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The Warsaw Voice » Society » November 28, 2013
Auto: BMW 320d Gran Turismo Modern Line
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Grand Touring
November 28, 2013   
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The new BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo model combines responsiveness with fuel economy and excellent roadholding. It is also comfortable, spacious and packed with innovative features. The only problem is that it is way too loud for a car of this class.

The German automaker continues to experiment and the results are impressive. After the debut of its new 3-Series sedan and station wagon, now it’s time for the Gran Turismo version of the car. It seemed that after the automaker’s bigger 5GT model met with a rather cool reception, the Bavarians would decide against offering a Gran Turismo version of their BMW Series 3 model, but they took a chance.

This time they may be successful, because the car, despite its large external dimensions (4,824 mm in length, 1,508 mm in height and 1,828 mm in width) looks exceptionally attractive. In particular, the rear section, with its coupe-style sloping roof will draw attention on the streets. The car looks neat and light, and boats quite a few stylish touches, particularly its elegant headlights combined with a kidney grille, a bulging hood and aerodynamic “air breathers” on the front fenders, in addition to frameless doors and a retractable rear spoiler.

The interior is spacious. The 292 cm wheelbase is 11 cm larger than that in the station wagon. Plus the body is about 8 cm taller. As a result, there is plenty of space inside for five adult passengers. In fact, there is noticeably more legroom and headroom despite the fact that the seating is raised by about 6 cm compared with the station wagon. The sense of space is the first impression you get after getting in.

The luggage compartment is a generous 520 liters, and the cargo space can be expanded further to 1,600 liters (the rear seat has a great 40/20/40 split-fold). The car is a liftback, which means the tailgate opens together with the rear window. In fact, you can open it without using your hands—thanks to a sensor in the Smart Opener package that allows you to open the luggage compartment with a movement of your foot. All you need to do is stand behind the vehicle and move your leg under the bumper. This is just one of the many options that come as standard. The full list includes practically all the features offered by the company.

The test-drive model was fitted with a 2.0d/184 hp diesel engine with a maximum torque of 380 Nm available between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm, allowing for a very dynamic driving experience. The car takes eight seconds to hit 100 kph and achieves a top speed of 230 kph. The engine is flexible and economical at the same time. According to the manufacturer, it consumes 4.9 l/100 km. The bad news is that it is way too loud for my taste. Even though I looked hard, I could not find any data on the noise level in the automaker’s official press releases, but the cabin was clearly too loud for a premium-class car.

Despite its dimensions, the Gran Turismo is surprisingly easy to drive. It is reliable and predictable in all road conditions on any surface. Its roadholding is excellent even on very winding roads.

It is hard to tell if BMW came up with this Gran Turismo version because they are so confident about their products or whether it’s because they are deliberately trying to build new automotive market niches and create demand for atypical models. It could well be both, because the company is doing well financially, and BMW is one of the most recognized brands in the world.

Bartosz Grzybiński
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