2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo: Love the Hatchback
March 14, 2014
It's a hatchback. That's the whole point of the 2014 BMW 328i Gran Turismo. But to me the term GT has evolved to represent performance. The term appears everywhere in motorsports. I think it's more accurate in this case to say that GT stands for Gigantic Trunk. After all, there are 24.6 cubic feet of storage under that hatch. A 3 Series sedan's trunk can offer but 13.0 cubic feet.
And that's with the seats up and occupied. Fold the rear seatbacks down flat and our 328i GT has 56.5 cubic feet of easily accessed cargo space. That's getting close to crossover territory in a car that drives like a 3 Series. Factor in the fact the xDrive all-wheel drive is standard and the 328i GT starts to make a kind of sense for those that would rather drive a car than a crossover.
My brother and I packed hastily for our recent road trip and threw a couple of bags each in the back. There was room for a whole lot more when we were done. The hatch made it easy to root around and find items we needed along the way without having to pull anything out for a better view.
At one point he needed something while we were rolling down the road. Neither of us wanted to stop so he instead folded down one of the 40/20/40 seatbacks and pulled the needed bag into the cabin so he could dig through it. Trunk pass-through portals (if the car in question has one at all) are usually small and a sedan's seatbacks rarely fold down as readily and as flat as these.
The hatch has a power close button as well as a close-and-lock button. The usual unlock-and-open button is located on the key fob, and there's an inside release on the dash by the driver's left knee. Pretty standard stuff, but very well executed.
I'm not sure about the butt-heavy styling, though. All I can say so far is the 3 Series GT looks better than the 5 Series GT because there is less of it to look at. And I think the designers have managed to keep the basic BMW 3 Series shape more intact.
Dan Edmunds, Director of Vehicle Testing @ 4,665 miles