Should I buy the BMW 3 Series Sedan or the 3 Series GT?

3-Series | August 6th, 2015 by 10
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BMW’s best selling car, the 3 Series, has now been divided into so many variants, it’s hard to say one owns just a 3 Series. …

BMW’s best selling car, the 3 Series, has now been divided into so many variants, it’s hard to say one owns just a 3 Series. There are the 3 Series sedan, the 3 Series wagon and now the 3 Series GT. All are offered with all-wheel drive and a slew of engines. Gone is the 3 Series Coupe, which has now been dubbed the 4 Series, but there are still a ton of variants. So which does one choose when shopping for their entry level four-door BMW?

Well, to be completely honest, in the North American market, customers are basically choosing between the 3 Series sedan and GT. No one buys the wagon, even though that should be the choice, because wagons are lame according to most Americans. So after narrowing it down to just the sedan and GT variants, now which one does one choose?

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Well, they both offer their pros and cons. The 3 Series sedan is going to offer the most basic of practical needs, having four doors, seating for five and a decent trunk. Having said that, the BMW 3 Series does have the most rear seat space as well as trunk space out of its entire class. But it’s still just a standard sedan.

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Where the 3 Series sedan shines is in the performance and price categories. Being smaller, with a shorter wheelbase and lower center of gravity, it handles significantly better than the GT. And it looks quite a bit better. It’s also significantly cheaper, with a 328i sedan starting at $37,500 and the 328i xDrive GT starting at $41,850. The GT is also only available with xDrive all-wheel drive, so if you don’t need all-wheel drive or don’t like it, this is a waste of money.

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However, the 3 Series GT isn’t without its charms. Riding on a version of the Chinese market extended-wheelbase 3 Series’ chassis, the 3er GT has a longer wheelbase than the sedan. This gives it a smoother ride on the highway and over rough pavement. It keeps it more composed at high speed as well. Also, the 3 Series GT’s strange body gives it considerably more interior space, both in the back seat and in the trunk. So the 3er GT is quite a bit more practical. Plus, its standard xDrive makes it useful in snowier parts of the country. And considering that it doesn’t cost all that much more than the sedan, yet has far more luggage space and comes with xDrive as standard as well as a longer wheelbase, it’s actually pretty good value for dollar, despite being the more expensive car. Whether it’s worth the extra scratch is entirely up to the buyer, but it isn’t bad value.

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So the 3 Series Sedan is better looking, less expensive and the better handling and more fun car to drive. But the 3 Series GT is more practical and more comfortable, though a bit more expensive. So which does a person buy?

If it was my money, I’d just go for the wagon and be happier than with either of the other two options. But if you had to choose between the sedan and the GT, which would you pick?

10 responses to “Should I buy the BMW 3 Series Sedan or the 3 Series GT?”

  1. mckillio says:

    If the GT had the same dimensions as the sedan I would get it but with the 3 being almost too big as is, I’d probably go with the sedan and it’s better looks, handling, and cost.

  2. Haley says:

    Um, for me it would depend on what activities were going on. I have a kid and a dog so the more room the better…

  3. Matt Stokes says:

    GT all the way, but I’m in the UK, so I’m bored of Tourers and I’m sure passengers would appreciate the extra comfort too.

  4. Michael Calderin says:

    I picked the GT without much need for consideration. No regrets; would do it again. I wouldn’t have opted for the xDrive if I could have, but now that I have it, I find it suits the car well. The added back seat space is amazing for the family, dogs, car seat, etc., and it rides like a dream. It’s more than nimble enough and (with the right color and equipment combination) a very good looking car despite what the critics say. Similarly equipped, the price difference comes down to about $1500 or roughly on par w/ the wagon.

  5. Fribbs says:

    What about the 4 series gran coupé? Looks better and has a more convenient trunk opening than the sedan.

  6. Immanuel Vinke says:

    Have you ever considered a 4 series gran coupe?
    I have one, my dad has one and they are utterly brilliant, massive boot due to the same boot lid concept as in the 3GT combined with the sleek and lovely coupe looks.

  7. tex2670 says:

    I don’t like the GT styling. The best bet is the 4-Series Gran Coupe. You get sedan like styling, but with the hatchback.

  8. Stephen Garrett says:

    Buy the sedan. If you need more room, buy a wagon or SUV.

    The GT is an abomination.

  9. Max says:

    Fortunately in Germany we always have the wagon option which in my opinion is the best you could get, espcially for the 5series, it looks even better than the sedan!
    Personally I would always go for a 2 series, but between these both I would take the sedan because of its sportiness, I dont care about back seat space, dogs and kids :D
    But I can also understand people taking the GT, when you have the M-Sport its good looking actually and with children etc you appreciate the space and comfort and stil have a sportier car than the c-class :P

  10. jcatl says:

    You should buy something used and put the difference into the stock market. Always a better investment than a luxury car. That said, the GT is fugly, go for the 4GC.

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