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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 petrol engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Large family car' segment, the only major difference here really is their wheel drive configuration (front for the Alfa Romeo and 4 x 4 in the case of the Subaru). The first one has a Alfa Romeo-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 165hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 162hp engine designed by Subaru.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. That aside, let's consider some other aspects which affect safety. Both vehicles belong to the large family car segment, which is generally a good thing safety-wise, but it doesn't do much to help us decide between the two. On the other hand, taking kerb weight as an important factor into account, the Japanese car offers a marginal difference of 6% more metal.Reliability
Reliability is not the best thing to consider on the make level, but it is worth mentioning that Subaru as a brand displays somewhat better results, when all the models are taken into account. These are the official statistics, while our visitors describe reliability of Alfa Romeo with an average rating of 4.2, and models under the Subaru badge with 4.4 out of 5. The same official information place 156 as average reliability-wise, and Legacy is more or less at the same level.That apart, owners of different cars powered by the same engine as the Italian car rank it on average as 3.7, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 4.8 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Alfa Romeo is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1.3 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 220 kilometers per hour, 6km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 8.7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (33 mpg), in combined cycle.
Subaru 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 Japanese car offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. From there things take a different direction, with Alfa Romeo being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! It's really tough to make a final decision here, but if I'd need to, I'd say 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 thousands of similar, yet so different vehicles.