Answering a question no one particular asked
DIGITAL EDITOR ANDREW STOY: It truly is not typically I get stumped by a vehicle, but I have no concept what this 2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo is supposed to be. Yeah, I know what it is, sort of a 5-door pseudo utility hatchback 3-series (actually, come to consider of it, I never know what it is), but…why? It does not have the rear cargo usefulness of a wagon, it does not have the ride height of a crossover, it isn’;t especially desirable and it costs more than a sedan. Plus, with the recent announcement of the 4-series Gran Coupe, BMW has 2 really similar 5-door hatches to promote.
Inform me once again how this tends to make sense?
Let’;s get to the automobile-over or crosscar or what ever it is: Beneath the inexplicable entire body/badging, there is a BMW 3-series with a turbo straight 6-cylinder, and which is a really very good factor without a doubt. Include in the ZF-sourced 8-velocity automatic and xDrive (1 of my favourite techniques in snow) and you’;ve acquired the makings for a brilliant dynamic performer. In that respect, the 335i xDrive Gran Turismo is as great a automobile as any other F30 3-series.
The quirks of the body design throw a number of weirdnesses in, nevertheless. Added rear legroom courtesy of the longer wheelbase is welcome and enough to be obvious. BMW also claims a lot more cargo capability than the wagon, but we advised that all that cargo come from IKEA. Flat-pack boxes are about all that is going to match below the minimal, broad hatch, and handful of canines are going to relish riding beneath the expanse of glass.
Girth also comes at a price, in this case paid through the stylists’; account. Merely put, the 3-series Gran Turismo is an awkward automobile, specifically up towards the Sports activities Wagon — a model that is stunning from any course. Or for that matter the X3.
If you happen to be portion of the 3-series Gran Turismo target market, you possibly know it currently, and BMW has your automobile. Drop me a note, as well — I’;d like to comprehend why this issue exists.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: Yeah, the physique design, and BMW’;s direction in basic has me stumped, as well. The 3-series sedan is great and the X3 is excellent. Do we actually require a Gran Turismo in among? Particularly with, like Andy explained, the 4-series Gran Coupe hanging around, and for that matter the greater X6.
At any charge, the 300-hp I6 is constantly great, and although I was hoping for a dual-clutch, this 8-velocity transmission is fantastic. When you happen to be on the throttle, it reacts almost as rapidly as the double-clutch, and downshifts are about the exact same. It does look like you would spend a great deal of time clicking gears if you always employed the paddle shifters. But it is enjoyable trying to preserve the revs amongst 2,500 and 3,500 rpm with the throttle pinned.
The front seats are comfortable and heated, and properly adjustable. The rears offer you a ton of area, and also heat. The upgraded stereo will get good and loud, while the buttons and major screen are simple to decipher and use with the a single central controller.
I was a little stunned by the wheel/tire package. Not that it appears poor, but the profile was big. The run-flat tires felt quite managed in excess of the back breaking submit-winter roads. Steering is as great as it constantly is in the 3-series, manufactured far more enjoyable by the developing dry spots on the road. The AWD method worked great in sport+ mode. Throughout the handful of times I went off the beaten path, I had no problems.
I would not acquire this car I do not even really realize what section I’;d be purchasing in. The Acura RDX I drove a number of weeks ago offers a lot more utility, the identical power and a greater value. Or I would just get a 3-series sedan. Actually a 4-series coupe, or an M4. Okay, I’;m done.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: I drove this automobile. I didn’;t hate it, but even even though I did not know the price tag until finally I sat down to write these notes, I had a gut feeling that it was not going to existing a great worth.
It really is not the drive that bugged me no complaints there. Even at this late hour, when BMW’;s lineup is swollen with gross cross-sport-coupe-touring nonsense, “inline-6 3-series” still indicates some thing — anything positive, as Andy notes. The adjustable driving/suspension settings did have a notable influence on the way the car felt on the road (as opposed to basically including resistance to the steering wheel). The 8-pace was really entertaining in paddle-shifting mode.
The physique design did not get me as well a lot, both — confident it’;s gawky with that not-really-fastback thing going on, but you can not see the rear end whilst you are in the driving seat. You can not truly see anything at all in the rear of the vehicle when you happen to be in the driver’;s seat, even though this factor has some blind spots that sensors might help remove — but be prepared to shell out massive bucks for people, as properly as other characteristics like backup cameras, that are cheap to include on even the most econo of econoboxes.
I normally never feel like the M Sport packages add considerably, provided their hefty price tag tags. In this case, I don’;t know. But that money is possibly far better invested on other places, like tech. And the dynamic bundle, which has much more of an affect on vehicle enjoyment than honeycombed aluminum trim and “M” badges ever will, fees approximately 1 third as much as the M Sport bundle at $ one,000.
