What is it?
This is as hot as the latest G20-generation 3 Series Touring will get, at least officially.
Munich has decreed that anyone looking for more power in a wagon body must head down the road to Buchloe and ask Alpina for a B3 Touring instead.
The M340i marks the first time BMW’s junior estate has worn M Performance badging, seven years after the sub-brand was first introduced.
The car is equipped with the only six-cylinder system in the current lineup, 3.0-litre B58 engine that sees power taken up to 369bhp, and enough to enable a 0-62mph sprint in just 4.5 seconds. That’s only 0.1sec slower than the M340i saloon, despite the weight penalty that comes with an estate body style.
This is the first time the M340i has run on roads in the UK
What’s it like?
Not much has changed on the M340i. Some exhaust pipes have been redesigned and bootlid badges
Inside, nothing has changed much, just like any other 3 Series. The all-digital dashboard’s angular layout might not be particularly straightforward, and there’s still no Android Auto. The interior of BMW is the most sophisticated of any high-end car today.
While navigating towns in its Comfort setting, the M340i gives few clues to its untapped power reserves, save for a somewhat brittle ride – though this is far from the ultra-stiff setups we’ve seen on some M Division cars recently. Adaptive damping helps combat uneven road surfaces, but not completely. Handling isn’t quite as precise as that of the 3 Series saloon.
It’s only when you switch into Sport mode and the optional heads-up display throws up a shift indicator that the M340i gives any indication of its performance potential.
The torque wheel all-wheel drive system supports the car so it has an enchanting speed boost when pulling the gear lever. It grips and goes, but equally doesn’t require much encouragement to involve the rear end when in the sportier drive modes.
Should I buy one?
M340i is a perfect choice for you. It’s rapid, comfortably more dynamic than an Audi S4 Avant (though perhaps not as economical) and better equipped inside than a C43 Estate. The 3 Series saloon might be the even better driver’s car, it can’t claim to match the Touring’s ability to deal with more of what life throws at it.
- Price £55,685 On sale now
- Engine 6 cyls, 2998cc, turbocharged, petrol
- Power 369bhp at 5500-6500rpm
- Torque 369lb ft at 1850-5000rpm
- Gearbox 8-spd automatic
- Kerb weight 1745kg
- Top speed 155mph (limited) 0-62mph 4.5sec
- Fuel economy 33.2-33.6 mpg
- CO2 no WLTP data available