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Old 26th May 2019, 08:48   #1
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Default Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

Cautionary note: This is not one of those fabulous “Driven” articles put together by the brilliant moderators at Team-BHP who have access to the car for one or more days. This is also not a review by any stretch of the imagination but a quick and dirty first impression of the cars from driving and over all equipment/material/design perspective. Folks looking for the finer details are at a potential risk of getting disappointed.

There has been a lot of buzz among BMW aficionados regarding impending launch of the G20 sedan (number of variants dependent upon the geography). I am given to understand that a formal launch of the G20 series in India will take place sometimes in next couple of month based upon whatever information has been appearing in the Indian media. My guess is gasoline engined 320i & 330i will be launched first followed by a couple of diesel engined variants later but I could be wrong.

The deliveries of the G20 330i x-Drive (regular & M Sport variants) & M340i x-Drive started in North America a few weeks ago. A couple of days ago I had a chance to test drive the both the 2019 330i x-Drive M Sport and 2020 M340i x-Drive. I had both the cars for approx. 45 minutes and I drove the cars for 20 odd kilometers each on city roads & intercity highway.

What you will like:

• Lively steering, taut suspension with compliant ride quality
• Quite cabin, good infotainment, more intuitive next gen iDrive & live cockpit screens with crisp displays
• Great power train coupled with stiff chassis
• More spacious than the outgoing F30 platform


What you may not:

• Very busy front facade (especially the grill & the way the headlights almost integrate with it)
• Slight increase in weight as compared to the F30 generation (most folks won’t notice it)
• Live cockpit in place of analog instrument cluster (this one is contentious so it may go either way)
• Rear end may be a little too rounded for a few folks

Before I elaborate on the driving impression & other aspects of the cars; some caveats:

• The idea that I could document the test dive occurred to me when I was at the dealership so this endeavor has been impromptu and that reflects in the lack of detail and some vital areas that I might have missed
• I have driven the F30 330i, 340i, 440i x-Drive & G32 640i x-Drive in the past & these cars in some ways act as a reference point for comparison
• Among the competitors I have driven the Mercedes Benz C 300 & Audi A4 (both 2014 so older generation and therefore not relevant here)
• I have never owned a BMW so my driving impression should be looked at as that coming from a non BMW owner’s perspective
• The pictures that you see here are of both the M340i x-Drive & 330i x-Drive M Sport. I did not take the pictures of the 330i x-Drive M Sport interiors as enough pictures are available on the internet; it is the M340i x-Drive that we still not have enough material on either in terms of the pictures or the driving impression which actually is strange as it is the most awaited car among prospective 3 Series buyers (maybe not in terms of potential sales numbers but in terms of quantum of excitement)
• The interiors of the both the 330i & M340i were virtually identical therefore that gave me one more reason not to take the pictures of the 330i interiors besides paucity of time. Most of the design cues between the two cars are identical barring a few changes on the front facade of the two cars (air intake on the M340i/x-Drive in place of fog lamps on the 330i x-Drive M Sport.)
• I also apologize in advance for the poor quality of pictures; these were taken using my cellphone (and no, I don’t have an iPhone) and the bright Sun at noon did not help at all. All the surroundings including the building, trees, cars & people were being reflected on this dark colour but well, it is what it is. I tried to make the most of it while not trying to test my sales associate’s patience.

2020 M340i xDrive in Portimao Blue Metallic
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-2.jpg


The important specs for the two cars (North American variants) are as under:

2020 M340i x-Drive: 382bhp at 5000 rpm & 369 ft. lbs. of torque at 1,600 rpm
2019 330i x-Drive: 255bhp at 5,000 rpm & 295 ft. lbs. of torque at 1,550 rpm

Both the cars were equipped with the brilliant 8 speed ZF automatic transmission.

