It's the target of every new or revamped entry into the compact luxury car segment, but nothing has caught up with the BMW 3 series.
Nearly six months into sales of the fifth-generation 3 series, BMW is again blasting the doors off the competition.
The 3 series outsold its competition in the United States in September, moving 8,693 units, most of which were the new version. Its nearest competitors were the Acura TL, with 6,228 units sold; Infiniti G35, with 5,472 units; and Mercedes-Benz C class, with 5,050 units.
"BMW deserves a huge amount of credit. That car has been at the top of that segment forever," Tom Libby, senior director of industry analysis for the Power Information Network in Troy, Mich., told Automotive News. "It has an extraordinary reputation and that has been built up over decades. There aren't many models that have that history."