“The rear end of the car is where everything is different; the swooping tailgate is perfectly moulded into the car’s shape.”
Over the years BMW have been trying to come up with the ultimate car or as many variants as possible. The new 3 GT is definitely a new and surprisingly good one.
This all-new variant from BMW is nothing like what they have ever made. Unlike the 5 GT that was launched a few years ago, the new 3 GT is smaller and much better looking. Unlike the normal 3 Series, this vehicle is higher and has an extended roofline that finishes off in a fast back, so there is no conventional boot.
In front, BMW has given the GT a slightly different look to the 3 Series to make it stand out. The lights have grown in size and so has the grille, which is now massive and takes up at least 60% plus of the front end. The air intakes on the bottom end of the bumper are larger as well. This is to ensure that the front end is in line with the proportions of the car’s high roof. The rear end of the car is where everything is different; the swooping tailgate is perfectly moulded into the car’s shape. This new design has added an amazing amount of space and rear leg-room to the car. Thanks to the panoramic sun-roof and high roofline, the interior feels voluminous. It’s like being bumped up from cattle class to business class on the plane. It just feels better and oozes luxury.
The test vehicle was loaded with optional extras that just enriched to my overall experience. The sportline has red stitching to the seats as well as a red finish on the lower end of the dashboard. The sporty steering wheel was just perfect in feel and feedback. The eight-speed gearbox was as smooth as running your hand along silk fabric. The one interesting part of the vehicle was the manual handbrake, which I found a bit odd considering that all of BMW’s larger vehicles now come standard with an electronic handbrake.
On the road, the Beemer felt a bit under-powered when compared to the normal 320i. I guess this is due to the added weight of the car. There is an active boot spoiler that raises once the vehicle passes the 110 km/h mark. However, if you would prefer to show off the spoiler it can be raised at the touch of a button, just so that you can add that additional sportiness to the look of the vehicle.
This vehicle was designed for the long road and in that area the vehicle was an absolute dream to drive. As my kids commented, the only elements missing were the rear DVD screens and reclining seats. Then they would have felt like they were in business class on an international flight sans the turbulence.
Overall I believe that BMW have carved out a new niche market for themselves. This is the kind of vehicle for a family person who does not like the whole SUV look and feel – oh and most importantly, prefers a car drive and not a car-like drive. I personally believe this will have a better success than the 5 GT, which did not capture many a buyer.
Car courtesy of BMW South Africa.
Author: Azim Omar CA(SA) is a member of SAGMJ.