What will they cost?
The M3 has the higher list price, but it’s actually cheaper for cash buyers once discounts have been applied. It’s also predicted to depreciate more slowly than the Giulia, so although it will cost more in fuel and servicing, it will end up costing about £3500 less over three years.
The Giulia is a cheaper company car, though, costing £40 less a month in benefit-in-kind tax, assuming you’re a 40% taxpayer. Likewise, if you buy on a PCP finance deal, it’s the Giulia that’s slightly the cheaper of the two. On a three-year deal, limited to 12,000 miles a year with a £15,000 deposit, the Giulia costs £710 a month, compared with £728 for the M3.
Both cars come as standard with climate control, leather seats, a DAB radio, cruise control, Bluetooth, sat-nav, automatic lights and wipers and front and rear parking sensors. Alfa Romeo adds a reversing camera to that list, but BMW adds heated electric front seats, a more powerful sound system than the Giulia, LED headlights (the Giulia’s are xenons) and eight free choices of paint colour as opposed to the Giulia’s one (red). That said, spending a total of £1375 on two optional packs for the Giulia adds heated electric front seats, a heated steering wheel and keyless entry, all without pushing its price past the M3’s.
Euro NCAP awarded both cars a five-star safety rating, with the M3 scoring slightly higher marks for child and pedestrian protection and the Giulia for adult safety. However, Alfa Romeo includes automatic emergency braking as standard, whereas BMW charges £370 for it.
Both cars come with an alarm and immobiliser, and security expert Thatcham rates both equally highly for their resistance to being broken into and driven away.
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