Revised 2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo unveiled
New look and more technology for refreshed BMW 3 Series GT hatchback
Following the refresh of the hugely popular BMW 3 Series saloon last year, the company has seen fit to do the same for the 3 Series Gran Turismo hatchback. There’s revised styling, updated engines and more technology for potential buyers to look forward to, as well as the customary reduction in CO2 emissions and increase in fuel efficiency.
The car has been given a subtly refreshed look, with new LED headlights, LED rear lights, as well as LED foglights set within the lower front air intakes. Traditional BMW styling themes like the kidney-shaped twin front grille and the ‘Hofmeister’ kink in the rear windows remain, as does the somewhat less familiar hatchback profile. There are also slightly revised grille surrounds and some new air intakes. Buyers will also be able to choose from a wider selection of exterior colours and some new alloy wheel designs.
Inside, there are new materials that BMW promises are higher-quality than those in the current model, with two trims – Sport Line and Luxury Line – emphasising a more premium, luxurious ambience. The third trim level in the range – M Sport – concentrates on a sportier theme, with aerodynamic extras on the bodywork and larger alloy wheels. Standard equipment on all versions includes climate control, keyless entry and go, Bluetooth connectivity and the BMW iDrive infotainment system.
Those plusher materials are joined by some optional technology upgrades, including a wireless inductive charging pad, a wi-fi hotspot and a top-end Professional satellite navigation and infotainment system with redesigned menus that the company says are more intuitive to use. BMW is also offering extra connectivity on the 3 Series GT – Bluetooth is now standard on all models, although Apple CarPlay won’t be available until later in the year.
Interior space is unchanged, with the boot of the 3 Series GT still offering more space than the BMW 3 Series Touring estate: 520 litres as standard and 1,600 litres with the rear seats folded down. The extra length and wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear wheels) mean there’s still an impressive amount of rear-seat space, too.
Under the bonnet, BMW has tweaked the car’s engine range to offer more power and performance as well as reduced running costs. There are three petrols and five diesels to choose from (updated at the same time as the 3 Series saloon last year).
All the petrols are turbocharged, with the range-topping 340i replacing the 335i. It produces 20bhp more – now 326bhp – yet emits just 159g/km of CO2.
This puts it in the £185-a-year tax bracket, a big saving compared to the 335i’s £270 tax bill. It’ll also return up to 40.4mpg, while in xDrive four-wheel-drive spec (available on all petrol models) it’ll do 0-62mph in exactly five seconds. This model is only available with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the other petrols – both turbocharged four-cylinders – come with a six-speed manual as standard.
However, the big sellers will be the diesel versions, with the least powerful 318d offering official CO2 emissions of 112g/km – resulting in a £30 tax bill and a 22% company car tax rating – and returning 65.7mpg.
At the other end of the scale, there’s the most powerful 335d, which is also the quickest model in the range, dispatching the 0-62mph sprint in 4.9 seconds thanks in part to its standard four-wheel drive system and quick-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox. Despite this performance, however, the 335d will still return around 50mpg.
There’s just the one new diesel – the four-cylinder 325d, which manages an impressive 224bhp, as well as 60mpg fuel efficiency and CO2 missions of 224g/km. This puts it in the 24% BiK company car tax bracket for company car drivers and the £110 bracket for private buyers.
There’s no word on pricing as yet, but we expect the new car to cost slightly more than the current model’s £30,600 starting price, due to the extra equipment and technology on offer. The new 3 Series GT will go on sale soon, with first deliveries due later in the year.
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