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Used test: Alfa Romeo Giulia vs Volvo S60 costs

By choosing used, you can make a huge saving off the price of either of these stylish executive cars. But is it the Giulia or S60 that gets our vote?...

Alfa Romeo Giulia side driving

Buying and owning

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

When new, the Alfa Romeo Giulia came in at £39,690, while the Volvo S60 cost less at £37,935. However, now six years old, you can pick up either of these cars for around £17,000. We expect them to depreciate at similar rates as times goes on, too. 

You should spend slightly less in fuel with the S60, though: during testing, the S60 averaged 30.5mpg to the Giulia's 29.8mpg. 

Volvo S60 side driving

Insurance costs should be near-enough identical, with their insurance group of 34 putting it at around £886 per year. For a single service of the Giulia, we were quoted £661.26. In the S60's case, that was £350. 

The S60 is the only one that came with adaptive cruise control as standard from new, while both it and the Giulia have keyless entry and a heated steering wheel. Both cars have heated front seats and climate control, though, while leather seats (or part-leather in regards to the S60) were also included at no extra cost to the original owner.

The S60 came 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 seek out an example that has the £950 Driver Assistance Pack Plus).

Alfa Romeo Giulia infotainment

In our 2023 What Car? Reliability Survey, the S60 placed 14th out of 24 cars in the executive car class, while the Giulia was further down in 23rd. The S60's reliability score of 91.2% is respectable and far from concerning: that number is certainly far from a deal breaker. The Giulia's score of just 77.3%, though? Well, we can imagine many people losing interest in Giulia ownership based on that alone. 

Overall, 44% of Giulias we were told about went wrong, with a third being out of action for more than a week. Although Alfa Romeo paid for 72% of repairs, 17% of owners faced bills in excess of £1000. The main bugbears were batteries, electrics and the engine. 

The majority of S60 owner feedback we've received reinforces the vehicle's respectable reliability record, with few reports of mechanical failures. However, some owners have seen electronic-related issues, including glitches with the infotainment system that required dealer attention. In the survey, the battery, non-engine electrics and sat-nav/infotainment received fault rates of 9.1% each – higher than any other component of the car. 

As car brands, Alfa Romeo performed poorly, coming 31st out of 32 manufacturers, while Volvo was up in ninth place. 

Volvo S60 infotainment

Both the Giulia and S60 received the maximum five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, but a closer inspection of the scores shows that the Giulia performed better in the adult occupant crash test, while the S60 proved superior at protecting children.