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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Two significantly similar cars, no doubt about that. Still, each one has something different to offer. Having both cars powered by diesel engines and utilizing the 5-door wagon body style within the same 'Luxury car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the SAAB and rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a FIAT-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 195hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 184hp engine designed by BMW.Safety
A starting point here would be to take a look at the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests which were performed on both of the cars, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the luxury car segment, which is generally a very good thing safety-wise, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. Furthermore, if we'd like to consider vehicle mass in this context too, which we definitely should, the Swedish car offers a considerable difference of 11% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that SAAB does have a slight advantage, when all the models are taken into account. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of SAAB with an average rating of 4.1, and models under the BMW badge with 4.2 out of 5. Some independent research have also placed 9-5 as average reliability-wise, and 5 Series is more or less at the same level.That apart, owners of different cars powered by the same engine as the Swedish car rank it on average as 5.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.8 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.4 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 227 kilometers per hour, 2km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy the winner has to be the German car, averaging around 4.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (59 mpg), in combined cycle. We can't ignore that 15% difference compared to the Swedish car.
SAAB appears just a bit more reliable, although the difference is truly marginal. The most important thing when deciding between any two vehicles should always be safety, both passive and active. In my opinion, everything taken into account, the Swedish car offers significantly better overall protection, taking the lead here. From there things take a different direction, with BMW being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! I believe that, when we take all into account, we have only one winner here - the BMW. Anyway, that's the most objective conclusion I could've came up with and it's based solely on the information found on this website. Aspects such as design, practicality, brand value and driving experience are there for you to measure them out. In case you have two minutes to spare I invite you to define your needs, desires and budget and see which car would be chosen by the virtual adviser™, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.