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      01-28-2020, 01:12 PM   #1
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Can't decide if the M340i is the right car for me

As a backstory, I owned an f30 328i. We recently bought my wife an X3 M40i and I absolutely love that car. It drives so well and the engine is great. Now I am driving her old Honda Civic and would like a new BMW for myself.

One thing I did not like about my 328I was the ride quality. Mainly that the interior felt kinda cheap and the endless ratting of various pieces of plastic drove me insane. Otherwise fun car.

I am torn over what to get now. My only stipulation is I need a car seat in the back. I like having a quick powerful car on demand but commute daily so comfort is a must. Would like tech like auto cruise and remote start.

I really like the look and engine and tech of the m340 but worry that a cheaper interior quality will drive me insane again. But it would be fun to have a small and nimble "sportier" car.

I also was looking at the m550i for more interior luxury and better build quality. But the 5 series just looks... Boring. Also no remote start bugs me (wtf, BMW?).

I also really like the X5 m50i. Particularly the ride, tech and interior luxury. I realize this is quite different than the above 2 lol.

Any thoughts on which BMW might suit my situation best? Would love to hear from owners of various models.
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      01-28-2020, 01:17 PM   #2
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If you like the build quality of the X3 you will definitely like the quality of the G20 (M340i). To me it's a step up over the current X3.
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      01-28-2020, 01:31 PM   #3
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M340 doesn't have a luxury interior. A 540i maybe a better fit for you. You don't buy an M340i for luxury, that's not its intended purpose.
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      01-28-2020, 01:37 PM   #4
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Cannot go wrong with the m340i for interior quality and driver engagement. With the new interior design language you would be hard pressed to find massive quality gaps between the new 3 series and the X5. Need to go to the 8 series for that difference. For the ride quality, be sure to select adaptive suspension and non run flat tires (opting for summer performance tires takes care of this)
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      01-28-2020, 02:07 PM   #5
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You have a wide variety of prices here, ranging from $55k-$100k depending on options. So that tells me pricing isn't really a concern for you.

If price is not a concern and you want a more luxury focus, I would rank them this way:

1) m550
2) x5 m50i
3) m340

As an owner of both an m340 and an X5, there is a night and day difference between the 2. The m340 is not geared for comfort and luxury. It's by no means a cheap interior, but it also doesn't ooze luxury. The X5 on the other hand, is incredibly luxurious. Soft touch materials everywhere, high quality leather seats, supremely quiet cabin, smooth ride etc. I don't have much experience with the m550, but i'd have to assume it is a good mix of that X5 luxury and that m340 sportiness.

That being said, the m340 does not have a cheap interior. I also have not experienced any issues with rattling. It's much quieter than the f30 in comfort cruising. It's a nice cabin in its own right. The 5 series and x5 just happen to be that much more luxurious.
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      01-28-2020, 02:20 PM   #6
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If price isn’t an issue, get the m550i. I drove one very recently and fell in love with it. Absolutely wonderful car. Don’t let the absence of remote start bother you. It’s a beast and worth every penny. And is luxurious too. Better than the G20 in every sense.
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      01-28-2020, 04:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Burrcold View Post
If you like the build quality of the X3 you will definitely like the quality of the G20 (M340i). To me it's a step up over the current X3.
I see you had both an S4 and S5 previously. How would you compare the 340 to those? I'm currently on the fence between a 340xi and an S5 Sportback.

I prefer the styling and interior of the Audi, but am seriously tempted by the performance of the 340.

The one factor making it difficult for me is the tire situation. No run-flats on the Audi and you get a spare under the trunk floor. BMW's solution of either giving up half your trunk for a spare or just taking your chances without doesn't work for me, so I'm looking at RFTs on the 340 which likely kills the 19" wheels I want.
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      01-28-2020, 05:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwo3 View Post
You have a wide variety of prices here, ranging from $55k-$100k depending on options. So that tells me pricing isn't really a concern for you.

If price is not a concern and you want a more luxury focus, I would rank them this way:

1) m550
2) x5 m50i
3) m340

As an owner of both an m340 and an X5, there is a night and day difference between the 2. The m340 is not geared for comfort and luxury. It's by no means a cheap interior, but it also doesn't ooze luxury. The X5 on the other hand, is incredibly luxurious. Soft touch materials everywhere, high quality leather seats, supremely quiet cabin, smooth ride etc. I don't have much experience with the m550, but i'd have to assume it is a good mix of that X5 luxury and that m340 sportiness.

