By on February 6, 2013

Despite being unable to eat, talk or sleep more than a few hours at a time, I have found something more agonizing than an adult tonsillectomy  the BMW 3-Series GT. Because we all know what a critical and commercial success the BMW 5-Series GT has been. At least Percocet can numb the pain of having sections of my throat burnt away by a cauterizing wand. Whoever buys this thing is doomed twice over by poor eyesight and awful judgement. Then again, maybe the reaction would have been better if it was badged as a Saab?

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79 Comments on “BMW 3-Series GT: The Latest Retina Burning Niche Product From Germany...”


  • avatar
    Flybrian

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/47/Hyundai-Elantra-GT-hatchback.jpg

  • avatar

    Very nice looking car.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Really? The back end is lacking in style and is amorphous.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        It do look like Honda Crosstour, even when a Honda Crosstour pull up. (sorry, Katt Williams)

        http://blog.caranddriver.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/2012-Honda-Crosstour-EX-L-r.jpg

        Smells like “good idea/innovation” tank’s on fumes over there in Munich.

        *I apologize if my comment offends anyone who has an emotional attachment to all things BMW, or anyone who finds this specific vehicle attractive, or even anyone else for whatever other reason offered/imagined, in advance.

    • 0 avatar
      Wacko

      I think you should get your eyes checked out

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        Then make that two of us. I think it’s a rather inoffensive looking car, dare I say rather handsome.

        Of course that is not the point, and if this expanded greenhouse, upper structure and jacked-up ride severely diminish the performance, then it’s just fail all around.

    • 0 avatar
      Beerboy12

      +1

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      Agreed. And it probably has more interior space than X1 and X3. With 2.0lT, 30mpg and $35K price could be a winner but something tells me one of the three factors is not going to be present in reality.

      I am off to Car and Driver to check out the details about the car.

  • avatar
    carguy

    It’s certainly a more cohesive design than the 5 series GT. Bigger wheels would help balance out the rear end but it still won’t win a any beauty contents. Either way I don’t see the point – why not just sell the wagon?

    • 0 avatar
      thesparrow

      This makes way more sense than a 5 series hatchback/GT, but I would prefer a wagon as well. Trouble is “wagons” don’t sell as much here.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      At least the body isn’t as thick as the 5GT (which looks way too bloated and droopy compared to the sedan).

      I’d rather have a 3 wagon over the hatch, but I’ll gladly take whatever 5 door they send us.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    This car doesn’t compare to that 9-3, which clearly recalls the classic 900 4-door hatch in many ways. It’s nice looking and proportional.

    That mess up there is just awful, and harks back to… nothing in BMW’s history.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Harks back a bit to the BMW 2002 Touring, but looks more like a Saab to me.

      I prefer proper wagons to hatches, but this doesn’t bother me. Nothing like as ugly as the 5GT.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      It doesn’t look too bad. It actually looks heaps better than the 5GT. And if Saab was an inspiration, they certainly did the NG900 well there. I’d buy one.

      That said, I’ve seen the 5GT in the flesh and it is doesn’t look like the coming of the anti-christ as the press would like you to think. But then again, from some time now, automotive press opinions almost equals BS to me.

      OTOH, the Saab in the link…*sigh*. They did a great job when they modernized the 99-900 in ’94 and should have followed that route with PhoeniX. Although one of my coworkers just saw it and said “looks alright”

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      Yeah, 9-3, because everyone likes blacked out pillars that measure in feet in width. Chevy Runs Deep in that one.

    • 0 avatar
      tatracitroensaab

      +1

      I’m a huge fan of liftbacks like the Saab 900 but the BMW styling language just doesn’t translate that well. It’s not ugly, but it could be a lot better…..

      They were probably going for better functionality (like the Porsche panamera, which made a conscious effort to compromise aesthetics in exchange for good cargo room and rear seat headroom (according to legend the 6’4″ CEO of Porsche required that he could comfortably sit in the second row).

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        +1. The SAAB always worked as a liftback design. And as bizarre as the Panamera is, I would buy one.

        I’m not against this car in theory, just execution. It just doesn’t work well with BMW design language. I’ve owned a few hatches and wagons, I’m a big fan of versatile cars. But it’s gotta look right..

