The 3GT is on its way out, and there is the latest 3 Series Gran Limousine in its place. Only to make it clear, more than an all-new car, this is a new version, but much stays the same. The exterior style, the LED headlamps, the broad kidney grille, but not obnoxiously so signature, and even the tail lamps are the same as the standard sedan of the 3 Series. The distinction lies in its length, the extended wheelbase more precisely. It will now find a home in India to become the first right-hand-drive long-wheelbase BMW 3 Series version to be offered here, a model designed for the Chinese market.
The Gran Limousine is an extended wheelbase variant of the standard 3 Series sedan, which means an overall length increase of 120 mm, a wheelbase expansion of 110 mm, and, most notably, a 43 mm rear legroom increase. And this rear space improvement should make it clear that the Gran Limousine 3 Series has been built for those who are trying to spend a large amount of time traveling around.
With additional padding, BMW has made the rear seats a little more spacious, but aside from that, much of the comfort aspects remain the same. So you get a few other fast USB charging ports, dedicated climate control with just two vents, ambient lighting, a storage armrest, a few cup holders, and a panoramic sunroof to make the cabin feel airier.
You will also enjoy driving the 3 Series Gran Limousine, just in case you wish to change seats with your chauffeur. You are welcomed with a driver-focused dashboard and, in this case, under the hood, a 2.0-liter turbo-diesel. As soon as you step on the throttle, this engine produces 190bhp and 400Nm of torque, which allows for a brisk speed. The automatic transmission 8-speed torque converter changes pretty easily and you can still press the Sport button on the center console for a touch of extra oomph and experience a tad more immediacy from the throttle action along with quicker shifts.
The steering response is sharp and goes well with the suspension configuration that bends towards a stiffer ride, even though, considering the Gran Limousine’s emphasis on rear-seat comfort, we would have wanted the ride quality to be a little plusher. On the road, you can feel the undulations, but in the front or at the back it never gets uncomfortable.
There is also a 2.0-liter, 330i turbo-petrol trim that makes 258bhp and 400Nm along and definitely promises to spend more time in the driver’s seat, yet this 320d trim we’ve driven strikes a great balance of luxury and pleasant results, compromising none of its BMW driving experience and still providing a little more if we’re going to spend more of your days in the backseat.