What kind of customer would buy the BMW 3 Series GT over the wagon

3-Series | January 28th, 2015 by 13
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So what kind of customer would buy the BMW 3 Series GT over the 3 Series wagon?

The 3 Series is BMW’s bread and butter. The brand basically revolves around the reputation that the 3er created. Though the 3 Series has changed quite a bit over the years, it still remained a luxurious, sport-sedan built to make driving fun. Since its inception, the 3 has been a sedan, coupe and wagon. Now the 4 Series takes over the coupe body style.

Recently, though, BMW decided to add yet another flavor to the 3 Series spectrum; a GT.

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The 3 Series GT has somewhat of a conundrum. See, the 5 Series GT probably sells well because many people want the 5 Series just with more space, and don’t want the X5. So it does fill a gap. The 3 GT, on the other hand, is trying to fill a gap which has already been filled by the 3 Series Wagon. The 3 Series wagon has just as much cargo space, but arguably looks better. So what kind of customer would buy the GT over the wagon?

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Edgy people, or at least wanna-be edgy people.

People in the US don’t like wagons. It’s a fact that boggles the minds of car enthusiasts, nationwide. Wagons sell like crazy in Europe, as they should. They offer more space than a sedan, but are easier to drive and less thirsty and expensive than an SUV. But, in the good ole US of A, no one likes them. So people who want the cargo space of a wagon, but not the looks, buy the GT.

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Some people like the looks and think that the GT is edgier and different from the standard 3 Series or 3 Series Wagon. Admittedly, the 3 GT is better looking than its 5 Series cousin. It seems to wear that odd shape a bit better and it shares more of the 3 Series design language than that of the 5 and 5 GT. It looks more like a car with a funky trunk than a bulbous, ungainly hunchback that is the 5 Series GT. So the appeal is far stronger with the 3 GT than the 5 GT.


So, despite the fact that the 3 Series wagon is a slam-dunk combination of looks, practicality and performance, people still don’t want a wagon. So the GT fills that small niche between the 3 Series and X3 who want the best of both worlds without having a wagon.

13 responses to “What kind of customer would buy the BMW 3 Series GT over the wagon”

  1. BMWFAN says:

    you forgot that asian likes GT more than wagon

  2. Mark says:

    A lot of people would not be seen dead in a wagon.

    In Australia the wagon as a concept could not be more dead!

  3. Mark says:

    A lot of people would not be seen dead in a wagon.

    In Australia the wagon as a concept could not be more dead!

  4. Julien says:

    sit at the back of the Gt and then at the back of the wagon and you’ll instantly get the difference…
    3 series Sedans and Wagons are for kids under 10…

    • CDspeed says:

      Well said.

    • Spineless says:

      I own a 3GT, and the back seat is one the reasons to get one. Also, when you put the back seats down, you actually have more storage depth than the wagon. There are many more reasons as well… moonroof, front headroom, awesome wing. We’ve been stopped so many times asking about and making compliments on the car. People who say that the 3GT doesn’t belong, need to get over their issues and just accept it as being the awesome car it is.
      We have two 3 series (3GT & 335i)… and it a constant struggle to decide which to drive. When it comes to a road trip, the 3GT is the obvious choice.

  5. CDspeed says:

    I think the appeal of the 3GT is similar to the 5GT, the interior is a lot more spacious, with generous leg room for back seat passengers. The sloped fastback roof gives the Gran Turismo a sporty look that isn’t associated with soccer moms. Mercedes is running an ad right now for the E 63 AMG wagon, it features a woman running around to shops, and she has soccer balls rolling around in the trunk. So I think the GT is about practicality, while retaining a sporty edge, much like a hot hatchback. And I do think the Gran Turismo was intended from day one to sit between the 5-series and X5, or in this case the 3-series and X3.

