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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 diesel engines and utilizing the 4-door sedan body style within the same 'Luxury 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, 10-valves 136hp unit, while the other one gets its power and torque from a 6-cylinder, 24-valves 163hp 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. Moving further on, let's take a closer look at some additional safety-related facts. Both vehicles belong to the luxury car segment, which is generally a very 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 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, 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 BMW badge with 4.3 out of 5. The same official information place 166 as average reliability-wise, and 5 Series 50% below the first one. Above it all, drivers of cars with the same engine as the Italian car rank it on average as 3.0, while the one under the competitor's bonnet gets 5.0 out of 5.Performance & Fuel economy
BMW is undoubtly more agile, reaching 100km/h in 1 seconds less than its competitor. In addition to that it accelerates all the way to 219 kilometers per hour, 17km/h more than the other car. When it comes to fuel economy things look pretty much the same for both cars, averaging around 7 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers (40 mpg), in combined cycle.
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. It all continues in the same direction, with BMW being considerably quicker, thus putting more smile on driver's face. 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. 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.