2019 330i xDrive M Sport in Portimao Blue Metallic
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-a2.jpg

The 330i X-Drive M Sport came with the staggered tire set up; unfortunately RFTs, Goodyear Eagle (225/40R19 in front & 255/35R19 in the rear). I must mention here that this is an optional set up on the stock car and standard on the M Sport variant. Stock wheel/tire size is 18 inches on the standard 330i (non M Sport).

Run Flat Good year Eagle tires with double spoke 791M 19 inch wheels (Optional) on 330i M Sport

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-a7.jpg


Very important & great news: The M340i x-Drive comes standard with non RFTs and the car I drove had a staggered set up with non RFT Michelin Pilot Sport 4S (225/40R19 in front & 255/35R19 in the rear) which is the best tire money can buy currently; thank you so much BMW. I must also mention that performance RFT option is also available. This however may change if BMW offers this car in India.

Non RFT Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires with double spoke 792M 19 inch wheels standard on M340i xDrive

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-13.jpg

Considering Indian road conditions (that I think have improved tremendously of late and do not warrant downgrading of tire/wheel options) the stock tire/wheel size that may be offered by BMW India might undergo some change.

Exteriors, built quality & dimensions: G20 sedans are very well put together and felt pretty tight. Visually the cars look bigger than they actually are. I must also add that G20 sedan is longer (2.9”), taller (0.5”) & wider (0.6”) than the F30 sedan. For G20 platform the wheelbase is longer (1.6”) front track is wider (1.7”) and rear track is wider (0.8”) as compared to that of F30.

M340i xDrive in Black Sapphire Metallic
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-12.jpg


Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-10a.jpg


In terms of kerb weight G20 330i x-Drive M Sport comes in at 1,710 kgs vs 1,681kgs for the F30 330i x-Drive M Sport . The 2020 M340i x-Drive comes in at almost 1,800 kgs as compared to F30 340i x-Drive’s 1,733 kgs. Both the G20 variants have gained weight in spite of the fact that G20 platform employs aluminum for doors, hood and suspension components. (All dimensions & weight pertain to North American specced cars).

330i xDrive M Sport in Portimao Blue Metallic

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-a3.jpg

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-a8.jpg


Okay, let’s address the elephant in the room; and that is the Kidney Grill, one of the most important design signatures of the 3 Series. On the 330i, it was black with vertical slats and palatable to an extent however the way the elongated headlights meet the grill will take some time getting used to.

On the M340i the standard grill is “Cesium Grey” colored with diamond design. This same colour also adorns the ORVMs. I did not like it at first. Fortunately BMW offers “BMW High Gloss Shadow Line”; a $250 option that will give you black ORVM covers and black grill. If offered in India you would be well advised to exercise this option (it might be offered as standard on the stock car & that will save you the trouble).

Standard LED Headlight Cluster of M340i xDrive
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-18.jpg

330i xDrive M Sport LED Headlight Cluster
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-a4.jpg

There is a shoulder line crease that starts at the bottom of the A pillar and goes on till the point where C pillar seems to meet the tail light cluster and that helps to break the slab sided Silhouette of the car. There is a second crease that starts at the front fender and goes all the way to the rear fender and it helps divide the height of the door at one third level from the top.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-1.jpg

There is small kink at 45 degrees just behind the front fender, inch and half above the rocker panel. A third crease emerges from the base of this kink and swoops slightly upwards before ending a few inches from the edge of the rear door. This is an unusual and nice design cue. The hood is fairly sculpted without going overboard. The BMW’s trademark Hoffmeister kink is fairly prominent at the C pillar in the form of a black plastic piece.

On the 330i M Sport there is a pair of LED fog lamps with black plastic surround nestled at the extreme end of the bumper. On the M 340i this space is occupied by functional air scoops that help cool the front breaks. The lower portion of the bumper also houses the radar pod that helps in adaptive cruise control system.

The front of both the cars looked busy and slightly over stylized.

The side elevation of the car is fairly similar to the F30. The rear end will polarize the prospective buyers; you can clearly see the Lexus influence here. One nice touch is giving the rear tail light cluster a three dimensional look. All the lights both on interiors and exterior are LED. The car that I drove did not have the now famous laser lights. I must mention here that it is more of a gimmick as lasers are only employed on the high beams (at least here in North America).


