BMW 3 Series saloon (2005-2011)

The BMW 3 Series is the king of the hill in the compact executive car class and is a great car to drive. That's why it's named Best Executive Car in our 2011 Car of the Year awards. That said, it’s not perfect – the cabin, for example, is not as versatile or spacious as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the boot is not as large the one in Audi’s A4. Even so, it’s a good all-rounder, and what’s more it has some of the cleanest, greenest engines in its class. The diesel versions offer staggering fuel economy, as well as being refined and powerful, while the range-topping V8-engined M3 offers supercar-rivalling performance. That said, standard 3 Series models lag behind the class best for comfort, especially in M Sport trim. In 2011, this version of the BMW 3 Series was replaced by an all-new model – read all about it in our latest BMW 3 Series review.