New BMW 3 Series GT gets fresh look for 2016

BMW updates its 3 Series GT range with cleaner engines, more tech and subtle redesign

BMW has updated its 3 Series GT to bring it in line with the standard 3 Series range. The premium hatchback gets lightly tweaked styling, more powerful and efficient engines and a higher-quality interior.

The updates reflect what we saw last  year when the regular 3 Series received its mid-life revision. Changes to the outside are very subtle; new adaptive LED headlamps feature with an altered grille surround, the air intakes are revised and there’s a new full- LED rear light design. New colour options and alloy wheels complete the look.

Two new trims – Sport Line and Luxury Line – offer a more premium feel, while M-Sport spec brings the option of an aerodynamic package and new M Design alloys.

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Inside, additional chrome and glossy materials for the air vents and dash aim to lift the ambience. BMW’s new Professional Navigation also debuts, with a redesigned menu and Bluetooth as standard.

Fresh tech such as wireless smartphone charging, a WiFi hotspot and BMW’s Connected Drive services has been added, although Apple CarPlay won’t be offered until later this year.

The 3 Series GT’s engine range has been overhauled, with new EfficientDynamics petrol units improving efficiency by up  to 14 per cent. The base 320i petrol is unchanged in terms of performance, but it now claims 46.3mpg and emits 139g/km of CO2 in two-wheel-drive form, compared with 42.2mpg and 155g/km in the old car.

A new 330i replaces the 328i, with power up from 242bhp to 249bhp. But economy is improved from 41.5mpg to 47.9mpg. CO2 emissions drop from 157g/km to 134g/km.

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A range-topping 340i replaces the 335i, with 20bhp more (now 326bhp) and 50Nm more torque (450Nm). Yet CO2 emissions are down by 30g/km to 159g/km. The 340i now claims 40.4mpg economy. In xDrive form, the 0-62mph time is five seconds flat.

The diesels were updated last year at the same time as the standard 3 Series, with the most efficient 318d emitting 112g/km and claiming 65.7mpg, and the fastest 335d xDrive covering 0-62mph in 4.9 seconds and promising 50.4mpg. The only new diesel is in the 325d, which offers 224bhp and 450Nm of torque, yet claims 60.1mpg and emits just 124g/km of CO2.

The efficiency improvements are achieved by improved gearboxes, regenerative braking tech and a new ECO PRO mode. The six-speed manual transmission option now features rev-matching tech, while the eight-speed Steptronic auto gets a wider ratio spread, smoother shifts and a new Sport+ mode, allowing multiple downshifts.

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