New Volvo S60 vs BMW 3 Series vs Alfa Romeo Giulia

Volvo is following its recent run of success with the new S60 saloon. But standing in its way are the Alfa Romeo Giulia and class-leading BMW 3 Series...

Alfa Romeo Giulia interior

Behind the wheel

Driving position, visibility, build quality

More positively, the S60 has the most comfortable and supportive front seats of our trio. You might prefer the lower-slung, sportier driving positions in the Giulia and 3 Series, but the Giulia’s seat could do with more under-thigh support, and it’s a bit cheeky that BMW charges extra for electric seats and adjustable lumbar support, both of which are standard on the other two.

BMW 3 Series interior

Seeing out of the front is trickiest in the Giulia; its windscreen pillars really get in the way at junctions and roundabouts. Over-the-shoulder visibility is worst in the S60, although, like the 3 Series, it comes with front and rear parking sensors and a reversing camera as standard. The Giulia makes do with just the sensors, although a reversing camera is available if you’re prepared to stump up £950 for the Driver Assistance Pack Plus.

As for night-time visibility, the 3 Series and S60 come with powerful LED headlights as standard. The Giulia makes do with older-style and less energy-efficient xenon lights, although these are still far superior to conventional halogen bulbs.

Volvo S60 interior

When it comes to interior quality, the Giulia lags well behind. Even if you spec the optional £895 leather-wrapped dashboard, it just doesn’t feel as solid or classy inside as its rivals. The 3 Series and S60 are closely matched for quality, with the S60 just having the edge. Whether you prefer its more conservative interior design or the 3 Series’ more extrovert and flashy approach is up to you. It’s just a pity that there are no physical controls for the S60’s climate control system; you either have to use the fiddly touchscreen or voice control to tweak the temperature on the move.

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