BMW 3-Series GT : Ride the revs ...


Posted by-Kalki Team



The BMW 3-Series GT petrol offers plenty of performance while still being a practical choice

What you see here is a facelift of the BMW 3-Series GT, perhaps the most underrated of the Bavarian brands models in India. Its got as much, if not more, rear legroom as a 5-Series – thanks to its near-three-metre wheelbase – and luggage space to rival BMWs X SUVs, thanks to its unique liftback boot. So its altogether more practical than a regular 3-Series sedan, and, with a price thats not too much higher, youd think the GT would be a no-brainer, but its slightly unconventional shape could be what keeps it from selling as much as its sedan siblings.

Much like the recently-facelifted 3-Series sedan, the GT facelift gets new front and rear bumpers, adaptive full-LED headlamps, reprofiled LED tail-lamps, new alloy wheels, classier interior trims, a bit more equipment and the newest version of BMWs 2.0-litre diesel engine with 190hp of power output. It also gets you BMWs latest iDrive system, which is basically a pared-down version of the one in the 7-Series, without the touchscreen and gesture control functionality.

12bgm_3gt3.jpg

But whats more interesting is the badge stuck on to the tailgate of this new petrol variant – 330i. The last 330i-badged BMW sold in India was a pretty highly revered sports sedan. Sold here for a relatively short time, it packed in a beautiful, naturally-aspirated 258hp straight-six. This new 30i motor, however, is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit, and it makes its Indian debut in the 3-Series GT.

Producing 252hp, this new motor is a worthy successor to the old 30i, and a perfect match for the latest crop of powerful four-cylinder petrols from Mercedes-Benz (GLC 300) and Jaguar (XE 25t). While it debuts on this 3-Series GT, expect to see it in more models, like the upcoming 5-Series.

The motor is superbly refined, to the point that you cant tell if its running or not at idle and low revs. The GT gets four driving modes as standard – Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+; the first of which is ideal for traffic. Comfort is still the better all-round mode, and the one youll find yourself in most of the time. This is because it does get you a little more pep off the line without sacrificing too much by way of economy. Sport and Sport+ quite obviously make the drive more exciting. The engine and gearbox feel peppier, the steering wheel feels heftier, and the note from the exhaust sounds sportier too.

The new motor wont offer that sense of occasion that the straight-six in the old 330i offered, and, in fact, if you drive leisurely in Comfort mode, it doesnt feel any different to a 320i. Thats because they are basically the same motors. Its in Sport and Sport+ that the added performance can certainly be felt, but only if you drive enthusiastically.

Youre whisked to seriously high speeds in the blink of an eye – with 100kph being dispatched in a none-too-shabby 7.3sec – and all you can feel is a slightly louder purr from the exhaust. Some of this is down to the smooth and seamless ZF eight-speed automatic, which just keeps getting better and better with each new BMW. Its something you notice when cruising out on the highway too, where the new 330i will happily cruise at three-digit speeds at low revs in eighth, and will calmly jump down a few gears for an overtake with you barely noticing.

What the GT also does exceptionally well is ride over bad roads; the suspension is just the right mix of supple and sporty. It may not handle as well as a 3-Series sedan, but its still better than a lot of other similarly-sized luxury cars. The driving position, however, like in the sedan, is very low, so shorter drivers will need to spend some time getting used to it.

While enthusiasts will certainly miss the older, more powerful straight-six, the new motor has all the performance you can ask for. Plus, thanks to the smaller engine size, turbocharging, clever tech and that incredible gearbox, it should be miles more efficient as well. What it has is the incredible ability to go from a calm, refined cruiser one minute to a high-speed missile the next.

The 3-Series GT is a car definitely worth considering if you have about Rs.50 lakh to shell out.

True, it may not have the shape of a conventional sedan, but if you can look past that, the benefits in space and practicality are impossible to ignore.

And yes, many will opt for the 320d diesel which should be very capable and a lot more efficient. But if you want more performance from your 3-Series GT, the 330i is the one to pick.

Fact file

Ex-showroom price

Rs 47.50 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Engine Type

1,998cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol

Power

252hp at 5,200rpm

Torque

350Nm at 1,450-4,800rpm

Gearbox

Eight-speed automatic



Post Comment

Post Comment