Car of the week – April 23rd- BMW 328i Gran Turismo

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BMW 328i Gran Turismo: Space, comfort and a distinctive style.

One thing you can be absolutely sure about with a BMW is that you are getting a truly great car.

– Car of the week – April 16th – Fiat 500L

– Car of the week – April 2nd – Mercedes CLA 45 AMG

– Car of the week – March 26th – FJ Cruiser TRD

They are amazingly well put together, have excellent engines, the interiors are amongst the best in the business, and they are fabulous to drive.

There have been one or two exceptions over the years but generally they also look great which is why I was left scratching my head in bemusement over the 328i GT because this is a Beemer that does not immediately strike me as a candidate for best automotive design of the year.

It looks a bit awkward, almost like two different cars stuck together; the front half looks terrific but the rear half with it’s large hatch-back is a bit, er…strange.

BMW call it uncompromising independence, which is one way of looking at it I suppose but beauty is in the eye of the beholder and, for me, and this is purely a personal opinion, the shape at the back, whilst being bold and more than a little daring, doesn’t work.

I imagine it has been built for those who want a BMW saloon with more space and for some reason don’t fancy buying one of the company’s array of excellent SUVs which offer comfort, space and handle superbly.

If you are a fan of the 3-Series why not just go out and buy an X3? I just don’t see the point of the GT but you can be sure that the German marque would not have built it unless there was a market for it.

So, while I may have some misgivings it will appeal to some.

And to be fair, apart from my unease over its shape, this is a very good car, offering the performance, luxury, and comfort you would expect from a BMW saloon and the versatility of an SUV with that large boot.

Put the back seats down and the space is absolutely cavernous.

Our test drive car, courtesy of Abu Dhabi Motors, had the M-Sport package which spiced up the looks a bit with very nice 19-inch light alloy wheels, body kit, and the signature BMW kidney grille comes in black. The GT also has an active rear spoiler. 

From the front, this car does look the business with a nicely aggressive persona but if you ask me, the taped go-faster M-Sport stripes on the bonnet and along the bottom of the sills was a bit OTT. They are not necessary.

The interior is exceptionally good with nice leather and high-class trim with a top-notch infotainment system linked to BMW’s ConnectedDrive and controlled by a circular dial on the centre console with the visuals on a good sized screen which sits on the dash.

Like all prestige cars these days there is first class connectivity for mobile phones and numerous Bluetooth functions and a good sat-nav system. 

As in all BMWs there are plenty of driver assists and the GT also has a full-colour HUD.

The car is powered by a two-litre, four cylinder twin turbo engine which offers impressive performance and fuel efficiency. 

It has 245bhp and torque of 350nm which makes this car pretty potent with a 0-100kmh time of just over six seconds and a top speed of 250kmh. 

An excellent eight-speed gearbox delivers the power to the rear wheels and there are four drive modes; eco-plus – which BMW say will save you up to 20 per cent on fuel consumption – comfort, sport and sport plus. 

Being a performance junkie I used sport and sport plus and was impressed with the acceleration and handling, although it has to be said that I much prefer driving BMW’s saloons and SUVs.

This is a nice car to drive and a very comfortable one so it ticks all the boxes when it comes to long distance motoring with plenty of room for passengers who also benefit from raised seating, and there is more than enough room for luggage.

BMWs are magnificent cars so I would have been astonished if the GT was anything but impressive which it is, but no matter how I look at this car, and I accept it stands out from the crowd with distinctive styling,

I can’t gloss over the fact that it looks odd from all angles but the front. And while it is undoubtedly a good value, high-quality addition to the 3-Series family it is my least favourite BMW.

Available from:
Emirates Motor Company Abu Dhabi: 02 507 5800
AGMC Abu Dhabi: 04 339 1555

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