Since 1983, Car and Driver has been running an annual “10Best” list, which features, you guessed it, the ten best cars on sale for that year. In 1992, the BMW 3 Series made the list, in its E36-generation (Yay, E36!). Since then, the 3 Series has been the second most featured car in C&D 10Best history, being featured on the list 22 times. The only car to beat the 3 Series on the list is the Honda Accord, with 31 features, which is hard to argue against.
In 2015, the 3 Series famously fell from the list, for the first time since 1992. It was a pretty big shock to BMW fans and sort of brought to light the brand’s decline from its Ultimate Driving Machine roots. However, in 2015, there was some solace taken in the fact that the BMW M235i made the list, proving that the Bavarians did still know how to make a proper sports car, even if it wasn’t the venerable 3 Series.
This most recent C&D 10Best though, the 2018 edition, completely lacks a BMW altogether. That’s right, for the first time since 1992, the C&D 10Best list is devoid of any BMW product. No 3 Series, no 2 Series, nada. That’s big. It’s a big statement of how far BMW has fallen from its once stratospheric heights.
It’s quite shocking, actually, as there are still some really good cars in BMW’s lineup. The 2 Series is still an excellent car, especially the little BMW 230i, which is a tremendous riot to drive at an affordable price. Also the new 5 Series is a stunning all-rounder. But the reason those cars didn’t make it is simple — other competitors in their segments were deemed better.
Rather than the BMW M2, which made the cut last year, the Audi RS3 Sedan is part of the list. Knock the RS3 for not having the same rear-drive dynamics as the M2 but the there might not be a better all-weather point-and-shoot rocket on the market than the little Audi. And rather than the BMW 5 Series, C&D went with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Admittedly, the E-Class has the benefit of the E63 AMG being part of it, while the F90-gen M5 isn’t out yet, but it still won nonetheless.
The biggest news, though? Rather than the BMW 3 Series, literally one of the hsitoric kings of C&D’s 10Best list, is a newcomer — the Alfa Romeo Giulia. Having driven the Giulia Quadrifoglio and BMW M3 back-to-back, it’s hard to argue against the Italian. Sure, reliability issues might end up dooming the new Alfa but that’s yet to be seen and, in terms of pure driving dynamics and style, the Alfa is the better car right now.
This is a pretty big blow to BMW, as it’s been one of the longest running brands on C&D’s famous 10Best list (fifth all-time). One car I can see possibly putting BMW back on the list next year is the BMW X3. Until next year, then.[Source: Car and Driver]