BMW continues to believe that, by cross-breeding between niches, it can create the premium-brand car you never knew you wanted.
The 3 Series GT mixes an extended wheelbase and body with a liftback boot, and adds a slightly raised ride height with a coupé-like roofline. As such, the GT is 200mm longer overall, has a 110mm longer wheelbase and is 81mm taller than an equivalent estate. But, thanks to its arcing silhouette and elongated tail, it’s designed to have the visual appeal of a liftback coupé rather than that of a utility car.
While the 5GT delivered those attributes with all of the style of a disposable plastic ‘spork’, the 3GT looks like a better effort. It shakes off the proportional awkwardness of the 5GT, passing instead for any other 3 Series – just. The 2016 facelift helps establish this look further with revised air ducts, LED headlights and redesigned lens graphics synonymous of the 3 Series range.
Though they’re newly expansive, the body surfaces look taut and the features are attractive. We’d argue with anyone who claimed the car had the elegance of a coupé, but we’d praise BMW for disguising the inherent contradiction here; this is a low-slung, dynamic saloon made more large and upright than you’d guess by looking at it.