Rear three quarter view of M340i xDrive in Sapphire Black
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-15.jpg


The lower rear end of the car is nicely finished with black diffuser with single exhaust tip for the 330i, dual tip (circular) for the 330i M Sport & dual exhaust tips (rectangular) for the M340i which are fortunately functional and not cosmetic.


Rear three quarter view of the 330i xDrive M Sport in Portimao Blue
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-a9.jpg


I must mention here that I did not particularly like the front when I looked at the pictures online however while looking at the cars in the flesh, it looked okay. Bottom-line; the design will grow on you slowly as you spend more time with it so don’t expect to like/love it instantly when you first lay your eyes on the car.

Last edited by Vikram Arya : 27th May 2019 at 11:35.
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Old 26th May 2019, 10:06   #2
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Default re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 (340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

Note: All the interior pictures are of M340i xDrive

Interiors & infotainment: Quality of the materials has seen a definitive improvement over the F30 however some hard plastic surfaces are still present especially on the lower portions on the dashboard/door. Doors have reasonably large storage with usual array of power window; lock/unlock switches, seat memory (2) and power folding ORVM switches.

Steering wheel is nicely contoured and wrapped in leather with usual controls such audio, phone, cruise control & voice command activation on it. It is thick and nice to hold. Both the cars were equipped with paddle shifter however I did not get a chance to use it.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-4.jpg

Seats on 330i were good with good under thigh support and side bolstering however the sport seats on the M340i seemed as if they belonged on an M car. Also I noticed that leather is standard on the M340i whereas the 330i comes with faux leather (this might change in India). Both driver side and the passenger side seat are power adjustable with more settings (including the lumbar support) on the driver side.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-6.jpg

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-7.jpg

Rear seat has ample space for three average sized adults though the transmission tunnel does intrude into leg space for the middle passenger and therefore seating three adults comfortably in the rear might might be a stretch. Both the cars featured temperature controls for the rear passengers including two USB ports & a power socket.

Doors shut with a reassuring thunk. The knobs on the dash for the most part have a tactile feel to them save for the climate control knobs that look and feel cheap.

Both the cars that I drove came equipped with BMW's Live Cockpit; a 12.3-inch display in which a clockwise-sweeping speedometer and counter clockwise tachometer define the outer edges of the instrument cluster. A 10.3-inch infotainment screen occupied the middle of the dashboard. Both the instrument cluster & the infotainment screens are probably best in business with crisp displays.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-19.jpg

The heads up display is bigger and brighter than the one on F30 and projects all kind of information—speed, speed limits, route instructions and navigation data, warning indicators, and more onto the windshield, and there's no readily available means to disable it; it was a bright sunny day and the display was crystal clear.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-5.jpg

Bottom portion of the dash contains the volume knob along with 8 buttons that are assignable for a particular function that you may want it to execute. Both the cars were also equipped with Parking Assistant Plus package with Surround view that provided a split left & right front view at the push of a button on the console near the shifter with the help of cameras located on both the ORVMs.

The Harman Kardon system on the G20 is actually down in power (600 to 464 watts) as compared to the one in F30. I did play the Sirius XM satellite radio and would say that output is fairly loud and punchy but then again I did not fiddle with the equalizer controls and cannot really say if the sound system is better or worse than that of the audio set up in F30.

The glove box was lined and had a damped opening mechanism with reasonable amount of space. The central arm rest also seemed adequate from storage space perspective.

The windshield on the M340i was acoustic and it clearly showed as the interior is very quiet and there is minimal ingression of road noise in the cabin; impressive indeed.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-9.jpg

The center console has buttons for the driving modes, engine start, and other functions as well as a large iDrive knob alongside the shifter. The next generation iDrive is a breeze to operate and I had no problem in figuring out the operation of the GPS, sound system, climate control etc. however I did not spend too much time on it. Thankfully the climate control also can be operated using physical knobs located on the dashboard below the climate control vents.