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    My first thought was “Crosstour”…which, IMHO, was not particularly beautiful, but not nearly as bad as may folks thought. We must face the fact that there really are not very many vehicles out there that draw the eye in a pleasant manner. Many of the few that do…cost an arm and a leg.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I get it, I really do. Offer the sedan with a liftback so people who want some of the cargo carrying capabilities of the wagon will buy it. Especially in the US, so there is no wagon or hatchback stigma.

    Except all the BMW GT-cars look wrong. BMW doesn’t do quirky very well, it’s a thought-out quirky, not a what the Hell quirky. Kind of like those school assemblies I remember where an adult would try to be act like a kid to show they are “with it”.

    If this were a SAAB, no one would bat an eye. It would be applauded. But it’s a BMW and I like my BMW in sedan, coupe or wagon form. No mismatch please.

  • avatar
    Mark Stevenson

    KILL IT WITH FIRE! Do they have Bangle back doing consulting or something?

    This is the kind of car you would see in a documentary about road-going European salesmen.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    “I think it hurts when I hit my finger with a hammer”
    - “You should be sure. get a bigger hammer and come back to me with repeatable results”

  • avatar
    Frank Galvin

    What it really needs to sell here in ‘Merica is the euro spec 1.6 oil burner, rwd only, none of that stinking Xdrive, 6 speed stick, and maybe an estate version. Totally would sell out, you guys.

    *gentle trolling*

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Hey dude, Apple is totally suing your azz for using the word Retina.. And yeah my eyes burn..

  • avatar
    Pch101

    It’s not quite my cup of tea, but that ain’t no Pontiac Aztek, either. A strong reaction isn’t warranted; it’s an obvious adaptation of the basic 3-series design, but with a hatch instead of a trunk. I presume that the Europeans will be more inclined to buy them.

    Here are some other angles of it: http://www.autoblog.com/2012/12/03/bmw-3-series-gt-caught-uncovered-filming-commercial/

  • avatar
    roadscholar

    I actually like it (unlike the 5 series, that’s just way too fat).

  • avatar
    vvk

    I would buy it. I love hatchbacks.

    Family sized rear wheel drive hatch — only a wagon would be better.

    Speaking as a SAAB enthusiast, it would be awesome if it was badged as a SAAB.

  • avatar
    EquipmentJunkie

    I don’t mind it. I like the practicality of a hatch. Therefore, my thoughts are the same as Carguy’s…why not bring us the wagon?

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    The ghost of Rover called. They want the SD1 back, please.

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/6b/Rover_sd1_club_day_gold_(5).jpg

  • avatar
    Summicron

    Looks like someone took a crease machine to an old Elantra.

  • avatar
    Tick

    I’m a bimmer-phile and will openly admit to loving the X6 styling but this ain’t do’in it for me. Makes sense from a practicality standpoint though. Not gonna call it ugly, but won’t be buying one either.

    I always struggle to understand the “Dear God! A car company did something different than they have in years prior!” reaction. Uh, yeah. Or we’d all still be driving Model A’s with airbags. Get over it. When you own the company, you get to make those decisions. Until then, either buy their product or don’t.

    In the end, we will all vote with our wallets.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    Isn’t it taller than the 3 series sedan and wagon? Yes, a bigger 3 series is just what we need…couldn’t they just make a normal 5 door variant? My relationship with BMW has become very love/hate in the last several years :-(

  • avatar
    carlisimo

    I would buy it for the practicality (now that the wagon is AT-only), but that doesn’t mean it looks good.

  • avatar

    See? I saw that pic and thought, “Hey, that’s not bad.” Kind of reminds me of all the 70′s and 80′s European cars with that shape, like the 5-door Passat, Audi 100, the odd Simca, Renaults, etc. I think the proportions are a bit better than the A7, for example, and they kept a lot of glass in back rather than making some weird cut line for odd-shaped windows.

    I’d choose this over a 3-series sedan, and the hatch would add points if I were cross-shopping the 3-series competition too. Maybe I’ll pick up a used one in a couple of years…

  • avatar
    tresmonos

    Great to see your posts again. Get well soon.

