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Best lower medium car - Audi A3

Date: 24 January 2007

That the Audi A3 has stolen this lower medium category from Ford's Focus - winner for each of the past six years - is testament to the growing shift towards premium badges among business car drivers.

This was one of the most widely contested categories, with your votes leaving five different models vying for the victory, but the A3 is a worthy winner, combining a prestige brand with both three- and five-door bodystyles and a comprehensive engine range. That range - from 1.6-litre petrol and diesel right up to the 258PS S3 - means the A3 sits comfortably on most companies' choice lists, while the quality image has seen the car's awards success here replicated in terms of sales. Last year, record numbers of A3s entered the corporate sector, with more than 15,000 units registered, nearly 20% up on 2005. That's nearly half as many again as BMW's slightly more expensive and more controversially styled 1-series.

The Audi A3's combination of quality, choice and style won you over, and it's well worth its first lower medium BusinessCar award.