BMW 335i GT

The range-topping version of the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo combines power with practicality

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The BMW 335i GT is far from the most sensible model in the 3 Series GT line-up. But it’s a seriously practical car with a fantastic-sounding engine and impressive performance. Our M Sport model comes as close to matching the 3 Series saloon’s handling as possible. Yet a high price and running costs mean it’ll be a rare sight on UK roads.

BMW claims the 3 Series GT is the most comfortable and practical model in the 3 Series range, but promises it’s just as sporty to drive as the saloon.

The best way to test that is to drive the range-topping 335i, with a 3.0-litre 302bhp turbo engine. Our car came in M Sport specification, which lowers the suspension and adds a sporty bodykit. And this is how the GT looks best – transformed from a dumpy 3 Series variation into something powerful and athletic.

The lowered suspension does compromise the standard GT’s excellent ride quality: there are more noticeable thumps over ridges and potholes. Motorway expansion joints can be heard and felt prominently inside, even with the £750 adjustable dampers set to Comfort mode.

Switch them to Sport mode, however, and the 3 GT comes alive. The steering sharpens up and the whole car seems to become more taut. It flows through bends with the agility of a 3 Series saloon. Only the tendency to understeer sooner when cornering marks it out.

The star of the show is the powerful 3.0-litre petrol engine, with its smooth power delivery and sweet-sounding exhaust. Acceleration from 0-62mph takes an impressive 5.4 seconds with the eight-speed automatic box, and maximum speed is electronically limited to 155mph.

This is definitely a car for those who prioritise performance rather than running costs: official fuel economy of 36.7mpg. CO2 emissions of 178g/km will ensure steep tax bills, too.

The good news is you still get the rest of the GT’s impressive package with the performance, including a bigger cabin and boot.

Yet the 335i GT won’t be a huge seller in the UK, as it’s an expensive proposition for private and company car buyers alike.

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