2014 BMW 335i Gran Turismo, or GT, belongs to the same family
of vehicles as the 3-series sedan, but offers much more room
with its longer, hatchback layout.
How you spend
your money says a lot about what you value.
measure, BMW made some peculiar value judgments with the 2014 335i
Gran Turismo xDrive, a stylish and practical hatchback that delivers
excellent performance, but lacks a couple of common and important
The 335i Gran
Turismo, or GT, belongs to the same family of vehicles as the
3-series sedan, but offers much more room. Its wheelbase is 4.4
inches longer. Overall length increases 7.8 inches to 190. Its
hatchback layout provides lots of passenger and luggage room.
The 335i GT
competes with a wide variety of luxury cars, including classic sport
sedans like the 3-series, midsize crossover SUVs like the BMW X3 and
Lexus RX, and station wagons like the Audi Allroad, Cadillac CTS and
upcoming Volvo V60.
all-wheel-drive 335i GT xDrive acquits itself well in that
distinguished company, despite a price at the high end of the group.
Gran Turismo family starts with the $41,450 328i GT xDrive, which
has a 240-horsepower, turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
A turbo, 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter, straight-six engine takes the
335i GT base price to $46,850.
automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive are standard on both
I tested a
fast and comfortable 335i GT with a power tailgate, bright red
leather upholstery, navigation, Bluetooth, adaptive shock absorbers
and more. It cost $59,325. All prices exclude destination charges.
surprise, $59,000-plus did not buy either blind spot alert or a
backup camera, features that are becoming common in cars costing
high rear deck and small back window reduce rear visibility enough
that the lack of a backup camera is a major drawback.
is very roomy. The back seat offers so much head- and legroom, it’s
hard to believe the car is part of the famously snug 3-series. In
addition to the eye-catching red leather, my car’s interior had
real aluminum trim stamped with a subtle hexagonal pattern. A big
sunroof extended over the front and rear seats.
The 335i GT
has the latest version of BMW’s iDrive rotary controller. The dial
in the center console that runs navigation and other systems is
bigger and easier to use, with a built-in touchpad and proximity
sensor. It’s the most pleasant iDrive yet, though the shiny black
top gets hot in bright sunlight.
In addition to
an EPA-rated 25 cubic feet of cargo space — more than the Mercedes
GLK 350 SUV and nearly as much as the Audi and Cadillac station
wagons. The cargo compartment features useful under-floor bins to
keep items from rolling around.
The 335i GT’s
performance and fuel economy belie its increased size. The optional
variable sport steering in my car was quick and responsive, with
good on-center feel. The suspension absorbed bumps and held the car
in enthusiastic driving.
turbocharged straight-six engine produces 300 pound-feet of torque
from 1,500 to 5,000 rpm for dynamic throttle response and fast
highway cruising. It scored 20 mpg in the city, 30 on the highway
and 24 in combined driving on the EPA test cycle.
city/highway figure beats all-wheel-drive versions of all
competitors I’ve named. It also matches the considerably smaller
335i xDrive sedan.
The 335i GT
looks wide and low, despite being 0.7 inches taller than the 335i
sedan. The fastback-style tail accentuates a long-hooded profile.
surprise the company that trademarked "the ultimate driving
machine" emphasized acceleration and lateral grip over rear
visibility, Customers value all those features, though. BMW should
be careful. Someone — Audi, Cadillac, Infiniti or Lexus — may be
gaining on them.
2014 BMW 335I
GRAN TURISMO XDRIVE
vehicle: All-wheel drive five-passenger midsize sport hatchback
Three out of four stars
buy: Performance, passenger and cargo space, fuel economy.
Lack of common features, price.
3.0-liter turbocharged 24-valve DOHC straight-six
horsepower at 5,800-6,000 rpm; 300 pound-feet of torque at
economy rating: 20 mpg city/30 highway/23 combined. Premium gasoline
weight: 4,010 lbs.
exclude destination charge.