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2019+ BMW 3 AND 4-SERIES FORUMS (G2x Generation) General G20 Sedan / G22 Coupe / G26 Gran Coupe Discussions BMW M340i vs Mercedes C43 AMG vs Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport - Review & Comparison

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      08-10-2019, 02:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by x986 View Post
Thanks for the great writeup. I'm sorry you didn't try the Genesis G70.
My '16 340 lease was up in Feb., and I started trying to find a replacement in Dec.
I tried the Audi S4 and S5, and thought they were good cars, but when I got back in my 340, it was better.
I have not tried the Merc because my last CLA AMG45 was a piece of ----, and it was sold in less than a year; I figured life is too short to drive a ----y car.
I have tried the Alfa and liked the way it drove, but the short comings noted above were true, and the electronic goodies were very limited. I have two toy cars with GREAT driving, but few electronic goodies, so the Alfa was out.
I let the lease go in Feb., and have been driving one of the toy cars as a daily driver since Feb. It is a '14 Cayman S, and I'm really beginning to wonder if that won't stay as a daily driver. However my wife's Tesla has taught me the joys of "Autopilot" for daily freeway type driving. I find I have to take control once every 5 minutes or so; it is not as smart as Elon says, and other brand's "Active lane keeping" are not as smart as Tesla.
So - the G20 and G70. They are both in California now. I have driven both the 330, and the 340. The 330 has more than adequate power for a daily driver, and it can be very well equipped, but my heart says go for the 340. The Genesis G70 is a very good car, and maxed out is still less money than either Bimmer. (About 10-15K less that a 340.) The V6 has about 20 fewer ponies than the 340 with better leather, and, in my opinion, may well be better looking.
I hope I have thoroughly confused you all because I still can't make up my mind. That is why I'm still here reading opinions of a group whose opinions I generally respect.
Yes, the compact class of sports sedans has really heated up within the last few years. I remember when the E46 originally came out, I found that the 3 series and the Infiniti G35 were the only "sporty" cars of the entire class.

Then, Jaguar had no idea what it was doing under Ford's leadership, Genesis didn't exist and Hyundai's were econoboxes, Cadillac was shifting their entire strategy and model lineup, Alfa wasn't in the states, and Mercedes made cars mainly for older men/women unless buying an AMG.

Now, everyone has improved and are finally making sports cars. Genesis/Hyundai have the G70 led under previous M-boss Albert Biermann, Alfa has their Italian take on the 3 series, Jaguar has their XE sedan, Cadillac has the great Alpha platform on the ATS and upcoming CT4/5, and Mercedes has their AMG Performance line, all have improved their driving dynamics and are making really compelling vehicles, its hard to just choose one to be the best choice for your lifestyle.
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      08-10-2019, 03:04 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Number 2 is essentially the problem for me. While I do have one Alfa dealer nearby, its paired with Fiat, Jeep and Dodge, and the service center there isn't the best. I do have one Alfa dealer paired with Porsche and Maserati, but the problem with that one is that while it is much nicer and has better service, its about 1.5 hrs away, in a heavily trafficked area.
I think you may like the G70 3.3T because it does feel lighter on its feet than the M340 but the transmission is a hyundai unit and not as good as the ZF. The Genesis dealership experience is shabby at least where i live since you have to go to the local Hyundai dealership.
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      08-10-2019, 03:10 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Number 2 is essentially the problem for me. While I do have one Alfa dealer nearby, its paired with Fiat, Jeep and Dodge, and the service center there isn't the best. I do have one Alfa dealer paired with Porsche and Maserati, but the problem with that one is that while it is much nicer and has better service, its about 1.5 hrs away, in a heavily trafficked area.
I think you may like the G70 3.3T because it does feel lighter on its feet than the M340 but the transmission is a hyundai unit and not as good as the ZF. The Genesis dealership experience is shabby at least where i live since you have to go to the local Hyundai dealership.
I plan on going back to a different Hyundai dealer sometime this week. I have three local dealers, one doesn't have any G70's, one has a small number of 2.0T's only, and one does have a larger stock of 3.3TT's so I'll have to go to that one.

