2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Review
2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Review
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Edmunds' Expert Review
Director, Vehicle Testing
Jonathan Elfalan has worked in the automotive industry since 2005. As a director of vehicle testing at Edmunds, Jonathan has tested and reviewed thousands of cars and written thousands of car-related articles over the course of his career. Jonathan got his start testing cars for Road & Track magazine as a newly minted mechanical engineer grad from University of California, Irvine, and has also contributed to Motor Trend and the Associated Press. He likes to say he learned to drive a manual transmission in a rear-wheel-drive mid-engine vehicle but often omits it was his family's 1991 Toyota Previa minivan.
- Hatchback utility with sport sedan performance
- Extended wheelbase increases rear legroom
- Strong and fuel-efficient engines
- All-wheel drive is standard
- Sloping roofline cuts into rear headroom
- Less cargo volume than a comparable crossover SUV
- Not as sharp to drive as a 3 Series sedan
The 2017 3 Series Gran Turismo models receive all-new turbocharged engines with more power, along with new nomenclature to mark the changes: 330i (four-cylinder) and 340i (six-cylinder), replacing the 328i and 335i, respectively. New standard equipment for 2017 includes matte chrome exterior trim, LED foglights, an updated rear bumper design and new taillights. Newly optional items include adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hot spot.
The 2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is one of the quirkier options among compact luxury cars. It's not a crossover, but it has elevated seats and standard all-wheel drive. It's not a wagon, but its cargo capacity compares favorably to that of the actual 3 Series wagon. It's not a sedan, but it mostly handles like one.
Calculate my fuel costs
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo 330i xDrive SULEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.93 per gallon for premium unleaded in Virginia.
Monthly estimates based on costs in Virginia
$179/mo for 3 Series Gran Turismo 330i xDrive SULEV
3 Series Gran Turismo 330i xDrive SULEV
Avg. Midsize Car
Though we don't consider the 3 Series GT a best-of-all-worlds vehicle, it certainly occupies an intriguing middle ground between luxury, sport and versatility. With strong turbocharged acceleration from either the base 330i's four-cylinder engine or the 340i's inline-six, all-season traction and room for a family of five and their luggage, the 3 Series GT covers more bases than most luxury cars in this price range.
For those who want a true crossover SUV, there's the 3 Series-based X3, while the crisp-handling 328i and 328d wagons will get you even sharper driving dynamics. But the X3 is a taller and less nimble vehicle, and the Gran Turismo has roomier rear quarters than the wagon thanks to its stretched wheelbase. Another point to consider is that you can't get the 340i's inline-six in the wagon, so if you want sports-car acceleration without going the full crossover route, the 3 Series GT is right in your wheelhouse.
Edmunds' Expert Rating4.5 / 5
Think of the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo as a 3 Series sedan with more rear legroom and vastly improved cargo capacity. It's an appealing package, especially when you throw in standard all-wheel drive and elevated seating. The hunchback styling is the only polarizing element.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects.The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2014 BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo (turbo 2.0L inline-4 | 8-speed automatic | AWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current 3 Series Gran Turismo has been revised, including all-new engines for 2017. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's 3 Series Gran Turismo, however, and keep in mind that the four-cylinder engine in the 328i rated here generates virtually the same horsepower and torque as its counterpart in the 2017 330i.
|Overall||4.5 / 5|
Don't let the Gran Turismo's 4.4-inch-longer wheelbase (versus the 3 Series sedan), elevated seating position or hatchback bodystyle fool you. This is still a true performance machine. It's a joy to drive with plenty of seat-of-the-pants feel that boosts the driver's confidence.
The turbo four-cylinder scoots the 328i to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. But it's the instant-on low-end torque that makes this engine terrific. Acceleration around town or at highway cruising speeds is effortless. The eight-speed automatic is smooth and smart, holding gears nicely when it needs to.
The 328i GT stopped from 60 mph in 122 feet in our panic-braking test. That's a middling performance by the numbers, but we found the brakes to be predictably linear and highly effective in most situations, with no detectable fade after hard driving and no grabbiness in daily driving.
Excellent feedback through the wheel with natural weighting. Not as precise as BMW's previous hydraulic setup, but it's exceptionally good as far as electric-assist systems go. This car goes exactly where you point it.
Partially due to our test car's optional adaptive suspension dampers, this wagon-crossover-AWD thing still acts like a BMW. It's nimble and willing on curvy roads but forgiving and easy to drive on long highway slogs.
The engine stop-start system is more intrusive than others and can shut off too quickly, such as when turning right on red. The gas pedal can be lurchy in Sport mode; Comfort mode replaces this with dullness. The cruise control is fantastic at holding a set speed.
