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2020 BMW M340 i

$50,800
Portland
(1 Reviews)
(731) 689-7423
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Description

2020 BMW M340 review: Our expert's take

By Brian Wong

The BMW 3 Series is luxury sports sedan royalty. It’s the first car I think of when considering this class, and for good reason — it was the best for a good stretch of time. The BMW ran away from the luxury sports sedan field and won our 2013 Challenge in a landslide. That was the first Challenge that I participated in for Cars.com, and after driving each of the competitors, it was clear that the BMW was the class of the field. It accelerated harder, drove better and felt more refined.

 

But the crown has fallen on hard times of late. When we did the Luxury Sports Sedan Challenge again in 2017, the BMW 330i slipped all the way to sixth place. This was due in some part to a curious set of winter tires and strange options, but to me the bigger issue was that a new crop of contenders like the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Cadillac ATS had leapfrogged it — especially when it came to driving acumen.

Not winning a Challenge is one thing, but losing a Challenge and not being one of the three cars selected to be a part of our “fun to drive” rankings? Double ouch. And that Challenge occurred before my favorite current entrant in the class arrived and took home our Best of 2019 award: the Genesis G70.

In an effort to reclaim its place, BMW has redesigned the 3 Series for 2019, which marks the introduction of the G20 generation (the previous generation was dubbed the F30). It has a better interior, new technology and safety features, and (of course) new styling. Going through all of that will take some more time with the car, but I arrived in Palm Springs, Calif., with a simpler question in mind: Does the 3 Series get its mojo back?

I tested two versions of the new 3 Series, a 2019 330i and a 2020 M340i xDrive, in two very different environments — the 330i on the street, and the M340i on the track. (Per our ethics policy, Cars.com pays for its own lodging and transportation at such automaker-sponsored events.)

The M340i is a new 3 Series family member. A 340i was offered last year, but the addition of the letter “M” to the car is significant. The M340i goes up a level when it comes to performance, and it starts under the hood with a 382-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder that makes 369 pounds-feet of torque. Those represent gains of 62 hp and 39 pounds-feet of torque compared with 2018’s 340i and a lowering of the zero-to-60-mph time from 4.8 to 4.2 seconds.

As a part of the redesign, the 3 Series dropped its manual transmission option, which leaves an eight-speed automatic as the only transmission. It’s sad to lose another manual, but in our recent testing, our staff did not have kind words for the manual and I’m here to tell you the automatic is quite good. On the track, I left it to its own devices and it held gears and downshifted when I wanted it to without prompting, two things automatics usually have trouble with.

The M340i I tested also came with all-wheel drive (that’s the xDrive part of the name), but it operates with a clear rear-wheel-drive bias. BMW says that the system prioritizes sending power to the rear wheels, and it feels that way on the track. Only when you’re trying to put down some extra power on corner exit do you really feel the AWD help to pull the car out of the corner and sling it toward the next one with added impetus.

Driving on the track, the powertrain was the star of the show. The M340i has an earnest eagerness to its acceleration; power pours on quickly and carries through the long straightaways without letting up. It was also predictable, without any sudden spikes that could upset the car — if you’re precise with your foot, the engine’s output will match it.

The goodness of the powertrain doesn’t quite carry through to the rest of the driving experience. The notable issue I had was with the steering, which echoed a complaint that we had with the last generation of the 3 Series rears its head again here (as it did in the BMW Z4 I also evaluated recently). I found the M340i to have good balance on track, and the one I tested came with the optional adaptive suspension, which does a good job of limiting body roll and keeping the car neutral. But the steering is missing feedback, with a hint of vagueness that creeps up more noticeably the harder that you drive. It’s in those moments that I needed a bit more communication from the car, and the lack of response made me back off at times where I probably could have pushed the car further but couldn’t feel where the edge was.

The numerous powertrain and suspension updates to the new M340i make it a more capable car than the older 340i, without question. It’s really only the steering that holds the car back.

 

 

 

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Features

Price $50,800
Type Used Car
Exterior Color Silver
Interior Color Light Blue
Cylinder 8
Fuel Type Hybrid
Transmission Automatic
Engine Capacity 3000 CC
VIN UURI89328478
Body SUV
Seat 8
Wheel 4
Door 6
Mileage 12000 KM
Model Year 2020

Amenities

  • Bluetooth
  • Backup Camera
  • Sunroof Availability
  • Speech Voice Recognition
  • Blind Spot Monitoring
  • Cross Traffic Alert
  • Air Conditioning

Additional Features

Credit Card Accepted Yes
Valid Papers Required Yes

Contact Information

Address

3780 Ash Avenue
St Louis, MO 63101

Phone Number

(731) 689-7423

Email Address

info@fitness57.com

Reviews (1)

(Overall 5 Out of 5)
Peter Smith
10 Jul, 2021

First we thought that it was not good. But it changed our mind. It is very nice to ride.

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