An appreciation of what the 3GT’s unorthodox dimensions offer in terms of increased cabin space is crucial to the car’s appeal, but anyone expecting a drastic step change from either of its 3 Series stablemates will perhaps feel short-changed by the new addition. Instead, this is a reasonably subtle embellishment of the already excellent space on offer elsewhere. 

The feeling of familiarity won’t be lost on the driver, as the handsome dashboard changes not one jot. The only alteration is the ergonomic relationship; BMW has raised all of the GT’s seats by 59mm, making you an overseer of the controls rather than the embedded operator around which the saloon’s chassis pivots. 

Matt Prior

Matt Prior

Editor-at-large
Another car fitted with unnecessary and seemingly needless reclining rear seats

If you’re not too long of leg, the captain’s chair can be set low enough to recognise the extra headroom afforded by the loftier roofline, but the regular 3 Series is already generous here, so the advantage is negligible. 

In the back, the difference is more tangible. BMW says, thanks to the higher hip point and elongated wheelbase, there’s an additional 70mm of legroom behind the front seats. Our objective tape measure and subjective knees didn’t quite concur with that, although only a mean tester would argue that the space is insufficient for a genuinely superior sense of comfort. Being further from the ground inevitably makes getting in and out that little bit easier, too. 

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But the real boon of the GT concept is further aft. Furnished with an electrically operated tailgate (solving the problem of lifting a huge, heavy panel), the new car’s larger dimensions endow it with a seats-up boot capacity of 520 litres; that’s 25 litres more than a Volvo XC60.

This measurement will have involved some judicious fiddling with the rear seats’ backrests (which adjust from 19deg to bolt upright), but fold the 40/20/40 pews very nearly flat and the GT’s flush-floor party trick trumps the Touring’s total capacity by 100 litres.

As for equipment that comes with the 3 Series GT, there are four trim levels to choose from - SE, Sport, Luxury and M Sport. The entry-level SE models get 18in alloys, an active spoiler, cruise control, LED headlights, rear parking sensors, and automatic headlights and wipers. Inside you get dual-zone climate control and BMW's iDrive infotainment complete with sat nav, Bluetooth integration, DAB radio and USB connectivity.

Upgrade to the Sport trim and the BMW 3 Series GT gets front sports seats, chrome and gloss black detailings, ambient interior lighting and sporty attire, while the Luxury models intensifies the use of chrome, 18in alloy wheels, and a Dakota leather upholstery. Opt for the larier 330i or 330d models and you'll also get an eight-speed sports auto 'box and front parking sensors. 

The range-topping M Sport models get numerous performance tweaks such as the bodykit, suspension, 18in alloy wheels and mixed tyres, while those who opt for a 340i will get a metallic paint job, a twin chrome exhaust system and an eight-speed sports auto 'box as standard.

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