Similar to Alfa, the problem with Genesis is dealer experience. In Canada, they have everything figured out. They bring the car to you to test drive, they have a whole delivery experience where they bring it on a truck with a nice big bow when you buy it, and for service, they bring you a loaner, and take your car to the service center. Sadly, the US doesn't have this. Despite this, I am still curious about how it handles, so I'll definitely need to drive one.
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      08-11-2019, 02:11 AM   #26
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One thing I'll point out, that many might already realize, is the longer the Giulia sits on dealer lots, the more attractive the offers and discounts are becoming. I saw a new 2018 quadrifoglio dropped all the way to mid 50s. I didn't dig deeper to see what the details were, but if there are left over '18 quads being offered for the cost of a well optioned 330i, that's hard to resist.

In some regions of the US, like the NE, the dealer situation isn't bad either. I have the feeling though, if I walk into an Alfa dealership looking for a quadrifoglio, it would be difficult to leave without buying it. Compound that with the fact that, on some level, I'd want to be talked into buying it, and id be a relatively easy mark for a skilled sales person. Car sales staff are often very perceptive, and despite what you think is a good poker face, they tend to sense your mind set if you're an enthusiast type. Then again, who else would be interested in buying a rwd Italian sports sedan in the northeastern US. You're either not playing with a full deck, or you're the type who comes to life when in control of 500+ hp. Anyway, got to be sensible, no impulsive car purchases... My F36 might not be a youngster anymore, but she's perfectly fine...I think.
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      08-11-2019, 06:33 PM   #27
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*Update* Genesis G70 Driven + M340i RWD Driven

*UPDATE*

This weekend I stopped by a different Hyundai dealer and tested out a G70 3.3TT HTRAC - I wanted to test a RWD G70, but none were available - and then stopped by my local BMW dealer and tested out a RWD version of the M340i.

Genesis G70
3.3TT HTRAC - As Tested Price: $52,495

Exterior Design wise I find this car to be quite attractive. Yes, it does mix a bit of Infiniti, BMW, Lexus, and Mercedes into the design, but hey, if you're gonna steal, steal from the best. The car overall has many good angles, but the front isn't one of them, the grill just looks weird and feels very empty looking, and doesn't clash well with the Giulia-esque headlights. The rear is the best angle, but I would credit that to what I believe is influence from the C-Class and older 3 series as I see a resemblance in the rear 3/4 view. On the "Sport" package, the copper trim looks weird, and the 4 series like boomerang vent is obnoxiously big, I'd go for the "Prestige" package which has normal chrome.

Interior Interior design is nice and simplistic (aside from the horrid tacked on screen), and materials are actually not bad. The leather is high quality, and the diamond pattern looks pretty cool, although some lighter color seats would be nice. I do think some wood trim would spruce up the cabin nicely. The middle portion of the dash which streams towards the center console is covered in nice soft materials as well. The switchgear isn't the best, the buttons are mushy feeling and the knobs for the climate control could feel more reassuring rather than a bit jiggly, but everything is logically laid out. I really love the seat coolers, every car needs this, especially in the summer! Also the center console has a bit of leather padding the side, similar to a higher trimmed S4/5. Annoyingly the door panels have two different sets of aluminum trim which noticeably don't match.

Technology Technology is too much like that of a basic Hyundai, this is likely where they were able to make the car have a lower price than its competitors. Its simple and intuitive, but looks old, and relies solely on a touchscreen, and it can be hard to reach for someone like myself who puts their seat back. Gauges are nice in that they are analogue but again, look like that of an Elantra. The biggest problem is that while Genesis ranks above Hyundai, the new Sonata is getting better technology than the Genesis. Looks like a refresh needs to come soon! One feature I absolutely love is that the synthesized engine noise can be turned off. BMW needs this on their cars!

