Live the high life

Mercury (Hobart) - Motoring - - FIVE THINGS - Craig Duff

1It’s a pre­mium prac­ti­cal pack­age The pitch for the 3 Series Gran Turismo is the fu­sion of coupe looks and wagon prac­ti­cal­ity. Rear pas­sen­gers ben­e­fit from more legroom than the 3 Series sedan and ac­cess is eas­ier thanks to the el­e­vated seat height. The flip side is a higher cen­tre of grav­ity that makes the GT feel marginally less nim­ble through the turns. A pow­ered tail­gate re­veals a spa­cious 520L cargo area, 25L more than the wagon.

2There’s al­ways an up-spec Pres­tige car buy­ers of­ten have to delve into the op­tions for the lat­est tech and the $77,900 330i GT is no ex­cep­tion. Handy fea­tures such as for­ward col­li­sion warn­ing with light brak­ing (not au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing), lane de­par­ture and lane-change alerts are stan­dard but you need to in­vest $3500 in an In­no­va­tions Pack­age that adds adap­tive cruise con­trol and semi-au­to­mated park­ing and pumps the speaker count from nine to 16. Sport Line styling is stan­dard, swap­ping to the Lux­ury look is a no-cost op­tion and M Sport bling boosts the price by $2000.

3It lets the sun­shine in Stan­dard panoramic sun­roof will suit buy­ers in south­ern states but will be of lim­ited in­ter­est in sub­trop­i­cal ar­eas where keep­ing the car cool is a pri­or­ity. Other stan­dard in­clu­sions in­clude head-up dis­play, leather up­hol­stery, BMW’s “pro­fes­sional” sat­nav with re­al­time traf­fic in­for­ma­tion and 360-de­gree cam­era view. LED lamps are stan­dard inside and out­side, from the fog lights to the il­lu­mi­na­tion in the cargo bay.

4Per­for­mance is un­hin­dered The 2.0-litre four-cylin­der turbo (185kW/350Nm) is smoother than a tele­mar­keter. It drives the rear wheels via an eight-speed auto and is good for a 0-100km/h run in 6.1 sec­onds. Equally im­pres­sive are the claimed fuel con­sump­tion of 6.2L/100km — and the 8.4L/100km Cars­guide had in ev­ery­day run­ning. Eco Pro, Com­fort, Sport and Sport + driv­ing modes match the trans­mis­sion and throt­tle re­sponse to driver’s pref­er­ence.

5A niche model, it’s al­most un­ri­valled Largely due to the huge rear legroom, the 330i GT has no di­rect com­peti­tor. Audi’s A5 Sport­back comes clos­est in look and price (2.0-litre auto, $76,865) but its cargo area is smaller. The Benz CLA 250 Shoot­ing Brake ($68,600) like­wise can’t match the car­ry­ing ca­pac­ity. A Citroen DS5 doesn’t have the fea­tures, fin­ish or on-road fi­nesse of this trio but is cheaper at $56,990.


BMW has a se­lect market to it­self with this. For those who need to ferry peo­ple and their pos­ses­sions reg­u­larly, it’s well worth a look ... if you can live with the styling.

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