Especially with our test car's optional adaptive shock absorbers, the Gran Turismo deftly balances comfort and driving performance. It's remarkably quiet, too.
The optional front sport seats have firm cushions, but seatback bolstering is substantial and the leather is grippy. The front armrests have good padding and are positioned well. The rear seat cushions are even firmer than the fronts, and the seatback angle is a bit too upright.
With the hard sidewalls of the standard run-flat tires, no one will call the 328i GT cushy. But the optional adaptive suspension helps greatly. Smaller ripples can find their way into the cabin, but the big bumps stay out.
Noise & vibration4.5
Other than tire flap over expansion joints, this is a truly quiet car with nearly zero wind noise. The engine makes the typical turbo woosh and isn't as smooth as BMW's classic six-cylinder. At higher speeds, some engine noise does creep into the cabin.
The dual-zone climate control has simple dials and buttons, and in typical BMW fashion, everything is easy for the driver or front passenger to reach.
Admirable materials combine with thoughtful (if plain) design to earn this car top scores. The small interior cubbies and bins could be of some concern, but the Gran Turismo makes up for this with laudable cargo capacity.
Ease of use3.5
Well-organized controls are easy to use, and the iDrive infotainment system is quite intuitive despite its complex menus. The rocker switch to alter the drive modes is conveniently located next to the gear selector, where it's easy to see and access.
Getting in/getting out4.5
The front doors open wide, and there's no risk of hitting your head on the roof; there also isn't anything to catch your feet up on. The rear doors are small but open nearly 90 degrees. The entryway isn't large, so you have to duck a bit to get in and out.
A standard tilt-and-telescoping steering column and 10-way adjustable seats allow just about anyone find a comfortable driving position. And because of the GT's extra rear legroom, taller drivers won't feel bad stretching out, either.
Front headroom and door-side elbow room is more than adequate. Rear seat headroom is tight due to the sloping roof, but the GT has 4.1 inches more rear legroom than the 3 Series sedan, and that's a difference your passengers will really notice.
The windshield pillars get thick toward the bottom, causing some forward side-view obstruction. The left-side, over-the-shoulder lane-check is problematic, as is the big rear three-quarter blind spot. The GT does not come with a standard backup camera or even parking sensors (they're options).
The GT is solidly built with excellent materials and precise engineering. No gimmicks. After a decade, the latest iDrive iteration is the best yet, proving both fast and simple despite its deep feature set. However, we did notice one occasional dash rattle.
Another strong suit for the Gran Turismo. Although there's a shortage of handy nooks for stashing smaller items (a typical BMW shortcoming), the 3 Series GT compensates with its capacious and user-friendly cargo hold.
As in many BMWs, small-item storage space isn't generous. There's a tiny front bin and a small center bin, and the cupholders lack anti-tip features. Minimalism can be beautiful, but it comes here at the expense of convenience.
You'll find helpful pull handles in the trunk to drop the rear seatbacks. The 25.0-cubic-foot trunk is narrow but deep, with a perfect loading height. The liftgate opens high for ample head clearance.
Which 3 Series Gran Turismo does Edmunds recommend?
The four-cylinder engine’s power will be sufficient for most and returns better fuel economy, so we’d stick with the 330i, although the 340i's engine is a true gem. One of the downsides of the Gran Turismo is its lack of a few key standard features. Sensible options include the Premium package (adding keyless entry and power lumbar support) and the Driver Assistance Plus package (adding parking sensors and blind-spot monitoring to alleviate visibility issues). We’d also opt for the Dynamic Handling package, which brings better ride comfort thanks to its adaptive suspension.
2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo models
The 2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is available in two trim levels: 330i xDrive and 340i xDrive. All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission come standard on both. The main difference is under the hood, the 330i packing a potent turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (248 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque) and the 340i upgrading to a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six (320 hp, 330 lb-ft). The 340i also gets a few additional standard features, including a premium-leather steering wheel, keyless entry and ignition and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system with satellite radio.
The 330i xDrive Gran Turismo isn't exactly brimming with standard luxuries, but it does include niceties such as 18-inch alloy wheels (with all-season run-flat tires), automatic LED headlights, LED foglights, automatic wipers, power-folding and auto-dimming heated side mirrors, a panoramic sunroof and a power liftgate. Interior highlights include dual-zone automatic climate control, 10-way power sport front seats (with power-adjustable side bolsters), driver-seat memory settings, imitation-leather (premium vinyl) upholstery, 40/20/40-split folding rear seatbacks and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. On the technology front, the 330i comes standard with Bluetooth and the iDrive infotainment interface, but it must make do with a rudimentary 6.5-inch display screen that pales by comparison to the Technology package's 8.8-inch screen (see below). Sound is delivered via a nine-speaker audio system with a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and a USB port.
