As we said before, the 320d GT looks different. Although the front looks are very 3-series, there is an extended wheelbase and a “liftback” style of boot, coupled to a very coupe like bodyline. Overall, the GT is 200mm longer than the standard 3-series and has a 110mm longer wheelbase – which makes all the difference in the rear seats. It’s very pretty (in my opinion) and looks more like a liftback coupe than a boring staid estate car.
There is of course the signature daytime-running-lights (DRL) rings over the front headlamps, which themselves appear to me a little larger than the ones found in the conventional 3-series. Then there is the boot lid, which is opened and closed with the aid of motors – a nifty feature, since a tailgate this size can tend to get heavy. If nothing else, the frameless doors will wow you with their appearance. Need more? Well there are the automatic rain sensors and driving lights for the geek in us…
In the front seats, you will not notice much of a difference. The front dashboard is from the regular 3-series, with its delightfully intuitive controls and the iDrive controller, which is a delight to use; much better than most competitor’s myriad array of confusing buttons. The front seats are raised slightly, which is good for short people like me, but nevertheless are extremely comfortable in terms of cushioning and bolstering. Both driver and passenger get electric adjustment, though only driver’s side has memory.
There is a full panoramic sunroof, which opens up nearly to half the roof length and is great for winters. BMW has very wisely put a full fabric electric blind below it to block off the sun in hot summers. This combined to the fact that BMW has the best air-con in the luxury league makes the interiors of the car a very comfortable place to lounge in. The steering wheel is a delight to hold and comes finished in high quality Leather. Leather is also predominantly used on most surfaces from seats to door side panels, giving a very rich look to the interiors. You can choose between beige, brown and black shades of leather depending upon your fancy. Other goodies include a stonking 205 watt, 9-loudspeaker hi-fi, which can play pretty loud with amazing bass lines. Run it off a MP3 compatible compact disc spinner or from the USB port – it sounds good. You could also blast tunes off your smartphone, and use the Bluetooth handsfree feature, which works flawlessly.
Engine, gearbox & performance
The engine is the same 4-cylinder configuration carried over from the stock 3-series, so it gives 184bhp and a super 380Nm of torque. In non-geeky terms, this means that the 320d will accelerate to 100kmph from a standstill in 7.9 seconds and carry on accelerating till about 250kmph. The certified fuel economy is an amazing 19.6 kmpl, which means that in normal city driving you should still get about 15-16kmpl. Highways will definitely be better!
Power delivery is smooth, and above 1700RPM, a tsunami of torque propels you to three-digit speeds, leaving every other car in its wake. However, if you want calmer behavior, there are the “Comfort” and “Eco-Pro” modes, which alter engine and gearbox behavior to give you the best in fuel-efficiency and comfort. If you want to go flat-out, there is always the “Sport” mode! The 8-speed automatic is as good as they get, and you will not even feel the gears engage under normal circumstances. Smooth – like a hot knife through butter!
Ride & Handling
BMWs have always been known to be drivers’ cars and the 320d GT is no different – throw it in a corner and she responds enthusiastically and the steering is well weighted to give you a good feel. Rather stiff run-flat tyres mean that your ride is somewhat compromised but overall it is quite comfortable. Bad roads are dismissed with a thump and the slightly higher ground clearance ensures you don’t get caught out on speed-breakers either. This vehicle is a pleasure to drive, or be driven in.
Safety & Equipment
Safety is one region where European manufacturers do not compromise and the 320d GT is no different. You get Airbags for driver and passenger, Headbags front and rear and side airbags for driver and front passenger. You get dynamic stability control (DSC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) amongst many other gobbledygook thingys, which aim to keep you safe on the road. Side-impact protection, a vehicle immobilizer for peace of mind and run-flat tyres are all part of the standard package.
Currently the 320d GT is unique in its segment and none of its other Teutonic rivals have any matching products to compete with!
If you are looking for a car that is fast, spacious and comfortable, the 320d GT suits the bill perfectly. It is quick, it is luxurious and it is a car which will let you wallow in its comfort but let you maintain a certain crispness of movement. It looks bigger than the standard 320d, and even if you take in the fact that it costs Rs. 42.75 lakh ex-showroom Delhi, the 320d GT is value for money in its own way. At that price you get individuality and a road presence that no other vehicle in its segment can match.
BMW 320d GT Road Test Review - Autoportal