BMW 3-Series GT: a very tall, very ugly hatchback

Despite the fact the tall body 5-Series Gran Tourismo hatchback has been a long way short of a resounding success, BMW is pressing on and releasing a GT tall body hatchback version of its 3-Series.


Taller, wider and longer than any other 3-Series or 4-Series variant (see dimensions comparison below), the 3-Series GT persists with the functional, but aesthetically challenging, formula set out by its 5-Series forebear. Hopefully to make up for this BMW will eventually come out with a 4-Series Gran Coupe.

The new 3-Series GT features frameless windows, 40/20/40 split-fold rear seats and interior LED strip lighting. Despite the massively increased dimensions, the GT only boasts an extra 25 litres of boot space (for a total of 520L) compared to the 3-Series wagon.

Tech available on 3-Series GT include automated parking, surround view camera system, automatic high beam, bi-xenon headlights that swivel with steering input, collision detection with automatic braking, lane departure warning and active cruise control. The entertainment and nav system can be equipped with real time traffic info, text-to-speech to read out SMSes, and Google Maps, Facebook, Twitter and Panoramio connectivity.

In Europe, three petrol and two diesel turbo engines will be offered. A 2-litre turbo petrol engine with 135kW/270Nm powers the 320i, while the same engine produces 180kW/350Nm in the 328i; a 3-litre turbo straight six propels the 335i to the tune of 225kW/400Nm. A 2-litre turbo diesel has 105kW/320Nm on offer in the 318d and can muster up 135kW/380Nm in the 320d.

Power goes to the rear wheels via either a 6-speed manual or 8-speed auto; only the latter is likely to make it to Australia. Fuel saving features include air deflectors, air breathers that direct air towards the rear wheels, automatic engine start/stop and an active rear spoiler.

Dimensions

Length: 4,824mm (+200mm over 3-Series wagon)
Width: 1,828mm (+17mm over 3-Series wagon)
Height: 1,508mm (+79mm over 3-Series wagon)
Wheelbase: 2,920mm (+110mm over 3-Series wagon)

Derek Fung

Derek Fung

Derek has a lifelong love for all things automotive, from the dullest Camry to record shattering Bugattis. Prior to starting up Between the Axles he was a reviewer for CNET Australia and the founding editor of its Car Technology channel. [Read more]