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Awards 2011 - Upper Medium: BMW 3-series

Date: 25 January 2011

The BMW 3-series has, over the years, turned itself into the ubiquitous company car choice for aspiring executives, and seems so immune to the downsizing trend that 2010 actually saw it become the best-selling fleet upper medium model, out-numbering both the Ford Mondeo and Vauxhall Insignia for corporate registrations. That put it in the top six for all models registered as fleet sales in 2010.

Which is what happens when a manufacturer manages to combine massive brand appeal with peerless emissions levels and great driving appeal, all of which the 3-series range can certainly boast. The cherry on the top for corporate drivers is the 320d Efficient Dynamics model you'll have already read about on page 17, where it picked up the Green Model of the Year prize. Figures of 163hp of power combined with emissions of 109g/km and fuel economy of 68.9mpg make for the most compelling of corporate offerings.

But there's more to the 3-series range than its most fuel-sipping model. All through the range, the emissions and economy figures at least match the car's premium rivals, as do residual values and therefore running costs, while the driving experience is unmatched. It's a deserved victory for the 3-series, a car that's achieved more than one 10/10 BusinessCar road test rating.