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The news BMW 3 series retains 'Best Compact Executive Car' title

The new BMW 3 Series Saloon has lived up to the legacy of its predecessor having been crowned What Car? ‘Best Compact Executive Car’ 2012, for the seventh consecutive year with the 320d SE.

The BMW 3 Series Saloon reigned supreme in the Compact Executive category, recognised for remaining ahead of the competition in every way. With its EfficientDynamics package making this ‘3’ the most economical car in its class it appeals to both business and retail 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 that sheer driving pleasure.

Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief, said: “The new BMW 3 Series is great to drive, with sharp steering and a well judged chassis. But the biggest gains are in efficiency; it delivers 60mpg and CO2 emissions so low that it falls into the cheapest 13 per cent company car tax band for diesels. It’s a convincing winner of our Executive Car of the Year award.”

Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW UK, said: “It is a testament to the quality and refinement of the BMW 3 Series to win this prestigious award for seven consecutive years. To have this consistent recognition, across the generations, for all of the hard work that goes into producing BMW’s core model is a great honour.”

Continuing the success of the ‘3’, the BMW X3 took home the accolade of What Car? ‘Best SUV’ 2012 having fought off stiff opposition in a very competitive sector. The BMW X3 xDrive20d was awarded the top honour in recognition of its exceptional blend of efficiency, practicality and quality. While CO2 emissions of just 147g/km and a combined consumption of 50.4mpg ensure that running costs are kept to a minimum.

Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief, said: “There’s more competition than ever among SUVs, but the BMW X3 wins the category award by offering lots of space, excellent fuel efficiency and a beautifully finished cabin. It’s a great family car, really – and its running costs are around those of a regular hatchback.”

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