BMW 3 Series 320d Gran Turismo
What is it?
It’s the second member of BMW’s Gran Turismo family, following on from the slow-selling 5 Series GT. In short it’s a 3 Series, but one which is noticeably longer and taller than the standard car. The result is legroom on a par with the 5 Series and a boot that is bigger than even the 3 Series Touring.
With prices for the most popular 320d GT model starting at £31,310 it’s £1600 more expensive than the corresponding 3 Series Touring.
- All GTs come with an electronically opening boot, which is handy for accessing the huge 520-litre load area. That’s already 25 litres larger than the Touring and you can fold down the rear seats to free up 1600 litres of space.
- Take a seat in the rear and you’ll find the GT is a world away from a standard 3 Series. There’s 70mm of extra knee room back there, allowing you to really stretch out.
- Our car was fitted with the optional £750 M Sport adaptive dampers, and set to Comfort the system allows the GT to waft over bumpy roads.
- Flick them in to Sport mode and everything sharpens up, including the throttle and steering. It’s in this mode that the GT feels around 90 per cent as sharp a standard 3 Series, which is a very good thing indeed.
- That imbues the GT with a split personality: refined long-distance motorway cruiser one minute and fantastic back-road thriller the next.
- The 2.0-litre diesel in our 320d GT, provides impressive acceleration. The official 0-62mph time stands at 7.9 seconds with the eight-speed auto, and you’ll rarely feel like you need more performance.
- It’s a frugal engine, too, managing 57.6mpg.
- The higher starting price than the Touring or saloon models means a higher P11D value as well. However, with as much space as a 5 Series on offer it might be better to view the GT as a cheaper 5 Series alternative.
- The styling certainly isn’t to everyone’s tastes. With the M Sport package, the GT can look quite smart but from some angles there’s no hiding its bulbous rear end.
- This engine provides fantastic performance but at low speeds it can be a bit noisy – Audi’s 2.0-litre diesel seems smoother.
- The CO2 emissions are up from 120g/km in the saloon to 129g/km here in the GT, which is still very good but pushes BIK up by 2 per cent.
Business Car Manager Verdict
The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is more than just a spacious 3 Series. It takes the great handling of the 3 Series and applies it to a hugely practical package, while also adding a dash of comfort and a higher ride-height.
As a result, you’ve got a car that feels easier to drive, is almost just as sharp and with space enough to carry adults in the back for long journeys. BMW has sacrificed a certain amount of the standard car’s excellent handling but if comfort and space are your priorities then the GT is an excellent choice, and a worthy alternative to the more expensive 5 Series.
You’ll pay another 2 percent on your company car tax as emissions are slightly higher, but still less than a 5 Series.
The Low Down…
|Doors and body style||5-door hatchback|
|Engine/gearbox||2-litre 4-cyl turbodiesel/8-speed auto|
…and what it costs
|Monthly business rental (ex VAT)||From £380|
|Road tax (VED)||Band D|
|Company Car Tax Bands 2013/14 to 2015/16||20%, 21%, 23%|
|Benefit in kind 2013/14 to 2015/16||£6556, £6884, £7539|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (20%)||N/A|
|Annual/Monthly fuel benefit (40%)||N/A|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (20%)||£1311/£109|
|Annual/monthly company car tax (40%)||£2622/£218|
|Figures correct at time of posting|
|For latest figures||Use our company car tax calculator|