You often are forced into compromises when buying a car. If it’s a small SUV you’re looking for, perhaps handling is a little lacking.
Or if you decide on a sedan, what about the missing space needed for a family holiday, complete with kids, luggage and the dog?
I have just been driving a vehicle that somehow seems to have all bases covered… it’s the 2017 BMW 330i GT (or Gran Turismo).
It drives and handles like a sedan - a 3 Series at that - but that swoopy hatchback gives it plenty of carrying space, much like an SUV.
There’s even ample leg room in the back, so rear seat adult passengers won’t feel as though they’re being punished for some transgression!
Oh, and it’s from a prestige European manufacturer, so you get that coveted badge for good measure.
This impressive car is part of BMW’s much loved 3 Series range.
It is good looking, lovely attention to detail, with a finely crafted grille and headlights.
At first I found the rear-end somewhat bulbous, even lumpy; but then who am I to talk!
However, after a few days, I began to appreciate the looks.
Overall, the 330i GT is handsome with a strong, bold presence.
Check out the cabin. Quality materials abound, the neat, functional lines of the dash and instrumentation are what you would expect from BMW, the seating is comfortable.
The model I tested came with all the safety features you could wish for.
There’s the head-up display, showing speed and simple navigation instructions in the driver’s line of sight.
The all important blind-spot monitoring, warnings about lane departure, imminent collisions, cross traffic when reversing… the works!
You certainly get a feeling of reassurance, and the delightful 2.0 litre turbocharged engine will get you along quite swiftly, 0-100kph in 6.1 seconds, and it’s frugal as well.
The all-new iDrive 5 system, pinched from the top of the range 7-Series BMW, is easy and looks great with new icons replacing the older text menus.
It’s a breeze to use the sat-nav, and the phone synchs up with a minimum of fuss.
I have been trying to think of anything lacking in this car - major or minor. So far, nothing.
Functional, comfortable, great handling, nice engine and transmission, beautiful fit and finish… everything you would get in a BMW 3 Series, with lots of added space. What’s not to like? Well perhaps the price.
The car as tested was $71,020 before on-roads, a figure beyond the reach of many family budgets.
But if it is the kind of car you’re looking for, and you can manage the asking price, why not take it for a spin.
I think you could be pleasantly surprised.
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo-petrol producing 185kW/350Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $77,900