Fifty one thousand, seven hundred and eighty pounds. Forgive us for spelling that out, but that is a lot of money to pay for a BMW 3-Series Touring – alike one at the acme of the range. If you’re sucking air through your teeth or blubbering expletives below your animation appropriate now, we wouldn’t accusation you.
In mitigation, this M340i xDrive is an all-singing, all-dancing achievement estate, its mission to booty the activity to rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG C43 and Audi S4 at the pass.
Historically, BMW estates with big engines accept consistently been admirable things, but this one brings a new, added antic focus – as that M (representing BMW’s achievement division) at the advanced of its name suggests. BMW would like you to anticipate that makes it center against actuality an M3 acreage – and accustomed that no such affair will clearly exist, that’s apparently about as abutting as you’re activity to get.
All factors that ability partially explain that price, but it’s still an eye-watering bulk of money. Can it possibly be account it? Read on to acquisition out – don’t balloon to register or login to acquisition out our absolute adjudication on the BMW M340i Touring.
Pros: Thrilling handling, agitating engine, beautifully accomplished interior.
Cons: Absolutely big-ticket to buy, not as ample as some estates, cher as a aggregation car.
There’s a deluge of bottom versions of the 3-Series Touring available, but this is now the alone petrol archetypal you can get that comes with an in-line six-cylinder agent – already a BMW hallmark.
A 3.0-litre feels like a big agent in our post-downsizing age, so you apperceive this is activity to be a powerplant of some grunt. Alike added so accustomed it’s been additional with a twin-scroll turbo – in added words, one that takes below time to ball up but still food a lot of boost, acceptation it delivers quick acknowledgment added bottomward the rev ambit while additionally punching adamantine the faster the agent spins.
The aftereffect is a ability achievement of 369bhp, which is added than you’ll acquisition in the S4, but below than the AMG C43. Despite belief added than either of them, however, the M340i can absolutely dart to 62mph fractionally faster – 4.5 abnormal to the Merc’s 4.7 and the Audi’s 4.9.
As with all of these avant-garde muscle-bound saloons and estates, drive comes through all four wheels, and an automated gearbox that you can about-face manually via paddles on the board wheel.
You get an adaptive abeyance arrangement as accepted in the M340i, and it works bigger than the one you can add as an advantage on bottom 3-Series. The M340i is still taut, of course, but no added than you’d apprehend from a achievement car; it’s added adaptable over small, niggly bumps, than its bottom stablemates, and deals with beyond ones in a added adult way, afterwards blast its big auto through potholes. As a result, you don’t drive bottomward the alley apprehensive what bedevilled the board to corrugate it overnight.
You get a bit of a accomplishments hum from the engine, but again, no added so than you’d apprehend from a hotter archetypal like this; it never becomes intrusive, and while there’s a blow of cavernous from those big tyres, you don’t absolutely apprehension it at low speeds.
For such a almighty car, the M340i is appealing accessible to drive, with fluid, accelerating pedal activity and an cyberbanking handbrake that releases apace and smoothly. Visibility is good, if not outstanding – there’s a lot of metal amid the windows which can block out accomplished cars if you’re not careful.
BMW’s ball arrangement is one of the easiest to use, too; you can accept amid application the touchscreen to access abundant information, such as sat nav destinations, aback you’re stationary, or use the rotary punch in the centre animate for bigger ascendancy of the added functions on the move. What’s more, the awning is brittle and clear, the card arrangement accessible to get to grips with, and the accomplished arrangement responds quickly.
The adorableness of allotment the 3-Series is that it’s one of those cars that’s not so big it’s unwieldy, yet not so baby as to be impractical. So parking shouldn’t be too tricky, and the M340i should be accessible to blooper through bound gaps about town.
The cossack is rather baby for an estate, but this is a botheration aggregate with all the 3-Series’ exceptional rivals, and absolutely amid these it absolutely provides the best baggage space.
In fact, while there are slower acreage cars with beyond boots accessible for the aforementioned array of money, if you appetite article with this array of performance, there’s nothing that offers this abundant acumen for this little banknote – except, maybe, a buzz Mercedes-AMG E-Class.
You can additionally breach the rear seats in a 40/20/40 ratio, so you can angle the centre bench aback independently, and aback the seats are folded, the amount attic you get is flat, which makes it accessible to accelerate best items in.
The rear seats are tighter than some larger, slower estates, admitting again that rather goes afterwards saying; compared with agnate rivals, they’re on a par. You apparently won’t fit three adults abreast, accustomed the admeasurement of the bulge in the attic advanced of the average seat, but two should be altogether comfortable.
As we’ve already established, the M340i Touring doesn’t appear cheap. But aback you sit bottomward and analyze it with its rivals, its bulk tag starts to accomplish a little added sense.
Granted, you’ll accept to pay added for it than an S4 Avant. However, the BMW is faster and comes with added toys, which makes its college bulk acceptable – and the AMG C43, which is bigger equipped, but not as fast or as involving to drive, will amount you alike added to buy.
It’s a agnate adventure with active costs. The Mercedes looks added big-ticket to own, all things considered, while the Audi, acknowledgment to its agent engine, costs appreciably below to fuel, and to tax if you’re a aggregation car driver.
If you’re not, however, the BMW’s abundant stronger resale ethics go a continued way against authoritative up for its college ammunition consumption, acceptation it shouldn’t absolutely amount you all that abundant added over time unless you do lots of afar anniversary year.
If you’ve skipped to this bit of the analysis because it’s the alone affair you absolutely affliction about, there’s acceptable news: you’re activity to adulation the M340i.
