BMW has pulled off a bit of a coup. Not content with aiming to win one Car of the Year award, they’ve achieved a rare double by having two cars named as COTY winners in different categories. Their X5 and 330i sedan have been nominated by Drive as the winners of Large Luxury SUV of the Year and Best Medium Luxury Car.
In their fields are many very competent cars. Drive uses a scoring system that is designed to really test the cars and highlight their winning, and not-so-winning qualities. As a result, the judges declared about the BMW X5: “In a field chock-full of quality contenders, the BMW remains a quiet contender that just never really puts a foot wrong. The fact that it’s both a global sales leader and a high achiever makes it all the more worthy of commendation.”The BMW 330i was launched some time ago and is part of the backbone of the 7th generation 3 Series. Up against other cars from Europe, and a selection of the best from Japan, the 330i took the gold in the Best Medium Luxury Car category. Drive judge and well respected motoring journalist Curt Dupriez said of the 330i that “BMW has created a luxury executive that maintains the soul of a proper driver’s device. As a quality all-rounder, the Munich machine is a tough act to top.” Well respected writer Paul Gover declared: “The new 3 Series is back to the best of the breed. After taking a whooping from Benz for two generations, the crew at BMW got serious about their heartland car. The rest is a 330i that is sporty yet refined to drive, quiet and comfortable, nice inside and still with a fair crack of pace.” Glover also says: “The 330i is the complete package and the real deal. Some others come close for COTY in 2019, but its an easy pick and a car to recommend to your best mate with zero worries.”
Vikram Pawah, the BMW Group Australia CEO, was effusive in his praise of the two, saying “the results were endorsement of the inherent brilliance of both cars”, and “The new X5 and 3 Series have reset the bar for striking the ideal balance of style, performance and luxury elements and these highly valued awards truly reflect what these impressive vehicles can offer to our customers.”
The X5 comes in a three model range. There is the X5 xDrive30d, xDrive40i, and M50d. The xDrive30d is powered by a 3.0L straight six diesel with 195 kW / 620Nm, compared to the same sized engine in the xDive40i, at 250kW/450Nm. The M50d has 294kW/760Nm, and also has a straight six diesel.
The 3 Series is built around a five tier setup, comprising the 320i M Sport Package, 320d M Sport Package, 330i M Sport Package, 330e M Sport Package, and M 340i xDrive. All bar the M 340i have a 2.0L petrol four, with the 330e a hybrid setup, and the 340i a 3.0L straight six. Power in engine order is 135kW/300Nm, 140kW/400Nm, 190kW/400Nm, 215kW/420Nm, and 285kW/500Nm. Head to the BMW website for details and pricing.