2019 BMW 3 Series (G20)

FiestaST

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BMW to launch hot M340d 3 Series at Geneva

Range-topping diesel 3 Series will produce 335bhp and feature a host of performance upgrades

BMW has confirmed it will unveil a hot 335bhp M340d xDrive version of the seventh-generation 3 Series at this year’s Geneva motor show.

The new variant of the popular executive car will be offered in both the saloon and Touring estate forms and will benefit from the input of the firm’s M performance division.

The M340d will use a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine with a 48V starter-generator that can add an extra 11bhp. As well as offering 335bhp, the mild-hybrid powertrain produces a maximum of 516lb ft of torque. This compares to the 369bhp and 369lb ft of the six-cylinder petrol M340i.

 

FiestaST

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The BMW M340d is the fastest diesel car you can buy

New 335bhp diesel 3 Series does 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds

Ok folks, can anyone name a faster diesel-powered car you can buy new, in Britain, right now? Nope, us neither. A 0-62mph time of 4.6 seconds for the saloon (4.8 seconds for the estate) makes the BMW M340d faster than the Audi S4 (and S6, S7, SQ7 and SQ8), any diesel-engined Mercedes and both diesel Alpinas, the X3-based XD3 and 5 Series-based D5. Blimey.

The M340d uses the same turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six as the existing, and very good, 330d, but BMW has added 74bhp (335bhp over 261bhp), 88lb ft of torque (516bhp plays 428lb ft – all available from 1,750rpm) and a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that patches over the cracks in the internal combustion engine’s power delivery.

 

FiestaST

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BMW M340i xDrive (2019) Review

Fast Facts

Price: R1 002 211 (R1 183 760 as tested)
Engine: 3.0-litre turbopetrol straight-6
Power/Torque: 285 kW/500 Nm
Transmission: 8-speed automatic
Fuel consumption: 7.7 L/100 km (claimed)
Load capacity: 480 litres

Price and after-sales support

The BMW M340i xDrive retails for R 1 002 211, which includes a 2-year/unlimited km warranty and a 5-year/100 000 km maintenance plan.

Verdict

There's no doubt about it: the BMW 340i xDrive is the most complete 3 Series derivative in the current range. The 6-cylinder turbo feels like it instantly livens up the driving experience and endows the new G20 with a distinct character. The engine is the highlight in a very accomplished car; thanks to its high-revving nature and long gearing, it feels very much like a blast from the (classic BMW) past.

On the downside, performance-car aficionados will find the M340i's ultimate abilities tame for a BMW, but that's mostly as a result of the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. When driven enthusiastically, the M340i corners determinedly; its sorted chassis and accurate steering make it palpably easy to place. With all the grip you can safely boot it out of any corner in full confidence that it will stay planted.

Its R1-million base price is hard to swallow (let alone stomach), but the Mercedes-AMG C43 costs about the same. The outlier at the moment is the Audi S4, which is certainly older than the Bimmer (in fact, a facelifted model will arrive in South Africa eventually), but is some R140 000 cheaper than the competition. Can the BMW justifiably command that much of a premium over the 4 rings? Hmm.


M340i 1.jpgM340i 2.jpgM340i 3.jpgM340i 4.jpgM340i 5.jpgM340i 6.jpgM340i 7.jpgM340i 8.jpgM340i 9.jpgM340i 10.JPG
 

FiestaST

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FIRST DRIVE SPEC

BMW M340i Touring review: peak 3 Series

The conclusion?

All of the criticisms keen drivers might fairly level at the M340i aren’t exclusive to it, they’re just the symptoms of cars constantly getting safer, cleaner and more packed with tech. And thus heavier. This isn’t the darty, involving 3 Series Touring older readers might know and love but it’s still absurdly good to drive for a 1.7-tonne estate car. And it puts up a strong fight against the 300kg-lighter Alfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE that, nowadays, just pip the 3 Series to class handling honours.
Neither Jag nor Alfa can be bought as an estate, though, their makers offering SUVs for those needing more room out back. And if you seek solace from such ubiquitous, high-riding machines, then sensible cars get no more appealing than an M340i Touring. Which doesn’t just represent peak 3 Series; if you like how a car steers, it’s probably peak family wagon.

Score: 9/10


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ToxicBunny

Oi! Leave me out of this...
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WTAF would possess someone to ruin a good car like that..

Given the NP plates though, the options are endless as to what that specific species is.
 

FiestaST

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2020 Cadillac CT5 Sport vs BMW 3 Series // $50,000 Face Off - Throttle House

 
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