BMW’s experiment to find the perfect ‘one size fits all’ executive car didn’t get off to the best of starts, but it’s forging ahead regardless with the BMW 3 Series GT.
Munich’s first Gran Turismo model arrived in the UK at the turn of 2010. The jacked-up, seldom-seen 5 Series GT was intended as a prettier, comfier, more modern and less utility-flavoured alternative to a conventional 5 Series Touring.
It was supposed to find a brave new executive market niche, but it sold slowly, and to the wrong people. It sold badly enough across the pond, in fact, to make BMW North America rue the day it ever committed to dropping the normal and well-received 5 Series estate in favour of it.
Now, after the 5 Series Gran Turismo made us all stand back, squint and scratch our heads, there’s a second example of this saloon-cum-estate with which to get acquainted. It is the smaller 3 Series GT, and its mission is to combine the looks of the 3 Series saloon with the usability of the Touring.
Sounds familiar. And, perhaps, unrealistic. But it’s worth noting that it wasn’t the concept of the larger 5GT that let it down in our original test; mainly, it was a poorly resolved ride and unusually unflattering styling. Clearly, there is some mileage in the 3 Series GT as summer 2016 saw the coupé shaped car gain some minor exterior changes, the addition of new and upgraded engines, and redefined trim levels.
Time to find out, then, if BMW has nailed the Gran Turismo execution at the second time of asking.