  • avatar
    -Cole-

    This is no Malibu Maxx

    This is amazing

    The 5 GT was a head of its time and also too big or something. No doubt BMW has a biz case for this and it CAN succeed

    Plus it looks nice, and everybody likes it

    Hate on.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    Well, you know, at one time this design had its followers:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f5/Chevrolet_Citation_II_rear.jpg

    :-P

  • avatar
    hachee

    I really don’t object to the micro niches BMW aims to fill. Heck, isn’t that something enthusiasts should applaud? Is this any different than the many body styles offered (off the same platforms) back in the 1960s and 70s?

    But it’s the just plain bad looks that I don’t get. I like the looks of the new 3, but this just changes it in only bad ways. Why does the C-pillar/3rd window look like that? It’s like the awkward X1, X3 and 5GT – they just don’t look good, and I don’t understand why.

    It won’t sell much here, and mostly because of its looks. America doesn’t mind a hatch when it looks great, like an Audi A7.

    • 0 avatar
      Roberto Esponja

      Your comparison to the A7 is spot-on. I like four-door hatchbacks (oh, pardon me, FIVE-doors as they’re called today). But the offerings from BMW and Honda are just bad.

  • avatar

    BMW should know that cars like that sell less in America than wagons do. And I’d be afraid to sell it in the UK if I were them because it might be confused for a reincarnated British Leyland product…

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    It is a hatch, right? Because I love hatches. But at the same time, I’m reminded of the Marshall Ericson character on How I met your Mother when he imagines himself being killed by a grizzly and screams “Not like this! Not like this!”

  • avatar
    geeber

    “Retina burning?” Not quite. It’s hardly an ugly car. I’m generally not a fan of five-door hatchbacks( the only current one I like is the Ford Focus), but this BMW isn’t a bad-looking car.

  • avatar
    Beerboy12

    Audi makes a better looking fast back but the styling does not offend me the way it does others. Perhaps because I prefer 2 boxes to 3? I like that it has 4 doors and a trunk opening that takes more than a briefcase.

  • avatar
    fatalexception04

    Sad thing is….This thing will sell or I should say lease in droves in the NY area just cause of the badge. It’s pretty ugly from the 1 picture shown.

    What I really want is the 1 series hatchback they sell in Europe. Saw a bunch of them over there and liked it a lot. But there is little hope of that happening.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    Give me a saloon or an estate (wagon). This design gives you non of the style of the former and non of the function of the latter.

  • avatar

    Let me get this straight: people who wouldn’t be caught dead in a wagon would rather have a hatchback version of their most favorite status-mobile? Didn’t BMW already try this with the 318Ti? That really didn’t go well with the Peoria crowd, either.

    In this case, go wagon or go home. Everyone else will keep ogling at that other automotive abortion, the X6. At least it’s outrageous in a way that illicits wonder, amazement and, dare I say, envy.

    • 0 avatar
      replica

      I thought the 318 looked nice.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      The 318Ti also suffered from being noticeably shorter and aggressively more hatchback’d than the regular E36 sedan and coupe (being three doors probably didn’t help either). This doesn’t look so poverty-spec compared to the regular sedan (especially in the age of the four-door coupe).

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      318ti was the ugliest car in the history of BMW. I still cringe when I see one. There is nothing wrong with hatchbacks. However, the issue is that a hatchback normally is not designed by starting with a sedan, and then chopping off the trunk, but that’s what BMW did with the 318ti.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    Am I the only one who thinks it looks sort of like an old Ford Escort?

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    “There you go again”. I’m channeling Ronald Reagan.

    Anyway, I think it looks pretty cool. And if they don’t price it stupid, a far better seller than the 5.

  • avatar
    vwgolf420

    I like this car, but I like hatchbacks better than all other body styles, generally speaking. It does, as others have pointed out, bear a resemblance to the 2001-06 Elantra hatchback (the car I drove before my current 2010 Golf).

  • avatar
    vanwestcoaster

    To those expressing hatred of this car, it’s not your retinas that are offended, it’s your pretentious idea of what you believe a BMW should look like. The company does offer a visually appalling hatchback – the X6 – but its ridiculously expensive price tag gives it the veneer of exclusivity. This is a great looking car – go check the slew of photos on Autoblog.

  • avatar
    Wunsch

    On paper, this seems like basically the same thing as the Audi A5 Sportback. But to my eye, the A5 Sportback looks fantastic. This… doesn’t.

