Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show last year, BMW has launched the 3-Series Gran Tourismo at the ongoing 2014 Auto Expo in Delhi today. Codenamed the F34, the GT version is a spruced up 3-Series and offers more room than the regular 3-Series sedan. The car is targeted towards those who want to be driven or want more rear seat comfort rather than a sporty driving experience.
On the outset, the 3-Series GT looks like a smaller version of the 5-Series GT which has been on sale in the country for quite some time now. The GT isn’t distinctly different from the regular sedan and it will take some time to spot the difference. The GT version weighs 200 kgs more than the regular 3-Series and is 200 mm longer and 81 mm taller than the sedan as well. The front retains the new 3-Series look, however has larger headlights, a larger grille and a softly contoured hood. The bulk does show up visually and gives a dominating presence on road compared to the sedan. The side profile changes distinctively with a more pronounced shoulder line, while the roof line leaps over all the way to the rear. The elongated roof line does show up on the rear as well with a big and wide rear windscreen. The GT offers a lift back (like the Skoda Octavia) rear which opens with the rear windscreen giving easy access to the massive 500 plus-litre boot. The boot capacity can be increased with folding rear seats.
Step on the inside and the extended wheelbase does add up to more space for the passengers. The dashboard is carried forward from the regular 3-Series sedan while the front seats are comfortable offering more legroom as well. The rear seats also have plenty of legroom; the upright seats offer better under thigh support and you can recline the backrest as well. The 3-Series GT also has a higher ground clearance that makes the ingress and egress easier. The GT’s suspension is tuned for comfort as opposed to sporty ride and handling.
BMW has launched the GT 320d for our diesel loving market and is powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre, common rail turbo diesel engine churning out 181 BHP of power at 4000 RPM. BMW will also get the fiery 328i powered by a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre direct injection turbo petrol mill producing 241 BHP of power at 5000 – 6500 RPM, later in the year. Both the engines are mated to a 8-speed automatic transmission. While the GT may not offer the precise handling as the sedan, it sure doesn’t disappoint albeit being a bit heavier. The prices for the GT 320d starts at Rs. 42,75,000 lakhs (ex-showroom) and is for those buyers who are looking for space and comfort on a 3-Series.