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

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2004. - 2011.
D - Large family car
wagon, 5 door
front
Badges
Production
Vehicle class
Body style
Wheel drive
Safety
2005. - 2008.
D - Large family car
wagon, 5 door
rear

Marketing

Dimensons & Outlines

4660 mm
1828 mm
1422 mm
445 liters
1235 liters
70 liters
Length
Width
Height
Boot (min)
Boot (max)
Fuel tank
4520 mm
1817 mm
1442 mm
460 liters
1385 liters
61 liters
2004 Alfa Romeo 159 Sport Wagon
2005 BMW 3 Series Touring

Engine

Diesel
5 - Inline, 4 valves per cylinder
Turbo
2387 cc
210 hp
400 Nm
Engine
Fuel
Configuration
Aspiration
Displacement
Power
Torque
Diesel
4 - Inline, 4 valves per cylinder
Turbo
1995 cc
177 hp
350 Nm

Performance (manual gearbox)

manual gearbox - 6 gears
1610 kg
8.3 s
229 km/h
9.2 l/100km
5.5 l/100km
6.9 l/100km
181 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
manual gearbox - 6 gears
1480 kg
8.1 s
228 km/h
6.1 l/100km
4.2 l/100km
4.9 l/100km
131 g/km

Performance (automatic gearbox)

 
kg
s
km/h
l/100km
l/100km
l/100km
g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
automatic - 6 gears
1495 kg
8.3 s
226 km/h
7.3 l/100km
4.6 l/100km
5.6 l/100km
146 g/km

Expenses

1700 EUR
Price from
6500 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 diesel engines and utilizing the 5-door wagon 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 FIAT-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 5-cylinder, 20-valves 210hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 177hp engine designed by BMW.

Safety

The first thing to look into here would be the results from European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) tests performed on the two cars. Good thing is that both vehicles got tested, with the same number of safety stars gained in the process. 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, the Italian car offers a marginal difference of 9% 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. These are the official statistics, 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 159 as average reliability-wise, and 3 Series 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 4.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.7 out of 5.

Performance & Fuel economy

BMW 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 228 kilometers per hour, 1km/h less than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy an obvious choice would be the German car, averaging around 4.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (58 mpg), in combined cycle. That's 41% 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 Italian car offers slightly better overall protection and takes the lead. From there things take a different direction, with BMW offering somewhat better performance, just enough to call it quicker. To make things even better, it consumps less fuel! All together, there's not much more to say, in this case I wouldn't even consider anything but BMW. 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. I suggest you spend two more minutes in order to find out which car, based on your needs and budget, would be picked by the virtual adviser, out of 12.000+ vehicles we currently have in our database.

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