Our cars: BMW 3 Series GT - December

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  • 3 Series GT custodian John Bradshaw is a huge BBC 6Music fan. Thankfully, digital radio is standard on every model

    3 Series GT custodian John Bradshaw is a huge BBC 6Music fan. Thankfully, digital radio is standard on every model

  • On/off switch for BMW traffic alerts makes it easy to mute the updates when you don't want them

    On/off switch for BMW traffic alerts makes it easy to mute the updates when you don't want them

  • iDrive infotainment controller helps make BMW's system the best that John has come across

    iDrive infotainment controller helps make BMW's system the best that John has come across

  • Our 3 Series GT's first service cost £240, although the pricey engine oil was £83 alone

    Our 3 Series GT's first service cost £240, although the pricey engine oil was £83 alone

  • A rear wiper isn't fitted as it wouldn't work well, so John sometimes has to clean the rear screen by hand before driving

    A rear wiper isn't fitted as it wouldn't work well, so John sometimes has to clean the rear screen by hand before driving

  • Manual gearbox in our 318d GT is a disappointment: notchy, firm and it transmits too much vibration

    Manual gearbox in our 318d GT is a disappointment: notchy, firm and it transmits too much vibration

  • Adjustable opening height of the automatic tailgate is a boon if your garage has a low roof

    Adjustable opening height of the automatic tailgate is a boon if your garage has a low roof

  • You can fold the door mirrors in even once you've switched off the engine - it's a little touch that makes everyday life easier

    You can fold the door mirrors in even once you've switched off the engine - it's a little touch that makes everyday life easier

  • Clever adaptive headlights come as part of a pricey Visibility Pack. Are they worth the money?

    Clever adaptive headlights come as part of a pricey Visibility Pack. Are they worth the money?

  • 40/20/40 split folding seats means there's still room for two people in the back row

    40/20/40 split folding seats means there's still room for two people in the back row

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BMW 318d GT Modern

Week ending December 20
Mileage 15,145
Driven this week 275


BMW 3 Series GT review

In the last update I told you about a worthy addition from the options list, but this week I've found something in the 3 Series GT that's both clever and - thankfully - fitted as standard.

All 3 Series GTs come with an automatic electrically-operated tailgate, which is just as well considering how vast the hatch is. When it's fully open, there are some colleagues who probably wouldn't be able to grab it to pull it back down again - one push of a button is just what you want in this case.

However, while a powered hatch is very useful on its own, the really neat addition is the 'Opening height adjustment' feature. It's hidden in the sub-menus in the BMW's iDrive system, but once you've found it, it's a doddle to change the default height that the hatch raises to when you press the open button.

A colleague who has a garage with a low access height said that this would be an absolute boon for him - knowing that the hatch would never scrape the roof when getting something out of the back.

Now, I think it's time to delve back into that sub menu and see what other clever features I can find over the Christmas holidays.

By John Bradshaw
John.Bradshaw@whatcar.com

Week ending December 6
Mileage 14,670
Driven this week 470


BMW 3 Series GT review

My long-term BMW 3 Series GT is not cheap. In fact, its 'price as tested' of £41,945 makes it one of the most expensive cars on the What Car? fleet.

The list price for the 318d GT version is £30,910, but ours has an eye-watering £11,035 of options. Having such a highly specified car for a manufacturer press launch - as ours was used on - isn't unusual, though. What's more, having so many toys included means there are more settings for me to test and experiment with.

One of the most convenient extras I've been using recently is the powered folding door mirrors. Many other cars have this feature - some as standard, some as an option - but few have a set-up as useful as the BMW's. Let me explain.

In other cars I've driven with this feature, I've often parked up and switched off the engine before I think to fold in the mirrors. Usually, that triggers an annoying exercise of slotting the key back into the steering column, switching on the electrics again and pressing the button - then turning it all off again.

However, the BMW makes this process utterly painless. Even if you'll pulled up and switched off the engine, the button still functions. The BMW stays in a standby mode until you've hopped out of the car and locked it, which means it's the work of a moment to fold in the mirrors as an afterthought.

The electric folding mirrors, which also automatically dim drivers' headlights behind you at night, are a £300 option on any 3 Series GT model. If you often park in narrow streets or bays, or if you do a lot of night-time driving, then I think it's worth the extra cost.

By John Bradshaw
John.Bradshaw@whatcar.com

Our cars: BMW 3 Series GT - November

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