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      03-15-2013, 03:42 PM   #1
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Post More BMW 3 Series GT Reviews Roll In, Both Good and Bad

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More BMW 3 Series GT Reviews Roll In, Both Good and Bad
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More first drive reviews of the 3 Series GT [official info] are now in, now from Edmunds and the other from The Telegraph. One likes it plenty, the other... not so much. It seems that the 3 Series GT is polarizing, even after hands-on driving experience.

Here are some of the notable things Edmunds had to say:
Quote:
A Sharp-Handling Hatchback

And you can feel this balance on the road. The 335i arcs into bends with a confident zeal that's heightened by our car's optional sport steering gear and its quicker-acting rack. Even with the adaptive dampers at their softest setting, the GT's body control is kept well in check.

Our test 2014 BMW 335i GT's optional 19-inch rims, which do a great job of filling out its arches, doubtless heighten this agility, which steps up a notch when you engage Sport via the rocker on the center console. It stirs the engine and gearbox to greater efforts, even though they hardly felt lazy in the standard setting.

The turbocharged straight-6 revs with an even, eager urge that climbs unabated to 7,000 rpm before upshifting, and with a smooth-pumping beat that makes you want to do it all again. This engine isn't quite the electrically smooth revver that Munich sixes have been in the past, as there's too much of a mildly coarse roar for that, but it's tuneful enough to make you want it over a four, and it's plenty quick. BMW claims a 0-60-mph time of 5.4 seconds and a 155-mph top speed.

And the chassis is good enough to encourage such wanton behavior. Tight damping, strong body composure and fine chassis balance make this a car you'll enjoy swooping about in, even if your passengers might not thank you.

There are some blemishes in the GT's behavior, though, both of them ride-related. Sharp-edged lumps generate loud thumps in the cabin that are a bit unexpected. Crests can be its undoing, too, as the suspension sometimes sends the car into a curious vertical bounce that's particularly emphatic at the rear. All of which is a surprise, since the 3 Series sedan suffers neither of these issues.

Will it take a significant bite out of 3 Series sedan sales? We wouldn't bet against it. Although many 3 Series buyers count themselves squarely in the enthusiast camp, the price of BMW's most popular model puts it in a demographic that needs space for a family. The 2014 BMW 3 Series GT fills that space quite nicely and does so in a way that is not likely to be objectionable to anyone looking to have it both ways. Full review at Edmunds.

And from The Telegraph:
Quote:
Verdict: What a disappointment. With a great basis provided by the 3-series chassis and an initially promising body style, BMW has squandered the opportunity to make a highly desirable machine by jacking up the body with all that means to the detriment of ride and handling

Telegraph rating: Two out of five stars

If you cut through the overexcited hyperbole of the 3-series Gran Turismo, this hatchback version of BMW's best-selling saloon essentially revisits the premise of the Signum, viz, a reproportioned car which prioritises rear-seat accommodation over luggage space. Or, as I put it to Ingo Lasslop, the head of production management for BMW's 1- and 3-series, this is a jacked-up, stretched 3-series hatch for those who find the saloon too sporting, the estate too useful, the coupť too good looking and the X3 SUV too able off-road.

It drives pretty well, but since a 3-series should drive magnificently there's a problem here. The diesel is gutsy, reasonably refined and gives a decent amount of low-down torque, which actually gives the £1,525 automatic option a hard time and changes aren't as gentle as they should be.

The extra height and weight (at 1.61 tons, it's 165lb heavier than the equivalent Touring) require more roll stiffness in the chassis, which makes bump absorption more abrupt, while there's a trembling, fizzing quality to the ride that makes the GT feel nervous and gauche. With the £750 M-Sport suspension pack, it clambers slightly over bumps and, while the Servotronic electrically-assisted steering is accurate, it feels unresponsive and strangely weighted.

Turn-in to corners is flat and notchy and as the side loads build the nose feels as though it wants to roll over the top of the 18in wheels. The single-piston caliper disc brakes are powerful, but the pedal feels wooden and requires a firm shove. For useful fuel savings, BMW's EfficientDynamics has on-demand pumps for oil and water and alternator charging only on over-run, all which are barely noticeable.

