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View Poll Results: Which BMW?
530d 237 59.10%
M340i 164 40.90%
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Old 7th April 2021, 10:25   #1
GTO
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Default The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

A friend wants to buy a BMW and called me with his dilemma. Fellow has driven my remapped 530d and totally loves it. I told him the G30 drives even better. Now he read our M340i review and is royally confused.

The way that I see it, the 530d is from a segment higher, has finer quality, better interiors, a bigger footprint, diesel fuel economy (a big plus when touring long distance - M340i is a guzzler), comfortable ride quality (stiff M340i makes you feel everything on the road) and is fun to drive (but not as much fun as the M340i).

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On the other hand, the M340i is unbeatable for the sheer pleasure on tap, it's waaaaaay more fun to drive with that glorious motor going to 7,000 rpm and a 0 - 100 time of 4.4 seconds, the AWD offers beautiful poise and that tasty exhaust note sounds awesome. My friend intends to use his purchase as a family car and hence, the main downside vis à vis the 530d is the stiffer ride quality & fuel guzzling nature.

The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i-2021bmwm340ixdrive05.jpg

I told him to get the M340i and rev away to glory! This kind of special sedan doesn't come too often, and in terms of smiles per km, it's the indisputable king from BMW's mainstream line-up. The 530d is a beautiful machine, but the M340i is drop-dead gorgeous!

There are waiting periods involved, but he doesn't mind at all.

In the same situation, what would you pick and why?

Last edited by Aditya : 7th April 2021 at 15:11.
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Old 7th April 2021, 10:40   #2
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

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Old 7th April 2021, 10:43   #3
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

If he can buy both, then I'd take the M340i. But if its just one to serve many purposes, nothing to beat the 530d. It is so reliable also. I'd say 530d without flinching.
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Old 7th April 2021, 10:49   #4
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

There are two terms - outright power and usable power. The confusion is, both of them offer both, that too in dollops

When I went into this segment with a used car, I had just one thing in mind - get something that I can drive as much as possible, because I am putting a big sum into it; but then - I am a miser!

So, in my line of thoughts. a 530D - being the bigger car, makes more sense (A bigger car is a bigger car, it is bigger because it is made grounds up to be bigger and better). anyone buying these cars must not be concerned about the FE at all, that's hardly a difference of 2-3 rupees per kilometer that's going to come. So, if the friend is planning a long term ownership with a lot of usage then 530D. Low end etc are any way hardly going to matter, the car is going to be an AT after all.

Additionally, the 3.0 6 cyl of BMW is now a proven motor too, cars have done lacs of kilometers with this gem under the hood - hiccup free. Just playing safe here. Damn, I am conservative too along with being a miser; no wonder, I run towards Toyota!

If he just wants a fun machine for driving 300 kilometers a month, then 340i. Who knows when NGT saab cracks down on the diesel cars pan India; with this uncertainty, a petrol one makes more sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The 530d is a beautiful machine, but the M340i is dropdead gorgeous!
Let me blame the angle of the pic, the white one is looking more attractive to me (I hope this won't get me infracted). I like it simpler, clean, and timeless. Damn, looks like I have a poor design taste too!

To me, 530D looks more sober, but masculine. 340i looks more sleek.

Last edited by VKumar : 7th April 2021 at 10:57.
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Old 7th April 2021, 10:50   #5
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

As this will be his family car, I would say 530d. If I had the vitamin m, I would put my family's comfort, demands first. Comfortable, more space and that diesel engine would make sure he gets best of both worlds, performance and efficiency. 3-4 years down the lane he can go for pre worshipped 340i, I am sure GTO, you would help him
On the second thought, ask him to take a extended test drives with family in both of these cars, who knows his family might love the 340i more. Win win for both
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Old 7th April 2021, 11:54   #6
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The 530D has one big advantage : its perfect for road trips & family duties.

That little bit extra width, various suspension modes to make sure everyone is comfortable, and I reckon slightly better ground clearance. Not having to worry about filling up fuel mid road trip is an added advantage : think Bombay to Goa, or a round trip to Mahabaleshwar.

