September 9, 2014
I didn't expect it, but our long-term 2014 BMW 328i Gran Turismo has really grown on me.
For this we can thank the Chinese.
August 26, 2014
Our 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo just hit the 15,000-mile mark, apparently when someone was driving it at 5:36 in the morning.
Aside from feeling sorry for that poor sap for being up so early, at least he was probably happy to be driving this BMW wagon-ish/crossover thing. It's been a staff favorite since it arrived.
July 16, 2014
Sometimes simple is best. Our 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo still has a simple one-touch button to reset its trip meter.
June 24, 2014
If BMW made a minivan, my update here would end immediately. You can't beat a big box on wheels with sliding doors for maximum family-oriented versatility and practicality. But, of course, BMW doesn't make a minivan (much to the relief of BMW enthusiasts everywhere.)
But that does lead to the question: What's the best vehicle in BMW's current lineup for families? Could it be our 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo?
June 10, 2014
Our 2014 BMW 328i has the M Sport package, or M Sport "line" as BMW calls it. It's a $3,750 option over the base setup and it includes these sporty wheels, some minor exterior changes, an M Sport steering wheel, sport seats and a few unique interior colors and trim.
May 30, 2014
Over the long holiday weekend, our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo reached a milestone: It has covered 10,000 miles in our care.
May 15, 2014
I get this a lot when I drive our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo. It's a big bright glare on the window. I stays right in front of my face for long portions of my drive. And it's always that same shape.
May 13, 2014
The 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo in many ways represents my ideal car. It's engaging to drive, yet possesses a comfortable ride. It doesn't feel enormous when you're behind the wheel, yet it has enormous passenger space. The engine provides spirited acceleration, yet is commendably fuel efficient. It also has some of the most highly adjustable, tall-friendly seats around in a cabin that's attractive (love the blue accents) and user-friendly. Perhaps most notably for the GT, it's a hatchback, which as all card-carrying automotive journalists will attest, is a truly wonderful thing.
As I said, our 328i could be my ideal car. Unfortunately...
April 23, 2014
I feel compelled to add a "yeah, but" regarding the cruise control system in our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo. Dan Edmunds reckons that its cruise control is pretty dandy; nay, the best ever.
I agree with Dan regarding the aspects of its effectiveness he identified. These are calibration-related performance factors, and in this regard the system is very good. However, the system's ergonomics fall short of many other automakers' systems...and even BMW's own previous efforts.
April 21, 2014
I needed a place to stash some hand tools in our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo. I really didn't want them loose in the cabin with me, as they'd be pretty nasty projectiles in the event of a crash.
When I ventured into the 328i GT's cargo area, I recalled that it is equipped with run-flat tires, which means there might be a handy place for a few loose tools back there.
I was more right than I expected.
April 18, 2014
Depending on what drive setting you select, sport, normal or "Eco Pro," the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo has very different personalities. In sport, I'm an impatient lane changer. In normal, I'm relaxed until I see some open road, then I explore the German heritage of this sport sedan. But when the freeways are clogged I'm a mellow Eco Pro guy.
This morning's 32-mile commute restricted me to a blazing top speed of 35 mph. So I switched into Eco Pro and watched my bonus miles begin to build. By the time I reached the office I had amassed a whopping 1.3 bonus miles. What, may you ask, are bonus miles?
April 9, 2014
I took our long-term 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo (that's a mouthful) on our 116-mile evaluation loop last week so I could do an Edmunds Rating on it. If you've ever seen our Ratings on the Web site, then you know we get pretty in-depth.
As such, this is not just a carefree drive through the countryside with the stereo blasting. We're assessing ride comfort, tire noise, wind noise, seat comfort, cubby storage and even how easy it is to get in/out of the car (the latter usually not while we're driving). And lots more.
What's my point?
April 1, 2014
I'm becoming a fan of head-up displays. Our 2014 Mazda3 has one that I like quite a bit. And the HUD on this new 2014 BMW 328i GT is pretty great, too.
They're similar in that both show speed, cruise control set speed and next-turn information if a navigation route is active. Mazda uses a single color for all of these elements while BMW uses at least three.
March 17, 2014
Interstate road trips are a sure way to pile on the miles, so it wasn't too much of a surprise when our 2014 BMW 3281 GT clicked through 5,000 miles on the way back from Oregon.
It's not much of a milestone, I admit. Nothing much goes wrong this early on.
But it's a numbers thing. Some folks like to commemorate those occasions when the odometer rolls past a string of nines and replaces them with a neat row of zeroes. You can count me among this crowd, but I suppose it was more of an event in the days of mechanical odometers.
For those that are into this sort of thing, it's traditional to show where "it" happened.
Are you sure?
March 13, 2014
The call was unexpected. My brother and I had to get ourselves up to Oregon in short order, but air travel wasn't going to work because of flight schedules, the remote location of our ultimate destination and other complications. We had to drive.
If we left right now we'd get there about the same time (if not earlier) than airline travel because we could drive through the night. Once there we'd have our own wheels and we could depart on our own schedule when the situation improved.
Our route would mimic the one I followed on my most recent holiday road trip in the Tesla Model S. But this time the Tesla wouldn't do. Superchargers are plenty fast enough for vacation travel, but this was no vacation. We were staring down the barrel of a drive-straight-through run for the border.
I chose the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive GT because it isn't terribly thirsty and has a decent-sized 15.8-gallon tank. I also liked the idea of xDrive all-wheel drive because there was a chance we'd encounter snow and ice over the many interstate summits we would cross — a good chance because the forecast called for rain, and rain can turn to snow at altitude in early March.
We departed L.A. in the early afternoon. Our estimated arrival time was the wee hours after midnight so there was no reason to drive like idiots. We'd run a reasonable pace and stop as infrequently as possible for food and gasoline.
March 6, 2014
Our 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo has a Start-Stop feature on three of its four drive settings. I always find this feature disruptive so I usually turn it off.
February 26, 2014
BMW is taking a page out of Burger King's playbook these days with a strategy that says, "You can have it your way." The 3 Series lineup, and the related 4 Series lineup, is spread over coupes, sedans, wagons, crossovers and convertibles with a variety of engines and drivetrains. It's truly a marvel of modern, flexible car construction.
So when we decided to add a new 2014 BMW 3 Series to our Long-Term Road Test fleet, we had plenty of options. In the end, we decided to try one of the newest members of the family, the 3 Series Gran Turismo. It's a slightly longer version of the 3 Series sedan with a hatchback rear end. You get extra utility without the SUV look and feel. Sounded interesting, so we went for it.