BMW’s 3-series holds an important niche. They carry the torch of tradition in a modern automotive market that’s all but hostile to the once universally respected sports sedans that made BMW a legend. Thankfully, the new BMW M340i reviews reflect a continuation of these trends, and old-school aficionados have something to keep inspired by, with the question of the M340i vs M340i xDrive.
Braman BMW’s M340i Review
BMW decidedly invigorated the waning sports-sedan market, giving a nod to those keeping the sports-sedan flame alive with a tastefully subtle, though extensive style upgrade. It’s part of BMW’s Life Cycle Impulse strategy for the 3-series 2023 mid-cycle refresh. Protectively heralded as the only modestly designed beamer left, BMW chose to keep the new design tight and in the pocket.
The interior mirrors these style adjustments, paring the console down to a smaller strip of controls and relegating many of its tech-rich features to the curved display console that’s quickly become a BMW mainstay.
Of course, form is one thing; what about function?
The M340i vs M340i xDrive — A Question of Performance
While keeping the sports sedan alive, BMW also made it harder for the competition to follow suit, upping the bar tremendously. The M340i 3.0L straight-six puts out 382 hp and 369 pound-feet of torque, courtesy of the legendary B58 engine, and the 8-speed automatic maintains smooth transitions even when pushed to its limit.
The xDrive’s AWD hits nearly 4 seconds flat in 0–60-mph tests (even faster with the right wheel upgrades). With about 200 fewer pounds and RWD, the M340i steps off the line a little easier, but slower, and it had slightly longer quarter-mile times as well.
However, the M340i is lower to the ground, resulting in noticeably better handling, especially during cornering and at high speeds. The xDrive also has fewer suspension and damping options compared to the M340i, partly for this reason.
And the Winner Is…
The new 3-series is just the most recent addition to our new inventory, and either M340i variation is certain to impress even the most die-hard purists. As with any RWD vs AWD question (granted, there’s a little more to it than that), it comes down to feel. In Florida’s sunshine-for-life climate, you’ll be hard-pressed to see RWD as a safety liability.
Most classic sports sedan enthusiasts will appreciate the tighter, more intimate handling of the M340i, vs M340i xDrive’s comparatively lower responsiveness. That’s just our gut sense of the matter. Contact us or visit Braman BMW West Palm Beach, to decide for yourself with an A/B test-drive comparison.