  • avatar
    MrWhopee

    Does the 5-series GT sold all that well, that warrants this 3-series GT? I was under the impression that they don’t sell well at all. But it certainly does not makes sense, if the 5-series GT was a sales failure that they would go ahead with this.

  • avatar
    JaySeis

    Looks inexpensive, not sure if that was their intent. That tiny tailpipe made me think econobox with a wanna be cool satellite fin..the dorkiest accoutrement to ever adorn any vehicle but mostly Teutonic sourced. It might be so cheap? As to finally get a grip on German car autodepreciation.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    If the 5 Series GT weighs 5000lb, maybe they can get this under 4.

  • avatar
    E46M3_333

    BMW styling went off the rails years ago. That’s why mine are of older vintage.

  • avatar
    kosmo

    1. More cargo space than the wagon, and more importantly to me, a longer cargo bay when seats folded. Better for dog/bike/ski hauling.

    2. No upright rear end. Our winter roads are filthy, and anything with a vertical rear window quickly becomes the same.

    3. Ability to install rear rack cross bar only, and fork-mount bikes to it, with the rear tires simply and efficiently snugged down onto rear window. I’ve probably logged over 20,000 miles in this manner. Nice to have nothing above the sunroof!

    4. Please, please, please, the availability of the 6M transmission — which will NOT be coming on the wagon.

    5. Reminds me of my 1982 Saab 900. My first new car! If the luggage compartment is 6 feet long with seats folded like the old 900s, I’m likely sold.

  • avatar
    mypoint02

    I don’t think it’s bad. What makes the 5GT ugly is that it has a huge rump and the back end looks raised. The 3GT doesn’t have the same appearance. I’ll withhold my judgment until I see one in person.

  • avatar
    silverbullet

    Looks awkward, in 20 years the buyer would say “what was I thinking?”

  • avatar

    Another good thing about this car is the trunk isolation. Basically all the advantages of a sedan in a hatchback format. Unfortunately, rear visibility is going to be rather poor, but I expect a camera standard.

  • avatar
    Jacob

    I am surprised with all the negative comments. But then again, hatchbacks are not popular in the USA. In the USA, form usually wins over substance, so everyone drives a sedan even though you can’t fit a decent sized cooler in the trunk of a full sized sedans such as Chrysler 300C. On the other hand, in Europe a midsized hatchback is a normal occurrence (just check out Citroen XM and its successors).

    This car is something that I might be interested in. It looks good and clean IMO, much better than BMW’s wagons (I hate BMW’s vision of what a cool looking wagon, where the roof slowly slopes downward in the rear of car). In fact, this looks better than all Saab 9-3s I have seen. The utility is certainly also there. I like be able to transport all sorts of stuff in my car, from coolers and furniture pieces to camping and ski equipment, etc, and this one would work perfectly. There is no need to have a truck or SUV for that. I am looking forward to test drive the 320 or 328 version.

    • 0 avatar
      cargogh

      I’m in the USA and have had five hatchbacks over the years. I’m not opposed to hatch—just ugly.
      This rates as a Crosstour with me as hideous under the pretense of utilitarian.
      You will probably like it better than the wagon, though, Jacob. And it should hold more because I think it is 5 inches longer and 3 inches taller.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Since we’re talking about style.

    http://jalopnik.com/5814510/the-most-majestic-french-failure-ever/gallery/1?tag=maserati-quattroporte

    THIS IS STYLE!

    Do this, more!

  • avatar
    Russycle

    Not bad looking to me, but just not right for a Beemer. They should just go for a wagon and leave the 5-doors to the Japanese and Koreans. And maybe Dodge could bring back the Lancer:
    http://www.rmauctions.com/lots/lot.cfm?SaleCode=DS10&CarID=r046&fc=0

  • avatar
    discoholic

    Looks like they took a 3-series and welded an industrial washing mashine to the back. And may they burn in hell for using the “GT” moniker on that monstrosity.

    • 0 avatar
      germancarnut

      It’s lame to show a stripped version of this car that will never come to the US in this form just to bash it. For your tonsillectomy pain you have my sympathy though …

      Try to give it a more objective look and you may realize that the design works quite well (considering the enormous space gain).

      Link with a comparison with the 3 series sedan and touring:
      http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=800772


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