The M340i has an aggressive front fascia, massive corner callouts, and a unique lower grille.

The M340i Offers Great Performance, Without the Hard-Edge of a True M Car

-- by Mike Musto

With an M badge, 382 horsepower, and impressive performance, the 2020 BMW M340i slots itself in between the standard 340i sedan and the full-blown M3. It’s a great car in its own right, but don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s an M3-lite.

Instead, the M340i carves out its own niche. With its great balance of impressive performance and refined manners, this machine is more suited to sport-oriented street driving than the punishing rigors of the racetrack. And since that's likely where buyers will spend most of their time driving it, it's not a bad thing!

The BMW M340i features the bold looks of the 3-Series, and adds M-inspired elements.

2020 BMW M340i Exterior

In a world of jellybean styled sedans, we should be thankful that BMW still builds cars that come to us with both flavor and style. The 2020 BMW M340i embraces the bold looks of the standard 3 Series, and adds M-inspired elements designed to give it a bit more flare.

BMW accomplishes this by fitting a burly front fascia that incorporates massive corner callouts and a unique lower grille. Cerium Grey is the color that coats these elements, giving the M340i some serious presence. Staggered wheels (19x7.5-inch front and 19.8.5-inch rear) have also been added for an additional sporty element, while the rear end sees a small deck-lid mounted spoiler, twin exhaust tips, and special M340i badging.

Other visual enhancements include smoked-out taillight lenses, a unique rear bumper treatment, blue M Sport brake calipers and a roof-mounted shark-fin antenna. So while the M340i is an attractive sedan, the lack of bold fender flares, bulge hood, and oversized brake calipers will keep anyone in the know from mistaking the M340i, for a true BMW M3.

With double-stitched black leather seats, and aluminum trim, the interior of the M3401 has a sporty, purposeful feel.

2020 BMW M340i Interior

A sport-oriented cabin, complete with double-stitched black leather, and aluminum and gloss trimmings, sets the tone for the performance capabilities of the M340i. The 14-way adjustable power front sport seats with power side bolsters, not only offer comfort, but also great support in the bends. While the center console is large, isn’t as intrusive as you might think, and contains the rotary dial for BMWs iDrive 7.0 infotainment system. What’s wonderful is that the infotainment system can be operated by voice, the iDrive touchpad controller, or through the 10.25-inch central information touchscreen display, so drivers can keep their eyes on the road.

BMW’s massive 12.3-inch live cockpit takes the place of traditional analog gauges, and incorporates everything from the vehicle's navigation and audio system, to a full host of ancillary vehicle information. Thankfully the HVAC controls are intuitive, as are the steering wheel-mounted media controls for the Harman Kardon audio system — (which sounds amazing). For those wondering, the back seats in the M340i are far more spacious than I originally imagined they'd be, with ample room provided for full-size adults.

Trunk storage was also impressive an 17-cubic feet, with the 40/20/40 split fold-down rear seats making pass-through loading possible.

The TwinPower Turbo inline-six cylinder engine provides 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque.

2020 BMW M340i Performance

With 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque coming from a TwinPower Turbo inline-six cylinder, the M340i is properly fast. The trip to 60 mph takes just just under 4.5 seconds, and if you opt for the xDrive version, you'll hit the mark in just 4.2 seconds. An eight-speed automatic transmission puts power to the pavement, and if you mash the go-pedal, the M340i jumps out of the hole with authority. What’s most impressive, however, is just how silky smooth both the engine and transmission are. Shifts are abrupt, but in no way harsh, and the power delivery of the turbocharged mill is perfectly linear up to the 6,500-rpm redline.

Standard M-Sport four-piston brake calipers on 13.7-inch rotors reside behind the 19-inch front wheels, while single-piston calipers on 13.6-inch rotors live out back. On the street, the braking performance of the M340i is absolutely fantastic, with great pedal feel being transmitted back to the driver.

Thanks to the adaptive M Sport suspension and rear differential, the M340i transitions through corners with athletic agility that I honestly didn’t expect to see from a sedan with a curb weight of over 3,800 pounds. It also pulls hard out of corners with zero drama, and at the same time, delivers an exhilarating driving experience across the board. So while the 2020 M340i isn’t as hard-edged as the M3, rest assured that as a driver, you’ll never be left wanting for performance.

Oh, and from a fuel economy standpoint, the M340i is EPA rated at 22 mpg* in the city, 22 mpg* during combined driving, and 30 mpg* on the highway.

 At 19×7.5-inches front and 19.8.5-inches rear, the wheel sizes of the M3401 are staggered.

2020 BMW M340i Safety

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has tested the 2020 BMW M34oi yet. But last year's model was lauded as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and there have been no fundamental changes to the model for the new year.

It's also worth noting that along with mandated safety features like anti-lock brakes and traction control, BMW includes advanced tech like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring standard. Additional safety features can be seen at The rear of the M340i features a deck-lid mounted spoiler, twin exhaust tips, and special M340i badging.

2020 BMW M340i Overall

With solid good looks, fabulous road manners, and great performance, the 2020 BMW M340i is the perfect compromise for those looking for enhanced BMW fun, without the hard-edged feel and cost of a true M car.

Drop by your local AutoNation BMW dealer today to check one out!

*Fuel economy values (mpg) are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $67,070.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.
Categories: Test Drive Review