Motor trend bases their choice on the trendsetter for the car line. Civic has all of their variants within months of each other (hybrid, engine variants, body styles)
There has been some strange choices in the past (PT cruiser), but its not about choosing the fastest or best performer - i.e. Porsche would win...
The e90, is new, but it follows the e46 trend pretty closely and does not really break new ground in radical styling (semi Banglized). Granted, performance, engine, and etc is better than the e46, but its not bringing BMW to new places.
I for one, like the look of the new Civic. If I was just out of college and looking for my first new car, it would be on top of the list.
E90 TiAg 330i ZSP, ZPP, ZCW 6sd Manual, Nav & Satellite (for Stern!), Black leather w/ Poplar