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Virtual Adviser's™ opinion
Well, these are two pretty similar cars we have here! It's only details that could potentially make the difference. Considering they both belong to the large family car segment and utilize the same 5-door wagon body style and the front wheel drive system, it all comes up to the specific diesel engine choice they offer. Both the engines are FIAT-engineered . The first one has a 5-cylinder, 10-valves 150hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 5-cylinder, 10-valves 136hp one.Safety
Unfortunatelly, neither of the two vehicles was submitted to the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) testing. This makes it virtually impossible for me to pick one over the other and I'm generally against buying such cars as the safety should really always come first. Still, apart from the official crash test results there are other things we need to be aware of. Both vehicles belong to the large family car segment, which is generally a good thing safety-wise, still it doesn't help us solve our dilemma, does it? Furthermore, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, 156 offers a marginal difference of 7% more metal.Reliability
I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that FIAT is significantly less fault-prone, when all the models are taken into account. These are the official statistics, while our visitors describe reliability of Alfa Romeo, as well as FIAT, with the same average rating of 4.2 out of 5. Independent research findings rank 156 as average reliability-wise, and Marea is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as 156 rank it on average as 3.5, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Alfa Romeo is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.9 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 212 kilometers per hour, 17km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 6.8 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (42 mpg), in combined cycle.
FIAT 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, 156 offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. It all continues in the same direction, with Alfa Romeo offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. 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 Alfa Romeo. In any case that's my personal view, built upon all the data available to me. What should decide here though is the way you feel about the two vehicles, and I hope you'll find my guidelines useful in the process. 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™, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.