The BMW assistant is absolutely fantastic. I used about 5 or 6 different commands such as “Hey BMW I’m hungry” or” I’m feeling warm” etc. and the BMW assistant recognized & executed the voice commands each and every time without a problem. I have used voice command interface on a number of different vehicles in the past and seldom have they worked so flawlessly. I did not use gesture control as I feel it is slightly gimmicky and would rather use the controls on the steering wheel or on the dash itself. I also did not get a chance to use/test the Apple Car Play.

There’s a provision for mood lighting (I assume it’s configurable) via a slim lighted line that runs across the dashboard and onto the doors; very nice touch indeed.

Driving impression: Now let’s talk about the driving impression as that’s what you would be most interested in, I assume for we buy BMWs for how they drive (or used to, back in the day) and not the electronic wizardry.

Enough criticism has been heaped on BMW for going soft especially for the F30 generation of cars; the complaints ranged from steering being numb, the suspension being too soft, the exhaust note being too boring and forgettable and handing being too mushy.

Steering: It seems there has been some definite course correction and the steering feels quite better on the 330i & the M340i however it is still not where a lot of us like it to be. There is a bit more “feel” but you would hard pressed to tell what front your tires are doing especially in the “Comfort mode”. For the large majority of the car buying public the difference will be positive when comparing to the steering of the last generation. The steering starts to communicate much more actively when you switch to Sports mode. The steering wheel weighs up nicely but the E90 fans may still find it “light”.

Suspension and handling: My test drive was limited to the city roads around the dealership where the speed limit ranged from 60 to 80 kph and a short burst on the intercity highway where the speed limit was 100 kph. The road surface ranged from good to not so good in places with expansion joints or minor imperfections & undulated surfaces. I must say that BMW engineers have done their homework and the G20 330i definitely felt more firm and taut without being jarring as compared to the F30 that almost had the wafty feel. I was driving on public roads so cannot comment on handling aspects but the suspension felt very buttoned down while being compliant.

330i had the optional M Sport suspension which I found a wee bit stiff (there’s a chance that the tires might have been overinflated that could have contributed to the slightly stiffer ride )and I would recommend the regular suspension on this car unless the adaptive dampers are available which are simply great. The M340i had the adaptive dampers that are fantastic and quickly adapt to the changing road surface.

The drive train: The B48 engine on the 330i has been messaged to provide more power and it shows but the B58 in the M340i is the superstar here. The B48 is 2 ltr. inline 4 pot motor that employs a twin scroll turbocharger, direct injection, variable valve lift & variable valve timing. The B58 in the M340i is the fabled inline 6 pot motor that also employs a single turbocharger with the similar technologies as those on the B48. Compression ratio for B58 is 11:1 and it redlines at 7,000 rpm. It must be mentioned here that the B58 engine topped the Ward’s best 10 engine list for 2017.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-16.jpg
Powerful 3 litre inline 6 cylinder B58 engine employed on the M340i

330i accelerated reasonably well in comfort mode and I did not feel the turbo lag even on city speeds. Once I switched to sports mode the acceleration was brisk. The in gear acceleration was also impressive. It goes without saying that the brilliant 8 speed ZF transmission played its part in reaching triple digit velocities in a jiffy. The car actually felt much quicker than the F30 330i and this marginal bump in power might not be so marginal after all. Truly impressed; great job BMW.

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-b46.jpg
2 ltr inline 4 cylinder B48 engine employed on the 330i

2020 BMW 340i x-Drive is the first “Regular” 3 Series car to wear the fabled “M” moniker and this has already raised heckles of the purists who believe that only the true M cars should have that distinction. So the proverbial question here is; does the M340i x-Drive have the chops to carry the “M” logo?

Here’s my take:

The M340i x-Drive that I drove came in Black sapphire with “Mocha” interiors and had 410 kms on the odometer. I was told that the car was received by the dealership two days ago. The car was not very clean (it had rained the day before) as can be seen in the pictures.

