Topic title taken right from the March 2004 Car & Driver - just arrived today!
To cut to the chase, the BMW included in the test was a 2004 325i - it took 2nd place behind the G35.
Pretty good article - many great things to say about the 325i. With all the praise, it sounds like it should have come in first. They noted with a little more power, it would have.
A few little tidbits I noticed - 1) it had the worst HP to weight ratio of the group but was still 3rd fastest 0-60 out of 7 vehicles (Acura TL, Audi 3.0, Infiniti G35, Jaguar X-type 3.0, Lexus IS300, & Sabb 9-3 Arc). 2) Rated 1st overall in the chassis category, and 3) placed first (perfect score 25 out of 25) in the 'fun to drive' category. That's what it's all about, right?!
There was also an article about the new Cadillac CTS-V being compared to an M3 & M5. I recommend picking up the issue!