BMW are famous for creating niches and then filling them, often answering questions that no-one’s asking. People seem to flock to showrooms and buy them whether they need them or not, almost as if they don’t know how they managed to survive before they had a 2-tonne faux-coupe-styled crossover that looks like a roller skate with 20-inch wheels and traction they’ll never need, let alone use.
Following on from yesterday’s article on the Mercedes A250 Sport, here’s another new vehicle that should pique the interest of some Saab fans. Yes, it’s a BMW, but don’t let that throw you off because the BMW 3-series GT is going to be available with 4WD (if you don’t like RWD), it’ll be offered with a number of turbocharged engines and ……… wait for it ………. it’s got a hatchback.
The bigger BMW 5-series GT looks like a lumbering oaf of a car but applying the same hatchback treatment to a 3-series has yielded a nice, balanced result. It’s not as pretty as a Saab 9000 Aero was, or even a Saab 9-5 Wagon to switch body shapes for a moment. But it does look reasonably sleek and there’s no doubting the opening at the back makes a decent load-lugging proposition.
The BMW 3-series GT won’t be cheap. In fact, here in Australia it’ll start at around $65,000. That’s well above normal 9-3 SportCombi territory when it was around.
The GT does offer some advantages, however.
Firstly, the accommodation is generous. This 3-series GT actually has more rear seat legroom than a 5-series sedan thanks to a wheelbase that’s extended around 10cm or so over the regular 3-series footprint.
Second, it’s going to offer a wide range of proven engines, both petrol and diesel, including the 335i engine that gets people so excited.
Third, well…… it’s available as a new car and the original owner will still be making them in a few years time. That makes a difference.
This is not your average alt-Saab suggestion. It’s bigger and more expensive. But it’s also a car that’s nearly guaranteed to drive nicely, be well made and well equipped.
The styling is a matter of taste. It’s not as easy on the eye as the Mercedes A250 Sport but then it’s a much different type of vehicle. Where the Mercedes is inclined a bit more towards drivers, the 3-series GT could be aimed more towards tourers.
Saab owners – what say ye? Is it an interesting proposition? And if so, more interesting than the Mercedes A250 Sport?
Five years ago, BMW buyers were widely characterised as badge-craving poseurs. Too much money and not enough sense. People who were more interested in the image than the capabilities of the car.
Do you think it’s still true?
I’d like to offer that the rise of Audi in those five years has taken some of the spotlight off BMW as a pose-mobile.
It still doesn’t mean I’ll forgive them the X6, but it’s something to ponder.