2020 BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo Giulia

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard Active Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Giulia doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers an optional Side and Top View Cameras 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.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Giulia doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

Warranty

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

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 almost 2 times as many BMW dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s warranty.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 4 Series Gran Coupe first among compact premium cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Giulia isn’t in the top three in its category.

Engine

The 440i Gran Coupe’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 40 more horsepower (320 vs. 280) and 24 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 306) than the Giulia’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the 4 Series Gran Coupe’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

For better stopping power the 440i Gran Coupe’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Giulia:

440i

Giulia

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13 inches

12.5 inches

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’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 4 Series Gran Coupe stops much shorter than the Giulia:

4 Series

Giulia

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’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.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the 4 Series Gran Coupe has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Giulia.

Suspension and Handling

The 430i Gran Coupe handles at .89 G’s, while the Giulia Ti Q4 pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the 430i Gran Coupe xDrive is quieter than the Giulia Ti:

4 Series

Giulia

At idle

40 dB

41 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

74 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

69 dB

Passenger Space

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has 1.3 inches more front headroom and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Giulia.

Cargo Capacity

The 4 Series Gran Coupe has a larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Giulia (17 vs. 12 cubic feet).

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 4 Series Gran Coupe’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Giulia doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening trunk.

Ergonomics

The 4 Series Gran Coupe 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 4 Series Gran Coupe the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or 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.

Comfort Access standard on the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 4 Series Gran Coupe offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Giulia doesn’t offer headlight washers.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 4 Series Gran Coupe to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Giulia doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

When the 4 Series Gran Coupe 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW 4 Series offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Giulia doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The 4 Series Gran Coupe’s optional Parking Assistant 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 BMW 4 Series comes in coupe, convertible and four-door hatchback bodystyles; the Alfa Romeo Giulia isn’t available as a coupe or convertible.

Recommendations

The 4 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2014. The Giulia has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 4 Series outsold the Alfa Romeo Giulia by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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