A subsequent drive in the six-cylinder petrol model with the variable-ratio steering (£250) and 19in wheels proved to have a much better ride and body control, with a nose which tracked more faithfully around corners. As with a lot of BMW models, wheel and suspension specification is crucial to the ride and handling; it's easy to up-spec into a poorer car. Yet, even in this form, the GT is a far cry from the Touring or saloon models with their greater agility and heightened responses. Full review at The Telegraph.

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      03-15-2013, 05:36 PM   #2
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From Autoexpress

http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/bmw/3-s...bmw-320d-gt-se


The new BMW 3 GT is the most spacious 3 Series yet, but is it worth the premium over the Touring?

Verdict
4
The 3 Series GT does put forward a good case for itself. Itís easily the most spacious and comfortable 3 Series you can buy and thereís not too much of a sacrifice from behind the wheel. Its mix of abilities means that the GT is almost without rivals Ė though the smaller A5 Sportback gets closest Ė so its main competition will come from within the range. Buyers looking for a spacious 3 Series do have the option of the Touring, though, and will save themselves around £1,600 in going down that route.
With saloon and estate versions of the BMW 3 Series already on sale, you could be forgiven for wondering whatís the point of the new 3 Series GT hatchback. BMW says itís supposed to offer the practicality of the Touring with the sporty drive of the saloon, so we got behind the wheel to find out if thereís a place in the range for the GT.

The omens arenít necessarily good. BMW has tried this before with the 5 Series GT, which was perfectly luxurious, spacious and good to drive but failed to find many fans in the UK. That was partly down to its slightly awkward humpback styling - fortunately to our eyes the 3 GT is a far better example of how it should be done.

The proportions are better this time around; the design seems more cohesive and there are a few GT-exclusive styling touches, like the new air-breathers behind the front wheels, which smooth the airflow down the side of the car. The bumpers and the lights are completely new to the GT, and thereís a smoother bonnet, too.

The styling manages to successfully hide the GTís increased dimensions, so it comes as a bit of a surprise to learn that itís a massive 200mm longer, 81mm taller and has a 110mm longer wheelbase than the 3 Series Touring.

As a result, the GT is now the most practical 3 Series you can buy. It has a 520-litre boot, which is 25 litres larger than the Touring, and can carry a maximum of 1,600 litres with the rear seats down. The boot itself is full of practical touches like lashing points, a 12V socket, underfloor storage and an electrically powered tailgate.

Step inside the cabin and itís clear that the GT is quite a bit different to any other 3 Series. The driving position sits 59mm higher, which gives you a kind of mini-SUV view of the road ahead. Jump in to the back seats and youíre treated to an additional 70mm of legroom, making this feel every bit the match of the larger 5 Series.

Thereís a choice of two diesels and three petrols, but weíre driving the predicted best-seller Ė the 181bhp 2.0-litre 320d. Itís the kind of engine that leaves you wondering why youíd need anything else. Not only is it refined, but itís also smooth and punchy, boasting a 0-62mph time of 7.9 seconds. Fuel economy of 57.6mpg is seriously impressive, too, as is the CO2 emissions figure of 129g/km.

You can of course go for the 318d version of this engine, which has 141bhp, or thereís the choice of three petrols: 181bhp and 242bhp 2.0-litre 320i and 328i models and a range-topping 302bhp 3.0-litre six-cylinder 335i.

The 3 Series has always been the most engaging car in its class to drive, so itís a worry when BMW reveals it has softened up the suspension in the GT to improve comfort. A quick drive is all it takes to reveal the 3 Series hasnít lost too much of its magic, though Ė so long as you opt for the three-stage adjustable M Sport dampers (£750).

Yes, thereís a fraction more body roll in comfort mode than the saloon, but select Sport and you still get a really crisp turn-in, combined with better-weighted, communicative steering and an agile chassis. The easiest way to allay any fears about the handling is to say it feels a lot like a 3 Series saloon, albeit one thatís lost a fraction of its sharpness. It still grips hard and feels more fun than an Audi A5 Sportback down a twisty road.

