Alpine A110 Review & Prices

The Alpine A110 is one of the most purely enjoyable cars you can drive, but the higher-performance models aren’t worth the extra, and overall quality isn’t terrific

Buy or lease the Alpine A110 at a price you’ll love
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RRP £54,490 - £91,490 Avg. Carwow saving £1,677 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£47,780
Monthly
£748*
Used
£62,000
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wowscore
7/10
Reviewed by Neil Briscoe after extensive testing of the vehicle.

What's good

  • Guaranteed to turn heads
  • Sensational to drive
  • Surprisingly comfortable

What's not so good

  • Tiny luggage space
  • Terrible visibiity
  • Cheap-feeling controls
At a glance
Model
A110
Body type
Coupes
Available fuel types
Petrol
Acceleration (0-60 mph)
4.0 - 4.5 s
Number of seats
2
Boot, seats up
196 litres - 2 Suitcases
Exterior dimensions (L x W x H)
4,256mm x 1,798mm x 1,252mm
CO₂ emissions
This refers to how much carbon dioxide a vehicle emits per kilometre – the lower the number, the less polluting the car.
155 - 160 g/km
Fuel economy
This measures how much fuel a car uses, according to official tests. It's measured in miles per gallon (MPG) and a higher number means the car is more fuel efficient.
40.9 - 42.2 mpg
Insurance group
A car's insurance group indicates how cheap or expensive it will be to insure – higher numbers will mean more expensive insurance.
49E, 48E, 47E, 50E
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Find out more about the Alpine A110

Is the Alpine A110 a good car?

The Alpine A110 is a bit like Kylie Minogue — it’s petite, it’s gorgeous, and it gives a stunning performance. It’s also apparently immortal, looking almost exactly the same today as it did in the 1960s (that’s the Alpine we mean, not Kylie…).

There’s undoubtedly an air of mystery about the Alpine. Proper car nerds will spot its heavy influence from the original Alpine A110 of the ‘60s, but you can look forward to explaining what exactly it is to the vast majority of people. You can just tell them it’s the sporty arm of Renault if you’re stuck for ideas.

It’s equally as exotic-feeling inside. You’ll sink into some snug sports seats (or if you go for the S or R, race car-like buckets) and there are some gorgeous cabin touches, plus the choice of leather or suede seats, both of which are plush.

That said, you’ll soon notice some pretty cheap-feeling controls sourced from the Renault parts bin. That’s also where you get the 7.0-inch infotainment system from, which although it’s been improved from the early models still looks and feels a bit basic. You do get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard, at least.

If practicality is a concern, you’ll want to look elsewhere. On paper, the Alpine A110 has 96 litres of boot space, and an extra 100 litres under the bonnet. Realistically, you’re lucky to squeeze a weekend bag in the back and anything that’s more than a few centimetres tall up front.

As exciting as bungee jumping from the Eiffel Tower, the Alpine A110 is a quirky French take on delivering pure driving joy

Powering the Alpine is a 1.8-litre turbocharged petrol engine, as seen in the Renault Megane RS. Base spec cars kick out 252hp, though S, GT, and hardcore R models take that to 300hp. Doesn’t sound like too much for a modern sports car, but with it weighing just over 1,100kg, it launches you with the ferocity of a ballistic missile.

Weighing so little helps the A110’s handling too, allowing you to thread through corners with surgeon-like precision. Pushed hard, it’s one of the sharpest and most exciting cars out there.

When you’re winding down, you’ll be delighted to know the A110 does the whole cruising thing wonderfully. It’s super comfortable over bumps in base and GT form, although S versions are a bit harsher and probably worth avoiding with the rough state of UK roads, while the very expensive A110 R is really for race tracks only.

It’s not all daily-driving friendly though. Visibility is terrible, leaving the A110 feeling three times its size when you’re plodding around town. Parking sensors and a reversing camera are available, but the latter is rather fuzzy.

