It looks a bit odd, but the wagon-cum-hatchback delivers where it counts.
The GT badge is usually reserved for low, fast and impractical sportscars.
But BMW clearly thinks otherwise. It has slapped the moniker on exactly the opposite; a load-lugging family hatchback that's designed more for the back seat passengers than the driver.
It started with the awkward 5-Series GT and despite that not setting the sales charts alight it has extended the concept into the 3-Series range with a third body style that it says carries all the dynamic hallmarks of its sedan but amplifies the space of its wagon with even more cargo carrying capacity.
It is due to arrive in Australia in the middle of the year with a three-tier range all powered by 2.0-litre turbo fours - one diesel (320d) and two petrol models (320i and 328i) - all of which will command a slight premium over their sedan and wagon equivalents with prices starting at a little less than $70,000.
BMW says it took on board the criticism the 5GT generated and has consciously tried to make this one less polarising in its appearance.
At first glance, it's definitely not as ugly as its big brother but it is still a weird concept and you could hardly call it pretty. However, there are some neat touches that break up its slab-sided profile - such as the boomerang-shaped flutes in the front guards that functionally disturb the air flow for better aerodynamic performance, and frameless doors that help lower the overall profile.
The sloping roofline also manages to hide the fact it is 81mm taller than either the sedan or wagon and it does mask the extra 110mm in wheelbase and 200mm in overall length quite well. In isolation, it looks well proportioned but among a car park of small hatches and even compact SUVs it stands out as a pretty large car. And measuring over 4.8m, it is almost as long as a Holden Commodore.
From the driver's seat, it's a pretty familiar environment. It is noticeable that the seat height has been raised by 59mm with a commanding forward view of the road. It's a different story out the back though, as the steep rake of the rear windscreen creates a fairly small aperture that restricts rear vision. Thankfully all Australian-spec 3GTs will come fitted with a reversing camera and front and rear parking sensors as standard.
And it's a pretty familiar driving experience as well. The 135kW 2.0-litre turbo diesel in the entry level 320d has plenty of punch and with 400Nm on tap from just 1200rpm it has effortless overtaking ability.
But it's not the most refined engine when compared to other oilers out there. It rumbles into life and is noisy on start-up with the kind of agricultural diesel clacker that even farmers would be annoyed at with their tractors. The fact it does it constantly in city traffic with the stop-start system makes you want to turn it off and sacrifice the fuel savings.
The eight-speed auto, however, is a different kettle of fish. It is silky smooth and gear changes are almost imperceptible as it intuitively taps in to the engine's broad wave of torque.
The suspension settings are relatively comfortable too, the electric steering is light around town and weighty at highway speeds for better stability and the cabin is well insulated from road and wind noise, even with the big open space over the rear axle.
And that's the GT's trump card. There's a heap of rear legroom - to the point where the kids will feel like they're in a limousine - and the boot is both massive and easy to access with a multitude of tie-down options to keep the shopping from swaying around in there. The undercover storage compartment is ideal for smaller items or even carting home soggy swimmers from the beach.
Strangely, the 3-Series GT makes sense as a practical alternative to the current crop of compact SUVs and small luxury wagons.
But that's all it is; a unique alternative to those that dare to be different.