2019 Audi A3 Sedan vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The A3 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.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi A3 Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Alfa Romeo Giulia doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The A3 Sedan has a standard Secondary Collision Brake Assist, which automatically applies 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.

Both the A3 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the A3 Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Giulia has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty

The A3 Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Giulia’s (12 vs. 4 years).

There are over 75 percent more Audi dealers than there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the A3 Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability

The Audi A3 Sedan’s engines use a cast iron block for durability, while the Giulia’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the A3 Sedan’s reliability 28 points higher than the Giulia.

Engine

As tested in Car and Driver the A3 Sedan 45 TSFI is faster than the Alfa Romeo Giulia 2.0 Turbo:

 

A3 Sedan

Giulia

Zero to 30 MPH

1.9 sec

2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

5.7 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

14 sec

14.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

6.3 sec

6.6 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.2 sec

3.6 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

14 sec

14.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

99 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the A3 Sedan 40 TSFI FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Giulia RWD (26 city/35 hwy vs. 24 city/33 hwy).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Audi A3 Sedan higher (7 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo Giulia (3). This means the A3 Sedan produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Giulia every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

The A3 Sedan offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Giulia doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the A3 Sedan Quattro 45 TFSI’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Giulia:

 

A3 Quattro 45 TFSI

Giulia

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

13 inches

The A3 Sedan stops much shorter than the Giulia:

 

A3 Sedan

Giulia

 

70 to 0 MPH

156 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

108 feet

123 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Giulia (235/35R19 vs. 225/40R19).

The A3 Sedan’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 A3 Sedan Premium Plus/Prestige’s optional tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Giulia Ti’s optional 40 series front tires.

The A3 Sedan has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the Giulia; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro handles at .94 G’s, while the Giulia Ti Q4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The A3 Sedan Premium Quattro executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Giulia Ti (25.6 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.1 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the A3 Sedan’s turning circle is 1.4 feet tighter than the Giulia’s (36.1 feet vs. 37.5 feet).

Chassis

The Audi A3 Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 300 pounds less than the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

The A3 Sedan is 7.1 inches shorter than the Giulia, making the A3 Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the A3 Sedan Premium Quattro is quieter than the Giulia Ti (73 vs. 74 dB).

Cargo Capacity

The A3 Sedan has a larger trunk than the Giulia (12.3 vs. 12 cubic feet).

A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the A3 Sedan. The Giulia doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Ergonomics

If the windows are left open on the A3 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.

Audi Advanced Key optional on the A3 Sedan allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Alfa Romeo Giulia’s Keyless-Go doesn’t unlock the trunk.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the A3 Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. Heated windshield washer nozzles cost extra on the Giulia.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The A3 Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Giulia doesn’t offer headlight washers.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A3 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Giulia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Audi A3 Premium Plus/Prestige has a standard wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Giulia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The A3 Sedan Prestige’s Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Giulia doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Model Availability

The Audi A3 comes in convertible, sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Alfa Romeo Giulia isn’t available as a convertible or station wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the A3 Sedan owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the A3 Sedan will cost $970 less than the Giulia over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Audi A3 Sedan will be $4836 to $8207 less than for the Alfa Romeo Giulia.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the Audi A3 Sedan, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Alfa Romeo Giulia isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the A3 Sedan first among small premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Giulia isn’t in the top three.

The Audi A3/S3 outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia by 59% during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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