Fast wagons are always the apples of enthusiasts’ eyes. Their ability to blend sports car performance with daily-driver usability are second-to-none and the reason why enthusiasts love them so. The Germans are the most famous for fast wagons, even if they aren’t alone. While Audi and Mercedes-Benz are the most well-known makers of performance wagons, BMW isn’t without its own as well. One of which is the BMW M340i xDrive Touring, a car that sadly isn’t sold in our home market, North America. It’s unfortunate that we can’t get the M340i Touring in the ‘States because it’s likely BMW’s best all-around car.
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I’ll clarify a bit — the BMW M340i Touring isn’t the best driving Bimmer. But all things considered; performance, handling, practicality and, most importantly, price; the M340i Touring is the best all-around package currently in the Bavarian lineup.
Let’s start with its performance. Powering the BMW M340i Touring is a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine, making 374 hp (Euro-spec) and 369 lb-ft of torque. When paired with its eight-speed automatic and xDrive all-wheel drive, it can hit 62 mph in 4.5 seconds. I remember when the M3 wasn’t even that fast. Not only is it fast but that turbo-six is also incredibly charismatic; it makes a wonderful, growly noise, its powerband is wide and its responses are immediate and also silky smooth. That last bit is potentially its most impressive attribute.
It’s not just fast, though. All M340i variants drive with an agility that’s hard to find elsewhere in the segment. Its steering is responsive, its chassis is balanced and it has a playfulness that its predecessor lacked. So it matches that speed with handling that’s also last-gen-M3-like.
Then there’s the practicality. Being the BMW M340i xDrive Touring, it’s also a wagon and all-wheel drive. So it has all of the interior space you’d want from a family vehicle as well as the all-weather security of all-wheel drive. Throw some winter tires on it in the colder months and your genuine performance BMW becomes a year-long sports car. Thanks to its wagon body style, it can do all of that while also shuttling the kids to football practice, with all of their gear. Perfect.
It’s also well-priced. In Germany, the M340i Touring starts at 64,150 Euros. That’s not exactly cheap and used to be M3 money. However, considering how much car you’re getting, it’s actually not bad. In fact, it’s hard to find another car as well-rounded for the same money.
It’s not perfect; it’s a bit too disconnected for what you might expect from an M Performance car, its ride is too harsh (though BMW is said to be working on that) and it’s not exactly cheap. So it’s not as if the M340i is infallible. However, its attributes all combine to make it overcome its faults and become an outstanding daily driver. Sure, there are cars in BMW’s lineup that are better to drive (Z4 M40i, M2, M5) but none of them combine the overall breadth of ability that the M340i Touring has.