For a serious sports car with a true exotic edge, the Alpine A110 is worth a look. Though it lacks the space of a BMW Z4 or the finer quality of a Porsche 718 Cayman, it more than makes up for it with sheer thrills.

Looking to make this your next car? Check out the latest Alpine A110 deals through Carwow and see how much you could save. Be sure to check out used A110s for sale, as well as other used cars from our network of trusted dealers. You can sell your car online through Carwow, too.

How much is the Alpine A110?

The Alpine A110 has a RRP range of £54,490 to £91,490. However, with Carwow you can save on average £1,677. Prices start at £47,780 if paying cash. Monthly payments start at £748. The price of a used Alpine A110 on Carwow starts at £62,000.

Our most popular versions of the Alpine A110 are:

Model version Carwow price from
1.8L Turbo 2dr DCT £47,780 Compare offers

The Alpine A110 has crept up noticeably in price lately, to the point where a basic 252hp version is actually slightly more expensive than the most affordable Porsche Cayman, which comes with 300hp. A basic BMW Z4 is even more affordable, but comes with 50hp less. Or you could go with the M40i version, with its turbo straight-six engine developing 340hp, which is only a couple of thousand pounds more expensive than the basic Alpine. And the roof comes off.

Other one-time rivals such as the Audi TT, and the Toyota Supra and GR86 are all now out of production but a trawl of dealerships might still find an unregistered or used example. The Mazda MX-5 is also, in some ways, an Alpine alternative as it’s incredibly good fun to drive, and is also way cheaper to buy, if also much, much slower (but then speed is not the point, here).

As you climb the Alpine specification ladder, it’s a case of diminishing returns. GT and S models offer either more luxury or more focused performance, respectively, and come with a boost in power to 300hp, but they’re both at minimum £10,000 more expensive than the basic model, while the hard-edged R version — which is really a track-day special — is, wait for it, almost double the price of a basic A110, and is priced close to the same level as a basic Porsche 911 (ironically, the original 1960s A110 was a rallying rival to the first-generation 911, but the two cars have grown apart since).

The lesson? Stick to the basic model — the Alpine A110 is all about driving pleasure, and the cheapest version is happily the sweetest to drive.

Performance and drive comfort

Utterly brilliant to drive on a twisty road, and more fun than a Porsche, but visibility is poor in town and it’s noisy on the motorway

In town

The defining characteristic of the A110 is its light weight — at just over 1,100kg, it’s lighter than some small hatchbacks. Now, while the purpose of that is mostly to make it quicker and more agile around corners, it has a pay-off when it comes to driving in town, too as Alpine hasn’t had to fit stiff suspension, or give the A110 fat tyres and massive brakes. Which means that at low speeds, it’s really relaxed and easy-going to drive, and doesn’t crash into every bump in the road.

The turning circle is reasonably tight, and the standard dual-clutch automatic gearbox works smoothly at low speeds. Thanks to the low nose, visibility out of the front is pretty good, but over the shoulder you can’t see much at all thanks to the mid-mounted engine and shallow rear screen, and while the A110 does have a reversing camera, it’s pretty fuzzy and low-res, like looking through a 1980s television.

The low ride height also means that big speed bumps can be a bit heart-in-mouth at times. All of that applies to the standard A110 and the GT model. The S is a bit less comfy around town, while the big-winged R is just not a car to bring into town at all, unless you want to be on first-name terms with a local chiropractor.

On the motorway

The Alpine A110 can be driven long-haul up the motorway if you need to, and again that light weight and supple suspension means that it’s a comfortable ride when you want to just sit back and relax. There are compromises, though. Because the engine is behind your head, at a 70mph cruise there’s an irritating whistle-whine from the turbocharger which can become irritating, and the fact that the bucket seats have fixed backs mean that you can’t recline to be a bit more relaxed. The Porsche Cayman and BMW Z4 certainly feel more refined and comfortable on a long journey.

