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BMW’s Grand take on a 3 Series

09.12.2014

I’LL be the first to admit that I didn’t really understand BMW’s new model line-up. Firstly, we have the stalwarts like the 3 Series as well as the 3 Series coupé which has now become the 4 series coupé. But added to this is a 3 Series Gran Turismo, 4 Series cabriolet and the car that I’ve been driving recently, the 4 Series Gran Coupé.

So here we have five vehicles based on the same mechanicals with slight tweaks here and there and yet, in terms of their target markets, they couldn’t be more different. The Gran Coupé I feel is targeted at someone who doesn’t need the space of a 5 Series but wants more status than an ordinary 3 Series provides. That being said, the Gran Coupé is close to R100 000 more than the equivalent 335i.

Let’s take a look at what you get for that extra layout. The fantastic sports automatic transmission is standard as is the rear-view camera, glass sunroof, sports seats, cruise control with brake function, SatNav, M Sports suspension and Xenon headlights, to name a few.

You receive a car that’s roughly 65kg heavier than the 3 Series; its boot remains unchanged at 480 litres, however, the boot in the Gran Coupé certainly looks and operates in a more suave coupé-esque manner. You also get coupé styling but with the addition of rear doors, which gives the Gran Coupé a stunning silhouette.

There’s less rear headroom in the Gran Coupé but you do get a car that’s lower and more aerodynamically efficient. You also get 18-inch wheels as standard when compared with the 17-inch items on the 335i. Overall, in terms of looks, the Gran Coupé has the 3 Series licked.

In terms of performance, the 435i feature the superb N55 turbo 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder that does the business in so many of the Bavarian brand’s models. With 225kW/400Nm there is certainly enough poke.

The 435i Gran Coupé was a car that I didn’t really see having much of a purpose and after a week with it I get it. I understand what BMW has done with the car and who it’s aimed at.

Article written by Sean Nurse
09.12.2014
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