BMW has earned 1st places in two categories at the What Car? Awards event. The new BMW 3-Series Saloon has topped Best Compact Executive Car category, while the 2012 BMW X3 took home the accolade of Best SUV of the year.

2012 BMW 3-Series F30 with EfficientDynamics package is the most economical car in its class. 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.

"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.", commented Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief.

"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.", Tim Abbott, Managing Director of BMW UK added.

2012 BMW 3-Series F30

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On the other hand, the superb 2012 BMW X3 xDrive20d was awarded the top honour in recognition of its exceptional blend of efficiency, practicality and quality. It has achieved incredible results – 50.4 mpg on combined cycle with emissions of just 147g/km CO2.

"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.", Chas Hallett, What Car? editor-in-chief finished.

2012 BMW X3

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Source: BMW