The competition between the three traditional German premium rivals has been going on for decades. As we’re moving into a new automotive era, that’s bound to continue as they won’t ever let each other go in different directions without offering an alternative. It’s the same with mild performance cars, like the BMW M340i. It is now rivaled by cars like the Audi S4 and Mercedes-AMG C43, all of these three ‘amigos’ being quite potent cars in their own way.
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BMW has been doing M Performance cars since the 1980s when the E24 M635i was originally launched. Sure, it didn’t put so much emphasis on these mid-level performance cars until recently but we’re glad things have changed. That’s how we got the brilliant M235i, M140i and now M340i and Z4 M40i, which is one of the best cars I’ve driven in recent years. The competition is right there though, no doubt about it.
The Mercedes-AMG C43 just got an update for the 2019 model year. It comes with a twin-turbo V6 good for 385 HP now, which is just a notch more than what the BMW M340i is offering. In US-spec, like the car reviewed here, the M340i has 382 HP while EU versions only have 340 HP to rely on. Thus, these two are really close in terms of performance, on paper. They both have all wheel drive as well, the biggest difference being that one is a V6 and one is an I6.
Then there’s the Audi S4. This is the oldest car here and it can still hang on in this comparison. Under the hood there’s a 3-liter V6 with 349 HP, it has all-wheel drive and beats both rivals in the interior design game. At the same time, the Audi isn’t as fast and it will definitely understeer if taken to the absolute limit. Yet, how often do you get to do that? Which one did the guys choose? You’ll have to watch and find out for yourself.