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.
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.
trim levels & features
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.
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.
noise & vibration
ease of use
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edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.