The answer to what makes a car great is ever evolving for the simple reason that various parameters come together to make a car great, many of which change with time. And yet, there are those that have been constant over decades. For instance, a great car must be able to captivate you to an extent that you can’t help yourself but steal a glance at it after parking it or launch into a reverie about it every so often. The BMW M340i facelift is one such car, and what makes it so is the sheer driving pleasure it has to offer.
BMW M340i Review: What’s New?
Since the new M340i is a facelift, the changes are subtle as expected; however, they make a substantial impact on the overall experience of the car. In terms of design, the new M340i has definitely become more aggressive. Slimmer headlamps with inverted L-shaped Daytime Running Lights, which also double up as indicators, an all-blacked-out reprofiled grille, and a more aggressive bumper design give the M340i a unique identity. At the sides, the redesigned outside rearview mirrors and larger 19-inch wheels, instead of the 18-inch wheels of the outgoing model, give it a fresh look. Do note that the wheels now have a floating BMW logo – thanks to a clever trick, the BMW logo on the wheel always stays the right side up even when the car is in motion. At the rear, the changes are limited to an updated bumper. However, you can now opt for a fixed rear wing as an accessory to spice things up.
Inside, the biggest highlight is a new curved housing for an all-digital instrument cluster, which is 12.3 inches in size, and a massive 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The M340i gets BMW’s eighth-generation iDrive interface, which has crisp graphics, animations, and offers a great infotainment experience. Since it supports wireless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay, it feels like you are operating a big high-quality tablet.
Also Read: BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: A Cocktail of Sportiness and Comfort
BMW M340i Review: Dial M for Madness
Aside from these changes, the car stays true to its roots. Sure, it is not a proper M3, but unless you frequent the racetrack, the M340i is more than apt for your adrenaline-seeking escapades. It is powered by a rev-happy 3.0-litre in-line 6-cylinder, which, aided by turbocharging, makes 369bhp of power and 500Nm of torque, all of which is sent to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Yes, the power output is less than the outgoing model, which made 382bhp, but keep in mind that the facelift makes up for the lost power with a 48V mild-hybrid system. Put simply, it means that the M340i facelift can do a 0 – 100 km/h sprint in an identical claimed time of 4.4 seconds.
To be fair, we shouldn’t judge the M340i based on numbers, as the car is much more than numbers on paper. And besides, there are other key elements that contribute to a great driving experience, such as the feedback to the driver, perfectly-weighted steering, the way a car is ever so eager to let the tail out while cornering, and the sound it makes as it revs to 7,000rpm. The M340i simply nails all of that. It’s so good that it fills you with confidence and makes you feel like a superstar. So much so, that you would think turning traction off completely is a good idea. If it is or not, will eventually depend on your skill. And courage.
However, there are a couple of things to note. First, you sit quite low in the car, and while it gives you that sporty ergonomics, it can be a bit cumbersome for passengers. Also, if you wish to drive the car at its limits, you must be confident of your skills as a driver, for while the M340i is extremely capable, it does require a skilled driver to extract maximum performance from it.
Also Read: BMW X3 M40i Launched in India at Rs 86.50 Lakh
And when you are not looking for that adrenaline rush, the M340i’s plush interior, spacious cabin, and long list of features also make it double up as a luxury sedan – one that does not leave you wanting more. All this makes the M340i great for our road and driving conditions.
BMW M340i Review: Is it the Perfect Car?
Despite being brilliant, the answer is no. As a daily driver, the stiff ride and heavy steering compared to the regular 3 Series Gran Limousine make it a hard sell. But if you are looking for smiles per rupee spent, and you really enjoy driving and are not interested in the rear-seat experience, well, let me just say that it doesn’t get better than the BMW M340i – not under ₹1 crore, that is. After all, the one parameter that has remained consistent with the idea of a great car is the ‘M’ that really matters – money.
- BMW M340i
Engine: 2,998cc / In-Line 6-Cylinder / Turbocharged
Transmission: 8-Speed Automatic / All-Wheel Drive
Power: 369bhp @ 5,500 – 6,500rpm
Torque: 500Nm @ 1,900 – 5,000rpm
Price: ₹69.20 lakh (Ex-Showroom)
X-Factor: A driver’s delight, it offers a brilliant blend of performance and luxury.
• Great Handling, Feature-Loaded
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