The 340i xDrive Gran Turismo is similarly equipped but adds the standard items mentioned above. We should add that the keyless access system also includes a foot sensor for hands-free trunk opening.
You can add most of the 340i's extras to the 330i as options, although the premium-leather steering wheel is a 340i exclusive. A number of packages are offered on both trim levels, including the Luxury package, which adds exterior chrome design elements, leather upholstery, and a choice of various wood or metallic interior trim panels, plus the option of non-sport front seats with less aggressive bolstering. The M Sport package offers a variety of sport-themed interior trim treatments, and it adds an aerodynamic body kit, BMW's "shadowline" exterior trim, an M steering wheel and a option to add the Adaptive M suspension at a small discount. You can also get the Adaptive M suspension as a bundle with variable-ratio sport steering if you select the Dynamic Handling package.
The Technology package is another notable bundle. It includes a head-up display, a navigation system, voice controls, a higher-resolution 8.8-inch display and an upgraded iDrive interface with a touchpad controller and additional online services. Outward visibility within the GT isn’t stellar, so we recommend at least the Driver Assistance package, which includes front and rear parking sensors and a rearview camera. The Driver Assistance Plus package adds blind-spot monitoring, a multiview parking camera system, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, a drowsy driver warning system and a speed-limit display.
The Lighting package includes adaptive LED headlights that swivel and point toward your direction of travel, along with automatic high beams that aid visibility on dark roads. The Cold Weather package features front and rear heated seats plus a heated steering wheel.
Finally, standalone options include 19-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, an automated parking system, Apple CarPlay and wireless charging with a Wi-Fi hot spot.
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful consumer reviews
4 out of 5 stars
Best of both worlds
Blaze Nielsen, 01/24/2016
2016 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo 328i xDrive SULEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Previous car was a 328 Xi. The Gran Tourismo gives you LOTS more room front and especially rear seats for long legged passengers. Handling is comfy in standard "old folks" mode easy on your butt, however with the sport package option, press a button and steering, transmission and suspension kick in to provide that old familiar handling performance I knew with the previous BMW. For people … who like to throw a bunch of stuff in the back of their car, this is perfect. This is a car I plan on keeping for a long time.
4.75 out of 5 stars
Kid and family friendly!
2015 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo 328i xDrive 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
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.
4 out of 5 stars
Beautiful Car Inside & Out, Unique, Comfy
Craig List, 12/02/2015
2015 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo 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.
5 out of 5 stars
Totally love my GT!!
2016 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo 328i xDrive SULEV 4dr Hatchback AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
I have nothing to say but positive things about my GT [HTML removed]. I've had it for a bit over 2 1/2 years and I still love driving it. I find reasons to drive it. "Oh honey, I forgot something at Home Depot." "Honey, do you want something from the store? I'll go get it." Not only is it quick (0-60 in 6 seconds is no slouch) but I have hauled a 50 gallon water tank, a 12.5" … compound miter saw and portable stand, and a 9.9 cu/ft refrigerator and still closed the hatch. Sure it does not accelerate or handle like the 4-series Gran Coupe but it is a whole lot easier for me to get in and out of (6'1" and 260 lbs) and more comfortable. My dealership (BMW of Ontario, CA) is also FANTASTIC. Great sales and support team. At just over 5.5 years and +108k miles, I still LOVE my GT. Just hit 6 years and +112k miles and she is still a dream to drive and look at.
We have a limited number of reviews for the 2017 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo, so we've included reviews for other years of the 3 Series Gran Turismo since its last redesign.
2017 3 Series Gran Turismo Highlights
|Combined MPG||26 MPG|
|Cost to Drive||$179/month|
|Cargo Capacity |
All Seats In Place
|Drivetrain||all wheel drive|
|Warranty||4 years / 50,000 miles|
Our experts like the 3 Series Gran Turismo models:
- Active Cruise Control
- Allows you to set a speed and maintain a desired distance from the car ahead. Will bring the car to a stop if needed.
- Active Blind-Spot Detection
- A radar-based system warns of approaching vehicles in adjacent lanes with a triangular warning symbol on the exterior mirrors.
- Frontal Collision Warning and Mitigation
- A camera-based system that guards against collisions with driver alerts and (if necessary) automatic emergency braking.
NHTSA Overall Rating5 out of 5 stars
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverall4 / 5Driver4 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverall5 / 5
- Side Barrier RatingOverall5 / 5Driver5 / 5Passenger5 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront Seat5 / 5Back Seat5 / 5
- RolloverRollover5 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of Rollover9.5%