David Glazier (L) of Fleet Transportation in Alexandria, Va., picked up two BMW 328i xDrive GT sedans on Oct. 22 from sales rep Hossein Alavi of BMW of Alexandria ([email protected]
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — If you told limo operators that you have a BMW 3-Series in your fleet, most would look a bit stunned at first. After all, the 3-Series is BMW’s smallest and lowest-priced, compact-category of vehicles.
But if you then learned it has 39.2 inches of rear seat legroom, 18.4 cubic feet of cargo area, gets a combined 26 mpg, puts out 240 horsepower on a 4-cylinder engine with AWD, and costs about $36,000, you might do another double-take.
That was the revelation for David and Stacey Glazier, owners of Fleet Transportation in Alexandria, Va., and 2014 LCT Operator of the Year Award winners. The Glaziers became the first limousine operators in the U.S. to buy the BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo for their chauffeured transportation fleet. In fact, they got two of them and put them into service on Oct. 23.
The model became part of the BMW Limousine & Hotel Shuttle Program in February, said Marco Schneider, key account manager for VIP and specialty sales at BMW Group.
BMW Limousine & Hotel Shuttle Program Fact Sheet
“The amount of luggage that fits in there is fabulous,” David Glazier told LCT. “Golf bags fit in the width of the car in the luggage bay. The flexibility of the hatch has been great. The beauty of it is it’s a luxury car. The demographic of the client who rides in these cars are getting into a car similar in quality to what they are driving on a daily basis.”
The GT body style and hatchback on the BMW 328i xDrive Gran Turismo allows for 18.4 cubit feet of cargo space, enabling a set of golf clubs to span the width of the cargo area.
So far, the clients have been surprised that this model has so much legroom, Glazier said. That’s because it’s built on an extended chassis of the 3-Series that originated with BMW models built for the Chinese market, Schneider said.
In fact, one Fleet Transportation client even asked if the chauffeur had enough legroom and needed to move his seat back because he thought the 3-Series was cramming him in the front, Glazier said.
“They are very, very surprised when the door is opened and they get in. The car has a cozy feel but is large enough. We wanted the flexibility of a hatchback, but the appearance more of a traditional sedan style.”
As of Oct. 29, Glazier reports the BMWs have logged 900 miles, and gotten a combined 26 mpg. On airport runs to Baltimore-Washington International and Dulles International, the cars have achieved 29 mpg. Fuel economy for the model is officially rated at 22 mpg city / 33 mpg highway.
Operator David Glazier reports clients are pleasantly surprised by the legroom on the extended wheelbase version of the 3-Series.
The 39.2 inches of rear seat legroom surpasses the 36.1 inches for a BMW 5-Series sedan, while the 18.4 cubic feet of cargo area exceeds the 17.6 cubic feet in a BMW 740Li sedan, two modelsalso part of the BMW Limousine Program, Schneider said. All BMWs come with 50,000 miles of free maintenance.
“We’re in a different world now,” Glazier said. “The Town Car doesn’t exist anymore, and people don’t’ drive in those big cars. You are not downsizing what people get into anyway. It’s a real first class situation.”LCT related article: BMW Adds 5-Series To Limo ProgramBMW 328i xDrive GT website here