Written by: Calvin Chan
Photography by: Calvin and Sammy Chan
We aren't too sure where the 2014 BMW 335i GT belongs in the automotive crowd. It's definitely not your typical sedan, nor is it an SUV. It's longer, wider, and taller than a 335i xDrive sedan, though the GT brings an extra 300 pounds to the table. It's got more trunk space than a BMW 328i Touring, and has as much rear legroom as a 528i sedan. So what exactly can we compare this GT model to if its filling in such a solitary niche? Let's find out.
The 335i GT comes equipped with BMW's inline six engine that produces a hefty 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, more than we can ask for. The engine pulls through with a strong power-band and handfuls of torque at any rev. It lacks a big growling exhaust note and is a bit disappointing, but emits a satisfying exhaust blip when easing off the gas at low gears. Perhaps we were just spoiled by that space gray V-8 powered M3 we drove earlier this week.
The GT is gracefully paired with an 8-speed ZF automatic transmission that shifts so fast you would've thought it was a dual-clutch. Also note that all GT models come standard with xDrive, BMW's four-wheel drive system.
The 335i GT drives like it looks, and it's a heavy one. The electric steering is a bit too light and sluggish and there is quite a bit of body roll. It certainly doesn't feel like a regular 335i sedan, that is, until you switch the GT into sport mode. Miraculously, everything sharpens up like the car just took its morning dose of Adderall. The steering is more responsive and it gives more feedback through the wheel. The throttle is more sensitive and the gears and revs are held longer to squeeze every ounce of torque out of the potent inline-six. This feels more like a 335i sedan now.
Our test vehicle was also fitted with a $1000 stand alone option known as Active Cruise with Stop and Go. It's a nifty function that keeps you at a constant distance from the vehicle in front of you. Set a speed and distance with the steering wheel controls, and off you go. When the vehicle in front begins to slow down, the 335i GT will automatically apply the brakes and maintain that selected distance. When the vehicle in front begins to accelerate, so will you. All this without touching a pedal or a button. Note that to move off again after the vehicle has stopped, the driver has to give the command to accelerate manually by briefly pressing the gas pedal. Guess technology won't let us fall asleep behind the wheel just yet.
It took us a few days to start trusting this clever feature and the brakes, and luckily you can adjust how far you want to keep the front car away from you (aka. the furtherest away possible). It became a blessing when I was stuck in rush hour traffic on the DVP and had to slowly inch forward every few seconds. The Active Cruise feature took the stress off my feet, and I lay back, enjoyed the heated seats and heated steering wheel, and let the computers do all the heavy labour.
So its drives just like a 335i sedan, what about its looks? While BMW's first GT attempt with the 5-series turned out rather, could you say, monstrous, the 335i GT aims to make up for it with a sharper body shape. As stated above, it is longer, wider, and taller than a 335i sedan. It's like a 335i wearing heels, and comes standard with a closet full of M badges, front and rear M-sport bumpers, M-sport three-spoke steering wheel and M badged aluminum door sills.
Though if I must say, there is quite an overabundance of the letter M everywhere around the car. I counted five from the front to rear, excluding the wheels, and the M badge above the side fenders look a little tacky and out of place, kind of like those fabricated STI and AMG badges enthusiasts like to put on their cars.
Speaking of wheels, a keen eye would've noticed that our test vehicle is equipped with the wrong set of wheels again. Check out our pictures, and you will see that our 335i GT is fitted with 18-inch Modern trim wheels, when the 335i GT is only optioned with 19-inch M-rims. The same thing happened with our 2014 BMW 435i xDrive test vehicle, so don't mind the mix-matched shoes.
To spice things up at the back, the 335i GT harbours an active rear spoiler that optimizes downforce and compromises for its pudgy rear-end. The spoiler automatically extends at speeds greater than 110 km/h, and will retract once back under 75 km/h. There is also a button on the side door panel to manually raise it as well and it's a button that you'll only push once. Don't bother retracting the spoiler, it just looks so damn good.
If you have ever been in a BMW, nothing here will surprise you. That's not to say we're not impressed. The fit and finish is excellent and I must admit, the exterior Alpine White colour combined with the Coral Red interior makes for one attractive concoction. The paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel give it a nice chunky feel, and makes our own 2012 Mercedes-Benz C250 steering wheel feel anorexic.
There is plenty of leg and headroom in the front, and surprisingly even more in the rear. I stand six feet tall, and for me the 335i sedan's rear seats never felt cramped, just cozy tight. Sitting in the back of a 335i GT however lets me stretch my legs out like I would in a 535i. The rear seats are also curved and blended together near the doors for a seamless leather seat that feels extremely plush and comfortable.
The main attraction of the 335i GT is its derrière. Less pronounced and chunky than its bigger sibling, the 535i GT, the trunk has an impressive 1600 litres of storage space with the rear 40:20:40 seats folded down. Folding those rear seats down can be done manually or through the easily accessible levers on the trunk wall.
While we're on the topic of convenience, the 335i GT comes with a feature known as Comfort Access which have been fitted in many of our BMW vehicles. Simply keep the keyfob in your pocket, stand in front of the trunk, kick your foot under the rear bumper, and the trunk door will open. It was a convenient feature when we got your hands tied with grocery bags and heavy items. Note that you actually have to kick the air under the bumper and retract your foot afterwards for it to work. We used to hover our foot side to side underneath and guess what? The trunk never magically opened for us. Lesson learned.
Like the BMW X5, we can also adjust the height of the trunk door using the iDrive interface. With 5 adjustable heights available, BMW wants to make sure you aren't smashing any ceilings with that electric powered tail.
I have driven many BMWs in the past, but this 335i GT has me befuddled. With a starting price of $56,990, it is $3190 more expensive than a regular sedan 335i xDrive, and $9140 more than a 328i Touring. But I don't think it makes sense comparing the GT to any 3-series. Rather, it should be compared to a 5-series, and that's when the price of the 335i GT starts to shine. A bigger boot and spacious front and rear seats, it makes for a delightful getaway family car.
The GT is in a class of its own and if you want a family-size BMW, but can't stand joining the Toronto bandwagon of 335i, A4, and C350 sedans, then this gran turismo might just do the trick.
型号 Model: 2014 BMW 335i GT xDrive
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $56,990
Price as Tested: $65,340
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2920
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4824 / 2047 / 1508
引擎 Engine: 3.0-liter inline six cylinder TwinPower Turbo
最大馬力 Horsepower-HP: 300 / 5800-6000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque-LB-FT: 300 / 1300-4500 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 8-speed automatic
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, AWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: MacPherson strut
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Multi-link
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: Vented disc
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: Vented disc
循跡操控系统 ABS/Traction Control: Standard
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km:
10.4 / 6.7 / 8.7 - we managed an average of 11.7 L/100km
輪胎尺碼 Tires: 18-inch rims, not the right ones - supposed to be 19-inch rims.