By on October 7, 2018

BMW has decided to take the polarizing 3 Series Gran Turismo behind the factory to be shot, ending its short and tragic life. Introduced in 2013, the GT hasn’t been the model’s most-coveted variant. Perhaps this explains why the German’s are so averse to taking design risks.

Defined as an “expanded take on the original sports sedan” by the automaker, the Grand Turismo is a higher-riding, long-wheelbase covert hatchback. But its uniqueness won’t carry over into the 3 Series’ next generation. BMW doesn’t see a need for it in today’s car climate and isn’t particularly worried about an uprising from its fans — which it believes will be happier in a crossover, anyway. 

That brand’s global development chief, Klaus Frohlich, confirmed the GT’s demise to Motoring at the Paris Motor Show last week. “Things are changing,” he said. “When we did the GT we saw that in demographic change people want to sit a little more upright … But then you saw X1 and X3 you can sit upright and you feel younger.”

“So this segment is under pressure from SUVs, which are having no disadvantage in fuel consumption or in ride and handling.”

Basically, BMW thinks its X Series vehicles accomplish what the GT was trying to and know they are far more profitable. “Segments are growing and shrinking and you have to always be careful,” Frohlich confessed. “Some cars we will always try and this doesn’t mean they have to be proceeded with.”

The other big change for the next-gen 3 Series is the complete absence of a manual transmission on the North American market and a new modular platform that’s already in use by the model’s bigger brothers. We expect more blowback from that than the discontinuation of the GT.

However, if you are fearful that you’ll be missing out on one of automotive history’s hidden gems, there is still time. Production is rumored to end in 2020, giving you an opportunity to test the 3 Series Grand Turismo against the X3 before you decide to buy the SUV.

[Images: BMW]

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29 Comments on “BMW Discontinuing Unloved 3 Series Gran Turismo...”

  • avatar

    “Perhaps this explains why the German’s are so adverse to taking design risks.”

    “Perhaps this explains why the Germans are so averse to taking design risks.”


  • avatar

    I don’t hate it, but why they decided we needed a BMW Accord CrossTour is beyond me. No surprise it didn’t do well. At least it wasn’t beaten quite has bad with the ugly stick as the unfortunate Honda was.

    Btw, I’d say the SUV “coupe” models they came out with were pretty risky, although they seemed to have panned out better than this model so far as sales are concerned. Given the choice, I’d take this over an X2 or X4.

  • avatar

    The 3GT was always kind of in a weird spot. The “style” people would be happier with the 4GC, the “utility” people want a CUV, and the purists want a traditional wagon.

  • avatar

    I don’t recall ever seeing this model in the wild and I think BMW already has this weird mash-up between sedan and crossover covered with the X4 and X6. I never understood these offering the worst of two worlds instead of the best. Bye

    • 0 avatar

      I saw a few, but the one I remember the most was a prototype in semi-camouflage (mostly just painted like a spotted cow) turning onto Main St., Greenville, presumably after some testing at the factory in Spartanburg. My first thought was “Wow, Chrysler is bringing back the Eagle hatchback. Wonder if it’ll be a Jeep or a Dodge?” As it got closer, I realized it was a BMW and wondered how long it would last in the market. I must say, I’m shocked to know it’s still around even.

    • 0 avatar

      The X4 and X6 really are the worst of two worlds. The 3GT, in a way, is the best, but people don’t buy it. The sheer amount of space inside a 3GT is impressive – it dwarfs an X3 (or X4, heh) in that respect.

  • avatar

    The 3GT is a great car, rides higher than a regular 3 or 4, has a huge backseat and cargo area (far roomier than an x3), standard AWD, and a long wheelbase so the ride is excellent (again far better than an X3). Besides a general lack of marketing, the GT’s biggest problem was an inflated sticker price versus a regular 3 sedan or an X3, but big discounts are available on demonstrator models, and resale value is terrible, so a used GT is considerably lower priced than a comparable used X3. In a sea of CUVs/SUVs I personally like the looks, but the market has spoken and jacked up wagons are clearly the winner.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s uglier than a mud fence. Not much else to say.

    • 0 avatar

      Here, Here! This is sad but expected.

