2017 BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo: Review

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BMW has been offering two car models under its Gran Turismo (GT) lineup. The 5GT, based on the 5-Series and the 3GT, based on the 3-Series models. The Gran Turismo concept was first showcased in 2009 at the Frankfurt Auto Show with the 3-Series Gran Turismo. BMW introduced the 3GT into the Indian market in 2014 and globally in 2013. Sizewise, the 3GT is larger than the 3-Series and offers comfort levels very close to the 5-Series in terms of seating and cabin dimensions. The 3GT is perhaps one of the most under-rated models from BMW in India. The best-selling 3-Series got a facelift last year and then the 3GT also got its due facelift as it’s based on the 3-Series. The German car maker launched the facelift 3-Series GT in our country late last year. We drive the 2017 3-Series Gran Turismo to get you this road test review.

Food For Thought:

The BMW 3-Series GT is based on the BMW 3-Series and code named the F34. Globally the 3-Series is available as the 3-Series sedan, 3-Series Gran Turismo and 3-Series Touring along with the M3. India does not get the 3-Series Touring. BMW India now assembles 3-Series Gran Turismo at its Chennai plant.

Exteriors

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The 3-GT has been the bigger model than the 3-Series Sedan that is, based on in terms of height, width and length. The facelift GT3 inherits all the virtues that the sibling 3-Series got on its facelift. The 3GT is 200mm longer, 17mm wider and 79mm taller than the 3-Series. The face now gets a lot more striking with the sharper white corona ring headlights that are now standard with Adaptive LED lighting. The headlights get redesigned eyebrows that work as LED turn lights. The BMW Kidney grill in chrome gets slimmer and stretched, giving a sporty look to the face of this car. This grill has 22 vertical slats in chrome that define it. A new redesigned bumper now houses white LED fog lamps placed on extreme corners flanked by two chrome strips that run around it.

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The typical BMW long nose bonnet and slim extended fenders give that typical BMW look to the front of the car. The soft flowing crease on the bonnet looks classy. The fenders get a chrome design element on both sides with luxury badging inscribed on them. The windows mounted on frameless doors and the roof come with an all glass top with electrically opening sun/moon roof along with a shark tail radio antenna. The windows get a thick chrome garnish running around them that define the coupe like roofline and the large rear quarter glass that shapes the Gran Turismo’s unique rear end. The typical BMW thick waistline runs across the door handles and makes a bold design statement. The BMW 3 GT now runs on 255/50 R18 Continental ContiSportContact 18-inch tubeless tyres mounted on multi-spoke silver alloys.

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The rear profile gets redesigned LED tail lights and a new design rear bumper that gets slim strip reflectors and a horizontal chrome strip on it along with twin round exhausts placed on the left corner. The boot lid opens up with the rear windshield making way to the XXL sized boot area. The boot lid also comes fitted with a electrically activated active rear spoiler that activates and folds back in at a press of a button. This active spoiler also automatically opens up when the car reaches 110kmph and automatically retracts back into its body housing when the speed drops below 70kmph. The driver can also override this automatic feature by manually opening or closing it at the press of a button. The build quality is top class and typical BMW level, the 3 Series GT looks impressive and gets noticed wherever it goes for its uncanny design and has a lot of road presence.

Interiors

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Step inside the 2017 3 Series Gran Turismo and you are welcomed instantly with the extra spacious cabin area. The space in here thanks to the extended wheelbase and overall dimensions over the 3 Series puts this cars cabin dimensions very close to that of the elder brother the 5-Series. The dash board is made of the typical soft material with the top in black and the lower half in a light beige color scheme. Wood inserts along with aluminium inserts on the dash and door pads enhance the plush feel in the cabin area.

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The instrument cluster comes with round dials for fuel gauge, speedo, RPM and engine temperature. Instrument cluster is extremely well laid out and easy on the eyes to read. The steering is a redesigned 3-spoke design with leather wrapping and metal inserts neatly blended. Steering can be manually adjusted for reach and height to suit your driving style and comfort and also comes with the all needed multifunction control buttons placed on it. Paddle shifters on the steering feel are made of top class metal and are perfect in size for easy use.

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The center dash now gets an all new display unit. This is a 22.3cms color screen with the same graphic interface as the New 7-Series. The latest generation BMW iDrive controls this unit. This unit along with the routine audio connectivity also comes with BMW Navigation Professional with 3d Maps, phone connectivity, wireless music streaming, USB, AUX connectivity and also doubles up as the active reverse camera display unit. There is 20 GB of internal storage that can be used to store songs and maps. The sound system gets a 9 speaker setup. Audio quality is excellent and the radio reception is crystal clear. Below this screen is the 2 zone climate control unit. This all new iDrive unit is an highly advanced unit that runs on the latest gen software that can control almost all the settings of this car.

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The 3 GT comes with preset driving modes (Eco-Pro, Comfort, Sport & Sport+) to choose from and its control buttons are mounted on the center console along with the transmission shifter and the iDrive command dial. Seats get light beige full leather upholstery. The front seats are fully electrically adjustable for reach, height and backrest incline. The driver’s seat comes with 3 memory setting feature. Rear seats get 40:20:40 split seating. The extended wheelbase is all put in good use for the rear seating comfort which has leg room equal to the 5 Series.

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The extended width over the regular 3-Series also helps in increasing the seating comfort on the rear seats. The rear passengers get 3 adjustable head rests and a foldable center arm rest with cup holder. The BMW 3GT has a large boot area with an overall loading capacity of 520 liters that can be further extended to 1600 liters with the rear seats folded down when needed. The boot lid can be electrically opened and shut at a press of a button. The cabin area is extremely spacious on the 3GT and very well appointed. Seating on the front seats and the back is highly comfortable with extra generous leg and knee room available at the rear. Quality of materials used is top class and feel and look to last a life time.

Engine – Transmission – Drive

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The BMW 3-GT that we drove was the 320d Diesel version. This version is powered by the Efficient Dynamics engine family that features the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. This is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that makes 190 HP at 4000 RPM and 400 Nm of torque between 1750-2500 RPM. This engine is mated to an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. Start the engine and the cabin feels extremely silent. Rev the engine and you can hear a nice grunt. This is the tried and trusted Diesel unit that does its duty on other BMW models as well.

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The engine performance is very punchy. You can select your drive mode between Eco-Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ as per your mood and driving style, and the car does not fail to impress you. The suspension setup is extremely well tuned offering a good ride quality. The suspension setup is taken care by a 5-link setup at the rear and aluminium double joint struts on the front that soak up mostly all the bad roads and undue adulations that the car drives on. The upsized tyres also help in this department.

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The 3GT also has 25mm more ground clearance over the regular 3-Series that helps in its easy effortless gliding capability over bad roads. On the braking front the 3GT feels firmly planted and secure when asked to stop. The electro mechanical steering feels nice and light in the Eco-Pro mode and if you want more feedback and weight then you can shift to the Sport or Sport+ mode where it livens up offering more weight distribution. The 3GT feels powerful and nimble at all driving conditions. This engine is highly refined, silent and responsive in its current tune.

Verdict

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The BMW 3-Series GT strikes a perfect balance between a sedan and a touring car. It has the practicality of a sedan for daily use and the spaciousness of a tourer needed for the weekend long runs. Now with this facelift, there is a host of latest generation features added to the kitty making this a fairly practical option if you want a car that’s as large as the 5-Series and can double up as a perfect touring car when needed, coupled with the drive character and all its USPs that the BMW badge is associated and known for.

2017 BMW 3-Series GT Photo Gallery

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