Driving enthusiasts often swarm to the BMW 3 Series when hunting in the market for a luxury mid-size sedan, due to its pure and engaging handling characteristics blended with good-quality luxury.
But with the 2023 BMW M340i xDrive, its outright power and straight-line speed are also very enticing. Could this be best all-round package in its class?
2023 BMW M340i xDrive: Specifications
Engine: 3.0-litre turbo inline-six
Output: 285kW@5800-6500rpm / 500Nm@1800-5000rpm
Gearbox: Eight-speed auto
Drive type: All-wheel drive
Wheels: F: 19×8.0, 225/40 R: 19×8.5, 255/35
ANCAP: Not tested (regular 3 Series five stars)
Tare weight: 1658kg
Power-to-weight: 5.81:1 (kg:kW)
Official consumption: 8.0L/100km
Our consumption: 7.2L/100km
Fuel tank/Fuel type: 59L/98 RONPower efficiency: 35.62kW:L/100km
0-60km/h: 2.05 seconds*
0-100km/h: 4.10 seconds*
0-200km/h: 14.19 seconds*
60-110km/h: 2.72 seconds*
1/4 mile: 12.28 seconds at 186.5km/h*
Max acceleration: 1.016g*
100-0km/h braking: 37.40m in 3.07 seconds*
Max deceleration: -1.131g*
Decibel at idle (/sport mode): 41/44*
Peak decibel at 60-100km/h: 89*
Starting price: $106,200
*Figures as tested by Driving Enthusiast on the day. Manufacturers’ claims may be different
2023 BMW M340i xDrive: How much does it cost?
Prices start from $106,200 (excluding on-road costs). It is expensive, but it is a flagship model from a premium marque. In some ways, it is one of the best-value 3 Series models in the range. We’ll explain how later on in this review.
As a reference, the 330i M Sport starts from $94,700. We think the extra $12k or so here is justified considering it comes with a completely different (and very desirable) engine, all-wheel drive, and the full suite of luxury and appointments inside.
2023 BMW M340i xDrive: Interior & packaging
First impressions are crucial, and stepping inside the M340i is a delight. The interior oozes luxury and sophistication, as you’d expect from BMW. High-quality materials, soft-touch surfaces, and impeccable fit and finish create an ambiance of refinement with hints of sportiness. The ergonomics are well thought out, with controls falling easily to hand, and a perfect driving position.
Passenger space is good in the current G20 3 Series, with decent legroom in both the front and rear seats. While the rear may not be as spacious as some rivals, it is comfortable for most shapes and sizes, and the bench is contoured to provide some lateral support.
The middle seat is obviously the tightest, as per usual in this class, but the driveline hump isn’t overly intrusive like in some. As standard the M340i comes with full climate control in the back with multiple charging ports.
The boot is also generous for a mid-size sedan, offering 480 litres, making it practical for your daily needs. You can actually fold down the rear seats, too, and it offers a surprisingly wide access hole into the cabin. It doesn’t get close to wagon or SUV practicality, but it is handy to know you can use the 3 Series to carry long items such as a surfboard.
BMW’s ‘8.0’ infotainment system is very impressive, in terms of size and depth. The 14.9-inch main touch-screen is crisp and responsive, and the rotary controller provides an intuitive alternative for those who prefer physical proximity and, in our opinion, less distraction compared with touching a screen. Smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is seamless, with connectivity possible on the go.
The menu system will be familiar to BMW owners, although there are some new pages to scroll across from side-to-side, and the main apps page is presented in a large grid layout compared with BMW’s older list-like setups. About the only downsize to the entire interface is that the instrument cluster lacks the attention to detail of mechanical dials.
While the M340i’s cabin is a comfortable and luxurious place to be, it’s not without a few quirks. The optional gesture controls can be finicky, leading to unintentional adjustments when using hand movements to interact with the infotainment system. And the screens are quite large and could be seen as overwhelming if you’re not used to this kind of thing.