But focusing on high-speed agility is missing the point, the 3 GTís trump card is its comfort. What it loses in handling to the saloon and Touring, it makes up for with an impeccable ride. On the 18-inch wheels of our test car it gently cushions the driver from large bumps and softens out ups and downs far better than any other 3 Series.

Thereís absolutely no doubt the 3 Series GT has its place in the range but all this extra luxury does come at a price. Our 320d GT Ė at £31,310 Ė commands a premium of £2,900 over the saloon and £1,600 over the Touring. Thatís a substantial increase, but then no other car offers the GTís mix of comfort, space and driver engagement. The A5 Sportback comes close, but itís far less spacious and costs about the same as the BMW.

On that basis, thereís a solid argument for opting for the 3 GT over one of its rivals. But, buyers looking for a 3 Series will still have the temptation of the cheaper saloon and Touring models to consider, and that Ė as it was with the 5 Series GT Ė could well be its downfall.
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      03-15-2013, 06:04 PM   #3
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These auto journalists probably never have owned luxury cars before (let alone BMWs).
I hope they know what they are talking about.
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      03-15-2013, 06:11 PM   #4
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I think the differences between the Telegraph (a UK reviewer) and the Edmunds (primarily a US site) reviewers' comments are telling. We don't get the touring model in the US any more, and even when we did, American buyers didn't seem to prefer it. It's a horses-for-courses situation. Different markets; different wants and desires.
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      03-15-2013, 06:20 PM   #5
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I also have to say, the Telegraph reviewer seems to have almost intentionally misunderstood the car. BMW had two options to make the car the Telegraph reviewer expected:

1) Defy the laws of physics.

2) Ignore customer demands and build a great handling car at the sacrifice of customer demands for more space.

Option 1 is impossible (thx, Newton!). Option 2 is just stupid. They'd end up with another saloon. Then what is the point? I much preferred Autocar's take. They weren't crazy about the car -- because let's face it, this is the equivalent of BMW grocery-getter-crossover -- but they recognized what it was, and credited on its merits in that context.
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      03-15-2013, 06:47 PM   #6
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If this is the reviewer then there is no issue.
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      03-15-2013, 08:00 PM   #7
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I don't see why they lifted up the suspension. It not like the F30 is uncomfortable at all. In fact it rides better than the previous gen 5er. So I don't see the need for the increased height.
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      03-15-2013, 08:26 PM   #8
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Burn them all with fire!

Then send an N55 powered Touring to the US please!
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      03-15-2013, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerjph View Post
I don't see why they lifted up the suspension. It not like the F30 is uncomfortable at all. In fact it rides better than the previous gen 5er. So I don't see the need for the increased height.
When you get older, you'll appreciate that slight increase in height. High enough you don't have to fall into it, not too high that a stepstool is a handy addition. In some markets where SUV's are predominate, it's a compromise that gives some of the benefits without most of the faults.

I have no problem with choices...nobody's saying you have to buy one, don't like it, don't buy it.
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      03-15-2013, 10:21 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh

When you get older, you'll appreciate that slight increase in height. High enough you don't have to fall into it, not too high that a stepstool is a handy addition. In some markets where SUV's are predominate, it's a compromise that gives some of the benefits without most of the faults.
Fair point.
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      03-15-2013, 10:55 PM   #11
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If the touring sells decent in Europe and BMW thinks it won't sell in the US why even make a GT and spend development dollars on a Porsche wing?

There are more enthusiasts than people who will buy this contraption... So epic fail on the business case. From a psychological standpoint BMW may want this to be the new minivan or niche product, but what other automotive company is jumping through hoops to build a competitor?

Ok a dude mentioned in another thread that Audi RS4 is a competitor to a 2008 M3. Well that is a formula that worked for BMW and brought many enthusiasts to this forum. It sold why not continue it? Unless this is their black series competitor mindset. I can see offering reduced carbon emitting and more fuel efficient vehicles for high tax markets but why offer something that does neither of these and doesn't follow a profitable trend? BMW will not be the next VW any time soon. Pretty soon BMW may need a makeover a la restaurant rescue.

Where did the testosterone go at BMW?

