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2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo Review

There’s a new generation of the BMW 3 Series, but the 2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo isn’t part of it. While the latest premium compact sedans are built on the G20 platform (BMW’s factory code), the Gran Turismo is still using the F34 base. Not that there’s much wrong with this state of affairs. The outgoing 3 Series generation still stands up incredibly well for its refinement and overall quality.

What it does is underline how the 3 Series Gran Turismo is the pragmatist’s choice. There isn’t the well-proportioned grace of the sedan, nor the deliberately non-conformist air of the 3 Series wagon (both of which are in a separate review). But it is the roomiest, in terms of both rear passenger space and maximum cargo capacity. That’s because the 3 GT is stretched a little.

Cargo space is accessed through a hatchback, occupants will find the raised ride height (compared with a regular 3 Series) easy for entry and exit, and the driver has a more commanding view. Meanwhile, the standard-issue all-wheel-drive system (called xDrive in BMW’s dictionary) provides extra stability and reassurance.

What’s New for 2019?

Previously optional driver-assistance features (forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning and a driver fatigue monitor) are now standard. So are parking sensors front and rear. As a result, some optional equipment is reshuffled. See the 2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo models for sale near you

What We Like

  • Excellent engines
  • Laudable fuel economy
  • Decent amount of standard equipment
  • Noticeably larger back seat than a regular 3 Series
  • Useful hatchback-accessed cargo area

What We Don’t

  • Costs more than a 3 Series sedan and isn’t quite as sharp
  • Android Auto smartphone integration is not available

How Much?

$46,395-$52,245

Fuel Economy

AWD is standard in both versions of the 2019 3 Series GT, along with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

The 330i xDrive Gran Turismo is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel consumption is 23 miles per gallon in the city, 33 mpg on the highway and 27 mpg in combined driving, which is relatively impressive.

The 340i xDrive Gran Turismo has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 engine developing 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Fuel use is a respectable 20 mpg city/29 mpg hwy/23 mpg combined.

Both engines have a gasoline-saving stop/start feature.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo comes in 330i xDrive and 340i xDrive versions.

The 330i xDrive ($46,395) has 18-in alloy wheels, LED lighting (including fog lights), rain-sensing wipers, heated/auto-dimming side mirrors, a panoramic sunroof, a power lift gate, ambient interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control with rear vents, 10-way power-adjustable front seats with driver’s-side memory, synthetic leather upholstery, paddle shifters, a leather-wrapped multi-function steering wheel, front/rear parking sensors, forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, driver fatigue monitoring, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, satellite/HD radio, a 9-speaker audio system with an auxiliary input and the iDrive infotainment system with a 6.5-in display.

The 340i xDrive ($52,245) adds the 6-cylinder engine, keyless entry/ignition, a foot-activated power lift gate, Nappa leather for the steering wheel, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and power lumbar adjustment for the front seats.

A Convenience package adds keyless entry, front-seat lumbar support and satellite radio (this is all standard in the 340i). A Premium package builds on that with a head-up display, navigation, an 8.8-in infotainment screen, heated front seats, real-traffic updates, speed limit information, remote services and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. The Executive package includes the contents of the previous two tiers, then brings side-view/top-view cameras, a configurable digital instrument cluster, adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams and a semi-automated parking feature.

Individual options include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, wireless smartphone charging, Wi-Fi, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a Harman Kardon 16-speaker surround-sound system and 19-in alloy wheels.

The 3 Series GT provides 24.6 cu ft. of cargo space behind the rear seats and 56.8 cu ft. when those seats are flipped forward. Both figures outdo the wagon version of the 3 Series.

Safety

The 3 Series GT comes standard with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, stability control and eight airbags (front, front side, front knee, full-length side curtain).

In government crash testing, the 3 Series GT received five stars out of five overall, including four stars for front impacts and five stars for side impacts. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has made the 3 Series sedan a Top Safety Pick.

Behind the Wheel

The dashboard and switchgear are the same as the regular (previous) 3 Series. Where the GT sets itself apart is in the airiness of its taller, glassier cabin. The standard panoramic sunroof certainly helps, but the GT also has a stretched wheelbase that gives it the most rear legroom of any 3 Series variant, feeling more like a midsize crossover from the back seat than a modest hatchback.

The 330i xDrive’s 4-cylinder engine is remarkably strong and responsive, with great fuel economy. But the 340i xDrive’s inline six is a gem, pouring on smooth power no 4-cylinder could match.

The 3 Series GT doesn’t have the supremely planted feel of its sedan sibling, but it’s not far off. As an alternative to crossovers, its athleticism in corners adds to the GT’s desirability. In familiar BMW fashion, the ride is firm but supple. And little, if any, noise intrudes at speed.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Audi Q5 — The Q5 and the 3 Series GT are quite similar. Both are based on a compact luxury sedan (the A4, in the Audi’s case) and the Q5 can move pretty well for a big vehicle. All-new for 2019.

2019 Audi A5 Sportback — Rides as low as a regular sedan, but comes with a handy hatchback, which is blended into an arguably handsome exterior design.

2019 BMW 330i xDrive Sports Wagon — Tough call here. The wagon, also based on the previous 3 Series platform, drives better and arguably looks better. But the 3 Series GT has a roomier back seat and larger cargo area. And if you must have the 340i engine, it’s unavailable in the Sports Wagon.

2019 BMW X4— A compact crossover with a sloping roof that may or may not work better for you, styling-wise.

Used BMW X5 — If you’re going to go the whole high-class crossover hog, get one of the best. A certified pre-owned (CPO) model will have a good warranty.

Autotrader’s Advice

BMW won’t be updating the Gran Turismo, so there might be a 2019 version at the back of the dealership just waiting for someone to come in and make an offer. Find a BMW 3 Series Gran Turismos for sale

Where You Can Buy

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