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Car of the Year Awards 2021: Executive Car of the Year

A top-notch executive car must do it all – frugally and in style. Buyers want effortless long-haul capability, a comfortable and classy interior, and low benefit-in-kind tax rates...

WINNER: Executive Car of the Year

BMW 3 Series 330e M Sport (M Sport Pro Package)

What Car? Car of the Year 2021 logo with sponsor

The BMW 3 Series has been collecting awards for generations now, and this latest iteration has polished what has proved to be a successful formula to an irresistible sheen.

Driver involvement has always been key to the 3 Series’ appeal, and the latest model remains beautifully balanced, responsive and, above all, fun. And, if you add the optional adaptive suspension (part of the M Sport Pro Package), you get a smooth ride, with the option to firm things up on a country road at the touch of a button.

BMW 3 Series interior

As ever, there’s a broad range of petrol engines, with the rapid M340i crowning the range until the new M3 super-saloon arrives. Diesel devotees have plenty of choice, too; the 320d managed an impressive 47.2mpg in our True MPG test, and there’s a grunty M340d for those with speedier tastes.

It’s the plug-in hybrid 330e that lifts the executive car trophy, though. It’s more efficient than its Volvo S60 T8 rival – promising tax savings for company car drivers – and is a better car to drive than both the S60 and the Mercedes C300de.

We like

> Great to drive
> Low emissions and good electric range
> Comfortable, high-quality interior
> Class-leading infotainment

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Read about more Car of the Year 2021 winners >>