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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0

With three petrol units and two diesel engines, there are varying levels of BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo performance.

Petrol power

The entry-level petrol engine is the four-cylinder 184bhp 2.0-litre version, known as the 320i. To overtake in safety you will have to drop a cog or two since the engine doesn’t feel particularly powerful.

It will get from zero to 62mph in 7.9s when mated to either the manual six-speed or eight-speed auto ‘box and it has a top speed of 143mph, or 142mph with the automatic gearbox.

Select the four-cylinder BMW 328i and the 245bhp 2.0-litre engine can complete the benchmark sprint in 6.1 seconds when mated to either the manual six-speed or eight-speed auto ‘box. It has an electronically limited top speed of 155mph.

The flagship petrol engine is the six-cylinder 3.0-litre with an output of 304bhp. This is called the 335i, and will get from zero to 62mph in 5.7 seconds when mated to the six-speed manual gearbox or 5.4 seconds when mated to the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox.

It will go on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph with either the manual or auto ‘box. Nipping in and out of traffic is child’s play thanks to the 400Nm of pulling power.

Diesel power

The entry-level diesel is available in the 318d. This 2.0-litre engine has an output of 142bhp. It can get from a standing start to 62mph in 9.7 s with the manual ‘box (9.7s with the auto gearbox) and has a top speed of 130mph.

Topping the diesel line-up is the 182bhp 2.0-litre engine powering the 320d. Sprint times are respectable – 0-62mph in 8.0s (or 7.9 with the auto ‘box) - and it will go on to a top speed of 143mph (or 140mph with the auto gearbox). This version has 380Nm of pulling power, but we think you will have to drop a gear or two to overtake slower traffic.

On the road the 3 Series GT is not as good to drive as either sibling, the 3 Series saloon or the 3 Series Touring.

However, this is a different proposition. This car is more about practicality than trying to attempt to be the ‘ultimate driving machine’ – and customers should be fairly happy with the mix.

The steering is direct and is well weighted, especially when you switch from the default Comfort setting to the Sport or Sport+ settings. For a large car it corners well. Yes, there is a little body roll, but that is to be expected given its size and ride height when comparing to a 3 Series Touring.

When driving enthusiastically the front-end grips really well. On motorways the ride is excellent while road and tyre noise is minimal, although the large wing mirrors get buffeted quite a bit by the wind.