By on December 3, 2012

Despite the failure of the BMW 5-Series GT, BMW is determined to capture the economies of scale of its rear-drive platform and shoot for unprecedented volume by cranking out even more ugly variants of its core models. Case in point, the 3-Series GT.

The undisguised 3GT was shown over at F30Post, a popular BMW messageboard, and ostensibly caught while filming a commercial. Even though there will be a 3-Series wagon, the 3GT will be produced to occupy some kind of white space in the BMW lineup, perhaps the “sporty hatchback for people too embarassed to drive a wagon or an X3″ niche.

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70 Comments on “BMW 3-Series GT The Latest In A Series Of Pointless Variants...”


  • avatar
    retrogrouch

    Are these things selling in Europe? They must be because the 5 series GT is poison in the US.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      lol the GTs of BMW are never going to sell well because that bodystyle just doesnt work with BMWs current design language. I’m saying this as a lover of five foor fastbacks, be it the Geo Prizm, old Saabs, or the current Audis.

      I’m betting that the ugly fivedoor fastbacks of this era are going to be ironically adored by the enthusiasts of the future. Like idk, I have an unfathomable soft spot for that weird Acura SUV, the Accord Crosstour, 5 series GT, and even the X6, sort of. The first three have this combination of glorious awkwardness coupled with relative rarity that makes my heart skip a beat. Cant figure out if I like the X6 because people actually buy it. This 3 series GT is a weird void, for it is neither awkward enough for me to ironically adore, nor is it attractive enough for me to actually desire.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      All I know is- I see a whole row of X6’s at a local BMW dealer. I feel sorry for the dealer. If they hide the cars they’ll never get rid of them. If they put them out front they’re going to make their prospective customers nauseous.

    • 0 avatar
      Amendment X

      Guys, this is the future of automobile design. Trunks are obsolete. Hatches are infinitely more practical, goofy shape or not.

    • 0 avatar
      jeffzekas

      Here’s an idea: instead of designing a new BODY containing the same, absurdly complex internals, how about if BMW could design a WINDOW REGULATOR which doesn’t FAIL on a regular basis? Or restructure their dealerships and get rid of the condescending jerks who service and sell BMW vehicles?

      • 0 avatar
        burgersandbeer

        Or they could negotiate a contract with a parts supplier that makes window regulators with acceptable durability.

        Do such animals exist? I thought this problem had spread to other brands as well.

    • 0 avatar
      chas404

      Ahhh ummmffff. 1988 Merkur Skorpio????

    • 0 avatar
      GiddyHitch

      They seem to be popular in China.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    This is a 3-series? Wow, my how you’ve grown, young man!

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The ghost of Rover called. They want their SD1 back ….

  • avatar
    stephenjmcn

    Because these are supposed to be versatile, not sleek like the A6/A7, the back end is heavy and just doesn’t work with the compact nose. It’s like 2 different cars, actually.

    The wagon is the best looking 3, I really don’t see the need for this thing.

    To poster above – 5GT doesn’t sell in Europe either. Mystifying.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    Look out Honda Crosstour, BMW is about to steal your huge market share.

  • avatar
    Dynasty

    That is a really ugly car.

    But will still sell to people with more money than sense of design, and need for the BMW image.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    Is this actually a hatchback? The lift kit is silly, but otherwise it would seem to be splooge-bait for the internet commentariat.

  • avatar

    “In a bid to continue one-upping the game of ‘our customers will buy dumber shit than yours’ currently being played by all German automakers, BMW today announced..”

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Isn’t this basically just a four-door 3-Series hatchback, like the old 318ti with an extra pair of doors? What’s wrong with that?

    I quite liked the 318ti, owned a Saab 9-3 and almost bought a Mazda6 hatch. It’s a useful body style: you get a bigger cargo opening than a wagon; it’s very useful for bikes or other very bulky, odd-shaped items.

    • 0 avatar
      CrapBox

      I agree. It’s perfect for people who follow an active lifestyle.

      However, it’s not perfect for the typical American who requires a boxy SUV to fit his mobility scooter or motorized wheelchair.

    • 0 avatar
      jefmad

      If they had made this car sleeker in the back more like the 318ti it would have a lot more fans. Instead they designed it with much more volume in the back ala Crosstour and ZDX which is a very unappealing design.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      “you get a bigger cargo opening than a wagon; it’s very useful for bikes or other very bulky, odd-shaped items.”

      I’m confused- how do you close the hatch after you get your oddly shaped item in there? And if you could close the hatch after it- that means it’s not too big to fit through a regular wagon hatch.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        It’s not about volume, it’s about ease of accessing that volume.

