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.

comments powered by Disqus

notSet

We’ve exclusively driven the Jeep Compass in India, tell you what the all-new SsangYong Rexton is like, give our first impressions of the third-gen Maruti Dzire and have driven all of Lexus’ India cars. And there’s plenty more inside!
What's in this issue?

Trending Now
Find a car review

Latest Car Reviews

2016 Fiat Abarth Punto long term review, first report

2016 Fiat Abarth Punto long term review, first report

19 hours ago
In this first stint with our new hot hatch resident, sheer driving pleasure...
2017 Tata Tiago AMT review, test drive

2017 Tata Tiago AMT review, test drive

2 days ago
Tata has introduced a five-speed AMT in the top-spec Tiago and that has made...
2017 Skoda Octavia facelift review, test drive

2017 Skoda Octavia facelift review, test drive

2 days ago
The Octavia gets some styling tweaks and more features but mechanicals...
2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet review, test drive

2017 Audi A3 Cabriolet review, test drive

3 days ago
Updated convertible not only gets all the cosmetic and tech upgrades of the...
2017 Range Rover Evoque 2.0 diesel review, test drive

2017 Range Rover Evoque 2.0 diesel review, test drive

Jun 13, 2017
Another year, another Evoque update, this time with the new 2.0-litre...
Latest News
Skoda Octavia facelift variants explained
The Octavia facelift will be available in three variants and three engine...
7 hours ago   1 picture
Honda plant in Japan halts production for a day after cyber attack
Operations at the Sayama Plant suspended for a day as ransomware srtikes systems
8 hours ago   1 picture
India to be export hub for Honda's 1.6-litre diesel engine
Honda's iDTEC engine likely to be manufactured in two states of tune; could...
9 hours ago   1 picture
Ducati BS-IV model range to launch soon
The BS-IV/Euro-IV compliant Scramblers range, Monster 821 and Diavel will be...
11 hours ago   1 picture
Kaltenborn parts ways with Sauber F1 team
The team’s operations in Baku are being overseen by team manager Beat...
11 hours ago   1 picture

Autocar Magazine

Issue: 214 | Autocar India: June 2017

We’ve exclusively driven the Jeep Compass in India, tell you what the all-new SsangYong Rexton is like, give our first impressions of the third-gen Maruti Dzire and have driven all of...
Autocar Magazine
Latest Poll
Should the FCA group launch the Fiat Argo in India?


or View results
Yes, Fiat needs an infusion of new cars
  77%
 
No, they should instead discontinue the brand and focus on Jeep
  23%
TOTAL VOTES: 765

Vote now
View previous Polls »