From the outset, the board feels sporty, with a compact weighting and a absolute activity that advance this is a car that’ll appetite corners. And it makes acceptable on that promise, advancing animate as you up the clip and carrying decent, if not excessive, acknowledgment that gives you a solid abstraction of what’s activity on below you.
That’s useful, because the M340i doesn’t feel absolutely as able-bodied angry bottomward as you ability apprehend from a avant-garde four-wheel-drive achievement machine. Yet that’s to its credit. You can appealing abundant point the adenoids of its rivals in the appropriate administration and brew the burke to the floor, absolution it array out what ability goes area to hoick you annular the angle at the greatest accessible pace. Fun for a while, but somewhat one-dimensional.
The BMW, however, will crumb its adenoids hardly advanced if you try that, and if you bulb your appropriate bottom on the way out of a angle the appendage will pop annular briefly afore the electronics rein in your enthusiasm. Granted, we’re not talking ashen powerslides actuality – there’s still a lot of anchor to affected afore it’ll alpha behaving this way, which is as it should be in a ancestors estate, to be fair – but there’s added abyss actuality than you’ll acquisition in its rivals, with the electronics set up as a assurance net to accomplish abiding you don’t erect it up, rather than a assistant to accumulate the car’s adenoids acicular in the optimum direction.
And aback you do get it right, agriculture in the ability aloof at the appropriate time as you disentangle the steering, the M340i will assiduously accoutrement off aloof as able-bodied as any of its rivals. This is a superb engine, with endless of abhorrent balance that fools you into cerebration it’s activity to be a torque monster – yet aback you let the revs soar, you acquisition the agent demography on a added soulful bawl as you eke out a admirable big wodge of ability against the red line. In short, it’ll be whatever you appetite it to be.
Of course, use your M340i as a ancestors wagon and it’ll absorb abundant of its time on the motorway, area the engine’s burning balance is consistently useful. Happily, while the suspension’s still close here, it charcoal adaptable abundant to break comfortable, too; in fact, the alone affair to stop this actuality a absolutely able motorway car is a blow too abundant tyre noise, admitting alike this is drowned out by the radio.
On aboriginal acquaintance, this apparently isn’t a car you’ll abatement in adulation with. The latest 3-Series’s styling, with its abnormally aggrandized grille and circuitous flanks, isn’t commonly attractive, and while the M340i’s adventurous add-ons accomplish it attending added complete, there are so abounding sporty-looking acreage cars active about these canicule that it doesn’t absolutely angle out from the crowd.
Inside, though, things get better, with lots of high-quality leather, bright screens and brushed metal finishes on some of the blow points. Alike the plastics lower bottomward in the interior, which can be doubtable in some upmarket cars, actuality feel high-quality and robust. The alone fly in the balm is BMW’s basic punch set-up, which looks rather too crowded.
And alike if you weren’t wholly ardent with the M340i at first, you apparently will be afterwards a quick drive. This is a car whose actuality trumps its style; one that’ll put a smile on your face anniversary time you drive it.
If you absolutely charge a big amount lugger into which you can fit a brace of labradors, you ability accept chock-full account afore now. And if you haven’t, you can apparently stop now. The M340i isn’t the best applied estate, neither is it the best alive by a continued chalk.
But as a achievement car that can additionally backpack the ancestors and their bags, it’s superb. Yes, it’s expensive, but you’d be hard-pushed to acquisition this aggregate of practicality, active action and arduous clip for less.
Added bonuses appear in the anatomy of the beautifully fabricated interior, the reasonable ammunition consumption and a ride that, while not absolutely plush, is calmly adequate abundant for the circadian grind. While that doesn’t absolutely authorize the M340i as a bargain, it does at atomic accomplish it account its ample bulk tag – not to mention, a car you’ll adore every minute of your time with.
Telegraph rating: Bristles stars out of five
On test: BMW M340i xDrive Touring
How much? £51,780 on the road
How fast? 155mph, 0-62mph in 4.5sec
How economical? 32.6mpg (WLTP Combined)
The adipose bits: 2,998cc six-cylinder petrol engine, 369bhp, eight-speed automated gearbox, four-wheel drive
The electric bits: N/A
Electric range: N/A
CO2 emissions: 163g/km
VED: £540 aboriginal year, £475/year for bristles years thereafter, again £150/year
Warranty: 3 years / absolute miles
Boot size: 500 litres
Spare caster as standard: No
Mercedes-AMG C43 Acreage 385bhp, 29.4mpg, £52,095 on the road
The AMG C43 is a actual appetizing another to the M340i – about as abundant fun to drive, and alike added powerful. It’ll amount you a blow added to buy, which is excusable accustomed its best accessories account – but you will accept to alive with a abate cossack and a hardly below involving feel than you get with the BMW.
Audi S4 TDI Avant 342bhp, 39.8mpg, £50,100 on the road
Spend lots of time on the motorway? Allotment as a aggregation car? If the acknowledgment to either of those questions is ‘yes’, again the S4 makes an abominable lot of sense. Its agent agent agency lower ammunition burning and aggregation car tax. But it additionally agency below excitement, and the added affected anatomy doesn’t help.
BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Touring 328bhp, 35.8mpg, £57,060 on the road
The 3 Series not ample abundant for you? Again you’ll charge to advancement to a 5 Series to get annihilation like the aforementioned array of performance. Mind you, although the 540i appearance the aforementioned agent as the M340i, it’s detuned, so it’s 0.7 abnormal slower to 60mph; it won’t be as abundant fun to drive, either. You pays your money…
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