        IMO, a 4-door hatch is a great thing, but if it looks anything like that photo, it’s one ugly car.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      There is a niche of people who like 3 and 5 door hatches but won’t buy a wagon. In the past, most of them bought Saabs, and have been whinging ever since Saab killed the hatches in favor of the wagons. IMHO, since most cars these days look like they should have hatches, you might as well make it a hatch and gain the added functionality. Personally, I prefer wagons, and thus I drive a BMW 3-series wagon and probably would not consider this car.

      What I would buy in a heartbeat is a 3dr “shooting brake” based on the wagon sillouette. I hardly ever use the back seat, it would be nice to have the long doors and B-pillar further back. Call it the “3-Series Vega” :-)

      This car is MUCH better proportioned than the truly ungainly 5GT, which was much too short and tall to look good. This is more along the lines of the previously mentioned old Saab 9-3 and Audi A7. I do agree that the bodykit on this one does it no favors, I am going to hazard a guess that this one is in “M-Sport” trim, and the normal one will look like a normal 3.

      • 0 avatar
        ZekeToronto

        krhodes1 wrote: “What I would buy in a heartbeat is a 3dr “shooting brake” based on the wagon sillouette.”

        Count me in. Many times I’ve gazed at my A3 sportback and thought how spectacular it would be if the front doors were elongated by a couple of inches and the rear doors eliminated.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        This is why my wife got a Volvo C30. Two long doors, back seats big enough for adults (on a short trip: movies/dinner), plus hatch versatility. The C30 is clearly hatchback thus it looks good. Another option is the Scion TC, it appears to be a coupe but is really a hatchback. So why did BMW come up with this mess? Why not make like the Scion: keep the coupe look but in a hatch configuration, clearly it can be done.

        As others noted – loading and unloading a hatch is way easier. Since getting her C30 the wife can’t figure why she lived (suffered?) with trunks for years. I figured this even sooner with an ’85 Civic S hatch. In fact the hatchback setup is the reason I got a 350Z instead of a G35. We don’t have kids so back seats aren’t required however the hatch is super convenient.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    Saab did this better with the 9000.

    • 0 avatar
      kid cassady

      As a 9000 Aero owner, I wholeheartedly agree. Somehow, though, if BMW made an M version of this I might be brought to the brink of madness (and then, appropriately for an internet car enthusiast, not buy it and get like a rusty 80s Alfa for two grand or something stupid instead).

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Boy that backwards 7 cut-out in the front fender looks stupid.

  • avatar
    Turkina

    How could one be embarrassed to drive a wagon?! Wagons are so much cooler than the average car!

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      I’d rock the Jetta wagon or Accord Tourer (if it were sold here with a real transmission), but this thing… this thing is HIDEOUS.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Agreed. If you are easily embarassed then this s-series GT is the last thing you want to be near.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Spoken like a parent who insists to his kids he’s “hip.”

    • 0 avatar
      Nostrathomas

      +1 Regardless of the practicality, I’ve always thought they look much better too. I just don’t get how people can see them as fuddy dudy….especially when most people drive a melted bar of soap.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        and there’s the disconnect

        What looks better is a matter of taste. Wagons truly became uncool for exactly the same reason that minivans became uncool, and possibly CUVs will be uncool in the future.

        Saying wagons look good and “melted bars of soap” look bad is no different than lamenting the music of today and wishing “Rhinestone Cowboy” was still on the airwaves. If that’s your preference, that’s fine, but don’t expect anyone else to agree (because the vast majority don’t) or for the industry to indulge you (because they won’t).

        As for my own opinion, I like sport hatches & mild wagons (I own one), but I don’t care for XL wagons with excessively large back ends. Most “bars of soap” look better than old-school blocky cars, but I hate the current Hyundai-led rage of hiding door handles in swoopy creases, high & angled belt lines, etc. But in a few years, that fad will pass, and maybe the next thing will be better. Or maybe not. Or maybe my tastes will change.

        That’s why I criticize enthusiasts–they live in their own little out-of-touch world, and while some can joke about it (e.g., leather seats made from whale penises), it seems many don’t even realize how far in left field they are.

  • avatar
    cwallace

    Somewhere an owner of a Hyundai Elantra GT is swelling with pride at the sight of this…

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Reminds me of the 80’s GM G-body fastback.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c9/Oldsmobile_Cutlass_Salon_front.jpg/800px-Oldsmobile_Cutlass_Salon_front.jpg

  • avatar

    I’m still waiting for someone to say : ” if it only comes with manual, brown exterior & diesel.”

    BTW, this is a German Aztek

  • avatar
    Buckhead55

    Back in the early 2000s the motoring press was adamant that the Saab 9-3 could never be considered an upscale car because it (a) was a hatchback, and (b) had only four cylinders.