The B58 engine now makes 382 bhp in place of the N55 engine that was putting out 320 bhp in the F30 340i so I was expecting some spirited performance however this car actually shocked me. M340i also comes with the electronically locking rear differential that helps transfer power to the cornering wheels when going around a curve. I’m sure its effect is more pronounced on a race track than on a public highway or maybe once in a while when you are canyon carving on that secluded back road. The turbo lag is totally non-existent and the torque comes on like that of an electric train.

As far as acceleration is concerned, the M340i shines like almost an M car. I did a rough 0 to100 sprint on a desolate stretch of the highway; I pressed on the brakes firmly & raised the revs to 2500 rpm and released the brakes & voila; the car sprinted to 100kph in 5.1 seconds. Now remember I’m not a professional driver & the car had only 420 kms on the clock. BMW claims 0 to 100 kph in 4.4 seconds for the US version of the car (European version at 374 BHP is slightly slower due to the gasoline particulate filter). I did some acceleration bursts in comfort and sports mode as well. The car was very quick in the comfort mode however the acceleration was blindingly quick and gear shifts were violent in sports mode. I did a couple of in non-scientific in gear acceleration runs and it did 80 to 120 kph in the blink of an eye.

To put things into perspective the M340i is half a second slower than the F80 M3 Competition and is faster than the 8 cylinder E93 M3. In fact one of the European magazines have clocked the M340i x-Drive at 3.7 seconds for the 0 to 100 kph sprint & that puts it into almost supercar category of the yester years.

In “Sports mode” the gear are held down far longer to get up to insane speeds quickly; shifts are brutal and the 8 speed ZF transmission is very quick both on downshifts & upshift. I did not use the “Sports Plus” mode.

Braking was good in both the cars with the brakes proving a progressive feel and good bite without locking up the wheels (as expected). Both the cars came with fairly large rotors (not sure about the size) and four piston fixed callipers.

A lot has been said about the boring exhaust note of the F30 & F80 M3 sedans however the G20 at least in the M340i guise does not disappoint. The exhaust note has a throaty, burbling growl. Take a listen (the engine was not warm enough so the sound was somewhat subdued but impressive nevertheless).



Without doubt the M340i x-Drive has got a dual personality; it will drive sedately in Eco and Comfort mode as long as you exercise restraint with your right foot. Put it in Sports mode; step on it and you will be rewarded with neck snapping acceleration that will have you grinning ear to ear long after you’ve parked the car.

In the end I will say that G20 is a definitive improvement both in terms of overall fit and finish, quality of material, ergonomics, suspension and handling over the F30 however as far as 330i is concerned I feel BMW is still taking the middle of the road approach in trying to cater to a wider audience that may not particularly please the aficionados but hopefully will not antagonize anyone. Realistically speaking 330i is the bread & butter model (across the world) of BMW and they do not want to rock the boat too much and that is understandable. For the enthusiasts; there’s M340i.

In fact I would go on to say that there is little justification for buying an M3 now unless of course you’re tracking the car regularly or have a fleet of 4/5 different cars and would like to have a dedicated track car. For us the lesser mortals the M340i would do, thank you.

I wish that BMW offers the M340i x-Drive in India for it is if I may say so, the quintessential BMW that stands for the “Ultimate Driving Machine” tag that many of us have grown up reading about. Peace.

*Data source – Bimmerpost, BMW blog & BMW website

Last edited by Vikram Arya : 26th May 2019 at 10:46.
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Old 28th May 2019, 08:23   #3
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Default re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Test-Drives Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 28th May 2019, 11:07   #4
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

Thanks Vikram for bringing us this report, Well done

Quick question about the M340i xDrive - Did the xDrive feel Rear Biased enough in Sport / Sport+ mode ?

