Please choose: Peugeot 505 or Alfa Romeo 75 (Milano)

We admit, this isn’t a perfect comparison – the Peugeot is a mid-size or “large family car” (per Wikipedia) while the Alfa is a compact executive – but we struggled mightily to come up with something that would be a worthy challenger to the Pug. BMW E28? Too obvious. Mercedes W201 (specifically the 190E 2.3-16)? Too sporting. Mercedes W123? Not sporting enough. Audi 4000CS quattro (aka the Audi 90 quattro)? Cool – in that boxy 1980s sort of way – but aesthetically a little sedate compared to the Peugeot.

And thus this Franco-Italian contest was born. Generally speaking, we have to imagine the Peugeot will be bigger (which it definitely is) and perhaps less precise as a driver yet still entertaining to drive, not to mention plenty easy on the eyes. With the Alfa it’s the other way around: the Milano (75 elsewhere in the world) will by most accounts reward the driver in spades – and his or her ears even more – but the looks will forever be an acquired taste (to put it diplomatically), and even then such acquisition may never fully come.

So, which would you choose: the striking Peugeot, or the sonorous (but homely) Alfa?

Peugeot:

  • Wheelbase: 2,740 mm (108 in)
  • Length: 4,579 mm (180 in)
  • Curb weight: 1,210 to 1,410 kg (2,668 to 3,109 lb)
  • 2,165 cc four-cylinder ZDJL “Douvrin” engine (OHC, Bosch L-Jetronic fuel injection, Compression ratio: (9.8:1) ) with 130 hp (96 kW) was used on 505 GTI models
  • 2,849cc six-cylinder (V6) engine (“ZN3J”, a version of the PRV engine) with 170 hp (125 kW) was used on 505 V6 models
  • (source)

Alfa Romeo:

  • Wheelbase: 2,510 mm (98.8 in)
  • Length: 4,331 mm (170.5 in)
  • Curb weight: 1,100–1,300 kg (2,400–2,900 lb)
  • 3.0 V6: 188 PS (138 kW) at 5,800 rpm, 250 N·m (184 lb·ft) at 3,000 rpm was used in North American “Milano Verde”
  • (source)

Peugeot:

Alfa Romeo:

(All images via Google Image search)

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~ by motoringconbrio on April 17, 2013.

42 Responses to “Please choose: Peugeot 505 or Alfa Romeo 75 (Milano)”

  1. Tough call!

    If I’m not mistaken, it was the last RWD mass-produced vehicles from each manufacturer.

    If I was going to drive the thing on a road or the track, I’d probably get the Alfa. If I was going to have dinner downtown with a classy lady [in the 80s, not that many would appreciate either of these nowadays...] I’d take the Pug.

    PS: I had a hard time thinking what would break down faster between those two. Then again, it’s all part of their unique character and charms from those two manufacturers.

  2. Why couldn’t “They” have put the Busso V6 and the Alfa suspension and drive train in the 505?

    I’ve always loved the 505 for it’s looks and compliant suspension, it runs pretty well besides.

    However, nothing and I mean NOTHING affordable to mortal men sounds better than the Alfa V6. The Alfa transaxle is a nice kit of engineering. The drawback to the Milano (Type 75 to the rest of the world) is the oddly angled rear end. The back of the Milano is not exactly ugly but you have to wonder why they didn’t make it a bit less … odd.

    At the end of the day, if both cars are the same mechanically and cosmetically, I would have to vote to keep my Milano.

    I do wonder if I could squeeze a 4th (a 505) into my garage? Dangerous thoughts.

  3. Even as a committed (should be!) Alfisto I’d have to say the 505 wins here. So Alain Delon-ishly handsome.

    BTW the 8th image of the 505 at the airport shows a rare, early example of a photoshop wheel swap!

  4. Alfa, because of the driving experience.

  5. The Alfa. Just look at it.

  6. Very different cars and a very tough decision.

    I’d have to take the PRV V6 in either of them, mainly for the soundtrack. Ideally, the 505 would be a coupe, but I don’t believe that model ever left the shows. As I can’t have that I guess the 75 wins, mostly for the transaxle and inbound rear discs, but also for the shorter wheelbase which must make for a more involved drive.

  7. As much love I have for Peugeot, it’ll be the Alfa Romeo 75 without question!

  8. The Alfa Romeo 75, the sensible version of my beloved GTV6. 505 is lovely, a friend at work had a diesel one in perfect order. I still prefer the 75, not just the V6 either. The TS and Turbo were also fun cars to drive. I am sure that the Alfa 3 litre V6 is a match for any non-turbo PRV V6.

  9. The Alfa Romeo V6 and the PRV are completely different. The Alfa has a 60° angle while the PRV has a 90° angle. The PRV was used in Lancias but not in Alfa Romeos.

  10. In North America, no fewer than 14 (14!) trim levels were offered on the 505. Little wonder Peugeot is no longer selling cars here.

  11. I suppose 505′s aren’t a common sight in US any more and that may affect your perception about the car, because there’s nothing really sporty about it beyond the unusual design. It’s one of the most clumsy and least forward-thinking Peugeot’s ever. Same can’t be said about the Alfa 75, which is a very well balanced and dynamically fit car and which was clearly conceived with sportiness in mind.

  12. Can’t tell you much about the Alfa but I bought new a 505 Turbo, raced in in Showroom Stock for three years, drove it as a street car for 17 years and after 185,000 miles I bought a low mileage twin to it realizing that it will probably be the last car I ever own.

