Review: BMW 3 Series GT (2013)

Rating:

New stylish hatchback version of the 3 Series. Gets more practical load area, extra rear space and a softer ride. Strong and economical engines.

More expensive than a 3 Series Touring. Doesn't handle as sharply as the standard saloon.

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BMW 3 Series GT (2013): At A Glance

The 3 Series Gran Turismo is a stylish hatch version of the 3 Series and sits above the saloon and Touring models in the range. It will appeal to buyers who need more practicality than a standard four-door 3 Series and is a strong alternative to the Audi A5 Sportback. It's an interesting design and while not as svelte as the standard 3 Series it's certainly better looking than the larger 5 Series GT.

As well as a longer and taller body, the 3 Series GT also has a longer wheelbase than the standard car which means better interior space, particularly for rear seat passengers. The fact it's a hatchback means a big boost for practicality so although the 520-litre boot is only 25 litres bigger than the saloon, the load space will be easier to access. All models come with an electrically opening tailgate and 40/20/40 split folding rear seats.

The 3 Series is also the first BMW to come with an active spoiler which raises at 68mph to reduce drag and increase downforce. Other nice details like the electric tailgate and frameless doors help make it feel more special than a standard 3 Series. To begin with there are three petrol engines and two diesel with either a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The big difference over a 3 Series saloon is the ride. The GT is noticeably softer on the move and offers better long distance comfort thanks to tweaked suspension settings. It certainly lives up to its 'Grand Tourer' name and is very comfortable at motorway speeds with minimal noise. This does somewhat come at the expense of handling though as the GT doesn't feel as agile as a standard 3 Series.

The GT costs between £1300 and £1,600 more than a 3 Series Touring. That seems odd to us considering the 3 Series Touring is already a great family car. True, the GT does have plenty of style about it but seems expensive for what it is.

BMW 318d Sport GT Road Test

What does a BMW 3 Series GT (2013) cost?

List Price from £29,460
Buy new from £21,754
Contract hire from £263.51 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

BMW 3 Series GT (2013): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4824 mm
Width 1828–2047 mm
Height 1489–1508 mm
Wheelbase 2920 mm

Full specifications

The 3 Series GT copies the interior of the standard 3 Series saloon with the same high quality materials, attention to detail and impressive fit and finish. Thanks to the longer and taller body it feels noticeably more spacious from behind the wheel, a feeling that's even more emphasised if you choose a light colour for the interior upholstery.

The biggest different is for rear passengers who get more legroom with an extra 75mm and a generally more roomy feeling. While the rear of a 3 Series saloon can feel a little cramped, especially if you're over six feet tall, the GT has a more limousine feel akin to a 5 Series and helped by the very comfortable seats. Whether in the front or back, you sit higher than in a 3 Series saloon which means a better view out. It's also easier to get in and out of.

All GT models come with an electric tailgate as standard and the tailgate opens to reveal a very practical and useful boot space. It can carry 520 litres of luggage which is 40 litres more than an Audi A5 Sportback and impressively more than a 3 Series Touring. There's a 12v socket in the boot (handy if you have a powered coolbox) and a multifunction storage tray under the load compartment floor.

Standard equipment from launch (June 2013):

SE has 18-inch alloy wheels, two-zone air-conditioning, Bluetooth, USB port, 6.5-inch colour screen with iDrive Controller, Drive Performance Control with ECO PRO mode, two-part parcel shelf, automatic tailgate, active rear spoiler and rear Park Distance Control.

Luxury (+£2,000 over SE) features high-gloss chrome kidney grille slats, two chrome blades in the front apron air intakes and chrome Air Breathers. The gleaming chrome window surround features a black contrast B-pillar, and special 18-inch multi-spoke light-alloy wheels are standard. At the rear, a high-gloss chrome strip above the rear apron and a chrome exhaust tailpipe embellisher round off the look. The interior also features chrome embellishment, including the surround for the audio and air conditioning system plus High-gloss wood strips and leather seats, in three colours with contrast stitching.

Modern (+£1,000 over SE) adds high quality matt chrome exterior elements feature on the kidney grille, Air Breathers and on the air intakes, while the window surround can be ordered in a satin aluminium finish. 18-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels are standard while inside, the light-coloured dashboard comes with a dark oyster steering wheel with cloth/leather or optional leather upholstery in black or oyster, and a choice of four trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome.

M Sport (+£2,500) trim adds a sporting edge with a new aerodynamic package, including revised front apron with large air intake, rear bumper with diffuser and side skirts, complemented by the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow Line trim. Estoril Blue metallic paint is exclusively available on M Sport, while 18-inch M Star-spoke light-alloy wheels are standard. Inside the car are sporty features such as M door sill finishers and an M leather steering wheel. The driver and front passenger benefit from leather sports seats, while mechanically the car features M Sport suspension and optional M Sport brakes with callipers in contrasting blue paint finish.

Child seats that fit a BMW 3 Series GT (2013)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

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What's the BMW 3 Series GT (2013) like to drive?