I ask this as i believe the RWD 340i is/will be only available in the USA (or LHD countries) where as the RHD variants will be only xDrive. Hence India will (hopefully BMW India should launch this variant to compete against the c43 & s5) sadly get the xDrive & not regular RWD.
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Old 28th May 2019, 13:56   #5
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

The new generation 3 series certainly feels grown up. But does it have what it takes to take the battle to the current king (Merc C Class). Good to know that BMW have put their money on the core desirability assets of the 3 series. BMW 3 and driving pleasure are synonymous statements indeed.

The overall increase in dimensions will also address the qualms of those looking for a roomier cabin. Also with no news of a 3GT, this would surely be something substantial.


Thanks Vikram Arya for taking time out from your TD to jot these finer points for us all. Cheers mate!!
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Old 28th May 2019, 22:08   #6
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

Quote:
Originally Posted by karan561 View Post
Thanks Vikram for bringing us this report, Well done

Quick question about the M340i xDrive - Did the xDrive feel Rear Biased enough in Sport / Sport+ mode ?

I ask this as i believe the RWD 340i is/will be only available in the USA (or LHD countries) where as the RHD variants will be only xDrive. Hence India will (hopefully BMW India should launch this variant to compete against the c43 & s5) sadly get the xDrive & not regular RWD.
Thank you Karan.

Couple of things here:

I did not get a chance to use the “Sports Plus” mode. The car was so quick in “Sports” mode that I thought it would be unwise to engage “Sports Plus” mode on a public road besides it would a case of overkill anyways.

As for the Rear wheel drive bias of the car, I believe that a correct & objective assessment can be made only if you drive the RWD version back to back with the AWD version. When I was driving the car in “Comfort” it clearly felt like a rear wheel drive car; in “Sports” mode the way it took off when I stepped on it (I’m sure in background, the AWD system was splitting the torque between front & rear axles & rear electronically locking differential was vectoring toque between left and right wheels) the whole experience was so seamless and visceral and I was totally taken in by the brutal ferocity of it and did not pay adequate attention to other aspects. Rear wheel drive bias was also fairly prominent when I took a couple of corners in a spirited manner. The typical kick that you experience when accelerating hard in a RWD car is definitely present as the AWD system is programmed to send most of the torque to the rear axle in all of the modes.

I do concede however that when power is being fed to all four wheels, the car will have slightly reduced steering feel, more tendency to understeer partly because of slightly more weight on the front axle etc. However look at the positive side; the AWD car is able to put down power flawlessly without spinning the wheels. In fact what I’m hearing is that the G80 M3 in all probability will be an AWD.

More importantly, the Traction Management Systems & suspension set up have been optimized for the AWD version of the M340i as it is the version which is being proposed to be sold in the rest of the world barring US market where BMW probably felt that there will be some pushback from the purists who feel that AWD in a performance car is sacrilege.

Additionally earlier this year when BMW held the “First Drive/Press event” of the M340i in Portugal, all the cars that were available were AWD versions so there is fairly high likelihood that if the car is offered in India it will be an AWD version.

Quote:
Originally Posted by docprashant View Post
The new generation 3 series certainly feels grown up. But does it have what it takes to take the battle to the current king (Merc C Class). Good to know that BMW have put their money on the core desirability assets of the 3 series. BMW 3 and driving pleasure are synonymous statements indeed.

The overall increase in dimensions will also address the qualms of those looking for a roomier cabin. Also with no news of a 3GT, this would surely be something substantial.

Thanks Vikram Arya for taking time out from your TD to jot these finer points for us all. Cheers mate!!
Thank you Prashant.