2023 BMW M340i xDrive: Powertrain & handling
Now, let’s talk about the heart of this beast – the powertrain. The M340i is powered by the ‘B58′ 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder used in various ’40i’ models, and the Toyota GR Supra. It is a real gem. With 285kW spread between 5800rpm and 6500rpm, it is one of the most powerful units in its class (excluding top-self AMG and Audi RS models).
However, 500Nm of torque is on tap from just 1800rpm. This is what you feel most and is what makes this sedan so bloody fast. On a private road we clocked 0-100km/h in just 4.10 seconds – down from BMW’s claim of 4.4 seconds – with 0-200km/h coming up in just 14.19 seconds. It also crossed the quarter-mile in just 12.28 seconds.
The top-end speed is just incredible, especially considering this is only an M Performance model and not a full-blown M model such as the M3. In fact, we were seeing these sorts of figures from the actual M3 not that many years ago. In 2017 I clocked 0-100km/h in 4.58 seconds in the previous-gen M3 sedan on my old website, with the quarter-mile coming up in 12.57 seconds. That was with 317kW – albeit rear-wheel drive.
But it’s not just about straight-line speed; the M340i excels in ride and handling. The precise steering and well-tuned suspension for the 2023 model provide excellent feedback and control, making it a joy to navigate winding roads. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system, while predominantly rear-biased, ensures exceptional traction and stability too, even in adverse conditions.
Seriously, from point-to-point, I can’t think of a quicker vehicle, in the real world. Sure, a Ferrari might be faster. But, would you be brave enough to apply full power around a greasy, leaf-covered corner on a country road, with a few bumps hidden in there as a surprise? Of course not. Whereas in the M340i xDrive, it soaks up this stuff like it was born to do it.
And that’s where the M340i truly shines, in its ability to be a daily driver. The ride, while sporty, remains compliant, absorbing bumps and imperfections in the road with poise. It strikes a near-perfect balance between sportiness and comfort, making it versatile enough for both spirited drives and daily commutes.
Fuel economy is very good as well considering its performance. The official average is 8.0L/100km and we managed to score as low as 6.9L/100km during highway driving, and then it rose to 7.2L/100km for the week. Even at that official rate you’re looking at a theoretical average range of 738km per the 59-litre fuel tank size.
2023 BMW M340i xDrive: Key attractions/reasons to buy
Where to start? It’s the overall package, blending great technology, superb luxury, decent levels of comfort and practicality for its class, and mind-bending performance and all-weather, all-road breadth. And the engine is intoxicating to listen to.
It’s not that expensive, either. Prices have climbed a bit in recent years but not as much as some rivals and not as much as some other 3 Series models. For example, the 330i M Sport sedan started from $76,053 in 2021 (new) and now it retails from $94,700. That’s a jump of almost $20k.
The M340i xDrive started from $111,900 in 2021 and has actually dropped to $106,200 today. Although, it did originally kick off from $99,900 when it first arrived in Australia in 2020. Even so, that’s roughly a $7k rise over three years.
Need any more reasons? It’s simply a solid buy if you’re in the market for something fast yet luxurious.
2023 BMW M340i xDrive: Key considerations before you buy
Hmm, this is difficult. Like with any BMW and in fact most luxury vehicles, the options can get pretty expensive. But fortunately there aren’t too many available for the M340i. Not critical stuff anyway.
You can go nuts with the awesome but very pricey M Performance parts and accessories. However, you don’t need to. It’s fine straight from the box.
2023 BMW M340i xDrive: Videos
How does it rate against its rivals?
The 2023 M340i continues BMW’s tradition of combining performance with luxury in a captivating package. Its potent inline-six engine, well-balanced handling, and sumptuous interior make it a very strong contender in the competitive sports sedan segment. The overall driving experience more than justifies the investment (at today’s prices) for those seeking a harmonious blend of performance and luxury.