By a few important metrics like sales and the reception of highly important new models, 2019 was a good year for BMW. The automotive journalist community seems to have agreed, collectively recognizing BMW models with 50 different awards and accolades throughout the course of the year. While the majority of these positive reviews, lists, and other, “best-of” summaries come from Europe, where another universe of car automotive news media exists, some awards of note also come from important American entities like Car and Driver and J.D. Power.
Last year was one of immense change in the BMW lineup. Important models that have been staples of the brand’s existence for decades were updated, refreshed, and reissued in new generations, while new models that were on no one’s radar a few years ago, have established themselves as pillars of the marque. While other automakers had found success in the massive luxury three-row segment, BMW stayed away for years until the release of the X7, and now, the largest BMW ever is selling faster than expected with over 20,000 deliveries in 2019, it’s first year on sale.
So what did BMW win recognition for in 2019? We start with the BMW 2 Series, which J.D. Power identified as distinguishing itself within its small and compact vehicle segments with the highest quality. Although the current generation 2 Series is just about to sign off ahead of a new platform, with the sales having started back in 2014, the 2 Series has only gotten better with time. The B48 four-cylinder brought about a big improvement in reliability, NVH reduction, and even efficiency, while standard equipment has also been greatly improved from six years ago.
We wrote about the i8 winning International Engine of the Year back in 2018, and it did it again 2019, even as competition in the performance EV segment has only increased. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Car and Driver also bestowed its all-important praise on a few select BMWs. The X1 miraculously earned a place on the magazine’s 10Best Trucks and SUVs list, while the M2 Competition did the same for the 10Best Cars list. Although Car and Driver‘s 10Best list has long been an industry benchmark, over the last decade, BMW had a hard time maintaining its perennial position, and we’re glad to see two models as diverse as the X1 and M2 Competition recognized.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]