For the fifth year in a row the BMW 3 Series has been awarded the What Car? ‘Best Compact Executive’ crown beating off stiff competition from…..other members of the BMW 3 Series range. It was a clean sweep in the Compact Executive category with the 316d ES, 320d SE and the 330d SE Saloons all winning their price category, but in the end it was the 320d that reigned victorious, winning the overall title.

The BMW 3 Series dominated the Compact Executive category in recognition of it leading the pack and remaining miles ahead of the competition. With its EfficientDynamics package making the 3 Series the most economical car in its class it appeals to both business and personal customers. However, it was not just the BMW 3 Series’ outstanding economy that stood out for the judges; it was commended for being smooth and refined whilst still offering sparkling performance, setting the standard for sheer driving pleasure Leo Wilkinson, Road Tester at What Car?, said: “I love the driving position of the 3 Series – the controls and seat are spot-on. It’s one of the few cars I can get out of after a long journey without any aches and pains.”

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Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW UK, said: “It is an honour for the BMW 3 Series to win this prestigious award for five consecutive years. To have this consistent recognition for all of the hard work that goes into producing BMW’s core model means a lot to everyone at BMW. We hope to continue to improve the 3 Series and stay at the top of the segment.”

Having picked up the accolade for Scottish Drop Top of the Year 2009 the BMW Z4 has now been proudly awarded the title of What Car? Open-top car for managing to combine the fun of the small sports car with the refinement of the BMW 3 Series Convertible to create a car that is both fun and rewarding to drive.

The BMW Z4 was praised for its all round abilities with its engaging drive, coupled with entertaining handling and a supple ride to prevail over its competitors and take the title of What Car? Open-top car. Its unrivalled cabin was commended for its equipment levels and sumptuous materials.

Steve Fowler, Group Editor of What Car?, said: “It’s not cheap but I always think the Z4 looks more expensive than it actually is. I love the slick folding roof: and the interior puts those of most supercars to shame. It is a worthy winner.”

[Source: BMW AG and What Car? ]