Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2020 BMW 3 Series VS 2020 Alfa Romeo Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2020 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2020 Alfa Romeo

Safety Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Giulia doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 3 Series Sedan has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Giulia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 3 Series Sedan has standard PostCrash iBrake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Giulia doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The 3 Series Sedan offers optional Active Park Distance Control that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Giulia doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The 3 Series Sedan offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Giulia only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Giulia have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 3 Series Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Giulia has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Giulia’s (12 vs. 4 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Alfa Romeo only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Giulia.

There are over 2 times as many BMW dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 3 Series Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Alfa Romeo vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 20th in initial quality. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Alfa Romeo is ranked 29th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Alfa Romeo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks BMW 12 places higher in reliability than Alfa Romeo.

Engine Comparison

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The M340i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6-cylinder produces 102 more horsepower (382 vs. 280) and 63 lbs.-ft. more torque (369 vs. 306) than the Giulia’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW 3 Series Sedan is faster than the Alfa Romeo Giulia:

330i

M340i

Giulia

Zero to 30 MPH

1.8 sec

n/a

2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.1 sec

3.8 sec

5.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

13.8 sec

9.4 sec

14.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.5 sec

4.7 sec

6.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

n/a

3.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.9 sec

n/a

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

12.3 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

114 MPH

99 MPH

Top Speed

155 MPH

n/a

149 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Giulia:

3 Series Sedan

Giulia

RWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

26 city/36 hwy

24 city/33 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

25 city/34 hwy

23 city/31 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Giulia doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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For better stopping power the M340i’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Giulia:

M340i

Giulia

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

12.6 inches

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Giulia are solid, not vented.

The 3 Series Sedan stops much shorter than the Giulia:

3 Series Sedan

Giulia

70 to 0 MPH

151 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

103 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

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The 330i’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Giulia’s standard 50 series tires. The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 225/35R20 front and 255/30R20 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Giulia Sport/Ti’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 330i has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Giulia. The 3 Series Sedan’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 19-inch wheels optional on the Giulia Ti.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Giulia (112.2 inches vs. 111 inches).

The 330i handles at .99 G’s, while the Giulia Ti Q4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The M340i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Giulia Ti (25 seconds @ .77 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

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The design of the BMW 3 Series Sedan amounts to more than styling. The 3 Series Sedan has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .26 Cd. That is lower than the Giulia (.28) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the 3 Series Sedan get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the 3 Series Sedan uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Giulia doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 330i is quieter than the Giulia Ti:

3 Series Sedan

Giulia

At idle

38 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

74 dB

77 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has .1 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more rear legroom and 1 inch more rear shoulder room than the Giulia.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan has a larger trunk than the Giulia (13 vs. 12 cubic feet).

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 3 Series offers cargo security. The Giulia’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the 3 Series Sedan offers an optional power trunk, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The Giulia doesn’t offer a power trunk.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The 3 Series Sedan offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Giulia doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the 3 Series Sedan the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Giulia can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

When the 3 Series Sedan is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Giulia’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional Parking Assistant Plus can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The Giulia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

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Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its February 2020 issue and the BMW 330i won out over the Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti.

The BMW 3 Series outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia by over five to one during 2019.

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