      I love my 3GT, which I got CPO for a super reasonable price — think 4-cyl Camry plus BMW extended warranty and service.

      I mean, yeah, it looks like it needs to lose about 15-20 pounds in the trunk area, if you know what I mean (and I know that you do), but who here is svelte enough to cast the first stone?

      For a VERY TALL family of 4 the car has been a godsend. 30mpg @ 80mph on our biweekly 300 to 500 mile round-trip to the kids’ sporting events, carrying 4 suitcases and all their crap, I mean, equipment…

      I can “sit behind myself” in the back seat and cross my legs! It carries just as much stuff as the wagon, and the long-wheelbase makes a great, er… GT (cruiser) for weekend blasts to the mountains (or coast) and back.

      Man, I’m going to have to buy another in 2019 or 2020, because there isn’t anything else that matches its spec sheet at any price…

    • 0 avatar


      Long cargo space. Great for putting skis or bikes inside.

      But I never quite bought one, so can’t really criticize the decision to axe it, can I?!

      Worthless note to BMW: If this car were available with a turbo six and stick shift, I’d order it tomorrow.

  • avatar

    Never heard about this car. What other hidden gems are there we do not know about? Now if are young you sit higher and upright? And if your old you sit lower? What world we live in? Almost everything around us is upside down.

    • 0 avatar

      Ever since the automobile was perfected in the early 90s, weird fashions and different for different’s own sake is really all the OEMs have left to continue drumming up sales and excitement.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    Unfortunately, X6 is beyond my budget, but I looked at X2. The outside design was striking, the bargain bin interior not so much. If only some of the 3xx GT goodness rubbed onto it. It’s still a MINI platform, but with AWD it’s not so bad.

    • 0 avatar

      BMW seems to do this with all their new “cheap” models. First generation has crappy interior (1st gen X3, first gen X1, first gen 1 series) and then they upgrade substantially in generation 2.

  • avatar

    While I have seen a few of these on the road, I never really understood why BMW bothered to build it in the first place. I much preferred the 3-series wagons. I figured that maybe it was a European thing and that Europeans must like it, but I guess I was wrong. No one really likes it. Or at least not enough people to justify keeping it in production.

    • 0 avatar

      Its got a much larger backseat and cargo area than the 3 wagon. The GT was built on the Chinese 3 series platform, which has a longer wheelbase for chauffeuring duties. The GT is more popular in Europe than US, but even Europeans are abandoning cars and going the CUV/SUV route.

    • 0 avatar

      3GT owner here: I already had 2 wagons, and didn’t need a third. I was replacing my Saab, so weird/quirky was a benefit. Plus the DrWife vetoed a traditional wagon, unless it was lifted and sold by Jeep.

      It’s sad, but expected.

  • avatar

    I’d prefer they kill the 5 GT. It’s at least 2 uglier than the 3 GT.

    Horrible ungainly looking beasts. Dreadful and embarrassing for BMW.

  • avatar

    This thing landed the the Uncanny Valley after being hit with the ugly stick. If you’re going to lease a near-luxury car you want it to have some style.

  • avatar
    Car Ramrod

    A client of mine has one of these, a 328 that’s pretty loaded, and he loves it.
    It’s a much nicer car inside than my bare bones M3, and it’s pretty practical– at 6’4″ I fit comfortably in every seat and the cargo area is fantastic. He’s also about 80 years old. I’m not a fan of the car’s looks.

    Given that the new 6 series GT is hardly any less homely than the 5 series GT that preceded it, I’d say we’re all fortunate that BMW didn’t give this another go.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’d imagine a 4cyl Kia Stinger AWD would be able to do a lot of the things this Bimmer does,with a better warranty.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s new. Spec-wise, it should. Would like to check it out when I replace my 3GT. The Stinger didn’t acquit itself well on the C/D Lightning Lap, but there are fixes. I’d give it a chance.

      It does have a nice interior (photos) and exterior colors are awesome. :-)

  • avatar

    Per the passenger side door opening:

    “Inflate tires to 32lbs cold.
    Inflate body to 502lbs lukewarm.”

  • avatar

    Unfortunately, BMW has since built even more abominable vehicles!

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