I'm not trying to knock this car, I am saying the F1X and F8X M models could have come with bespoke engines and more features.
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      03-15-2013, 11:12 PM   #12
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Could it be argued that the Audi A4 Allroad competes with this car? Or is there no competition? A5 sportback would compete with 4GC, i figured.
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      03-15-2013, 11:55 PM   #13
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      03-16-2013, 12:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thurman Murch
If the touring sells decent in Europe and BMW thinks it won't sell in the US why even make a GT and spend development dollars on a Porsche wing?

There are more enthusiasts than people who will buy this contraption... So epic fail on the business case. From a psychological standpoint BMW may want this to be the new minivan or niche product, but what other automotive company is jumping through hoops to build a competitor?

Ok a dude mentioned in another thread that Audi RS4 is a competitor to a 2008 M3. Well that is a formula that worked for BMW and brought many enthusiasts to this forum. It sold why not continue it? Unless this is their black series competitor mindset. I can see offering reduced carbon emitting and more fuel efficient vehicles for high tax markets but why offer something that does neither of these and doesn't follow a profitable trend? BMW will not be the next VW any time soon. Pretty soon BMW may need a makeover a la restaurant rescue.

Where did the testosterone go at BMW?

I'm not trying to knock this car, I am saying the F1X and F8X M models could have come with bespoke engines and more features.
I think at least half of the 3 GT sales will go to China. 5 GT has been hugely successful in China. Majority of the comments on the 3 GT on the Chinese car forums and website are positive. People prefer comfort and luxury over sportiness in China.
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      03-16-2013, 01:14 AM   #15
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Doesn't matter, the whole thing just looks weird to me. Too low to be an SUV, too chunky to be sporty. I rather get a wagon. For roughly the same cost, I can't justify going with this in between car. Just got an X3 3.5i Msport and it's perfect for carrying people and hauling cargo.
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      03-16-2013, 01:19 AM   #16
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      03-16-2013, 03:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daydaychu View Post
I think at least half of the 3 GT sales will go to China. 5 GT has been hugely successful in China. Majority of the comments on the 3 GT on the Chinese car forums and website are positive. People prefer comfort and luxury over sportiness in China.
Yeah this makes sense. Knowing that BMW will keep the hard top vert to cater to Chinese women and that it is becoming the dominant market, BMW will keep on this trend. Becoming more Audi-esque will give them a larger slice of the pie.
Plus where can you open up your sports car there?

I always liked BMW because you got sport with more than 2 seats. And if cars go automated then I rather have luxury as well. I guess it's function over form with the GT, but hope to see function and form in future M models.
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      03-16-2013, 03:59 AM   #18
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      03-16-2013, 07:39 AM   #19
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Alot of people that dosent own a BMW is MAD :P
Well said.
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      03-16-2013, 08:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jadnashuanh View Post
When you get older, you'll appreciate that slight increase in height. High enough you don't have to fall into it, not too high that a stepstool is a handy addition. In some markets where SUV's are predominate, it's a compromise that gives some of the benefits without most of the faults.

I have no problem with choices...nobody's saying you have to buy one, don't like it, don't buy it.
There are no doubt SOME benefit to increased ride height. The real question is if it's worth the cost of raising the center of gravity. For a company that spends so much effort achieving 50:50 weight distribution, screwing up the COG for the sake of a bit better visibility and ease of ingress/egress seems hardly worth it to me. I like the basic idea of an extended wheelbase hatchback for families, but the raised ride height seems very unnecessary.

But then again the three German premium makers seem to be all converging to the same point in sport-luxury spectrum, with that point being what China wants. I think that's unfortunate, but it's hard to argue against a market of that size.
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      03-16-2013, 10:47 AM   #21
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There sure are a lot of body styles these days.
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      03-16-2013, 11:18 AM   #22
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Alot of people that dosent own a BMW is MAD :P
Lol you can't be serious. A college kid with a job and without butchered credit can lease a 3 series. There's nothing special about owning an entry level BMW.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Envyscorpio View Post
Doesn't matter, the whole thing just looks weird to me. Too low to be an SUV, too chunky to be sporty. I rather get a wagon. For roughly the same cost, I can't justify going with this in between car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesummer View Post
it's trash. end of story
Very true.
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