  • avatar
    thesparrow

    The smoother salespeople can probably push a few out the door simply because it has a BMW badge, but who is going to actually walk in the dealership door looking for one of these awkward things? Are “former Subaru owners who just won the lottery” considered a sales niche…? This is just not a very desirable looking vehicle.

  • avatar
    kokomokid

    I like hatchbacks, and wagons. I now have a Prius, which replaced a Chevy Malibu Maxx, which replaced a Jetta TDI wagon. I’ve had hatches and wagons going back to a SAAB 99 hatch.

    Moving forward to the present, I can see myself splurging and buying a 3-Series, if they would see fit to sell a 4 cylinder diesel in the U.S. If that were to happen, I would definitely go for the wagon, not the GT. That would seem a good indicator NOT to build this car. If someone who likes both wagons and hatches wouldn’t particular want the GT, who would?

  • avatar
    CT Pete

    You guys are really hurting my feelings. I traded in my Saab for the 535 GT. It’s my best car ever – can’t be beat for driving fun and practicality. Just close your eyes as I pass you.

    • 0 avatar
      kokomokid

      The 5 GT is a great car. It, of course, drives like a real BMW, not like a trucky X5. Somehow, though, it just doesn’t look right. Maybe BMW should copy the shape of the Audi A7, a hatch that looks really good, at least to me.

  • avatar
    Type57SC

    I actually gasped and softly said “No” under my breath when reading that headline. Please stop this nonsense BMW

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I’d accept the awkward looks for some utility (certainly not over the wagon) if they didn’t dumb down the rest of what made BMW’s so good – steering feel, balance, etc. Oh, and it would be nice if, on a $40K+ BMW leather wasn’t an option. But I digress.

    From what I can tell BMW, as we knew it, and for all of what it used to be, is GONE.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Have you actually DRIVEN an F30 3-series? I have, and while I agree the steering is not the same as the E90, it is not exactly a ’70s American feather-light barge either. If anything, the steering is more like the BMWs of the ’80s, which was MUCH lighter than the more recent cars, and had less feel, especially for the bigger cars that did not have rack and pinion. The balance is still there, and it is still very, very, very much a BMW. Ultimately, they have to compete and sell cars, and the market wanted a larger, softer car, both here and in Europe. But it is hardly Armageddon either. The sport package makes it about perfect, while IMHO the sport package on the e90 was WAAAAY too stiff.

      And please stop with the whining on this and that not being standard on $X-price car! I personally rather like having the choice. Some people don’t WANT leather, or NAV, or HID lights, or whatever.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    BMW has made weird cars in the past and will probably make weird cars in the future.
    I`m just glad their one of the few still around doing it.
    If you don’t like it…buy something else.

  • avatar
    Vega

    Why is this so hard to understand? In Europe, the Audi A5 Sportback is a huge success, so BMW is offering a competitor.

    Also: “even more ugly variants of its core models”? Unnecessarily controversial generalisation, probably trying to sound edgy?
    I understand not everybody likes the F30 sedan and touring, but calling it ugly is childish in my view.

    • 0 avatar
      copanacional

      The only difference is… the Audi A5 / S5 Sportback actually LOOKS GOOD. BMW stopped making good looking cars after the E46 & E39, respectively the 3 Series & 5 Series.

      I guess it’s Audi’s time to shine. Between the ‘Big 3′ German luxury manufacturer’s, their design language is simply the most beautiful.

      Da Silva did one hell of a job on the A5/S5 line.

    • 0 avatar
      CRConrad

      Sedan and wagon are more like core models. The ugly variants he meant are probably things like the X6 (the four-door “coupé” variant of an SUV) and 6-series “Grand Coupé” or whatever they call the sedan variant of the 6-series coupé (which is essentially the coupé version of the 7-series, so, uh… Didn’t they already have a 7-series sedan?)

      Those are the really, truly bizzare niches the BMW marketeers are seeing… I’m still leaning more towards the opinion that there aren’t any such niches to see, but they see them anyway. Hmm, maybe I should try some of what they’re smoking…

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Reminds me of my grandma’s car of the early 1980’s:

    http://www.productioncars.com/send_file.php/chevy_citation_hatchback_silver_1980.jpg

    Maybe BMW is on to something…

  • avatar
    CorLex300

    Christ, MY EYES!!!!!!!!
    Its ungodly. I hate the 5 series “GT” as well. I cant stand the new BMW styling language. They really lost me with the 3 series after the E30…Its hard to top something as good as the E30 I suppose but i feel like the 3’er has lost ground with each generation.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    I finally saw one of the 5GTs on the road today. It was a livery vehicle! Within a minute, I also saw a 7-Series black car. I guess the 5GT gives you slightly better gas mileage, while still having a bit more room for suitcases?


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