BMW 3 Series GT (2013) Review

BMW 3 Series GT (2013) At A Glance

4/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Taken in isolation the 3 GT is a very capable and somewhat attractive car, with impressive amounts of space, comfort and driving pleasure. The problem is that it answers a question that few buyers have likely asked.

+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.

New prices start from £32,270
Contract hire deals from £289.38 per month
Insurance Groups are between 23–42
On average it achieves 81% of the official MPG figure

The BMW 3 Series GT is another spin-off of the 3 Series saloon, and is designed to compete with other premium hatchback-cum-coupes like the Audi A5 Sportback and the Mercedes-Benz CLA Shooting Brake.

First introduced in 2013 and sold until 2019, it mixed a longer wheelbase with a hatchback rear to not only offer more boot space than the 3 Series Touring but also increased rear legroom. With the same drivetrains it offers similar performance and handing to its siblings, although whether the looks carry the same appeal is a matter of personal opinion.

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 Touring, the load space will be easier to access. All models come with an electrically opening tailgate and 40/20/40 split folding rear seats. If you can’t stomach the idea of owning an estate but still want the most amount of space, the GT does at least give you one without the other.

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, and while it’s hard to see it as a coupe, it does has a different style that.

At launch there were three petrol engines and two diesel with either a six-speed manual or optional eight-speed automatic gearbox, while later versions added additional high performance engine options. 

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, and for many buyers this somewhat goes against one of the key appeals of buying a BMW in the first place.

When new, the GT cost 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.

Ask Honest John

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
Replacement for our BMW 320d Touring
"Can you offer suggestions for a nearly new replacement for our BMW 320d Touring? We do 15000 miles a year; we want a petrol engine; we want a high driving position; we need to be able to carry golf clubs; our budget is up to £22-24k; we probably need a 2.0-litre engine."
A BMW 3-Series GT works well (though within your budget obviously not new. You get a station wagon load deck, but with a more pleasing sloping roof: http://www.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/bmw/bmw-318d-gran-turismo-2014-road-test/
Answered by Honest John
Which economical SUV do you recommend to replace my Jeep Grand Cherokee?
"I drive a 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I would like something more economical but with a driving seat as high as possible. I can spend about £25,000 plus whatever the Jeep is worth."
I recommend an F25 BMW X3 2.0 diesel, or alternatively the new F34 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo that has an elevated driving position. The best engine is probably the 184PS 2.0d, rather than the 1.8d: www.honestjohn.co.ukads.honestjohn.co.uk/road-tests/bmw/bmw-318d-gran-turismo-road-test/ Honda CR-V 2.2iDTEC manuals do about 46mpg and the same goes for Mazda CX-5 2.2d Skyactiv models. The 2WD CX-5 handles much better than the 2WD CR-V or RAV4. The Ford Kuga 4WD is good too, but the ride is quite hard. The Volkswagen Tiguan is slightly softer than the Kuga.
Answered by Honest John

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


Contract hire from £289.38 per month