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BMW 3-Series Wins Cars.com/USA Today Sport Sedan Challenge

Stocks in this article: AHC GCI MNI WPO

CHICAGO, April 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Cars.com, the premier online resource for buying and selling new and used cars, has named the BMW 3-Series Sedan the winner of the Cars.com/ USA Today/MotorWeek Sport Sedan Challenge. The challenge pitted six of the most popular sport sedans against each other in a series of tests. Cars tested, all priced at or below $46,000, included the Acura TL, Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60.

"After completing the challenge, it was easy to see why the sport sedan class has long been ruled by the BMW. For years, they have set the bar for other automakers to produce entry-level sport sedans that are similarly equipped," said Patrick Olsen, Cars.com's editor-in-chief. "This segment has grown into one of the most popular offerings by luxury automakers because of their impressive feature set and drivability at a reasonable price."

Experts from Cars.com, USA Today, "MotorWeek" and a couple in the market for a sport sedan tested the six cars for performance, comfort, fuel-efficiency, features and overall drivability.

Tests included:

  • 180-mile drive that covered twisting mountain roads, freeways and surface streets to test each car for real-world fuel mileage.
  • One day of round-robin driving where each expert drove each car back-to-back on the same course which included freeways, surface streets and stop-and-go traffic.
  • Track tests, including a road course for handling, tight turns, acceleration and braking. Additionally, the cars were tested on a drag strip for zero-to-60, quarter mile time and 60-to-zero braking.
  • One day of in-market shopper testing, where an actual car shopper went car-to-car judging seating, cargo, feature and ride-quality.

"Shoppers have a lot of great options to choose from in this category, but the 3-Series offers an outstanding combination of performance, fuel efficiency and roominess," said Olsen. "From the start, we had high hopes for the BMW, and it did not disappoint. As tougher competition emerges in the sport sedan market, the long-lived BMW 3-Series continues to remain a force to be reckoned with in the segment."

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