Powertrain The powertrain is quite nice. Under the hood is a 3.3L Twin Turbocharged V6 mated to an 8-Speed Automatic Transmission and AWD, known as HTRAC in Hyundai terms. Power is very good and delivered very low in the rev range. The engine's noise isn't the best sounding V6 in the world, and while it may be childish, the car does lack the "pops" and "bangs" of most new car exhausts. The transmission is nice and smooth, but isn't as good as the BMW's ZF sourced 8-Speed or Mercedes' 9G-Tronic, which is faster, crisper, and overall always knows what gear to be in. The AWD system is good at keeping the car planted, but of course, is still RWD bias.

Driving Dynamics Handling wise the car is drives very nicely. Body roll is kept to a minimum, with a nice and rigid feeling chassis, while still being playful enough. It doesn't dive into the corners as eager as a Giulia, and lacks the aggressiveness of the C43 but still offers a pleasant driving experience. The car does feel light off its feet and always ready, and the low down torque at 1300 RPM definitely helps with that. Suspension wise the car always stays compliant, even on the harshest of bumps in sport mode. One problem, again is the engine noise, when going through corners, it isn't the most pleasing to hear, albeit not the worst, but could use a nice exhaust mod.

The most disappointing aspect of the drive is the transmission. Like I said it isn't as smooth as the BMW, but sometimes it just can't find the right gear in auto mode. So, you think to yourself, "OK, I'll just shift with the paddles then," the problem is, there is no true manual mode. Despite using the paddles to indicate that you want to take control, the car will automatically up-shift, even when it hasn't reached redline. I find this super annoying, because if I am forced to use an automatic rather than a manual, I would at least like full control of the transmission when using the paddles. Steering wise, the car is nice and direct, with a nice steering ratio, but the steering is a bit light for my tastes, feeling lighter than the Giulia and Bimmer, and closer to the C43, while also lacking feedback through the wheel.

Warranty/Price
I didn't discuss this with the other 3 vehicles, but one thing to consider with the G70 is its excellence value for money. German cars are very expensive, and if you have a lighter wallet but still want those thrills on the backroad, the fully loaded price of $52k is a steal in this class, even cheaper than a loaded and less powerful 330i. Another great aspect is the 10 Year, 100k mile powertrain warranty and 5 year, 60k mile basic warranty, which beats any other car in its class. Although, this will require a trip to a Hyundai dealer, as there is no actual and separate Genesis dealers in the US that I know of.

Conclusion This sports sedan may track its roots back to its parent brand Hyundai, but don't let that fool you into thinking that this car isn't worthy to fight with the best of the compact class. With a comfortable interior and suspension, taught handling, strong power, and impeccable value for money, this is a great first attempt of Genesis trying to compete with the big 3. Despite this, there are some areas ready for improvement, such as dealer networks, brand prestige (if you care about that), outdated technology, and some different tuning to the powertrain.

M340i RWD
And now, lets discuss the M340i with RWD.

While xDrive does add traction, practicality during certain seasons, and better grip, I don't think it is the way to go with the M340i, as I find the RWD model improves the driving experience a bit.

The car because of its RWD nature, seems more playful and eager in corners, it still feels planted, but of course now its even easier to kick out the back tires. Of course xDrive makes the car faster, but driving isn't all about 0-60 times, otherwise, I'd buy a Tesla. One perk of the loss of AWD, is that RWD models weigh about 120lbs less, which also helps get rid of some of the unnecessary weight this generation has gained. Does the car still feel big and heavy? Yes, but now the weight feels closer to the rest of the class, although I would like to see BMW make an effort in the future for further weight reduction. The weight loss and deletion of xDrive noticeably make the front end feel lighter, and the littlest bit more nimble. Another unexpected improvement was steering. I don't know whether it was the road I was driving on, whether its different tires, or just the fact that AWD generally dampens steering feel, but I got the slightest bit of feedback with a greater sense of what the front tires were doing compared to the loaded xDrive models I tested prior. Also, I will say, I do generally appreciate how heavy BMW has made the steering weight in sports mode. It may not be E90 levels of heft and feel, but I can tell BMW is at least making some improvements, and I do hope they continue to try more in the next generation of vehicles, from whether it be a 3 series, X5, or 5 series, as long as constant improves are on their way. Of course one benefit of RWD is also a more engaging driving experience due to the more tail happy nature the car presents.

