The BMW 3-Series is an entry-level luxury car. It’s available as a 4-door sedan, 4-door wagon or 4-door hatchback called the 3-Series Gran Turismo. 2018 BMW 340i also offers a 4-Series that rides an equivalent chassis with a lineup that consists of a 2-door coupe, 4-door coupe and 2-door convertible.
3-series competitors include the Acura TLX, Alfa-Romeo Giulia, Audi A4/A5, Buick Regal, Cadillac ATS, Infiniti Q50/Q60, Jaguar XE, Kia Stinger, Lexus IS, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Volvo S60.
Offering rear- or all-wheel-drive versions, the 3-Series is out there in 320i, 330i,2018 BMW 340i, and 328d trim – the latter being a diesel. While the sedan is obtainable altogether trim levels, the wagon is merely offered in 330i and 328d trim and Gran Turismo are merely offered in 330i and 340i trim.
There’s also an M3 sedan and a 330e hybrid sedan. This review will specifically cover the 340i sedan, but most comments on the inside and overall functionality apply to the remainder of the 3-Series lineup. The BMW 340i lists for $48,950 when equipped with rear-wheel drive and $50,950 when equipped with BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Sole engine offering may be a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder that creates 320 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque. The engine features auto start-stop function and also ECO, Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ modes. Transmission choices include a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic with manual shift mode.
Features of the 340i include LED headlights and fog lights, 14-way power front seats, Harman Kardon surround-sound sound system, automatic climate control, sunroof, and a universal garage-door opener.
Available equipment includes a head-up display, navigation system, and a $500 driving assistance package that brings lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning with emergency braking.
The inline 6-cylinder within 2018 BMW 340i comes is probably the smoothest engine within the class. In part, that’s thanks to the inherent harmonic balance of an inline design, which aligns the engine’s pistons beat row within the same plain. Regardless, the engine provides the motivation you’d expect at this price point.
With either transmission the 340i will accelerate from 0-60 MPH is a smaller amount than 5 seconds. The engine pulls a sort of a train at the least speeds and provides many peps off the road and impressive passing power. Note that the selectable driving modes do make a difference in overall feel.
Selecting ECO or Comfort dulls throttle response and changes the transmission shift algorithm to the purpose where 2018 BMW 340i can feel a touch lethargic around town.
While the manual transmission may be a joy to work and mollifies the purist, the 8-speed automatic is among the smoothest and quickest shifting within the segment. It does provide clutch-less manual operation through steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles.
One note, the start-stop function is somewhat more noticeable on 2018 BMW 340i than on many others within the class because the engine is so very smooth at idle. It does react quickly when required to restart the engine at stoplights and there’s a button that permits drivers to show it off.
EPA fuel economy numbers for the manual transmission 2018 BMW 340i are 19 MPG city and 29 MPG highway. Those numbers trail class leaders a touch but are within the ballpark. Unfortunately, like most vehicles within the class, the 340i requires premium-grade gasoline.
In routine suburban commuting, it is easy to satisfy the highway mark of 29 MPG — keeping in mind that’s with a mild throttle foot, utilizing the ECO mode and throwing in some mild highway driving. With an enthusiastic driver behind the wheel, expect to ascertain about 20 MPG overall, perhaps 22.
For generations, BMW sets the quality within the sport sedan market by deftly combining a cushy ride and fun-to-drive handling characteristics. Thankfully, the 3-Series upholds that tradition across the model lineup.
Certainly, as you progress up in performance the ride suffers somewhat, but the 340i might just provide the simplest ride/handling balance within the segment. the subtle suspension does a superb job of absorbing impacts and softening expansion joints while limiting secondary motions and keeping the tires glued to the pavement.
For most, the difference between the BMW 340i and competitors are often felt when tackling a decent expressway on-ramp. Both the BMW and its competitors hold the road with tenacity when it’s smooth but contribute a couple of bumps and therefore the BMW is unfazed, deftly keeping its tires in touch with the road. In most competitors, there is a brief moment where the rear tires lose contact with the road that the vehicle jumps unsettlingly offline.
Taken as an entire, no vehicle within the class blends the ride comfort, road holding and driving desire the 340i. The steering is natural, perfectly weighted and tracks straight and true on the highway. The brakes have great stopping power and an easy-to-modulate pedal. Interior noise levels, while low, are appropriately sporty with a pleasantly refined growl from the engine and burble from the exhaust.
Inside, the 3-Series sports business-like cabin appointments and a function-follows-form design (as any good sports car should). Materials are class and price appropriate, but no quite that. Two large dials stare out at the driving force from behind a meaty wheel and therefore the climate controls are thankfully still fairly analog and up high on the middle console.
BMW has placed its ultra-wide infotainment screen up high, where it’s easy to ascertain. Though they need added touch capability, it’s too far to comfortably reach meaning most will still use the jog dial to control the iDrive system. While iDrive isn’t as intuitive to work as many other systems, it’s gotten better over the years. Still, it doesn’t offer Android Auto or Apple Car Play compatibility.
The front seats are firmly bolstered and somewhat confining in breadth. Head and legroom are outstanding and therefore the driving position and outward visibility are excellent — especially to the rear. Not known for a rear-seat room, the 3-Series is fairly accommodating in direct comparison to key competitors. That’s to not say that enormous adults won’t need front-seat occupants to scoot forward a touch, but two average adults will, for the foremost part. be comfortable in the back.
With 17 cubic feet of storage, the 3-Series sedan leads the segment in cargo capacity (not to say to the option of the even more cavernous wagon). additionally, the rear seats fold to just about double available space. Inside, there are a couple of open and covered bins, but they’re small and not very useful for large-item storage. the small center console bins are most disappointing of all.
The BMW 3-Series was the first entry-level luxury sport sedan and for many years it reigned supreme. Recently, the segment has become crowded with contenders and BMW has tried to stay the now-five-year-old design of the 3-Series fresh with a frequent engine and trim updates.
Thankfully, the bones of the 3-Series are solid, boasting best in school roadgoing refinement, above-average cargo, and passenger capacity and a bevy of engine and drivetrain options. Prices start at a reasonable $35K but increase quickly with much optional equipment and trim variations. Shop wisely and drive the precise model you’re considering as there are wide differences in suspension tuning, engine performance, and fuel economy.
2018 BMW 340i Specs:
|Front head room||40 “|
|Rear head room||38 “|
|Front shoulder room||55 “|
|Rear shoulder room||55 “|
|Front leg room||42.0 “|
|Rear leg room||35.1 “|
|Luggage capacity||13.0 Cu.Ft.|
|Maximum cargo capacity||13.0 Cu.Ft.|
|Body width||71.3 “|
|Body height||56.5 “|
|Gross weight||4,695 Lbs.|
|Fuel tank capacity||15.8 Gal.|
|EPA mileage estimates||21 City / 31 Hwy|
|Base engine size||3.0 Liters|
|Base engine type||I-6|
|Drive type||All-Wheel Drive|
|Turning radius||19.2 ”|
2018 BMW 340i Price:
Retail Price: $50,950