All this will get to the root of my discontent with the vehicle. It’;s fair to inquire a decent sum for a vehicle as solid as the 3-series. And smooth, sweet engines like this inline 6 aren’;t going to get any less costly, with fuel economic system rules forcing us to place up with ever-smaller sized inline-4s and — gasp –3s.
But if that is the way it truly is gonna be, price the auto accordingly. This pricing structure is, as it stands, insulting. Never promote a decontented auto for $ 48K and pretend it is offering a premium knowledge, understanding full nicely you have to verify $ 10K’;s well worth of choices to get near to the functions on a new Kia Cadenza. Yes, you can drive off the whole lot in a stripper, but how a lot of men and women do? Please, BMW, leave these “low advertised price” schemes to the econobox hawkers.
Then there is the identify. I don’;t actually care also significantly about the weird shape to each and every his very own, appropriate? It is how BMW is trying to promote this irrelevant, inelegant entire body style that gets me. This is not what a Grand Tourer is. BMW is looking for to obliterate the which means of lengthy-standing vehicular taxonomies with its Gran Coupes, but I can not allow this abuse of the GT nomenclature go. You want a GT? Get a Maserati 3500, not this thing. You want a liftback, for some cause? Maybe contemplate it. It really is not a bad automobile, but it truly is tough — if not impossible — to swallow the price tag.
This is creating me come to feel previous and bitter. And I’;m not outdated, nor am I especially bitter by nature.
I blame you for this, BMW.
SENIOR Street Check EDITOR NATALIE NEFF: Sheez, I do not even know exactly where to commence with the vehicle. It really is undesirable adequate that I have borne a bit of a chip on my shoulder since approximately the debut of the authentic Bangle-butt 6-series. It was around that time that BMW made a decision to redesign every single stage of driver-automobile interaction, and to no excellent end: the stalks, the shifter, that infernal 1st-gen iDrive, all altered and/or extra to irritating result. Modify for change sake might be fine in concept, but when the new layout in fact diminishes the efficiency of the operation, and then I am calling you out. And by you, I imply BMW.
(Then there’;s the matter of BMW’;s tendency toward, shall we say, arrogance. Even though it truly is kind of an within-baseball matter, dealing with BMW from the position of magazine author can be a frustrating matter.)
Which is the baggage I have to deal with whenever I climb behind the wheel of a BMW, and for the most component, I believe I do a respectable work muting my biases, to neutrally technique any car and proffer as trus2rthy an assessment as possible. And to that end, I have to echo Andy: Why the heck does this car even exist?
I am a hatchback/wagon lady, for the most component, favoring cargo capability in vehicle form 9 occasions in 10 above utes, crossovers, trucks, what have you. It really is a matter of combining 2 traits I favor more than most something else, automotively speaking: utility and nimbleness. And however this style pushes me past what ever tolerance I may otherwise have for frumpiness. It is just fugly, and not fugly like the authentic M Coupe, which was amazing. There is practically nothing redeeming in the lines of this automobile. It actually ought to be called the 335i xDrive Maxx. As in Malibu.
But even much more offensive than the form is the sticker. More than $ 60K! Egad! I indicate, in addition to navigation, it seriously feels like a strippo model, and however somehow, in between the enhanced USB, aero kit, lumbar help and variable sport steering wheel, this vehicle carries nearly $ 13,000 in possibilities. Unacceptable. Completely unacceptable. (Even if that 3.-liter turbo straight-6 is as sweet as motors get. Jumping on it and letting that smooth, smooth energy do its issue is nearly enough to make you overlook how stupid this automobile is. Nearly.)
2014 BMW 335i xDrive Gran Turismo
Base Price tag: $ 47,775
As-Tested Cost: $ 60,250
Drivetrain: 3.-liter turbocharged I6 AWD, 8-speed automated
Output: 300 hp @ 5,800-6,000 rpm, 295 lb-ft @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
Curb Excess weight: 4,010 lb
Fuel Economic system (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 20/30/24 mpg
AW Observed Fuel Economy: 18.9 mpg
Choices: Technological innovation package deal which includes enhanced USB, Bluetooth, smartphone integration, BMW apps, innovative true-time visitors information, BMW online, navigation system with touchpad, instrument cluster with extended contents, remote solutions, head-up show ($ 3,150) M Sport bundle which includes aerodynamic kit, M Sport steering wheel, 18-inch light alloy M Sport wheels, sport seats shadowline exterior trim, anthracite headliner ($ 3,100) premium package deal such as comfort accessibility keyless entry, lumbar help, satellite radio with a single-year subscription ($ 2,200) dynamic dealing with bundle including adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering ($ 1,000) cold weather package deal including heated front seats, heated steering wheel, retractable headlight washers, heated rear seats ($ 950) Harman Kardon surround sound ($ 875) M sport brakes ($ 650) glacier silver metallic paint ($ 550)
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