With the 2020 BMW M340i, you get an everyday car that can set your pulses racing with its awesome horsepower. This is a sports sedan, and then some.
Fans of the BMW brand may have noticed that the cars that carry the M badge these days seem to offer an increasing (and increasingly ridiculous) number of horses under the hood. That charge is led by the monstrous M5 Competition, which offers a mind-boggling 617 horsepower. The M versions of the X3 and X4 also feature an inline-6 engine capable of giving you 503 horsepower.
This preoccupation with boosting the horsepower seems to have carried over to the 3-Series, which still sets the standard for sports sedans these days. The new 2020 BMW M340i has received the M treatment as well, and this means that you get a monster with your sports sedan.
Engine and Speed
Under the hood of the 2020 BMW M340i, you have an engine that’s destined to be regarded as one of the greats. Here you have the 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine. This is also enhanced with BMW’s new 48V mild hybrid technology, which increases the eBoost power even while it enhances the efficiency.
As a result, you get 382 horses. That’s up from 355 HP from the year before, which seemed already too much for some. But then again, for some people there’s really no such thing as too much horsepower.
This is good enough to get the car up to 60 mph in just 3.8. seconds. That’s with the rear-drive version, though you can get the all-wheel drive as an option.
Step on the gas pedal and it won’t let you down. Overtaking won’t be too much of an issue, since you can get from 30 mph to 50 mph in a mere 2.4 seconds. Basically, by the time you get into the passing lane, you have to think about getting right back to the right lane.
Smooth Comfy Ride
This 2020 version of the 3-series is longer between the wheels and in overall length, and it sits a few inches lower to the ground. It’s wider, too.
Yet somehow, it drives like it’s a nimble small car. It won’t have trouble with winding roads, and it takes on corner turns without too much body roll. The standard M340i rear differential keeps the back end in line. The traction control functions smoothly as well.
This also offers lots of space that actual adults need. Get a long tape measure and you’ll find that you have 35.2 actual inches for your legs. In comparison, the E90 only offers 34.6 inches of leg room. All in all, the seats are supportive and comfy, and you get a more natural seating position that’s better for long trips.
Even the folks sitting at the back shouldn’t have too much to complain about, even if you’re a large person with a 6-ft build. The person behind you should be able to sit comfortably, though their knees will undoubtedly set against your seat. All in all, 4 adults should be able to fit inside without a lot of whining.
You won’t even have to complain about the mileage. It’s not a gas guzzler. We’ve tried out this car for more than 300 miles, with lots of hard driving. We didn’t baby this at all, and we still got more than 26 miles per gallon.
So, what’s wrong with the 2020 BMW M340i?
For one, there’s too much plastic inside the cabin. This rubberized, synthetic plastic is all over the dashboard and doors, and it makes the inside feel cheap. It’s easy to get frustrated especially when you check out the much nicer interiors in the Audi and Mercedes-Benz competition.
Also, old fogeys like us want the option to get a manual transmission. Sure, the 8-speed transmission in the 2020 BMW M340i is so good that you wonder if it’s reading your mind. But manual transmission for many is the true epitome of actual driving. For now, we have no choice but to wait for the M3 to get the manual transmission.
Finally, there’s the price which may be a real issue. The M340i Sedan starting price is at $54,700 and that goes up to $56,700 with the xDrive all-wheel drive. Then you add the adaptive dampers and all the other add-ons, and then you look up and you now have a total cost of close to $70,000. Seriously.
The 2020 BMW M340i looks great, offers comfortable seating, drives like mad, and offers terrific handling. Even with the plastic everywhere, it’s a terrific car.
The main issue is that for the same money, you can get the same performance and features with the 2020 BMW X3 M40i. Except that the X3 is bigger and more practical. The only reason you’d go with the M340i Sedan is because you love sedans. But if you want value for your money, then it’s hard to overlook the alternative X3 instead.
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