But if you already have a car that can do the family duties / road trips : the M340i is definitely sounding like a whole lot more fun!
A friend who picked one up recently just cant wipe the grin away from his face.
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Old 7th April 2021, 12:10   #7
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

I would go for the 530d because of the diesel fuel (no worries about fuel quality), a segment higher, it's equally fun and the proven reliability. Another plus point is that he can get a used G30 530d for a lower price which is not possible with the 340i as it wouldn't have entered the used market.
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Old 7th April 2021, 12:14   #8
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

Just a note, guys = this will be my friend's ONLY sedan. His wife has a i20 for city usage.
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Old 7th April 2021, 12:36   #9
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

530d any day. Since it is going to be the family car, a comfortable ride is always the first preference. He would not want the passengers complaining every time they drive out of town together. And when they go for a drive out of town, the quality of fuel is generally inversely proportional to the distance traveled. A diesel absolves you of those worries.

It would help to know what car he is coming from. If he is not used to the kind of power both these cars offer, a first-timer for 6 cyl BMWs will equally appreciate both these machines. They would appreciate the M340i more after having driven the 530d for a few years.
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Old 7th April 2021, 12:38   #10
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

This is such a difficult one to call, and one I'm sure a lot of us have gone through. Believe it or not, I have had dreams where some alter ego of mine is making the case for the 530d (it's got all the niceties, range, more than enough power and toys, sounds great) while my subconscious mind is ironically making a case led by the heart, and pining for the 340i.

The 530d is objectively a better car in almost every way, but the 340i just seems to have that special bit of stardust that sets it apart, especially in that stunning shade of sunset orange.

The only 2 scenarios where I would recommend your friend go for a 530d is if
  • He is mindful about the poor fuel economy and range of the 340i (relative to the 530d)
  • He does a lot of road trips and touring, and needs a slightly softer suspension and more luggage space for the family or friends

Some cars are rare, fleeting birds that don't come by every so often. The 340i is one of them, and should not be missed out on. I think it comes down to head (530d) versus heart (340i) on this one. It really is a lovely dilemma to have when the "lesser" car of the two is the 530d. I've plumped for the 340i because you live only once (I think).
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Old 7th April 2021, 12:48   #11
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Just a note, guys = this will be my friend's ONLY sedan. His wife has a i20 for city usage.
If not for this, the 340i may have been a better option. Even though fuel efficiency may not be a criteria, for the long range, proven reliability, greater comfort and sheer practicality, I would choose the 530d in his place. While this 340i might get his more smiles, he might be tempted to retain 530d for a longer ownership period.
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Old 7th April 2021, 13:04   #12
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

I'm guessing he's based in Bombay and we do love our Goa / Mahableshwar road trips. Quality of fuel in the city is easy but can be a pain outside. Same for mileage if he's a heavy user. If he can manage that then definitely 340i, else 530d.
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Old 7th April 2021, 13:22   #13
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

Voted for the M340i, mainly for the exact same reason as below:
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
This kind of special sedan doesn't come too often, and in terms of smiles per km, it's the indisputable king from BMW's mainstream line-up. The 530d is a beautiful machine, but the M340i is dropdead gorgeous!
And a few more:
  • The 530d is effectively a segment above, but I wouldn’t call the cabin that much spacious when compared to the 340i.
  • Considering the way diesel popularity is going down, it maybe better to get the sweet 6 cylinder petrol.
  • Lastly, this probably is one of the most ideal car to get, before switching to the EV world.
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Old 7th April 2021, 13:44   #14
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

GTO, it really boils down to the family's choice - comfort or more smiles per mile. IMHO, the wife should make the final decision, after a longish test drive in both cars. It could be so that she plus the kids will find M340i more exhilarating and wouldn't mind the discomfort, or they may rule otherwise. Either way, for a family car, better for family to decide without any pressure... :-)

My ₹0.02
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Old 7th April 2021, 14:17   #15
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Default Re: The inevitable dilemma | BMW 530d vs M340i

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

I told him to get the M340i and rev away to glory! This kind of special sedan doesn't come too often, and in terms of smiles per km, it's the indisputable king from BMW's mainstream line-up. The 530d is a beautiful machine, but the M340i is dropdead gorgeous!

In the same situation, what would you pick and why?
Between these 2 cars its a no brainer to pick the 340i as you don't gain much in the 530D apart from longer range and a little bigger boot. However, add another car, the 630D GT, that will really throw the options wide open.

With the third car out of consideration i would pick the M340i any day.
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