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Car #1
Make
Model
Variant
Engine
Car #2
Make
Model
Variant
Engine

compare selected cars
2003. - 2007.
D - Large family car
sedan, 4 door
front
Badges
Production
Vehicle class
Body style
Wheel drive
Safety
2001. - 2005.
D - Large family car
sedan, 4 door
rear

Marketing

Dimensons & Outlines

4435 mm
1743 mm
1430 mm
378 liters
378 liters
63 liters
Length
Width
Height
Boot (min)
Boot (max)
Fuel tank
4471 mm
1739 mm
1415 mm
440 liters
440 liters
63 liters
2003 Alfa Romeo 156
2001 BMW 3 Series

Engine

Alfa Romeo / General Motors
3.2 Busso V6 HP
Petrol
6 - V config, 4 valves per cylinder
Nat. Asp.
3179 cc
250 hp
300 Nm
Engine
Fuel
Configuration
Aspiration
Displacement
Power
Torque
Petrol
6 - Inline, 4 valves per cylinder
Nat. Asp.
2979 cc
231 hp
300 Nm

Performance (manual gearbox)

manual gearbox - 6 gears
1385 kg
6.3 s
250 km/h
18.1 l/100km
8.6 l/100km
12.1 l/100km
287 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
manual gearbox - 5 gears
1405 kg
6.5 s
250 km/h
12.8 l/100km
6.9 l/100km
9.1 l/100km
218 g/km

Performance (automatic gearbox)

automatic - 6 gears
1385 kg
6.3 s
250 km/h
18.1 l/100km
8.6 l/100km
12.1 l/100km
287 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
automatic - 5 gears
1440 kg
7.0 s
247 km/h
14.0 l/100km
7.0 l/100km
9.6 l/100km
230 g/km

Expenses

800 EUR
Price from
1700 EUR

Virtual Adviser's™ opinion

Overview

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 rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Alfa Romeo-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 6-cylinder, 24-valves 250hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 6-cylinder, 24-valves 231hp engine designed by BMW.

Safety

The fact that the BMW got tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), while the other contender didn't, offers a slight advantage, as the 4-star rating is better than none. 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, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. On the other hand, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the German car offers a marginal difference of 1% more metal.

Reliability

I don't like generalizing things when it comes to reliability, although it does seem that BMW does have a slight advantage, all the models observed together. That's the official data, while our visitors describe reliability of Alfa Romeo, as well as BMW, with the same average rating of 4.2 out of 5. Independent research findings rank 156 as average reliability-wise, and 3 Series is more or less at the same level.Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Italian car rank it on average as 5.0 out of 5, exactly the same as the other one.

Performance & Fuel economy

Alfa Romeo is a bit more agile, reaching 100km/h in 0.2 seconds less than its competitor. Still, it lacks the power to win the top speed competition, topping at 250 kilometers per hour, exactly the same as the other car does. When it comes to fuel economy an obvious choice would be the German car, averaging around 9.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (31 mpg), in combined cycle. That's 33% difference compared to the Italian car!


Verdict

BMW 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 German car beats the other contender by far, making it the best choice without even considering other things. From there things take a different direction, with Alfa Romeo offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but BMW. Nevertheless, let's not forget that people have different preferences and needs, so what really counts is your personal feel. I'm only here to help. Also, you could use the oportunity to find out which car, everything taken into account, would be the perfect choice for you in the eyes of the virtual adviser, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.

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