The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is a bigger, more practical version of the 3 Series that comes with roomier back seats. Unfortunately, it’s more expensive and not quite as frugal
The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is a larger, more practical version of the 3 Series saloon that comes with more passenger space in the back and a bigger boot. It’s an alternative to the likes of the Audi A5 Sportback and the smaller Mercedes CLA Shooting Brake.
Step inside, and you’ll find the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s interior looks pretty much identical to what you get in the standard 3 Series. There’s a similar broad dashboard with intuitive heating and ventilation controls and a free-standing infotainment display. Everything feels just as well built and plush, but it still trails the bulletproof Audi A5 Sportback for outright fit and finish.
In terms of practicality, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo edges ahead, however. There’s just as much head and legroom in the front seats as you get in the standard 3 Series saloon but the 3 Series Gran Turismo’s longer body means your passengers get to enjoy slightly more legroom in the back. Unfortunately, try to carry three adults side-by-side, and you’ll hear nothing but complaints from your passenger in the middle seat – a large lump in the floor leaves them nowhere to put their feet.
That said, they’ll still have more space to stretch out than in the Audi A5 Sportback and the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo comes with a bigger boot, too. There’s space for a few large suitcases or a set of golf clubs with the back seats up and – with them folded down – a bike will fit with both wheels attached.
The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo’s back end looks a little like a 3 Series Touring that’s been sat on by an elephant. Despite this, it’s still impressively practical
Don’t think all this luggage space means the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo drives like a boxy SUV – it’s noticeably more nimble than the Audi A5 Sportback on a twisty country road. It doesn’t feel quite as agile as the lighter, shorter 3 Series saloon, but with the optional adaptive suspension fitted it does a fine job for such a roomy car.
Driving the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is fairly relaxing, too. It’s quiet and comfortable at motorway speeds, and the light steering means it isn’t at all strenuous to drive around town. It’s not all good news, however – it’s not quite as easy to manoeuvre as the smaller 3 Series saloon and you’ll have to pay extra for parking sensors and a reversing camera.
There are plenty of engines to choose from – including frugal diesels best suited to long motorway journeys and a range of petrols, including a seriously rapid 340i model. Sadly, you’ll have to pay extra for plenty of driver assistance systems – even automatic emergency braking costs extra across the range.
If you’re happy to pay extra for a few desirable options, then the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo makes a very comfortable, very upmarket five-seater. You’ll just have to decide whether the extra space is worth the premium over the standard 3 Series saloon and estate…