Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BMW 318d Gran Turismo

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

BMW 318d Gran Turismo

Article excerpt

FANS of BMW's successful 3 Series will have another option to choose from next month when the GT version goes on sale.

The 3 Series Gran Turismo offers enthusiasts more space and combines the sporting dynamics of the saloon with the practicality of the estate models.

BMW has been down this route before with the 5 Series GT and though it is an excellent car it hasn't found many buyers in the UK.

This time that is certainly not the case as the newcomer looks great.

From the outside the GT's larger hatchback shape makes it stand out from other 3 Series models but it has a powerful sporting stance.

The styling includes some features special to the GT - new air breathers set behind the front wheels to improve air flow along the side of the car, a smoother bonnet, as well as new lights and bumpers.

The GT is 200mm longer and 81mm taller than the estate car and has a longer wheelbase. The net result is that the GT is the most practical and spacious 3 Series you can buy. The boot for instance is much larger that the saloons and is actually 25 litres bigger than the estates at 520 litres. This increases to a whopping 1,600 litre maximum when you fold the 40-20-40 split rear seats.

The cargo area offers hidden underfloor storage, lashing points, a 12 volt socket and the tailgate is electrically powered and can be closed at the touch of a button or by the fob.

Inside the interior is just what you expect from BMW. Instruments and controls are well laid out and easy to read and use and the quality of the materials is excellent. You sit higher in the GT and as a result have a commanding view of the road and the space is quite astonishing. Rear passengers have an amazing amount of legroom which is not even matched by many much larger cars.

The GT is well kitted out but dip into the options list big style and you can add PS10,000 to the price lists which range from PS28,835 to PS31,310.

I would recommend the smart double panoramic sunroof, the excellent infotainment satnav system and the head-up display. …

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