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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
sedan, 4 door
front
Badges
Production
Vehicle class
Body style
Wheel drive
Safety
2005. - 2008.
D - Large family car
sedan, 4 door
rear

Marketing

Dimensons & Outlines

4660 mm
1828 mm
1422 mm
405 liters
405 liters
70 liters
Length
Width
Height
Boot (min)
Boot (max)
Fuel tank
4520 mm
1817 mm
1421 mm
460 liters
460 liters
61 liters
2004 Alfa Romeo 159
2005 BMW 3 Series

Engine

FIAT / General Motors
2.0 mJet 170
Diesel
4 - Inline, 4 valves per cylinder
Turbo
1956 cc
170 hp
350 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
1465 kg
8.8 s
218 km/h
6.9 l/100km
4.3 l/100km
5.3 l/100km
139 g/km
Gearbox type
Vehicle weight
Acc. 0-100
Top speed
Cons. (urban)
Cons. (highway)
Cons. (average)
CO2 emissions
manual gearbox - 6 gears
1405 kg
7.9 s
230 km/h
6.0 l/100km
4.1 l/100km
4.8 l/100km
128 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
1420 kg
8.0 s
228 km/h
7.1 l/100km
4.4 l/100km
5.4 l/100km
144 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 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 FIAT-engineered powertrain under the hood, a 4-cylinder, 16-valves 170hp 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, but that fact doesn't break the tie between the two cars. Furthermore, when it comes to weight, a factor that most people underestimate, the Italian car offers a marginal difference of 4% more metal.

Reliability

Manufacturers have been building their reliability reputation for decades now and, generally speaking, it appears 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 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 4.6, 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 0.9 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 230 kilometers per hour, 12km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 5.1 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (56 mpg), in combined cycle.


Verdict

Alfa Romeo 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! No mistake, whatever you decide here, but I'd still go for the 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. 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, among more than 12.000 different ones in our database.

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