BMW M340i vs M2 Competition: Comparison from an owner's perspective

There is so much more to these cars, than just straight-line speeds. If you don’t get that, you aren’t the target audience for them.

BHPian Reesnat recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

2023 Garage Update

Sold my vRS245 and bought an M340i Jahre Edition in September of last year, and ever since, many have asked me about my thoughts on this vs the M2C. After all, how many crazy people are there in the world who own both the M340i and the M2C?

First, why did I sell the vRS245 and get the M340i?

  • The itch for a change
  • M340i’s driving dynamics and 6Cyl engine/gearbox combo with BMW tuning
  • Made the mistake of stopping by the showroom when the Dravit Grey M340i Jahre was there
  • My family is still relatively small and I can fool them for a couple more years with a 4-door sedan to serve as a family/multi-purpose car

The vRS is a very tough act to follow as it does so many things well and is unbeatable as a value proposition. It was the gateway drug for me into the world of performance driving and will always be a special car for me (as I’m sure it is for many).

The M340i takes everything about the vRS up a notch or two, except the practicality.

Onto the main topic, M2C vs the M340i

I’ve done about 6.5k kms with the M340i already and feel like I know it well.

First thing I would say is, this is a very unfair comparison and is an apples vs oranges situation. The mandate for the M2C is to be a usable sports car with some practicality built in. The mandate for an M340i is to be a do-it-all family car that can do some spirited/performance-oriented driving. We’ll come back to this point later.

Let's start with some performance numbers that I’ve recorded with both of my cars:


  • M340i - 4.1 secs
  • M2C - 4.2 secs

1/4 Mile

  • M340i - 12.2 secs
  • M2C - 12.3 secs


  • M340i - 10.7 secs
  • M2C - 9.5 secs

Looking at the 0-100 and the 1/4 mile times you’d think the M340i is quicker, right? Off the line upto 100, yes it is. Thanks to XDrive, it launches much harder due to better traction. The M2C is RWD only and traction is an issue off the line. But once you’re rolling, the M2C is quicker.

So from a straight-line numbers perspective, there isn’t much in it, but how does it actually feel when in the car? Completely different! The M2C feels raw and exhilarating, granted, the Akrapovic exhaust makes a difference but the car feels edgier and you do feel as fast as you are going.

The M340i, on the other hand, is heavily insulated and while the launch is brutal, on the move, it's quite numb in comparison (remember, this is meant to be a do it all car). The gearbox’s between the two are very different feelings as well and this adds massively to the character of the car. The M2C in its aggressive shift modes is hard-hitting and thrilling, the M340i on the other hand, does its job in a far less shouty manner and isn’t as sharp. M340i’s gearbox is the better choice for city/comfort driving, M2C’s by contrast is far more aggressive and grabby at low speeds.

Now let’s come to the aspect where the differences are much wider:

Driving Dynamics

On the streets/highway, the difference is obvious, the M340i is a great driving car in isolation, but the M2C is just so much more engaging and fun to drive. The chassis, gearbox, and engine tuning all come together when you are ‘on it’. If you are driving sedately the M340i is obviously a much better place to be. For outright driving thrills, the M2C is far more of a thrill machine, but that comes at the cost of usability and practicality that the M340i offers.

To exaggerate this aspect of the car and push these cars hard, you need to be on a track, and that is where we were a couple of weeks ago with a whole bunch of like-minded enthusiasts (had a fantastic day). I got to drive my M340i (for the first time) and my M2C on track.

My best lap time with the M340i around MMRT was 2mins flat. With the M2C I managed a 1.56 that day with another passenger on board for a taxi lap. The quickest I have gone around the MMRT with the M2C is 1.55. Granted, the M2C was on Michelin Cup2s and the M340i on PS4S, but even if we factored in a couple of seconds for the tyres, a nearly 5 secs gap is huge.

On track this lap time gap is felt even more, the M2C feels a lot more lighter, agile and sharp, its lighter weight, shorter wheelbase and stiffer chassis setup really comes alive. The M340i on the other hand felt heavy, was heat soaking after just one hot lap, and you could feel the weight putting a lot of stress on the tyres and brakes. The M2C changes direction, turns in, grips, stays flat all a whole lot better than the M340i. While this wasn’t unexpected, the gap between the two did surprise me, I secretly hoped the gap would be small and I could keep one car, but that wasn’t the case.

The M340i is designed to do a lot of duties well and hence it has to make some compromises (cooling, softer chassis). Having said all that, the compromises that BMW has made are spot on for what the car is, it is very practical for 4 people and some luggage on trips, handles and drives great, as long as you get rid of those awful RFTs and go tubeless.

Sidenote - If you want to learn about your driving and your car, go to a track and do a casual few laps, that should teach you tons more than 1000s highway miles.

A note on the ride quality, and comfort - with the M2C on Cup2 tyres (softer compound) the ride is even nicer than on Pilot Super Sport and I’d say the ride quality difference between this and M340i on PS4S isn’t massively different. Both are definitely firm (with the M2C firmer of course) but not to the point of being uncomfortable over a long drive. The seats on the M340i while sporty lack lumbar support and has given me severe lower back pain during the first couple of months of owning it. I finally had to buy a cheap memory foam lumbar support from Amazon to address this, after which it’s been comfortable. A real shame that lumbar support is not offered in an 80L car.

On the plus, the seating position in the M340i is excellent, you can go really low and into the chassis a fair bit more than the previous F series chassis which were all a bit taller than ideal.


So what’s the conclusion? I see many comments about how the M340i is 95% of the performance at half the price of an M3 or something to that effect, purely based on 0-100 numbers, I can’t help but chuckle a bit every time I read one of those. There is so much more to these cars, than just straight-line speeds, if you don’t get that, you aren’t the target audience for them.

There is no free lunch in life (surprise!). Expecting the M340i to do it all and replace dedicated sports cars is a fallacy. It’s a great car that's a fantastic blend of performance and daily usability, and in that regard, it’s probably one of the best ever. But, the M2C delivers a whole lot more of that cliched ‘driver's car’ emotion that we crave, which is so much more than just going fast in a straight line.

I hope this post helped answer some of the questions I've received. It's gone on far longer than I imagined it to and I’ve not been able to cover every single aspect. If there is anything else specifically that may be of interest to someone, feel free to ask and I’ll do my best to respond.

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