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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > 2012-2019 BMW 3 and 4-Series Forums > General F30 Sedan / F32 Coupe / F36 Gran Coupe Forum > My next car my be a 3GT.....
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      06-06-2011, 12:33 PM   #1
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My next car my be a 3GT.....

I brought my E92 in for a HPFP today, and got a 5GT as a loaner. I was really excited about it because I truly wanted to know how it felt to be behind the wheel for a while instead of just a simple test drive.
Let's get right to the obvious- it's not the prettiest car. It looks very odd in shape and some aspects look just plain weird. Upon getting the car in the lot, I walked around a few times just to check to see if there were any scratches or dents that I should have reported to the front desk before leaving. It was here I got a feel for the true dimensions of the car. I was obviously a lot higher than my (H&R lowered) E92, and bigger in every other direction. It even felt the same way when inside it. The dashboard was enormous. I had a great view of the road, and I feel this was mostly in part to not having a double-humped dashboard. For those that don't know, the navigation on the 5 GT was built into the center stack and not given a second hump like on the 3er. Rear seating was more than plenty. At 5'7 (which I know is not tall at all), I had my legs stretched out all the way and was happily surprised to find that I could slightly recline the seat back a bit.
The panoramic glass roof was a delight. I've recently been finding myself wishing that the E92 had something similar. If the M3 can get a carbon fiber roof, which can't the engineers find a way to put something a bit more luxurious into the roofline. The amount of light that flooded the cabin was great. I'm sure it helped having beige leather but it was still substantially brighter that my coral red upholstery.
This was my first time driving a BMW with it's current automatic shifter. Truthfully, I find it a bit confusing. There were so many buttons on it that I found myself really having to concentrate on what I was doing to make sure I was in the right gear. What's really wrong with a traditional style automatic shifter? If they really want to incorporate something creative, they should adopt a form of Jaguar's knob that raises up from the center dashboard for you to rotate into the correct gear.
Another thing that I was not a fan of was the lack of visibility from the tailgate window. I found it very hard to reverse into my driveway, even with the help of the rear view camera and PDC.
The 2 way tailgate was a really creative feature. It shows that the engineers are really thinking about a lot. But is it necessary? If I need to put something in my trunk, I press the button on my key fob or under the dash and I just put my belongings away. With this, it's almost as if BMW is expecting 5 GT drivers to literally stand there and say to themselves "Hmmm. Which way should I open the tailgate? Do I want to open the one that makes it look like a car? Because I only need to put a small box in there. Or should I just take advantage of the larger lift gate? Hmmmmmm..... decisions, decisions."
Getting back on the topic of size. As I stated, this car is big in every dimension. And for a car based on an executive saloon, that make sense. But the great thing is, you forget about the size of it when you drive. Never once did I think to myself that the car is too big for me. I never felt like I was this huge alpine white mess of sheet metal on the road. It felt like my 335. But smoother. The ride was extremely comfortable, And it was already on 19'' run-flat tires.And when I would go around a turn, I did not feel as if I was navigating a 4700 pound car. Notice the use of the word "car". Because that is exactly what it felt like.
The N54 felt right at home. In my 6-speed E92 you know you're going fast. Sometimes too fast. Power delivery feels smooth at first but a bit later on in the power band it can feel a tad dramatic, even loud. In the GT, nothing but smoothness. Quiet. Relaxed. At ease. Just enjoying what all BMW owners enjoy. Driving.
And then I noticed the buttons on the center console for the driver to change between Normal, Sport and Sport+. Naturally, I slid the shifter over from D to D/S, switched over to Sport plus (don't really know why they wasted their time with just regular Sport), and really got to appreciate the N54. Sure the engine was smooth but that 8-speed automatic was a gem. I've yet to drive a 3-series with a DCT automatic, but I think I'd really be surprised to favor that over the GT's gearbox.

All in all I was very VERY happy with the drive that I got from the 5 GT. So much so that I think I'll be finding some more errands to do today just to log some more time behind the wheel.

Now, I'm sure you're all wondering why I'm posting this in the upcoming F30 3/4-series forum.

I'm sure many people on this forum have heard about how unhappy BMW is with the sales figures of the 5 GT and how it didn't really meet all of their expectations. And of course the next step would be for BMW executives to look into if a future GT-like car would be financially viable to the company. There have been thoughts of weather or not the F30 will be available in a wagon, a GT, or both.
I've seen the spy pics of the 3GT making it's way around the Nurburgring. And I hope to see some more, because I'm convinced the GT should have never been designed for the 5-series platform. It should have been available for the 3er.
I think the reason why it looks so weird, and consequentially why it's turing into a sales blunder is the dimensions.

Shrink the 5 GT a little bit in every direction.
Give us an M-sport. Hell, give us an M version.
Fix the rear visibility problem.
Please for the love of God, give us regular non-RFT tires.

BMW would have then created what they sought out to create- a cooler version of a traditional wagon.
It's not obvious that wagons are not very popular in the states, and the 5GT was to correct that. BMW created this car with good intentions. Their execution was a little off.
After going for a ride, I found myself looking over the body work and tried to alter it's appearance with a little bit of imagination- covering this with my hand, squinting, looking at it with only one eye, trying to see where the engineers could improve to help save a great idea.
And all I could picture was my snowboard and bike mounted to the roof. The roof a car that would make for the ultimate road-trip car.

7/18/09- I pick up my baby- 2009 E92 335i Xdrive, Space Gray over Coral Red. Premium Pkg, Cold Weather Pkg, M-Sport Pkg, 193Ms, Gloss Black grills, Custom Gloss Black Mirrors, Performance shift and E-brake boot, M3 spoiler, Euro fog switch, gloss black interior tim, Coco-Mats (red/black), H&R coilovers, 19'' Alufelgen SF-71s......
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      06-06-2011, 08:51 PM   #2
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Nice write-up, Joe. And nice loaner ...

I saw a 5GT today. Front didn't look bad, but I cannot get over the overall looks. It's a boat even if it doesn't drive like one. No wonder the sales suck so hard.
Please for the love of God, give us regular non-RFT tires.
2017 BMW 340i (F30) - M Sport, Mineral Gray/Coral Red, 6MT; Dinan exhaust
Past: 2011 335i (E92) - M Sport, Le Mans Blue/Black, 6MT
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      06-06-2011, 10:18 PM   #3
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I'm sure they will be substantially discounted, especially once out of warranty. Could be thought of as a compromise between how it looks vs. owning a newer generation 5.
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      06-22-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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Its not the N54. It's the single turbo twin scroll N55.
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