  13. I’d take the alfa hands down. Looks can be ignored and I kind of like it anyways!

  14. I’d shoot for the obvious choice, but seeing as I already have two e28′s…

    I don’t know why you’d pick a big Peugeot, small cars are their forte. If it were a Citroen CX, my answer would be different, but the Alfa barks where the Peug wheezes.

  15. Personally, I’d go with the Alfa, but I’ve been recommending the hell out of the 505. I’ve persuaded my mate to replace one of his 106 GTis with a 505 if he can find one, as he’s looking for something RWD and a little more solid-feeling than the little hatch.

    Unfortunately, it’s near impossible to find one for sale in the UK, let alone a RHD turbo. Looking like an NA MX-5 is going to be the more likely option.

  16. No habia comentado nunca, pero hoy precisamente he estado fantaseando con un alfa 75 un rato en internet..

    ¡Me gustan mucho las galerias de la web!

    Un saludo.

    • Alex, ¿y porqué no contestas en inglés como todo el mundo?

      • I wrote in my language just to say that i like this web. I thougt i could afford a compliment write in spanish, had contributed something to the comments would have used the translator to not offend anyone.
        Nice web.

  17. Alfa. Just Alfa. Ask the question out loud, and the Perrjoe sounds silly.

  18. Wow, this is surprisingly difficult. They both have basically equal performance, aesthetic appear, racing histories/ability, reliability and coolness. I cannot decide but I will have fun considering a decision.

    • I know that the Alfa should be chosen, but I would have to spring for the 505 due to its durability. It’s close though. The only thing that puts me off of the 75 is that dashboard (& the GTV6 for that matter). It’s what I’d be looking at while driving and the 505′s is definitely more cohesive. Every Alfa dash from the 80′s seems to have errant wiring dangling here and there…

      • You’re obviously looking at it the wrong way, Gavin. That “errant wiring dangling here and there” was a convenience feature! They were ensuring easy access when your Alfa needed electrical repairs.

  19. alfa 75, although i would go for the nicer to drive 2.0 twinspark :)

  20. Well, I have visit MCB since… I don’t know exactly the time but today I decide to leave a reply. There is a first time for everything, and oh my lord, look what we have here. I panic when I see this two toghether, both are pretty, but for god sake buy a full kit of tools because you going to need it. I must say that the 505 isn’t precisely my cup of tea, but I understand the charm of the french gentleman. Nevertheless I’d take the Alfa anyday, the spirit, the soul and the charisma of the brand is always present in each car of the italian company. Alfa Romeo has that je ne sais quoi that catch your attention, like a beautiful woman.

    Keep up with the good work amigos.

  21. So far, the Alfa trounces the Peugeot by a ratio of about 5 to 1. Can’t say I saw that coming! I was expecting more people to be off-put by the Alfa’s looks (or to be charmed by the Peugeot’s).

  22. the Alfa has the aesthetic appeal of squished gerbil shit. It is a miserable design. My mom came very close to buying a 505 Turbo when i was a kid…..actually she was dead set on one….until she veered off and bought a Sterling 825 SL at the last minute!! Both cars are now super rare in the US. The Peugeot is aesthetically lovely……probably one of my favourite sedans ever made in terms of design. Subtle and lovely. I would never buy the Alfa, unless i wanted to feel worse about my life. The 505 will always be cool in the US, if just for its kitsch 80s appeal.

    in reality i’m not really a fan of 80s sedans…so i wouldn’t pick any of these, in reality. i do think the Audi 4000/80/90 series were the closest sedans to my liking from that era.

  23. Having recently acquired an ’89 Milano Verde, I can hardly be expected to remain unbiased. I certainly do see the aesthetic attraction to the 505, but having just last night arrived home after an 11 hour straight drive from Savannah, any doubts that I might have had about which I would choose were erased.

    The sonorous V6 never took a deep breath (averaging around 80mhp), and when I reached the Verrazano bridge exit ramp, connecting it with the Belt Parkway on Long Island, I noted the 20mph speed limit sign as I downshifted from third to second, confidently took the tight turns at 50, and, locked into the original issue Recaro’s, felt as though I could have pushed it further without difficulty.

    I’m one of those who actually rather likes the Milano design, but the engine and suspension set it far apart from most contenders, especially at its price point.

    • Tony, congratulations on your acquisition! Do you have a photo of the car?

      • Thanks! And yes, I do have some photos. It’s black, and in excellent original condition throughout, including the Recaros. Do want me to email them, or can I post directly?

  24. The Peugeot does it for me here. Class all the way.

  25. I was driving through Allentown looking for a bite to eat – West Tilghman to be exact when I saw my first Peugeot 505 turbo in person. My vote is for the Peugeot just based on the feeling it gave me when seeing it in real life.

  26. Thought this was great:

    More in this user’s Youtube channel.

  27. the Alfa wins, hands down. Best sport sedan of the 80s in terms of sound and handling, even if not the best looking. That’s not even debatable.

  28. Regular reader but a first time poster… I’m totally biased as an Alfa owner so the 75 wins. The 505 is reasonably classy, but I can’t really see what the fuss is about.

    The 75 is an acquired taste which I was never really a fan of… until I bought a Twin Spark around 3 years ago. As far as I’m concerned other people will have to suffer the looks while I get to drive it! The back end sits too high which, combined with wheels that are aesthetically too small, all adds to the odd look. I don’t think the your US spec bumpers do the cars any favours either.

    It’s quite special to drive but I use it as a daily driver so it’s become normal to me. Every other car I’ve driven since is boring by comparison, including my Wife’s NA MX5 1.8

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