On a twisty road

The softness of the suspension means that the Alpine A110 rolls a little more in corners than the likes of a Porsche Cayman, but the upside of that is that the suspension is almost perfectly attuned to the bumps and lumps of a typical British back road. So instead of having to brace yourself for bumps and wince at the ‘whump’ as you hit them, the A110 just glides along a challenging stretch, seeming to almost hover over the worst surfaces.

The steering is superb, and you get lots of feedback through the wheel so you can tell how much grip the front tyres have. Lift off the accelerator mid-corner, and the front of the car will tuck sharply into the edge of the road, but not in a frightening, snappy way.

The A110 is one of the most involving, indulgent, and rewarding cars to drive on a twisty road, and thanks to not having massive weight and power, you can have huge amounts of fun and stay on the right side of the law. Again, though, there are diminishing returns with the more expensive Alpine models. The S and R have a racier focus and lose that magic sense of gliding along, so feel more compromised when driving quickly on the road.

The 1.8 turbo four-cylinder engine makes a better noise than you might expect (certainly it’s sweeter than that of the four-cylinder Cayman models, with that odd warbling sound) and while there’s a touch of turbo lag, performance is good. It’s a shame that there’s no manual gearbox option, though. You can only have the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which is mostly fine but which could do with quicker down-changes when you’re in a hurry.

Space and practicality

Surprising space for tall drivers, but the twin boots are tiny and there’s little storage in the cabin

It helps that when the Alpine A110 was being designed, the company’s managing director was 6’7” tall, and he wanted to make sure that he could fit comfortably in his shiny new car, so there’s more space in the two-seat cabin than you’d think. The seats, made by French specialist manufacturer Sabelt (which also makes things like safety harnesses for Formula One cars) have fixed backs, but even so they are comfortable and supportive, and the quilted leather finish on them looks great. It would be worth taking a lengthy test drive just to make sure that you do fit in them comfortably, though. There’s plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel, so most people will be able to find a position that works for them.

While there’s space for people, there’s not much space for stuff. There’s a small, open-sided storage area under the centre console, where you’ll also find the USB connections, and a slim wallet-like slot in front of the gear shift buttons which can hold your mobile phone. There are no door bins, and only one, very shallow cupholder, which is practically behind the seats so you need double-jointed elbows to get at it, and any open cup in there is going to spill as soon as you go round a corner. There’s not even a glovebox.

Boot space

The Alpine A110 is not the car for you if you’re someone who packs heavy. The luggage space is split between two compartments, one just behind the engine and a ‘froot’ or front-boot under the nose. That front compartment is shallow, and will hold only 100 litres so only small, soft bags will fit in there. The boot at the back is no better, holding just 96 litres, and you have to squeeze anything in through a small and narrow flap, rather than a proper boot. By comparison, the Porsche Cayman has 425 litres of storage split between its front and rear compartments, and the rear of the Cayman has a proper hatchback boot, so it’s easier by far to load up. Maybe Alpine should offer some motorcycle-style panniers?

Interior style, infotainment and accessories

High-quality with a great touchscreen system, but lack of buttons can frustrate

The cabin of the Alpine A110 is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, there are gorgeous details such as the quilted leather on the seats and door panels, the little French tricolour flags dotted about, and the red starter button sat next to the push-button controls for the automatic gearbox. The seats are great, the steering wheel is just the right size, the passenger gets an alloy foot-plate just like a rally co-driver would have, and the neat digital instrument screen gets a carbon-fibre peak.

This is where it starts to go a bit wrong. That carbon-fibre peak is actually just cheap and flimsy plastic, and once you start prodding and poking around, you’ll find an awful lot of similar plastics around the cabin. Even the steering wheel itself feels a bit cheap, and would be vastly improved if it came with a standard Alcantara suede rim. The centre console, on which the starter and gearbox buttons live, is also worryingly wobbly.

