First let’s start with the price tag. This car was priced out to be $60,250. Thats a pretty penny for a 3 series. Thats getting into 5 series territory. There are two big things that this car did not have that I feel should be standard when buying a premium luxury car, especially at this price. The rear backup camera and blind spot alert systems are not found on this particular version, which I found to be very surprising, and a little insulted considering cars that cost half as much come with them. Perhaps on a regular 3 series sedan you could get away without these, but on this car and the enormous rump it has you pretty much need both of those features. Blind spots were pretty bad in this car, and trying to back out of parking spaces proved to be a challenge, especially at night. The rear visibility was nothing short of bad.
“The Ultimate Driving Machine” is a tagline that BMW has been using for over 30 years and has proven worthy of that name time and time again. While it may still be true for some of their cars, this particular model left me wondering if it fits the bill. It handled well, acceleration was good, ride comfort was nice, but I honestly didn’t feel like I was driving in an ultimate driving machine. When I hear that tagline it makes me want to drive whatever car it pertains to. It makes me think the car I’ll be driving will be giving me great feedback, not to just my senses, but to my soul. This is where this BMW falls short.
To me the steering felt particularly numb, and had some play from dead on center. Not very characteristic of an ultimate driving machine. I didn’t feel connected to the road whatsoever, or to the car really at all. It was a comfortable ride, and sure, it would handle nicely around turns, but it didn’t give me anything to be excited over. If you go by the speedometer, the acceleration was plenty fast, but measured by the good old butt dyno, and it just didn’t feel as quick as the speedo says, which was a little disappointing.
I’ll admit that it is a good car, and most people will enjoy it for whatever purpose it serves, although these GT cars have me confused as to the demographic they are targeting. Its half wagon/half hatchback, and full ugly, I personally would rather have a proper wagon to get the full use of the boot, as well as get rid of some of the hatch’s blind spots. Although, since it does have that weird hatchback style, it has a pretty cool aerodynamic wing that engages automatically above 70mph, or if you just like having it up, there’s a button for that.
Now, it could be that the added weight to the 3 series chassis is causing all the numbness and lack of excitement, but that still doesn’t excuse it from being an Ultimate Driving Machine. It is more along the lines of an adequate driving machine. It’s got all the comforts of a BMW, but lacks the spirit and soul you expect.
P.S. Sorry for the bad photos, weather did not cooperate…..