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First Drive: BMW 3 series Gran Turismo 318d Sport

BMW
BIK List Price
£30,855
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo BIK list price
BIK Percentage
18%
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo BIK Percent
CO2
119g/km
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo CO2
Combined MPG
62.8
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo MPG

Review

Long gone are the days when a manufacturer of upmarket cars could survive with two or three model ranges.

A combination of exploring various niches together with the increasing popularity of premium badge cars has led to a proliferation of models from BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz that have made it harder for mainstream brands to compete.

Some of the biggest-selling cars have moved away from five-door hatchbacks in favour of saloons because of the perceived ‘premium’ image associated with them. Citroën, Mazda and Toyota are among those that have produced D-sector saloons at the expense of hatchback derivatives.

But we have seen premium brands begin to encroach on hatchback territory. The cars are not called hatchbacks, of course. This would give them too much in common with the mainstream products whose drivers they have become increasingly dependent on for sales.

The Audi A5 Sportback was the first of these products – distinguished from the A4 range by its A5 badging and called a Sportback to describe its five-door ‘coupé’ design. Now BMW is offering its interpretation of a more practical and stylish variant in the 3 Series range with the Gran Turismo.

But more than a hatchback, BMW would argue that its longer body than the saloon and Touring, as well as more legroom liberated by its longer wheelbase, makes it stand out as a practical coupé.

And there is a certain sleekness to the car befitting of a coupé. The front three-quarter and rear three-quarter views make it look far more elegant than in profile.

It’s a proper five-seater and with the rear seats folded it has more outright luggage volume than a 3 Series Touring at 1,600 litres.

The 318d has 143bhp and combined fuel consumption of 62.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 119g/km for the manual.

The engine offers good acceleration and is exceptionally quiet.

From behind the wheel, the Gran Turismo feels very much part of the 3 Series family with the same clear instrument layout and high-quality materials, but its elevated driving position takes away some of the sporty character.

However, it still has all the main attributes of a 3 Series on the road offering responsive reactions and a fairly comfortable ride even on the optional 19-inch wheels with run-flat tyres of our test car.

CO2 emissions
Reaching 119g/km from a car with ample proportions is a good achievement for the 318d, and BMW can usually be relied upon to set class benchmarks for low CO2 emissions.
Fuel costs
Official fuel consumption of 62.8mpg on the combined cycle might be tough to achieve in real world driving, but it shouldn't be too difficult to reach 50mpg-plus.
Residual values
The 3 Series Gran Turismo currently has better residual values predictions than the Audi A5 Sportback, and with lower volume on its side, it should maintain its advantage at lease until the Audi is replaced with an all-new model.
Running costs
Although the Gran Turismo has a higher P11D price than the 3 Series Touring (justified by BMW through the GT's extra space and versatility), its overall running costs are till modest.
Driver appeal
The 3 Series is a desirable car, and the Gran Turismo has appeal in being a little rarer as well as more practical than a 3 Series saloon or Touring.
FN Verdict
Although BMW seems to have managed very well up to now without the spacious hatchback niche in its 3 Series range, the Gran Turismo is a worthy addition and performs well on the road and on paper.
Top Speed
N/A
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Top Speed
VED band
N/A
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Ved
Fuel Type
Diesel
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Fuel Type
Residual Value
3 Year 60k : £12,025
4 Year 80k : £9,575
Running Cost (ppm)
3 Year 60k : 46.52
4 Year 80k : 41.70

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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