The first psychological hurdle for buyers to overcome is the presence of two obvious elephants elsewhere in the showroom. 

BMW's 3 Series Saloon and Touring can be had slightly cheaper than the GT and are both consummate class leaders. But BMW’s latest addition must be segregated from its rangemates and considered alongside the other stylised hatchbacks currently posing as saloons. 

Go for the eight-speed automatic gearbox, as it suits the car

Foremost among these is the Audi A5 Sportback, an arguably better-looking prospect with equally strong performance, hardier residuals and similarly augmented practicality.

Opting for BMW’s desirable eight-speed automatic transmission further bumps up the price compared to its rival. While the standard kit list is respectably long, it doesn't take BMW too many ticks of the option boxes to push the liftback’s sticker price outside of comfortable realms.

The M Sport package is well worth having too, because it significantly improves the GT's look, and it's well worth specifying the adaptive dampers. The 3 Series GT won't necessarily be a hugely popular model, so picking the right options to boost its residual values in the long term is worth doing.

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On the plus side, BMW's running costs should be acceptable, particularly in 318d or 320d forms, thanks to sensible CO2 emissions and decent fuel economy. Reliability should be good too, and BMW dealerships are usually attentive and quick to resolve any issues.

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