BMW M340d review – M3 thrills for a fraction of the price?

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BMW M340i buying guide

Clued-up car spotters will give the M340i knowing appreciation, but everyone else will just see a 3 Series – and won’t know that you have 374 rampant Bavarian horses at your disposal.

So, while your eye might be drawn to the M340i’s 4.4-second 0-62mph time, there’s plenty more to like. Being a beefed-up 3 Series, you still get state-of-the-art infotainment software, space for four adults and a big boot. It’ll settle down to a cruise much more readily than the gnarling M3, too.

What is the BMW M340i trim level?

The BMW M340i is a halfway house between a standard 3 Series and the full-bore M3. It’s marked out by 19-inch alloy wheels, shaped wing mirrors and bronze grilles – although you can also have these in gloss black for a moodier look.

Standard equipment includes DAB radio, heated sports seats, high-beam assist, parking assistance, multi-zone climate control, cruise control and ambient lighting.

BMW M340i interior and technology

Really, there’s not much difference between the interior of the M340i and a lesser-powered BMW 3 Series in M Sport trim. You won’t find lots of exclusive badging like in the M3, and the materials and trim finishers used are largely carried over from the standard 3 Series.

That’s no bad thing, as the interior of the 3 Series is one of its many high points. It’s high tech and high quality, with all cars getting two huge screens and leather upholstery.

BMW M340i boot space and dimensions

The four-wheel-drive M340i doesn’t lose any boot space to two-wheel-drive versions, so you still get a very useful 480 litres to fill. There’s also an M340i estate, which slightly increases boot capacity but also adds a more versatile tailgate.

The 3 Series saloon measures in at 4.7 metres long. While smaller cars might be easier to squeeze into tight car parking spaces, the 3 Series can park in a space by itself if you want it to.

BMW M340i engine range explained

BMW M340i 3.0 petrol

The M340i uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine, linked to BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system. This gives a bit extra all-weather confidence – handy when you’ve got 374hp under your right foot – and enables a rapid getaway that’ll embarrass a good few sports cars. When you’re not enjoying its huge performance, the M340i should be able to achieve 35mpg on a long drive.

BMW M340i FAQs

The M340i is new for this generation of 3 Series, and comes as a four-door saloon – which is the most common – or a five-door estate with a bigger boot. The previous-generation 3 Series had the 340i (no M), which had a similarly powerful engine but rear-wheel drive only – making it a bit of a handful if you floor it on wet roads.

Combining the existing qualities of the 3 Series with sports car performance gives the M340i plenty of appeal. You’ll have to overlook its fairly high fuel running costs – which is to be expected given its huge power – but one drive will convince many buyers that the M340i is worth every penny.

We’d say so. Being able to accelerate from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds makes the M340i a real beast, and you can enjoy its power on the motorway or on a flowing back road. While it doesn’t have the immediate acceleration of, say, a Tesla Model 3, the M340i is still fast enough to keep up with junior supercars.

Like every BMW 3 Series, the huge amount of on-board tech means that electrical issues could potentially pop up from time to time – but we’d expect the majority of cars to be trouble-free for plenty of time to come. Mechanically the M340i and related 3 Series are seen to be reliable, although you can enjoy extra peace of mind by taking out an extended warranty.

We wouldn’t call the M340i a luxury car – that’s a term usually saved for high-end limousines and Range Rovers. The M340i definitely has a premium feel, with lots of leather and metal trim and impressive tech. We’d also say the M340i has huge reserves of power, giving you acceleration on demand – which is also a characteristic of most luxury cars.