That being said, the m340 does not have a cheap interior. I also have not experienced any issues with rattling. It's much quieter than the f30 in comfort cruising. It's a nice cabin in its own right. The 5 series and x5 just happen to be that much more luxurious.
Interesting comparison re: luxury feel inside. Iím comparing an M440i (when it comes out) vs an X5 40i right now. Coming from several Dodges (along with a Chevy and a Subaru), to me BMW is a step up regardless. But to my untrained eye there didnít seem to be THAT much of a difference between the X5 and the 3 series.
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      01-28-2020, 05:19 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by NorCalAthlete View Post
Interesting comparison re: luxury feel inside. Iím comparing an M440i (when it comes out) vs an X5 40i right now. Coming from several Dodges (along with a Chevy and a Subaru), to me BMW is a step up regardless. But to my untrained eye there didnít seem to be THAT much of a difference between the X5 and the 3 series.
To be fair, my X5 is fully loaded with the merino leather seats, luxury seating package, individual trim, sky lounge panoramic roof, acoustic glass, air suspension, glass controls etc. My m340 is also loaded, but after daily driving it during the week and then hopping into the X5 on the weekend when we go anywhere as a family, it's a night and day difference for me in terms of material quality and luxury. My X5 is quieter, smoother of a drive, and much more comfortable.

That's not to take away from the 3 series which I think is a very well made car and not cheap feeling in the slightest, but there's no denying it's more sports car than it is luxury.
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      01-28-2020, 05:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by KR335 View Post
I see you had both an S4 and S5 previously. How would you compare the 340 to those? I'm currently on the fence between a 340xi and an S5 Sportback.

I prefer the styling and interior of the Audi, but am seriously tempted by the performance of the 340.

The one factor making it difficult for me is the tire situation. No run-flats on the Audi and you get a spare under the trunk floor. BMW's solution of either giving up half your trunk for a spare or just taking your chances without doesn't work for me, so I'm looking at RFTs on the 340 which likely kills the 19" wheels I want.
The only thing I like better better is the exterior styling of the S5 Sportback. That's it. Everything else, in my opinion, is superior in the M340i. Okay maybe the stereo in the S5 and S4 were slightly better, but that's it. Many will disagree, but I also feel like the interior is nicer (better screwed together, more modern tech and design, and I find the seats to be better as well...maybe the S5 sport seats look better but that's it).
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      01-28-2020, 05:37 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howshnaz View Post
As a backstory, I owned an f30 328i. We recently bought my wife an X3 M40i and I absolutely love that car. It drives so well and the engine is great. Now I am driving her old Honda Civic and would like a new BMW for myself.

One thing I did not like about my 328I was the ride quality. Mainly that the interior felt kinda cheap and the endless ratting of various pieces of plastic drove me insane. Otherwise fun car.

I am torn over what to get now. My only stipulation is I need a car seat in the back. I like having a quick powerful car on demand but commute daily so comfort is a must. Would like tech like auto cruise and remote start.

I also was looking at the m550i for more interior luxury and better build quality. But the 5 series just looks... Boring. Also no remote start bugs me (wtf, BMW?).

I also really like the X5 m50i. Particularly the ride, tech and interior luxury. I realize this is quite different than the above 2 lol.

I really like the look and engine and tech of the m340 but worry that a cheaper interior quality will drive me insane again. But it would be fun to have a small and nimble "sportier" car.

Any thoughts on which BMW might suit my situation best? Would love to hear from owners of various models.
I went for the 530e and loaded it with Nappa upholstery, leather dash, adaptive lights, adaptive suspension, etc. A huge advantage, in Phoenix area, is the ability to use the phone app to turn on the AC. In the summer when I am golfing and the car has been sitting in the sun for five hours, I take out my phone after the 17th hole, turn on the AC, and when I get to the car, it is nice and comfortable. It is way better than remote start.

While I would prefer more power, I have always had adequate power (I don't track a car) including passing on steep hills on a road with a 65 mph speed limit (Carefree Highway coming back from Peoria toward Scottsdale). I would be tempted to wait for the alleged 545e but it is not clear that this vehicle will ever make it to the states.

The 530e with the Nappa upholstery will meet most of your needs. I have the added benefit of being able to drive in the car pool lane (I an grandfathered into that) but you won't have that option.

I had a 3 series before my 5 series. The crappy interior on the 3 series is why I upgraded. With Nappa upholstery, multi-contour seats (I love the way the wings tighten and hug me after I put on my seatbelt) the 5 series is very nice. I do like a smaller more maneuverable car.

An added benefit of the five series is that the car seat will be easier to fit.

If you don't track your car, and you want more power, the 540i should give you that.
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      01-28-2020, 06:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveinArizona View Post
I went for the 530e and loaded it with Nappa upholstery, leather dash, adaptive lights, adaptive suspension, etc. A huge advantage, in Phoenix area, is the ability to use the phone app to turn on the AC. In the summer when I am golfing and the car has been sitting in the sun for five hours, I take out my phone after the 17th hole, turn on the AC, and when I get to the car, it is nice and comfortable. It is way better than remote start.

