First Review: BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo

3 Series | March 15th, 2013 by 8
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Autocar UK brings us the first drive review of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo. The UK journalists got behind the wheel of the 320d GT model which produces 182 horsepower from its 2.0 liter diesel engine. The torque is rated at 280 lb-ft while the 0-62mph is achieved in 7.9sec.

Here is an excerpt from the review:

 According to GT project leader Martin Delitz, much effort has been expended maintaining the 3’s agility, although comfort has also been a priority for this more family-oriented machine. And fitted with the £750 electronic M Sport dampers (a must-buy for any keen 3-series driver), the GT provides an almost loping pliancy, although ridges and bigger bumps occasionally provoke an unseemly thumping not present in the saloon. Some crests provoke a curious vertical bounce too, particularly from the rear.

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Firm it up from comfort to sport and little of that overall suppleness is lost, roll is usefully checked and the 2.0-litre diesel drivetrain roused from its occasionally near-indolent low-rev, high-geared economising strategy. The steering, which feels overlight in comfort, muscles up to provide a sometimes-slightly springy resistance, but a better-than-average impression of the topography beneath. And on these settings the GT hides its higher-set mass well through corners to exploit a 50:50 weight distribution that provides bursts of light entertainment that are limited more by the engine than any significant dynamic shortfalls.

If you’re a regular 3-series driver, the rest of the GT’s package will be familiar. The dashboard is the same as you’ll find in the rest of the range, and so is the general ambience, if not the trim’s design detail. As with the saloon and the Touring you can choose from SE, Sport, Modern and M Sport trims, although the first and last of these are expected to predominate.

Should I buy one?

The GT body style costs £1300 more than the Touring and £2600 more than the saloon, so you need to be certain that you want the extra space and versatility. The M Sport package is well worth having because it significantly improves the GT’s look too, and you should also choose those adaptive dampers.

So it’s not a cheap 3-series, nor the most handsome, and the sometimes-troubled ride and noisier engine must be factored-in. But as a set of versatile family wheels of lightly sporting flavour, this 3 is the best yet.

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Full review at Autocar