Auto review by Veeno Dewan
The BMW 3 Series is an icon. And for the 2020 model year, the seventh generation version of this superb sports sedan pare excellence arrives – wider, longer, taller, and having an extended longer wheelbase. It is now more of familial bent with all 3 Series featuring similar styling cues, the sleek roof line, bigger twin kidney grille and the addition of BMW laser lights on some models, with M Sport providing 19-inch wheels, M Sport brakes and new front fascia’s. 3 Series interiors also become a tad roomier, with enhanced technology, styling and materials.
Of particular interest are the performance M340i and 330i. The 330i now has an as standard 255 hp and 295 lb-ft, while the new M340i aa tested arrives with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft, up 62 hp and 39 lb-ft on the 2018 340i! The 330i and 330e arrive with AWD, but the M340i will be available with Rear Wheel Drive or All Wheel Dive. All 3 Series get a single eight-speed automatic transmission and updated Performance Chassis Technology. It goes without saying. Engineering and performance have all been improved.
We tested a very handsome 2020 Model: (based priced at $61,850) M340i with a beautiful Cognac Vernasca Leather interior option. The M340i interior, is impressive as usual. A little stark and obsessive, but just the way I think BMW drivers will like it- neat , efficient, exacting and of a superior quality, design and execution. The dash is updated with a fully digitized cockpit. Of course, it is on the road where the rear-wheel drive BMW M340i as tested offers the pure driving experience that 3 Series enthusiasts have enjoyed for the past 40 years. With reduced weight compared to its all-wheel drive sibling and enhanced steering feel compared to the outgoing models, the M340i is just that bit more exciting to drive than the heavier M340i, although the xDrive that has the slight edge in adverse road conditions.
Not a lot to complain about. The biggest caveat is which one to go for – the rear wheel drive M340i or the Xdrive version. My money is one the M340i RWD- offering lower weight, offering a shade more front end attack on fasts corners and quicker exiting. Pricing is actually pretty good considering the level of performance and equipment compared to the competition. Highly recommended for performance drivers everywhere.
2020 BMW M340i based priced at $61,850. Price as tested with options: $72,200. More info at www.bmw.ca