Luxury segment lookers
In the year that BMW released its latest 3 Series, Audi undertook a minor facelift of its A4 and A5 ranges, and Jaguar introduced a more cost-effective XF line-up, sporting the headlights it should have received originally.
But it was the 3 Series that took centre stage in 2012, and the new model, which introduced an eight-speed auto, and adaptive damping for the first time, didn't disappoint and will be a front-runner in the luxury segment of the Autocar Car of the Year awards.
Volkswagen subtracted the "Passat'' name from the restyled CC, so the new car is now known by just the four letters, "VW CC''.
Further upmarket, Lexus introduced a more aggressive looking GS range, although the top petrol engine reverted to V6 status. It's impressive to drive, yet is still a pampering Lexus in every sense. The line-up, however, expands with a trio of F Sport models.
Mercedes reprised its CLS line-up with a modern interpretation of the originator of the four-door coupé sector, while BMW added an equally swoopy, long wheel base version of its 6 Series Coupé, in the form of the four-door Gran Coupé.
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