but I tend to press them lower down the lever where the plastic is thicker, one slightly annoying aspect is that they turn with the wheel which makes exiting sharp corners quite a challenge to find the right gear. Ride height was set for the original owner by the supplying dealer, hopefully this is something that could be adjusted for you.
They do seem to be holding their price quite well but I think this is possibly an artificial viewpoint as in reality there are plenty of used 4C's for sale but nobody seems to shift them.
I have had mine for 18 months and really enjoy it, even for all it's impracticality and foibles.
If you do buy, you won't regret it. Have fun
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(Post Link) post #5 of 7 Old 08-01-16 Thread Starter
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It was damp on the drive in places so I didn't really play with the manual change too much, I was more interested in feeling out front grip and how it felt in bends, I was probably being far too cautious with it, hard to experience everything properly on a short test drive.

I've got in touch with the dealer to find out about the height if it was set mid or high I think its game on for me Just need to sell my Abarth Punto Evo Esseesse as trade value was not amazing, though I am toying with keeping it as it is a usefully practical motor to have about.
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Has it undergone the Pitstop programme ???, this was Alfa's 'positive spin' on what was effectively a recall. One of the main things they did was change the front shocks as there was concern over jittery handling and tramlining.
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(Post Link) post #7 of 7 Old 11-01-16 Thread Starter
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I'm not sure, I will ask, it felt fine to me on the test drive, not as troublesome as I was expecting (nor as communicative for that matter) but then my cars have been set up to rotate for tight handling situations (Solos/Autotest) so are quite nervous, such that when the missus drives my car she complains as she struggles to keep it in a straight line , so an early 4C would probably feel normal to me with the toe levels I run

Last edited by sandys; 11-01-16 at 14:43.
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