Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Performance without Sacrifice; the Top Mainstream Petrol Version of BMW's 3 Series Now Gets a '340I' Badge. Performance, Efficiency, Quality and Equipment Have All Been Improved over the 335i Model It Replaces. the Experts at Car & Driving Check It Out

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Performance without Sacrifice; the Top Mainstream Petrol Version of BMW's 3 Series Now Gets a '340I' Badge. Performance, Efficiency, Quality and Equipment Have All Been Improved over the 335i Model It Replaces. the Experts at Car & Driving Check It Out

Article excerpt

NEAR the top of the refreshed BMW 3-series range lies the 340i variant - the replacement for the previous 335i model.

Both name and engine make their debuts in this top mainstream petrol model. Boosted by BMW's TwinPower turbo technology, the allaluminium 3.0-litre six-cylinder powerplant makes more power and torque, uses less fuel and produces fewer emissions.

As with any of BMW's rear-driven "Ultimate Driving Machines", how the 340i feels to drive is crucial. As usual at the top of the 3 Series petrol range, there's a 3.0-litre turbo engine using TwinPower Turbo technology and TwinScroll turbocharging, with the turbo integrated into the exhaust manifold. Both of these technologies provide better throttle response, an area where many forced induction engines struggle. Power is up to 326bhp, good enough to take you to 62mph from rest in 5.1s. There's 450Nm of torque spread between 1380rpm and 5000rpm Though a 6-speed manual gearbox is standard, it's likely that most 340i buyers will want an automatic. Fortunately, the auto option is ZF's highly regarded 8-speed 'box. Though not as quick as a double-clutch unit, it is exceptionally smooth, which makes up for its marginally slower shifts. The many cogs make light work of firing the BMW down any road at serious speeds.

Suspension and steering are two areas that have also received improvements in this refreshed 3 Series model. The suspension is now slightly stiffer than before, reducing body roll and increasing agility. The steering has also been optimised and benefits from greater precision, making the car easier to place.

It takes a keen eye to spot the individual styling changes made to the updated 3-series as only a few have been made. The key design theme seems to be to make the car look wider and lower than before, so BMW has revised the front and rear bumper assemblies with broader horizontal elements. …

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