The small touchscreen in the centre of the dash used to be one of the worst in the entire motoring world, sharing its crummy-looking software with the old Suzuki Baleno. Thankfully, the A110 has been upgraded to a proper Renault-based system now, which is still very far from the best – the Porsche Cayman’s screen setup is way more slick to use – but at least it now comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The plastic gearshift paddles behind the wheel are also on the small side, and can be hard to hit with your fingers when the wheel is being turned. It doesn’t help that there’s an ancient-looking set of audio remote controls on a stalk on the right hand side, which we’re pretty sure comes straight out of an old Clio.

All of the cheapness comes close to ruining the Alpine experience, until you remember that cheap plastic is also light plastic, which is important for a fun sports car, and so maybe some scratchy surfaces are just the price you have to pay. It’s worth it, on balance.

MPG, emissions and tax

Once again, we see a massive upside to the Alpine A110’s light weight, and its use of a pretty humble Renault-sourced four-cylinder turbo engine — it really is very economical and has relatively low emissions.

Alpine quotes average fuel economy of 42mpg, and while you won’t get that if you’re exploiting the A110’s fun-factor to its fullest, we have genuinely seen that kind of economy on a gentle main-road run. The basic 252hp model has emissions rated at 152g/km of CO2 meaning that your first-year Vehicle Excise Duty payment is quite high, and you have to pay extra in the following years because the A110’s price tag is north of £40,000. That’s not cheap, but compare it to the cheapest Porsche Cayman’s minimum 201g/km, which requires a first-year tax payment that’s almost three times that of the Alpine. The Porsche can only manage a claimed 30mpg too (although we have seen better than 40mpg on a gentle run in a four-cylinder Cayman).

If you’re getting an Alpine as a company car, then you’ll pay at minimum around £300 per month in Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax.

Safety and security

Perhaps unsurprisingly, given its specialist nature, the Alpine A110 has not been crash-tested by Euro NCAP. However, given its combination of light weight, stiff aluminium structure, and the fact that there’s no heavy engine in front of the driver (just lots of light steering and suspension components) we would expect that the A110 would perform well in a frontal impact, but possibly less so in a side impact, given that the windows are about level with the bottom of most SUVs’ bumpers.

Being able to lift Renault safety components off the shelf will definitely be an asset to the Alpine, as Renault has been racking up five-star NCAP safety ratings.

The A110 doesn’t have some of the more recent high-tech safety systems however, which may be a worry for some. You do get cruise control with a speed limiter, stability control, and tyre pressure monitors but there are no lane-keeping aids nor a blind spot monitor. You can get an optional six-point racing harness, which is arguably a bigger benefit for your safety than any electronic device.

Reliability and problems

The Alpine A110 has not built itself a good reputation for quality and reliability. While many owners report trouble-free ownership, there are plenty of reports of issues both major and minor. The brand didn’t have enough responses to get a rating in the most recent Auto Express Driver Power survey, while Renault had slightly middling results. If you want superior reliability, you’re probably better off buying the Porsche Cayman or Boxster, both of which have an enviable reputation for solidity.

Alpine offers the A110 with a three-year, 60,000-mile warranty, which is about the minimum you get from any car manufacturer in the UK.

Alpine A110 FAQs

The Alpine A110 doesn’t quite meet the standards of a supercar - even the fastest A110 models can’t quite match a supercar for power or performance. However, the Alpine A110 is a pretty quick sports car, and the Alpine’s sleek styling means it can definitely turn heads like a supercar can.

Alpine doesn’t build the A110’s engine - it’s instead provided by Alpine’s parent company Renault. In fact, a version of the Alpine A110’s 1.8-litre petrol engine was used to power the now-discontinued Renault Megane RS hot hatch.

Buy or lease the Alpine A110 at a price you’ll love
We take the hassle and haggle out of car buying by finding you great deals from local and national dealers
RRP £54,490 - £91,490 Avg. Carwow saving £1,677 off RRP
Carwow price from
Cash
£47,780
Monthly
£748*
Used
£62,000
Ready to see prices tailored to you?
Compare new offers Compare used deals
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