The automotive press gives out many, many awards each year, and BMW is certainly no stranger to receiving them.

Enthusiast magazines have heaped praise on the company's cars for years, usually for their sporty handling and luxurious appointments.

Now though, BMW has a different kind of award for the trophy case.

MORE: 2014 BMW 535d xDrive Diesel Sedan: Fuel Economy Drive Review (Mar 2014)

That's because the 2015 BMW 535d sedan has been named "Diesel Car of the Year" by the Diesel Driver website.

In addition, BMW itself was named the "Diesel Car Manufacturer of the Year."

Most automotive awards are determined by the editorial staffs of the publications that give them, but Diesel Driver takes a more democratic approach.

2015 BMW 5 Series

2015 BMW 5 Series

Winners of its awards are chosen through reader polls: The candidate with the most votes gets the prize.

The 535d received 16.5 percent of the 12,131 votes cast, while BMW got 31.5 percent of the vote in the manufacturer category.

There were 25 cars and SUVs vying for the award, and given the 5 Series model's fairly low percentage of overall votes, the competition was intense.

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Criteria included fuel efficiency and greenhouse-gas emissions, as well as performance, handling, styling, comfort, and "overall package."

This year's runner up was the Volkswagen Passat TDI, with the smaller BMW 328d in third place.

Volkswagen also took second place in the manufacturer category, followed by Mercedes-Benz.

2015 BMW 5 Series

2015 BMW 5 Series

The 2015 BMW 535d is powered by a turbocharged inline-six that produces 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is mandatory, with standard rear-wheel drive or optional all-wheel drive.

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The EPA rates fuel economy for the rear-wheel drive model at 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city, 38 mpg highway), while the all-wheel-drive version loses 1 mpg in the highway category.

It's one of several new diesel models offered by BMW, which joined longtime diesel stalwarts Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen several years ago in offering selected diesel models to U.S. buyers.


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