Goodwood Test: Alpine A110 2022 Review

Still one of the absolute best cars you can buy…
05th October 2022
Simon Ostler



The Alpine A110 arrived on the market back in 2017, and in that time it has cemented itself as one of the best modern cars you can buy. There have been a number of variants, from the A110S to the A110 GT and more recently the A110 R, that bring more power and stiffer handling, but they’ve never quite managed to add to the seemingly perfect balance that was struck with the original. As a result, it's the standard A110 that has maintained it's position throughout its life as quite possibly one of the very best cars currently on sale.

We like

  • Distinct design
  • Flawless ride
  • Lively engine

We don't like

  • Crazy frunk lever position
  • Finicky transmission in manual mode
  • Renault switchgear is a bit jarring



Much like everything the A110 does, the design is a mix of sporty, classy and understated. There’s no outrageous aero appendages or enormous wings, just a subtly streamlined shape that features a number of distinctive elements. The parallels with the original Berlinette, including those spider-eye headlights, are all incorporated for a modern reimagining of the A110 that looks perfectly at home in the 21st Century. The rear end is unspectacular, but the curved rear window, another call-back to the original, together with that hexagon-shaped exhaust make for an interesting look, but actually this might be the Alpine’s best side. From every angle it looks poised and balanced, which is suitable indeed for this car that just wants to be driven. We found, after having this car for a week, that it gets better the more you look at it.

Performance and Handling


The Alpine A110 is powered by a 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, the same one found in the Renault Megane R.S., so nothing particularly special. But when it’s been dropped into the back of a 1,102kg sportscar, it’s spectacular. The 252PS (185kW) on tap is plenty and, while the A110 is not overwhelmingly quick, power delivery is satisfyingly smooth and more than enough to propel this car along at a considerable rate. It’s suspended on double wishbone suspension and stopped by 296mm disks front and rear.

Judging on appearances only, the A110 is unmistakeably a sportscar, but there is so much more to this Alpine than that. As a cruiser it’s spot on. Sure, the ride is a touch firm, but never jarringly so. It transmits a feel of the road in a way very little else does. Even on a poor surface it feels as though its feeding you the imperfections to give you a clearer picture of what you're driving on. No matter where or how you’re driving, it’s the perfect balance of comfort and engagement. In many ways, the A110 is the perfect car for a relaxed Sunday afternoon drive in the country. It’s just so wonderfully compliant. Cornering is sublime. It’s so good you don't even really need to concentrate. It will go where you put it, with such extraordinary precision and ease.

If, however, you’re keen to step out of your relaxed comfort zone, the Alpine will gladly acquiesce, but all of the attributes we’ve just mentioned are equally welcome when your start to stretch its legs. Rarely has tackling twisty country lanes at speed felt so enjoyable. The combination of feel, balance and agility offers a sense of telepathy that breeds confidence. You can drive, and drive, and drive this car, and it will never surprise you.

Sport mode tightens everything up an absolute treat. The excellent steering somehow gets even sharper, while some pops and bangs from the exhaust add an extra slice of drama, even if in all honesty they don’t feel at all needed on the A110, it somehow feels a class above boyish gimmicks.

If there were a bone to pick with the driving experience, the transmission can be a bit finnicky, especially in manual mode when you’re transitioning from heavy acceleration to cruising. Automatic mode is generally all you'll ever need unless you really want to use those flappy paddles. It keeps up well with your inputs, especially when you're looking to stretch the performance. It can be a little too keen to kick down when you're accelerating from medium speed, though.



While the A110 is primarily a car that majors on the driving, it has not been stripped bare in the name of ultimate performance. The Sabelt bucket seats, despite their slimline appearance, are comfortable and supportive, although the driving position did feel a little high so some adjustment (made with an allen key) might be required if you prefer to hunker down. The cabin is black for the most part, aside from the body-coloured door panels, and two bright orange buttons for engine start and sport mode.

A leather dash, steering wheel, door handles and centre console, with carbon-fibre accents around the instruments and air vents, give the cabin a quality feel. The inclusion of some switch gear straight from the Renault parts bin, namely the climate control dials and wing-mirror adjustment controls, is obvious but not overly problematic. They do a job. The wheel itself is stocky with aluminium paddle shifters tucked in behind it, while a row of chrome switches under the touchscreen wonderfully tactile click to them. The gearbox is controlled by three buttons, D for drive, N neutral and R for reverse.

In terms of storage space, there isn’t really any besides the A110’s intriguing take on the centre console, which has been hollowed out to provide somewhere to put your belongings. There’s also a couple of credit card-sized cubbys behind where your elbow goes.

Technology and Features


There are some aspects of the Alpine that feel a bit odd. The media system is a little basic to look at, but you have Bluetooth and sat-nav with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is everything you’re likely to need. The touch screen is responsive and simple enough to use. There are some physical switches situated on the would-be transmission tunnel for cruise control and the speed limiter along the DNR gearbox buttons. There’re also two USB ports, an aux and a 12V socket.

If there was to be a complaint about the A110, and this would probably be the only one, it’s the fact that you have to get out of the car, walk around to the passenger side, open the door and pull a lever in order to open the frunk. It’s ludicrous really, but a pretty minor gripe in the grand scheme. The frunk, together with another tiny boot tucked behind the engine do offer some reasonable stowage space if you pack bags that will fit the gaps, so you could conceivably take this car away for a weeks’ holiday.



The Alpine A110 is now a full five years old, but it still remains an absolute treat of a car. As a car for driving, there is nothing else at a similar price that can offer what this does, and to be honest you’d have to spend an awful lot more to find something better. It’s so capable, and just a huge amount of fun to have around. It looks great on the driveway; that styling toes the perfect line between distinction and style. If you’re looking for a brilliant all-round sportscar, this is one you need to consider.


Engine 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
Power Seven-speed dual clutch automatic, rear-wheel-drive
Torque 252PS (185kW) @ 6,000rpm
Transmission 320Nm (236lb ft) @ 2,000-4,000rpm
Kerb weight 1,102kg
0-62mph 4.5 seconds
Top speed 155mph
Fuel economy 40.4-42.2mpg
CO2 emissions 152-158g/km
Price £49,905 (£51,899 as tested)

Our score

4 / 5

This score is an average based on aggregated reviews from trusted and verified sources.

  • Top Gear
    4.5 out of 5
  • Evo
    4.5 out of 5
  • Autocar
    5 out of 5