So, my perspective has changed on the M340i once the deletion of xDrive has taken place in favor of RWD only. And after seeing some great pictures of a fully black (color, wheels, grills) G20 3 series, I've now found my perfect spec for this car. (I included the pictures below)

In the end the Genesis, Giulia, C43, and M340i are all great cars in the compact class, with none of them being a bad choice. While the gap is smaller than ever, and some competitors do beat the 3 series in some regards, the 3 series is still more capable than the previous F30 generation, putting it back towards the top end of the class.

I overall think, for my lifestyle, the M340i has a good mix of attributes, being sporty enough but not too stiff, while having a nice mix of style, tech and a great powertrain. One thing is, I plan on waiting a little before purchasing/leasing (haven't decided which I'll do yet), as I want to see iDrive 7.0 improve and become less glitchy, and I want to see what the overall reliability of these first year models are, and might wait for the 2020's instead.

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      08-11-2019, 07:11 PM   #28
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Quote:
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I haven't driven the Merc or the Alfa, but my feelings on the M340 are extremely similar to yours.

The interior of the M340 is an improvement over the F30, but still feels very low rent, especially with the tetragonal trim. The soft touch material feels cheap, and the high/upright passenger side dashboard looks terrible. I also felt the door cards were lacking and the arm rest is too narrow

As far as driving, I was utterly bored by the 340. Its okay but nothing exciting...comfortable, refined quick, but not sporty enough to warrant a BMW badge, and not luxurious enough to be considered a luxury car.

I too was hoping the M340 would be more like the E90, but its simply not. Its an improvement over the F30 in dynamics, but its closer to the F30 in driver engagement than it is to the E90

I truly expected to like the M340 a lot better than my 2017 530, as I prefer something more athletic or fun, but I feel like the 340 gives up significant amounts of luxury and refinement over the 5 series, and doesn't really offer any additional driving enjoyment.
You hit the nail on the head.

The 340 bores me. It's not bad in the way the F30 was, it's certainly competent and would be "fun" to the average person. However, it's just not close at all to recapturing the magic of the E90 and prior models.

That's just too much money for me to spend on a car that leaves me feeling cold. No bueno BMW.
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      08-11-2019, 08:58 PM   #29
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Thank you for the detailed and unbiased view. Awesome
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      08-11-2019, 11:12 PM   #30
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Thanks for the update on the g70. Your assessment on the transmission is what makes me lukewarm on the g70. Despite the powerful engine, competent handling, quality interior, and relative bargain price for the segment, the transmission would ruin the experience for me. Why bother with a performance oriented car if the only choice is an auto transmission that's somewhat unpredictable and doesn't allow for full manual mode.
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      08-12-2019, 10:29 AM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuller View Post
Thanks for the update on the g70. Your assessment on the transmission is what makes me lukewarm on the g70. Despite the powerful engine, competent handling, quality interior, and relative bargain price for the segment, the transmission would ruin the experience for me. Why bother with a performance oriented car if the only choice is an auto transmission that's somewhat unpredictable and doesn't allow for full manual mode.
And don't forget the G70's lousy fuel economy too.
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      08-12-2019, 12:19 PM   #32
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuller View Post
Thanks for the update on the g70. Your assessment on the transmission is what makes me lukewarm on the g70. Despite the powerful engine, competent handling, quality interior, and relative bargain price for the segment, the transmission would ruin the experience for me. Why bother with a performance oriented car if the only choice is an auto transmission that's somewhat unpredictable and doesn't allow for full manual mode.
And don't forget the G70's lousy fuel economy too.
Yes, fuel economy is surprisingly abysmal for both the 4 and 6 cylinder models somehow. Makes no sense, especially when 4 cylinder 3 series have been tested at as high as 40mpg by C/D
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      08-12-2019, 12:22 PM   #33
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Thanks for the update, especially as regards the differences between RWD and X drive! Driving a RWD E90 in the snowbelt, I suspected that the RWD M340i might have a touch more character. It's tricky because being where I am, I have no ability to compare rear to XDrive and my instinct as a driver for RWD wars with my practical self for XDrive
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      08-12-2019, 12:34 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StickForLife View Post
Thanks for the update, especially as regards the differences between RWD and X drive! Driving a RWD E90 in the snowbelt, I suspected that the RWD M340i might have a touch more character. It's tricky because being where I am, I have no ability to compare rear to XDrive and my instinct as a driver for RWD wars with my practical self for XDrive
One solution for me regarding RWD and snow, is winter tires. I find that it allows me to have more fun in the summer and enough traction in the winter.
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      08-12-2019, 10:23 PM   #35
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Great thread! Maybe I missed it, but the 2020 Mercedes CLA45 looks pretty good, too. Shame the 416hp engine will not be released in the U.S.

