First Drive

2016 BMW 330i GT review, test drive

The revered ‘330i’ badge is back, but it now points to a very different engine, and is attached to a car you least expected.

DETAILS
11
photos

What is it?

First and foremost, this is a facelift of the BMW 3-series GT, perhaps the most underrated of the Bavarian brand’s models in India. It’s got as much, if not more, rear legroom than a 5-series thanks to its near-three-metre wheelbase, and luggage space to rival BMW’s X SUVs, thanks to the liftback boot. So it’s altogether more practical than a regular 3-series sedan, and with a price that’s not too much higher, you’d think the GT would be a no-brainer, but its slightly unconventional liftback shape could be what keeps it from selling as much as its sedan siblings.

Either way, the facelift brings what any facelift would, and much like the one given to the 3-series sedan in January 2016, this new GT gets you new bumpers, front and rear, adaptive full-LED headlamps, reprofiled LED tail-lamps, new alloy wheel designs, classier interior trims, a bit more equipment and the newest version of BMW’s 2.0-litre diesel engine, with 190hp, added refinement and smoother power delivery. It also gets you BMW’s latest iDrive system, which is basically a pared-down version of the one in the 7-series, just without the touchscreen and gesture control abilities.

But what we’re most interested in is the badge stuck on to the tailgate of this new petrol variant – 330i – because it has a lot of history. The last time we had a ‘330i’ in India, it was a pretty highly revered sports sedan. Launched with the old E90 3-series’ final facelift and on sale for a relatively short time, it packed in a beautiful naturally aspirated 258hp straight-six. This new ‘30i’ motor, however, is a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder, and it makes its Indian debut in the 3-series GT.

What’s it like to drive?

With 252hp and 350Nm, on paper, this new motor is a clear step up from the 184hp ‘20i’, a worthy successor to the old ‘30i’, and a perfect match for the latest crop of powerful four-cylinder petrols from Mercedes-Benz (GLC 300) and Jaguar (XE 25t). While it debuts on this 3-series GT, expect to see it in more models, like the upcoming 5-series.

It is superbly refined, to the point that you can’t tell if it’s running or not at idle and low revs. The GT gets four driving modes as standard – Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ – and understandably, the first of those isn’t very thrilling with its dulled throttle responses and slow, smooth shifts, but it’s ideal for traffic. Comfort is still the better all-round mode and the one you’ll find yourself in most of the time. This is because it does get you a little more pep off the line without sacrificing too much by way of economy. Sport and Sport+ get you more aggression from the engine and gearbox (the latter disengages the traction control too), a firmer steering and a little more noise from the exhaust, which we’ll get to in a moment.

Fact File

Price Range (in lakhs)*

Ex-showroom price (Delhi) Rs 47.50 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)

Engine

Fuel Petrol
Type 1998cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged
Power 252hp at 5,200rpm
Torque 350Nm at 1450-4800rpm

Transmission

Type Rear wheel drive
Gearbox Eight-speed automatic

Dimensions

Length 4824mm
Width 1828mm
Height 1508mm
Wheel base 2920mm

Chassis & Body

Wheels 18-inch alloys
Tyres 225/50 R18

Brakes

Anti-lock Yes

About the author...

Gavin D'Souza

Gavin D'Souza is the Assistant Editor of the Autocar India magazine.

Recent articles by Gavin:
comments powered by Disqus

notSet

Our reviews of the Tata Tigor, the Honda WR-V, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, comparison of the Audi A4 diesel and its rivals and plenty more await you inside.
What's in this issue?

Trending Now
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

2016 Renault Kwid long term review, final report

2016 Renault Kwid long term review, final report

2 days ago
The Kwid’s job here is done. We look at what impressed us and what...
2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive review, test drive

2017 Porsche Panamera Turbo Executive review, test drive

4 days ago
Porsche has jumped on the long-wheelbase bandwagon in India with the...
2017 BMW 5-series India review, test drive

2017 BMW 5-series India review, test drive

6 days ago
BMW gives us an early taste of the all-new 5-series on Indian roads. Shapur...
Maruti Vitara Brezza long term review, second report

Maruti Vitara Brezza long term review, second report

6 days ago
Our Brezza gets a bells and whistles upgrade.
2017 Tata Tigor review, test drive

2017 Tata Tigor review, test drive

Mar 19, 2017
With an emphasis on style, the new Tata Tigor is a refreshingly different...
Latest News
Next-gen Aston Martin Vantage to use AMG V8 engines
A V12 version of the next-gen Vantage is also due, using the same 5.2-litre...
18 hours ago   1 picture
McLaren previews F1-inspired hyper-GT
The three-seat model will bring hybrid tech back to a McLaren road car for...
21 hours ago   1 picture
Mercedes-AMG E43 4Matic to launch in India in 2018
Sporty AMG E43 is powered by a 401hp, 3.0-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol engine....
1 day 13 hours ago   1 picture
Hamilton beats Vettel to Australian GP pole
Bottas and Raikkonen make up row two of the grid.
1 day 14 hours ago   1 picture
2017 VW Touareg spied undisguised
New spy picture of the five-seat Touareg reveals the car's full front-end...
1 day 16 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 212 | Autocar India: April 2017

Our reviews of the Tata Tigor, the Honda WR-V, the Audi A5 Cabriolet, comparison of the Audi A4 diesel and its rivals and plenty more await you inside.
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
What should Peugeot do with the Ambassador brand it acquired recently?




or View results
Revive the old car
  12%
 
Launch a new car with Amby's retro styling
  66%
 
Use the name for a low-cost brand
  4%
 
Nothing, Ambassador should have been left to the history books
  17%
TOTAL VOTES: 2335

Vote now
View previous Polls »