While I would prefer more power, I have always had adequate power (I don't track a car) including passing on steep hills on a road with a 65 mph speed limit (Carefree Highway coming back from Peoria toward Scottsdale). I would be tempted to wait for the alleged 545e but it is not clear that this vehicle will ever make it to the states.

The 530e with the Nappa upholstery will meet most of your needs. I have the added benefit of being able to drive in the car pool lane (I an grandfathered into that) but you won't have that option.

I had a 3 series before my 5 series. The crappy interior on the 3 series is why I upgraded. With Nappa upholstery, multi-contour seats (I love the way the wings tighten and hug me after I put on my seatbelt) the 5 series is very nice. I do like a smaller more maneuverable car.

An added benefit of the five series is that the car seat will be easier to fit.

If you don't track your car, and you want more power, the 540i should give you that.
I appreciate that you understand the need for remote start in Phoenix lol. To be honest, the 5 series is so boring looking to me that it would have to at least be the m550i for me to be somewhat excited about. Even then I would probably add some m performance accessories like the spoiler etc.
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      01-28-2020, 11:11 PM   #13
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M340i is about as good of a mix of sport and luxury as you're gonna find. Pretty sure it's a huge step up from your Honda and at least equivalent to your X3. Just pick the right color combo for you and don't skimp on the options. Good luck out there.
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      01-28-2020, 11:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by EXE46 View Post
M340 doesn't have a luxury interior. A 540i maybe a better fit for you. You don't buy an M340i for luxury, that's not its intended purpose.
Disagree. Depends on the interior trim. If you opt for aluminum and Sensatec then yes, it’s not luxurious. The open pore trim and leather seats screams sporty and luxury.

Last edited by Conezz; 01-29-2020 at 10:55 AM..
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      01-28-2020, 11:23 PM   #15
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      01-29-2020, 12:33 AM   #16
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Audi oil change is $700.
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      01-29-2020, 06:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conezz View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by EXE46 View Post
M340 doesn't have a luxury interior. A 540i maybe a better fit for you. You don't buy an M340i for luxury, that's not its intended purpose.
Disagree. Depends on the interior trim. If you opt for aluminum and Sensatec then yes, it's not luxurious. Some open pore trim and leather seats screams sporty and luxury.
I have leather and mine is not a luxury car, many hard plastics, lower door etc. 3er was never about luxury. I am on my fourth. These are entry level cars. There's nothing plush about it. There's a reason why the G70 gets rave review for interior appointments with the padded leather trim doors etc which our cars lack. Open pore trim alone doesn't make a car luxurious. The aluminum trim fits its character more than the wood trim.
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      01-29-2020, 07:16 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howshnaz View Post
Any thoughts on which BMW might suit my situation best? Would love to hear from owners of various models.
I would pay as much attention to the suspension and tire set up of whatever you buy as any other factor, as those are going to have everything to do with how many rattles and squeaks.

I saw a Youtube video with an older M5 complaining of rattles, then noticed he had tons of spare coins in the plastic coin holder (not saying it's the only source of rattles but it's kind of a bad plan if eliminating rattles is the goal). Contradictions are everywhere we look

You may find that you want an S-line or luxury line 330i rather than an m-sport. On an enthusiast forum like this, we sometimes forget that is an option.
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      01-29-2020, 07:24 AM   #19
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You said you wanted to drive something sportier but comfortable that can accommodate a child seat, so the m340i fits that description perfectly. You don't need a 5er or x5 for a child seat. Also, since you've been driving the civic, going to an m340i will still feel like a treat luxury wise.
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      01-29-2020, 10:34 AM   #20
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Audi oil change is $700.
They ripped you off then.
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      01-29-2020, 10:50 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by EXE46 View Post
I have leather and mine is not a luxury car, many hard plastics, lower door etc. 3er was never about luxury. I am on my fourth. These are entry level cars. There's nothing plush about it. There's a reason why the G70 gets rave review for interior appointments with the padded leather trim doors etc which our cars lack. Open pore trim alone doesn't make a car luxurious. The aluminum trim fits its character more than the wood trim.
Ah, but times do change. To each his own I guess. The aluminum looks sportier, but wouldn't say one or the other fits any better. Is there not any leather padding on the doors?

For example, the Merino leather is quite sophisticated. The G20 is definitely more luxurious than previous gens. I think it strikes a fine balance between sporty and luxury depending on the configuration.

The 5 series has plenty of plastics as well.

Last edited by Conezz; 01-29-2020 at 10:56 AM..
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      01-29-2020, 11:10 AM   #22
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Two words: DO IT!!!
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