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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 rear in the case of the BMW). The first one has a Alfa Romeo-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 200hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 122hp engine designed by BMW.Safety
Both vehicles got tested by European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), 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 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. Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the Italian car offers a marginal difference of 5% 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, when all the models are taken into account. 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.We should definitely mention that owners of cars with the same powertrain as the Italian car rank it on average as 3.4, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 3.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
Alfa Romeo is way more agile, reaching 100km/h in 3.2 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 235 kilometers per hour, 25km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy an obvious choice would be the German car, averaging around 5.9 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (48 mpg), in combined cycle. That's 37% difference compared to the Italian car!
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. It all continues in the same direction, with Alfa Romeo outracing its opponent in any situation possible, making it better choice for boy racers. It does come at a cost though, and that's the fuel consumption... No mistake, whatever you decide here, but I'd still go for the 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. 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.