BMW 3 Series GT review: In the Grand scheme of things

Written by Vikram Chaudhary | Updated: May 10 2014, 22:24pm hrs
BMW 3 series GTAt Rs 42.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), BMW 3 Series GT fits nicely between the 3 and the 5.
Form follows function is a design principle. It means that the shape of an object should be based on its intended function. The curvy openings in the sides of the front bumpers of a cardesigners call them nostrilsare not there because they are decorative, but because they let in massive amounts of air that modern engines need for cooling. The gently sloping roof line of a car is not there because it looks good, but because it reduces air resistance. Each edge, each curve and every detail on a car is a result of function. But, in the automotive world, the form that follows function isnt always eye grabbing. For example, Mercedes-Benz B-Class or the now discontinued Jaguar X-Type. No offence meant, but these are not the cars that often steal second glances. However, every once in a while there comes a car that is a classic representation of the form follows function adage and does it in style. Case in point here is the BMW 3 Series GT.

Launched at this years Auto Expo, the GT in BMW stands for Gran Turismo. An Italian term, it translates into English as grand tourer. A GT, thus, is a performance or luxury vehicle capable of making long-distance, high-speed journeys in comfort, yet provide driving thrills when demanded. The GT is a very European conceptsmooth highways in Europe ensure high-speed driving and covering distances of over 1,000 km a day. So a GT makes sense there. But does it make sense in India If not, what is the point in launching a GT here Simple, to fill the gap between existing segmentsthe BMW 3 Series GT sits between the 3 Series and the 5 Series sedans.


The way the 3 Series GT combines dynamic lines with the elegance of a coup is fascinating. Embedded in the precisely-outlined front is the trademark BMW kidney grille. Go to the sides and the view becomes even more appealing. Step at the rear and try stopping yourself from falling in love with design! This form is very functional. Increased height provides more legroom and headroom, the gently sloping roof increases space in the cabin, and wide dimensions give it more stability on the road. The active rear spoiler, which deploys automatically when the car goes faster than 110 kmph, is not only a visual delight but also provides steadiness at high speeds. Another cool feature is frameless windows. The 3 Series GT is 200 mm longer, slightly wider and 80 mm taller than the 3 Series sedan.


Aesthetic, generous, comfortable, functional there are a lots of adjectives that one can associate with the cabin of the GT. The first thing you notice is raised seats. Then you adore ergonomically-placed controls. Then you appreciate perfect driving position. In fact, everything in the cabin is so faultless that you may just miss out on the fact that there arent many cubbyholes for storage on the centre console and between the seats. Yes, at the front of the gear lever there is a slot for two small bottles, but to use that you have to take off its cover and look for a place to store it first! Other than that, there are no flaws. The rear seating area has a legroom similar to that found in the 5 Series, while the boot space is a humongous 520 litres. The rear passenger can access the boot by merely lifting the armrest. I believe the sheer space and comfort the 3 Series GT offers is going to be its biggest selling point. What adds to the charm is the massive panoramic sunroofthe whole roof is practically glass.


Under the hood of the 3 Series GT sits the 1,995-cc diesel engine that produces a maximum power of 184 bhp and a torque of 380 Nm. It is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission gearbox.


It looks fast, it goes faster. Even though the 3 Series GT is heavier than the 3 Series sedan, the ample torque accelerates the car from 0-100 kmph in 7.9 seconds and takes it to a top speed of 230 kmph. At low speeds the ride is very supple and the car is comfortable even on bad roadson smooth roads, it drives like a dream. Though the GT is a tall car, we didnt find any perceptible body roll through the corners. Because you sit higher, there is better visibility all around, and this means the GT is easy to drive in traffic. The eight-speed automatic transmission reduces fuel consumption (at high speeds, the additional gears reduce the revs, which leads to a reduction in both fuel consumption and engine noise). The Auto Start Stop function ensures that fuel is used only when the car is on the move. BMW claims the GTs fuel consumption is an efficient 19.59 kmpl and its CO2 emissions are 135.88 gm/km. The engine noise doesnt really enter the cabin until you accelerate the car very hard. The brakes are good.


At Rs 42.75 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the 3 Series GT fits nicely between the 3 and the 5. The car gets more space than the 3 Series but has lesser equipment than the 5 Series. It rides better than the 3 Series but is not as cosy as the 5 Series. What is does offer is massive exclusivity, and that is what works for the GT. After all, one can always anticipate from BMW a car that customers never knew they ever wanted!