    • Michael Calderin says:

      That sums it up pretty well. I’m anxiously awaiting delivery of my 3GT in a few weeks. I’m a [relatively] young married guy with a tall family. I love the utility I get out of the GT. It’s minutely larger than the wagon, but has significantly more back seat room. So much so, that at 6’3″, I could sit comfortably in the back and have room to stretch, even if someone my size was driving.

      Given the choice between that extra room and a lower wagon, there’s no question for me… which is good, because there’s no way I could talk my wife into any wagon.

    • Spineless says:

      I wouldn’t say that it sits between the 3 series and the 3X. If that were the case, then the 3X would need to find some additional rear legroom, just to match the 3GT.

  6. Matt Stokes says:

    Wagons are not all that, they may not be common in the U.S. but they’re all over the place in the UK, I’m pretty bored of them (only owned two, an E34 and an E46), and I welcome something different.

    Mostly it comes down to whether you want more space for your luggage, or more space for your rear seat passengers. Tourer for the former, GT for the latter.

    Personally I don’t actually need the back seat space at all, but a lift back is useful for my road trips. I’ve been weighing up a 3GT vs. a 4GC for my next car (CPO 5GT is awesome value for money too), I’m going for the 4GC because it is better looking and I rarely have rear seat passengers these days. I was really tempted by the 3GT – the M-sport front end looks better than the saloon or tourer, which both look a bit squashed to me, and I like the roof-line. If the 4GC didn’t have a lift back, it would have been the 3GT without a doubt… the F31 tourer didn’t even get a look in. And X cars? They’re nice enough but they’re too big (for local parking and roads), and too expensive to run (the taxes are higher, and they’re less efficient).

    I still think BMW did the right thing with the GT’s. It’s an uncomfortable shape, although the M-sport 5GT’s on road presence is awesome. But, had they compromised the interior space for the sake of looks, it would have totally compromised the benefits it was supposed to offer in the first place. Admittedly, I can understand why some US customers are angry the wagons aren’t readily offered, but BMW wouldn’t had have done it, had they found sufficient demand in the first place.

  7. Otto says:

    To answer properly that question, you have 1st to check the BMW US site.
    Then, what do you see ?
    1st : only the sedan is available with RWD. 2 others are only available with xDrive.
    Then let’s have a closer look.
    The SW is only available with I4s, a petrol and a Diesel.
    The GT is available with I6 and I4 petrol engines, no Diesel.
    That should help the customer to make his choice and answer your question.

  8. iLeicaMike says:

    Everything below is just my opinion, but I thought I would share as I’ve driven the 2015 Sport Wagon, GT, and the 4 series Gran Coupé, and can compare them side by side.

    My most recent bimmer purchase was in April, and I went to the dealership specifically to look at the 3 series GT. A lot of individuals find the GT unattractive, with it’s fat bumble bee-esque booty, but overall I really enjoy the design language. I also went in specifically looking for something a bit more practical for daily use than my spouse and I’s M4, as we plan on having our first child next year and wanted a fun/attractive ‘family car’.

    I test drove the 3 series sport wagon, the GT, and a 4 series ‘Gran Coupé’. I never could place my finger on why but I just didn’t like the wagon compared to the GT quite as much. It felt like the kind of vehicle that I would purchase when I’m in my late 40’s/early 50’s. My spouse and I are in our late 20’s, and wanted a ‘fun but still practical’ family car, and the wagon just didn’t fill that void.

    After all of that we ended up purchasing a 435i Gran Coupé M-Sport, and so far I have been very pleased. While the vehicle was in the shop for its window tint I was given a 2015 328i xDrive Sports Wagon for a loaner, and I will admit that it grew on me but it also confirmed that it’s a vehicle I would purchase if I were about to have grandkids, not the first kid.

    So who would purchase the 3 series GT? I would wager that it’s the younger, first BMW crowd, who want something practical but a bit more ‘cool’. The kind of person who wants a 4 or 5 series, but isn’t quite ready to make that kind of financial commitment, so the GT fits the bill. Maybe not perfectly, but as close as this target consumer can currently get.

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