Performance – This is the first time the 330i badge is being offered with the F30 3-Series in India and since we loved the E90 with this badge, we were really looking forward to driving this one. Packed under the hood is a 2.0-litre petrol engine that comes with 4-cylinders, produces 252 HP of power at 5200 RPM and 350 Nm of torque between 1450-4800 RPM. Crank the engine and the car impresses with its refinement. The motor has almost negligible noise and feels super quiet. In Eco mode, power delivery isn’t all that great and gear shifts also happen slowly at low RPMs. Comfort mode gives a proper blend of quicker power delivery and decent fuel economy. In Sport mode, the powertrain starts feeling aggressive and if you mash the throttle, the car leaps ahead with a lot of urgency. The revs are also held on to 2000 RPM or more, so that you are always in the power band.
The 4 pot, 2.0-litre petrol drivetrain isn’t as dramatic as the older inline-6 unit
Sport+ mode is similar to Sport mode but it deactivates Dynamic Traction Control. The engine itself loves to be revved and has grunt all the way to the top-end of the RPM band. You get the usual 8-speed ZF transmission which is smooth shifting. It helps with quicker and more aggressive cog shifts when you feel like driving fast but blends in comfortably even when you’re just cruising down the highway. At 100 km/hr in 8th gear, the 3-Series GT chugs along without much effort at 1500 RPM. 0-100 km/hr comes up in a quick 6.41 seconds according to our VBOX tests. Fuel efficiency drops to 6 km/l if you’re driving hard, while with sedate driving you can expect 10-11 km/l. Since this is a 4-cylinder engine, the exhaust note isn’t as good as a 6-cylinder unit and all you hear is a whirr.
The diesel powered BMW 3-Series GT uses the same oil burner as the regular 3-Series. This motor produces 188 BHP and 400 Nm, pulling all the way to 5000 RPM. As expected, the powertrain is very refined and can barely be heard at idle although it does get loud once you get past the mid-range, the sound from the mill being good to hear. The 320d GT performs well in the city, smoothly picks up the pace right from get go and there is a surge in the mid-range which is quite addictive. However, it’s really the highway where the BMW 3-Series GT diesel shines as the gearbox is just lovely, it shifts cogs in a jiffy and somehow always knows which gear to select. Even in Comfort mode, the vehicle is very responsive but when you shift in Sport (both the driving mode and gearbox), the added eagerness can be felt. Taking manual control of things using either the Tiptronic function or the steering mounted paddle shifts further make driving the GT a more enjoyable experience.
The diesel powertrain is very frugal, returns a good 15 km/l on the highway, dropping to 12 km/l in the city (assisted by the stop/start system and the Eco Pro drive mode) while driving pedal to the metal also returns 10 km/l which means no single digit mileage on this car even when you extract every horse from it. Cruising on the highway is another scenario which highlights what a gem of an engine this is. There is barely any noise from the motor even at speeds of 140 km/hr and you can maintain those speeds all day long, the drivetrain feels very relaxed. When you get on the pedal at those speeds, the 320d GT responds instantly, pulling quickly further. For those looking for the best of practicality and performance, probably the 330d version of the GT is what BMW should offer.