The engine range of the 3 Series GT range echoes that of the saloon and estate models. And as with those two it's the diesels that make the most sense. The 318d is the entry-level model and with 143PS it's no slouch but its real forte is fuel economy and it will average a claimed 62.8mpg with emissions of 119g/km - remarkable for a car this size and with strong performance.

The 320d is the preferred choice though and with an extra boost in power to 184PS and more torque too - up to 380Nm - it's an engine that suits the 3 Series GT perfectly. It's the same 2.0-litre diesel engine as the 318d so it's quiet, refined and smooth, yet it delivers more than enough poke with a 0-62mph time of 8.0 seconds and, more importantly, strong in-gear acceleration. For long motorway journeys it's ideal. For more diesel power there's the 325d - essentially a further tuned version of the 320d with 218PS - which was introduced in mid 2013.

The petrol range starts with the smooth 320i that's a good choice if you're buying a 3 Series GT but will be doing short runs and low mileages. It's a particularly refined engine and with 184PS has enough performance when required yet is still economical for a petrol with an official 42.8mpg.

Like all the 3 Series GT models it comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard but an eight-speed automatic is available as an option across the range and we'd certainly recommend it. It's a great automatic with swift yet smooth shifts. A sports version of the automatic gearbox is available as a further option, offering even faster gearshifts and steering wheel mounted paddles.

The 328i is not as you might expect, a six-cylinder engine as in 3 Series models of the past. Instead it's the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine as the 320i. It's fitted with a BMW TwinPower Turbo which, despite the name, is actually only a single turbocharger, but still boosts power to an impressive 245PS. It's not the most characterful of engines and lacks the brawn of a six-cylinder engine, but it's fairly effortless given its small capacity.

However, it's overshadowed by the immense 335i which is very much a six-cylinder engine with the character to match. The 3.0-litre unit develops 306PS which along with 400Nm of torque which comes on song from just 1200rpm and gives it a 0-62mph time of just 5.4 seconds with the automatic gearbox. It's one of our favourite petrol engines and not just because of its sheer power. It's also incredibly flexible and a joy to drive at any speed. Official fuel economy is a respectable 36.7mpg with the auto 'box.

In March 2014 more engines were added to the 3 Series GT range with the 330d and 335d arriving. Both use the same impressive 3.0-litre diesel engine and are available with BMWs four-wheel drive xDrive system. While pricey, the 335d is really the ultimate model in the range with 313PS and a hefty 600Nm of torque yet claimed economy of more than 50mpg.

Given its GT name, it's no surprise that this 3 Series has a softer ride than the standard saloon. It uses the same chassis albeit with a longer wheelbase and while it's fitted with similar suspension, it has a more forgiving damper set-up. The result is a smoother ride over rough surfaces and a more refined motorway experience, but in corners you do lose some agility and there's more body roll.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
318d 61–63 mpg 9.3–9.7 s 119–122 g/km
318d Automatic 58–64 mpg 9.2–9.6 s 117–129 g/km
320d 57–60 mpg 7.8–8.0 s 125–130 g/km
320d Automatic 57–63 mpg 7.7–7.9 s 118–129 g/km
320d xDrive Automatic 60 mpg 7.7 s 119–124 g/km
320i 42–46 mpg 7.9–8.0 s 141–153 g/km
320i Automatic 45–48 mpg 7.9–8.1 s 134–145 g/km
320i xDrive 39–42 mpg 8.0–8.1 s 156–167 g/km
320i xDrive Automatic 42–44 mpg 8.3–8.4 s 146–156 g/km
325d 54 mpg 7.1 s 134–137 g/km
325d Automatic 55 mpg 6.8 s 131–134 g/km
328i 35–42 mpg 6.1 s 154–188 g/km
328i Automatic 37–44 mpg 6.1 s 149–178 g/km
330d 49–54 mpg 5.7 s 135–137 g/km
330d xDrive 47–51 mpg 5.4 s 142–144 g/km
330i Automatic 44–47 mpg 6.1 s 136 g/km
335d xDrive 50 mpg 4.9 s 148–149 g/km
335i 35–42 mpg 5.7 s 156–188 g/km
335i Automatic 37–44 mpg 5.4 s 149–178 g/km
340i Automatic - - 161 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 3 Series GT (2013)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

81%

Real MPG

23–64 mpg

MPGs submitted

192

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW 3 Series GT (2013)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Does my BMW 3 Series have a serious suspension fault?

I own a 2013 BMW 3 Series GT with M Sport upgrade. Current mileage is 14,600. Last week a BMW main dealer gave it its first MoT. The rear tyres had worn on the inside – one more than the other – and had to be replaced. A couple of days later I noticed that the driver’s side rear suspension was slightly lower than the passenger side but the dealer has told me that the difference is 10mm which is within BMW tolerances and that a new coil is not needed. Do you think this will get worse? Did the lopsided suspension affect the way the tyres had worn? Should I push the dealer to rectify the fault – before the warranty expires in a few days’ time?
How heavy are you? 70kg should not have affected the way the car rides. 100kg plus, it could. Usually worn inner shoulders are caused by drivers trying to minimise the shock of speed blister humps by straddling them. This causes sever abrasion to the inner shoulders of tyres.
Answered by Honest John
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