BMW 3-Series has been the brand's marque that has garnered a lot of praise not only in India but globally. However, it faces serious challenge from segment best seller Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the onslaught for multiple luxury SUVs in the similar price bracket. To counter such competition, the Bavaria based carmaker introduced 3-Series Gran Coupe as a more lifestyle version of the 3-Series.
However, that model has been discontinued globally and BMW is looking to replace it with another lifestyle oriented sedan. In comes the BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine. The extended wheelbase version promises better legroom and additional comfort and taps a big segment which is catered mostly by 5-Series and E-Class EWB. We got a chance to drive the model recently to understand what all BMW is offering in the Limo spec and how different it is from the regular 3-Series.
Here's our BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine Test Drive Review-
The thing with the 3-series Gran Limousine design is that it resembles the regular 3-series to the core barring the increased wheelbase to enhance the cabin space. The 3-series limo gets 110mm longer wheelbase, which makes it the longest sedan in its segment and is just 171mm shy of being proper 5-metre sedan. A height of 1463mm gives it’s a low slung stance.
The rest of the elements are mostly the same. At the front is the large BMW kidney grille enclosed in chrome surrounding and gets vertical chrome slats as well. Then is the BMW twin LED headlights with DRLs. The fronts also gets chrome surrounded horizontal T shaped air intakes to add sporty touch.BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine front profile. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
At the side is the elongated wheelbase and all of 110mm are added to the rear doors for easy in and out of the sedan. A couple of body lines adds to the length while 17-inch V-spoke alloys looks classy. The rear gets a rich looking profile thanks to dual chrome mufflers, large wraparound tail lamps, horizontal T-elements and spoiler mimicking boot.
Moving inside the cabin, since the biggest change is the cabin space, we will start by talking rear seats. While I am someone who loves to drive a car myself, especially when it is a Beemer, sitting at the rear seats of the 3-series gran limo makes me realise it's not a bad place either. It's actually a fabulous place thanks to additional wheelbase and more comfortable seats. The additional wheelbase has liberated 43 mm of more legroom at the rear seats.BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine cabin. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The seats, both at the front and back offer sumptuous cushioning and adds to the luxury touch thanks to Vernasca leather upholstery. The airy cabin with panoramic sunroof gives a sense of relaxed environment when seating at the rear seat, a target audience BMW is looking to tap.
Feature wise, the 3-series gran limousine gets ambient lighting, 3-zone climate control, a 12.3-Inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-Inch centrally mounted touchscreen infotainment system, wireless charging among others.
The two tone cabin with aluminium brushed elements adds to the finesse with the storage spaces are ample to keep your stuff. Boot space is rated at 480-litres.BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine gets additional 110 mm wheelbase. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
There are two engine options available in the BMW 3-Series Gran Limo - a 2-litre twin turbo petrol unit producing 258 bhp and 400 Nm torque and a 2.0-litre diesel unit producing 190 bhp and 400 nm torque. Both the engines are mated to a 8-speed gearbox and like the regular 3-Series.
The model we got for our test drive run was the 320 Ld powered by diesel engine and I absolutely loved driving it, like I have been enjoying all the BMW cars off late. While I initially felt that the increased length has reduced some amount of driving fun from this limo version as compared to regular 3-series, this car grows on you slowly.BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine gets additional 2 engine options, both twin-turbo 2.0L. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The car behaves in a very posh way if driven accordingly. However, there are driving modes like ECO, Comfort, Sport and Sport + to fiddle around and change driving dynamics on touch of a button. The ride quality is supreme and you hardly notice any external ambience creep inside the cabin. The suspension is on a softer side to soak in most of the bumps and give a plush ride quality. The steering, as usual, offers a balanced handling.
Safety wise, the BMW 3-series Gran limousine gets six airbags, Attentiveness Assistance, ABS with Brake Assist, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), among others.BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine rear profile. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The new BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine makes a good case for anyone looking to buy a luxury with generous rear cabin space and comfort, but don't wanna spend money on a 5-Series. Being a beemer also means you get additional driving fun, if are willing to occasionally switch seats with your chauffeur. To conclude, the BMW 3-Series Gran Limousine is a perfect sedan for people who prefer to sit both at the front and the back seats.