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews...cla45-s-drive/
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      08-13-2019, 02:09 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by StickForLife View Post
Thanks for the update, especially as regards the differences between RWD and X drive! Driving a RWD E90 in the snowbelt, I suspected that the RWD M340i might have a touch more character. It's tricky because being where I am, I have no ability to compare rear to XDrive and my instinct as a driver for RWD wars with my practical self for XDrive
One solution for me regarding RWD and snow, is winter tires. I find that it allows me to have more fun in the summer and enough traction in the winter.
You also drive winter tires in the summer?
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      08-13-2019, 07:16 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eagle Creek View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by StickForLife View Post
Thanks for the update, especially as regards the differences between RWD and X drive! Driving a RWD E90 in the snowbelt, I suspected that the RWD M340i might have a touch more character. It's tricky because being where I am, I have no ability to compare rear to XDrive and my instinct as a driver for RWD wars with my practical self for XDrive
One solution for me regarding RWD and snow, is winter tires. I find that it allows me to have more fun in the summer and enough traction in the winter.
You also drive winter tires in the summer?
God no, sorry my wording was off. By using winter tires in the winter, i can have fun with summmer/performance tires in the summer, and then switch them out as soon as snow begins to fall.
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      08-13-2019, 04:48 PM   #38
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Those as-tested prices of the M and AMG lite models are ridiculous.
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      08-13-2019, 04:50 PM   #39
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Those as-tested prices of the M and AMG lite models are ridiculous.
That's what happens when all the boxes are ticked, but yes, everything today has become very expensive. I'm sure if Porsche made a competitor, it'd be well past $100k w/ all options
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      08-13-2019, 05:13 PM   #40
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Add performance suspension to your m340i and it will change the car completely.
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      08-13-2019, 05:19 PM   #41
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Go drive the Alfa QV. You won't be disappointed. You can also pick one up (18 model)for $20k discount.

I've driven 11k miles on mine so far and it has been very reliable.
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      08-13-2019, 05:24 PM   #42
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thats a very informative post.
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      08-13-2019, 05:26 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by elitex View Post
Go drive the Alfa QV. You won't be disappointed. You can also pick one up (18 model)for $20k discount.

I've driven 11k miles on mine so far and it has been very reliable.
Plan on trying to do so this weekend, just have to get off work early enough. After driving the Ti Sport, I can't wait to see how the twin turbo V6 makes the car even better!
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      08-13-2019, 05:28 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by buckybadger View Post
Add performance suspension to your m340i and it will change the car completely.
Is this on the builder? Or part of the M performance parts? Car I tested had the Adaptive M Suspension ($700)
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