The BMW 3-series has been named the Autocar Asian Car of the Year 2013 by a panel of 18 highly respected car experts.
The prestigious award, which was given to both the standard BMW 3-series and the long wheelbase version, was presented to Ian Robertson, BMW chief of sales and marketing, and chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk, at the Shanghai motor show.
BMW's 3-series fought off fierce competition to win the Dynaudio-backed award; initially a shortlist of 59 cars was drawn up, which was then whittled own to six contenders: the Audi Q3, Lexus GS, Porsche 911, Range Rover Evoque, Toyota GT86 and, of course, the BMW 3-series.
Making the presentation, Hormazd Sorabjee, editor of Autocar India, said "The new BMW 3-series takes the game forward with its brilliant blend of ride and handling, strong engines and stunning appearance. Interior space and comfort has taken a huge leap forward too."
Derryn Wong, contributing editor of Autocar Singapore, added "The BMW 3-series is simply the most useable and drivable car on the shortlist. It exceeds your expectations by a country mile, making it a true winner."
Faisal Shah, group editor of Autocar Malaysia, said "The 3-series just plainly redefines the class. BMW has reset the competency scales."
The award, sponsored by Dynaudio, was voted for by a pair of Autocar editors from each of the countries in Asia in which Autocar is published. These are China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The inaugural Autocar Asian Car of the Year was the Audi A6, which received the accolade in 2012.