It wasn’t long after the BMW 3 Series Touring was revealed that fans started wondering about a potential M3 Touring. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen. We still don’t understand why but our lack of understanding is irrelevant. However, I’d argue that an M3 Touring is no longer necessary now that we have the BMW M340i xDrive Touring.
Along with its regular wagon-ized counterparts, the BMW M340i xDrive has also been given the ‘Touring’ treatment and I reckon it might be the best all-around BMW on sale. In fact, I think it will be so good it might make enthusiasts forget about the pipedream of an M3 Touring. That may sound like sacrilege but hear me out.
When the BMW M340i xDrive Touring goes on sale, it’s going to be the most powerful 3 Series wagon ever made. The M340i sedan makes 374 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six engine. According to BMW, 0-60 mph happens in 4.5 seconds.
That’s almost as fast as the outgoing F80 BMW M3, with its standard 425 hp and a six-speed manual. Considering the fact that the Bavarians are always conservative with their performance figures, and a simple tune can unlock much more power, we’d say it won’t be hard for the M340i xDrive Touring to actually eclipse the F80 M3’s performance figures. Which is more real-life speed than any wagon needs.
However, if it’s handling you want, with the BMW M340i, it’s handling you’ll get. Sure, it won’t be as scalpel sharp as an M3 but we’ve spent quite a bit of track time with the M340i and it’s no slouch. It actually genuinely put smiles on our faces. Personally, I had a blast in the M340i and really started to lean on it during a just a few laps of a track session. I thought its steering was sharp and its chassis was playful, allowing it to rotate on throttle and only let the all-wheel drive reel it back in when things got scary. It might not be an M3 but it’s more than anyone needs a wagon to be in the real world.
And yet, the BMW M340i xDrive Touring will have a long roof, a power tailgate, a rear window hatch and enough luggage space to shame any hatchback. So it can fit car seats in the back, as well as strollers in the trunk, without breaking a sweat. If you need to lug large items around, its rear seats fold almost completely flat, giving it a massive cargo compartment. So it’s a genuinely practical family car that can replace the crossover you’ve been tricked into thinking you need.
On top of that, it has all-wheel drive, so it can be used in bad weather. With proper winter tires, the BMW M340i xDrive Touring can be a fast and fun performance machine, even when the road turns white. So the fun doesn’t have to run out when the nice weather does. It also adds that extra sense of security with family in the car, knowing that it’s less likely to get stuck in snow or slide around than a typical rear-wheel drive performance car.
Hell, it’s even comfortable. The interior of the new 3 Series, in any spec, is surprisingly upscale and features all of the same tech that you’ll find in the most expensive BMWs. Especially the M340i, which comes with a ton of as-standard tech and equipment. It rides well, too, with a well-damped suspension that’s a nice balance between comfort and handling composure.
Combine all of that together; good looks, impressive performance, great interior technology, exciting handling, crossover-like practicality and all-wheel drive grip; and the M340i Touring seems to be the perfect everyday car. In fact, I’m struggling to think of a better all-around BMW and I genuinely don’t think there is one. It’s not just a jack-of-all-trades, either because it genuinely excels in so many areas that it won’t ever really feel compromised.
It’s such a shame that the BMW M340i xDrive Touring won’t be available in America because it seems like the perfect car for me. It’s fast, fun to drive and practical. BMW M3 Touring, who?