I liked the 3 sedan but wanted something with more room in the back so looked at the 5 series, TLX, Lexus GS, ES (back seat was huge but drive was disconnected) . 3 series GT was a last minute thing and the moment we looked at it we knew we were getting it. If you have family that will ride in the second row regularly or have baby seats you should definitely look at the GT before you look at anything bigger or smaller. Has higher ride and higher center of gravity so will not be the same feel as a 3 sedan, but not as bad as an SUV and better than many other low riding cars. Compared to what the kids in the second row get, it was not a lot in driving fun that I had to give up.
My wife have owned 328 GT for about 7 months now. This car is 3 series on steroid. It is roomy. I can accommodate 5 IKEA cabinet packages easily. Legroom for the rear passenger is excellent. It gives my wife really good MPG 26. We do mix 60/40 highway/city. A lot of users compliant about ride comfort. I would say it is ok. It's not comfort like 550 or 7 series. The road noise is coming from RFT, rimless window. These are what you trade off. They are for safety and style. I came from 2010 e92 335i. My wife GT is totally different animal. This car is much comforter than 335i. Also many users compliant about iDrive. I would say it depends on how you are familiar with the tech gadget. For my wife and I, iDrive is easy to get around. The handling is not sharp as other 3 series. My wife said this 328 GT is the keeper.
I purchased a 2015 328I GT about about 9 months ago. This is a nice looking car and the performance thus far is good. I get numerous compliements about how nice the car looks. My biggest complaint is the "Wind Noise" which affects the driving experince is away that is soooooo annoyingto the point of frustration . I strongly feel BMW of North America needs to address this flaw. When the radio and/ other media isnt turned on, the noise is unbearable so I find myself turning on and up music to in order to not hear the noise. There are so many days I want to drive without music etc yet toomuch winds noise I always have some type of media playing. I place my hand near the roof to get a feel of where the air is coming from. It's as though it isnt sealed tight to prevent outside niise and wind. I had a Infinity with a sunroof and the ride-noise free-no wind which leads me to believe this is a Big problem BMW doesn't want to deal with. The reason for saying this, I verbally brought this to the attnetion of my service advisor, Service Director numeroustimes to no avail. I was told by the service Director, he would test drive a car like mine to see if he experience the same, I havent gotten ffedback,. Service advisor said bring in back in so a techinician could ride along with me. Well my car has been in the service dept for regular maintence so why dealership cant follow-up on my concern. I plan to address this matter in wiritting soon. For the price, i shouldn't have ride uncomfortable. Additionally, while traveling on the interstate, local roadway with speed greater than 40, noise is evident. I curious to know if others who own a 328I GT experience this as well. As months and years past, this good result in water penetrating through the roof and burning gas because heat and or cold air can be felt when you put your hand where the wind noise is. Feel the car will depreciate faster because of this flaw. I want to ride in comfort for the price made. There are many other makes and models I have ridden in that have sun roof-double that yoy Do Not hear wind noise. Something gone wrong in designing.
328i xDrive SULEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
This is by far the best car I've ever had. For me, it is the kind of car that will make me glad I have to drive somewhere. The Sports seat comfort with thigh-support pull-out is excellent, as are the adjustable bolsters. I have a bad back with L5-S1 herniation history, yet don't have the leather, or lumbar supports, but don't need or want them! I switched over from Buick, primarily because of seat support and comfort. The firm ride handles everything quite nimbly, for such a heavy absorbent BMW feel. I got the Sport Line trim package, with the optional M-Sport steering wheel, overall a very nice appearance. I get a lot of stares and questions on it; the Silver metallic with Sports Line trim (+ tinted windows and an added rear hatch window spoiler). There is a bit of delay in acceleration on occasion, its almost like you have to time it to get it right; despite the twin-scroll turbo which improves things, but once it goes (you MUST use Sports+ Mode to actually feel it), it rocks! The grandkids always beg me "Opa, put it in Sport Mode!".
Braking is solid. There is a tad bit of sway for significant cornering, expected but not bad for a heavier car (I was told that this is actually a 5-series platform/chassis, but I haven't been able to confirm that; if you are cross-shopping w/the 4 series Gran Coupe/GC, one dealer actually said the 3GT is actually a 5-series, and the 4GC is actually a 3-series!). There is a bit of engine noise during hard acceleration, but it is not bad. There is a bit of sunroof wind noise, probably my primary complaint overall as the ride experience goes (made much worse by the base rack which I now only use when transporting bikes/kayaks), but yet I am still able to chair tele-conferences with no problems while speaking or hearing on other end via Bluetooth, which is consistent and without problems despite previous reviewers comments. Road noise is minimal, enough to know your in a motor vehicle, but kept to a minimum.
I love the back liftgate, as it is easier to load and unload than a typical trunk. It is by intent a coupe design, meaning a lowered-in cockpit feel, so getting in and out is not as easier as you might think for a car that sits higher than a traditional 3-series sedan.
The infotainment system works great; you can look at the large monitor screen while scrolling and tapping, without even looking at the iDrive you are manipulating with your right hand...and the base stereo which is Harmon-Kardon is actually pretty good, but I am going to upgrade the front dash & door speakers because I am an audiophile. I agree with a friend who used to work in an upscale audio center that the low end preforms very well (as there are 2 subwoofers, located underneath the front seats), the midrange and high end/tweeter are fine/good but not great. The Nav works very well and is worth it. The internal HD for music storage is a great feature, but I HATE how it only plays back the songs on a CD that you recorded in alphabetical order --- word to BMW: album rock and live music CDs are meant to be played in the track order recorded, stop being so organized you Germans!:). Playing off a thumbdrive is also very easy, and the steering wheel mounted controls help, although I believe in terms of human ergonomics, that the volume and media controls should be on the Left side of the steering wheel, NOT the Right [if you look at the actual dash stereo controls and the steering wheel stereo controls, they are literally only about 6 inches apart from each other, so the point of saving a reach or having multiple ways to do the same thing is minimized; why not place those stereo controls on the Left, now you can control the stereo functions with either your Left or your Right hand?]!
I have averaged in the high 20s for MPG in mixed driving; I do not gun it a lot, but I certainly drive it in a more spirited manner a couple times a week! I have averaged 36-38 MPG on long trips in ECO mode, one trick to doing this well (I once got 39 MPG on a long trip!) is increasing the tire pressures to 33 PSI-front & 36 PSI-back (32 & 35 recommended, but there is always an acceptable range). Check & adjust your PSI twice a month, so many people don't do this and it is extremely important, especially the way the vehicle dynamics in this vehicle work, and the fact that front & rear are 3 PSI difference! The handling, agility, and MPG are significantly affected by PSI.
Biggest upside is the interior room for a 3 series and performance. Good gas mileage, speed when needed and BMW quality all around. If there was one fault is the interior is 3 series Spartan ! Not luxurious as a 4,5 or 7 series. But hands-down the most practical of BMW wagons or SUVs ! Awesome for BMW to make so many new models in 2014 ! Thanks BMW