I have not driven the current generation A4 or the C300 so cannot comment however they do have a tough fight on their hands for sure. The only aspect that might turn off a few people might be the styling but the 3 Series has more than enough brand cache that it can easily overcome that handicap. Besides as I have mentioned, the styling slowly grows on you so..
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Old 31st May 2019, 00:09   #7
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

@Vikram: Have you driven the G30 540i? I ask because a 1 year used G30 540i with under 15k kms is about 10k cheaper than the new G20 M340i. With all that has been going on with the 3 series in the last 2 generations, has the driving experience of the 3 series deteriorated enough to say that the 5 and the 3 offer a very similar driving experience?
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Old 31st May 2019, 21:46   #8
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HKap View Post
@Vikram: Have you driven the G30 540i? I ask because a 1 year used G30 540i with under 15k kms is about 10k cheaper than the new G20 M340i. With all that has been going on with the 3 series in the last 2 generations, has the driving experience of the 3 series deteriorated enough to say that the 5 and the 3 offer a very similar driving experience?
I have not driven the G30 540i but I can confidently say that driving experience of M340i & 540i will be decidedly different.

There are a number of factors at play here:

The B58 engine: The state of tune of the B58 engine in G30 540i produces 335 bhp whereas in G20 M340i it produces 382 bhp.

Weight: Weight of the 2019 540i x-Drive comes in at 4019 lbs which will be at least couple of hundred lbs more than the M340i (kerb weight of 2020 M340i has still not been declared by BMW).

Suspension and handling: M340i has been optimized to handle like a true blue sports sedan while having driven the F10 535i just a couple of days ago I can safely say that G30 540i is more or less set up like a luxo barge, M Sport variant notwithstanding.

I just drove the car on public roads in slightly spirited manner as would 99 percent of public however I have I have no doubt in my mind that folks who want to take this car to the track on the weekends would not find it wanting in anyway. It is a beast that can be tamed and is much more forgiving car as compared to the temperamental and mostly unforgiving “M” cars.

Finally in the words of the BMW Blog tester,” Overall, the M340i x-Drive is on another level when compared to the outgoing 340i. It is much closer to a full M product than to a standard 3 Series, finally filling that gap”.*

I can say with confidence that driving experience of M340i and G30 540i will be different however if the cars are driven like “normal” cars, most people wouldn’t probably feel the difference. Its only when you indulge in some “spirited” driving that you will feel otherwise. My suggestion would be to drive both the cars back to back and come to a conclusion yourself.

*Source - BMWBlog
Vikram Arya is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 30th January 2020, 18:38   #9
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

A friend of mine went to look at a 330i and the dealer (Navnit) told him that the M340i is due in India between July and September
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Old 12th February 2020, 17:21   #10
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
A friend of mine went to look at a 330i and the dealer (Navnit) told him that the M340i is due in India between July and September
Oh nice. However, it's weird that there's been no word on it or any rumor through other sources.

About time BMW brings the M340i here though.
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Old 17th May 2020, 06:07   #11
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Default Re: Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)

I've been a proud and happy owner of M340i xDrive for the past 5 months in Michigan, US. I took delivery of my Tanzanite Blue M340i in Munich BMW HQ through European delivery. Wife and I spent 15 days touring the Alps of Austria, Swiss, Bavaria and Autobahn. BMW Factory tour came as an added perk of European Delivery. Too bad BMW has decided to stop European deliveries for North American customers.

I bought fully loaded option except high performance cooling and braking. When I took delivery of the car in November winter had already started in Germany so winter tires were mandatory. Cooling package comes with Summer tires, hence I couldn't get it. The car is an absolute blast to drive. 0-100kmph is definitely under 4 secs as opposed to 4.1 secs claim by BMW with launch control. What surprises me the most is the economy, under city and highway mixed driving condition I get 25-27 mpg. xDrive is a life saver in Michigan winter, chassis control is worlds apart from any car that I have driven. All wheel drive launch control gives you a gut punch that never gets old. Turn off DSC and you can drift it like a rear wheel drive car. It is not a true M car but it as close a regular BMW can get to an M car.

Here are some shots from the 15 days in Europe

BMW Welt
Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-dsc03523.jpg

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-dsc03527.jpg

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-dsc03588.jpg

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-dsc055902.jpg

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-dsc05388.jpg

Driven: The BMW 3-Series G20 M340i xDrive & 330i M Sport)-dsc05646.jpg

Last edited by dinesh17 : 17th May 2020 at 06:22.
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