The BMW 3 series has been the compact executive car of choice for almost 10 years, after dominating the sector since 1975, so the latest sixth-generation model had some big boots to fill. That's not to say the old car was perfect, and the current 3 Series was long overdue after a series of improvements to the Audi A4 and Mercedes C-Class threatened to steal its thunder. The BMW design team worked hard on every aspect of the car to ensure improvement across the board and there's now a specification to suit all tastes and budget (well, for anyone with enough cash to consider buying a BMW). Entry-level is the ES, followed by ED, SE, Luxury, Modern and Sport, with the 4x4 xDrive finally brought to the UK, too, after years of being available in mainland Europe. You can get it as a stylish saloon or a more practical Touring estate. 2013 also sees the introduction of a more spacious 3 Series GT saloon that promises to combine the sportier aspects of the saloon with the practicality of the estate. The new car may not look that different from its predecessor but it's bigger with better, more efficient engines and is the best 3 Series yet – which is why we awarded it the 2013 CarBuyer Best Executive Car title.