2023 BMW 3-Series facelift M340i driving REVIEW - the 3er strikes back!
Today, it's about the new BMW 3-Series facelift here on Autogefühl with Thomas. We know that SUVs are on the surge but the BMW 3-Series, or the BMW Dreier as we say in Germany... BMW Dreier. Listen and repeat! It's still one of the core models. Over a million pieces sold in this G20 generation. That's really a lot more than ever before in this time period.
Here the facelift, special thing already in the front, the kidney is wider and also forms one unit here. One transition with the headlamp. So a wider stance and a more seamless design. Before, you had this notch here.
This is gone. To me, this is now more beautiful. We have the sporty M Performance Model for you today.
The M340i. We'll soon also show you different stylings. But here, this M Performance Model has this mesh double kidney. And also in the Extended Shadow Line, this is also for an option, you can get it in the black. Otherwise, it would be in this matte gray style.
Headlamps, LED standard. Optional, an Adaptive LED. And when you go for an M Sport Line or the M Performance Model here, the lower part also has this sportier graphic here and also here then for a stronger look. And this color here is the famous Frozen Grey. I really love the matte paints.
Good boy! You can see the contrast, the M Performance kidney with this mesh and this one here with the white vehicle. This is the base kidney already with the sportier design. Black inside. Or rather, these vertical fins and then the matte frame around. Again, for this one, you could also have the Extended Shadowline with the black kidney frame.
But this one here to me looks a little bit more elegant. Here you can also see in these adaptive LED lights, the blue accentuations. They are darkened out with the M Performance Model. But this one already has the M Sport Line.
That means, in the lower part, M Sport and the M Performance will have the same sporty styling. The length, 1.71 meters or 185 inches. That hasn't changed. What has changed is, standard now, black frames around the windows right here. So far, it was an option with the shadow line.
Now it's standard but you can de-pick it and still go for a chrome style if you prefer a more elegant styling. Then with the Shadowline, when you go for that one, you have here the black mirror caps. M Sport or the M Performance Model have the M badge right here. They ditched 16-inch wheels.
Now 17; 18, also standard for the M Sport; or optional 19-inch wheels. You can see them also right here. The sedan has the more classic line here. Of course, the estate is still available. Soon, I'm going to show that to you. And here, the Hofmeister kink is a design element right here used both exterior and interior from past coupe models designed by Hofmeister, that guy.
So a very interesting heritage also in a modern vehicle. Design lines, here you see that the center one evolves right here and then leads over to this rather strong rear. In the rear, the taillamps have a beautiful 3-dimensional design. Overall, a very consistent design here. The 340i is, of course, a little more screaming out.
For example, in the top part here with the additional lip here. You can either get it in vehicle colour or in a contrasting color. Both possible.
Here the M colour 340i This is the six-cylinder model. In the US, you can get it rear-wheel drive only as well. Otherwise in Europe, for example, it's only available with all-wheel drive. So much power, you know.
Only the Americans can control it rear-wheel drive, right? Yeah, interesting decision by BMW, isn't it? Then in the lower part here, there's this diffuser style. Really strong and... Autogefühl Fake Exhaust Police is here for the fake exhaust alert. Well on the inside, well the air does go through.
But the outside, it has no real transition to it. Yeah, so this is a more honest design for the four-cylinder models. Suspension-wise, a base 3-Series already has standard dampers but they have kind of these hydraulic cushions that are also somewhat progressive. Here then today in this vehicle, the optional adaptive dampers, they are optable for base model and also for the M Performance model. If you go here for the 340i, the M340i, both standard and also the adaptive suspension is stiffer each.
In here, we have the sadan in Brooklyn Grey. It's also a very interesting color, also with 19-inch wheels. M Sport Line, and also here with the black double kidney.
A nice contrast. So yeah, very striking design in this case. I do you like this one best. And the 3-Series is still available as the touring, here also in the facelift.
In Germany, even more touring than sedans are being sold. In the US, it's not available. And here once again, the base model also gets the black frames.
Again, you can also depick it then have more of a chrome look. M Sport line. In this case, also 19-inch wheels and the Mineral White color.
So also a very nice contrasting design between white and black. Would you actually prefer the touring, the estate model, over the standard or the other way around? Tell me in the comments. And if you want to even top up the game, put it in sportier, here's the M Performance parts. For example, here with carbon fiber around the double kidney.
A little bit of a, I'm gonna say, pathetic fabric towing hook in the front. I mean, you shouldn't need it. That means that you're often, you know, running off track or something! Isn't it? And of course here, usually not available for Works but then for M Performance parts, 20-inch wheels.
Really massive for a 3-Series. What do you think? I would like to know your opinion. Is this one here then too much for a 3-Series? Also with a carbon fiber roof and so on.
I would say the M340i or M Sportline is still elegant-sporty. This one's maybe a little bit too much, or what's your take? I really liked the Alcantara steering wheel from the M Performance parts though. And here the M top cover for the window knob. That's very interesting.
And you can even decide if you want to see the M in the right order, or if people from the outside are supposed to see the M. Car key when you have M Sport or the M Performance Model, they also have the M colors right here. Then keyless entry would be putting the finger here on the outside to close it, or the hand on the inside to open it. There we go. And door closing sound... Yeah, that's a nice door-closing sound indeed.
Inside of the door, also nice soft materials being used. Then this will also features the Harman Kardon sound system. A very nice option indeed. Good for music lovers. This one's with the sportier M interior.
It looks the same when you go for M Sport or the M Performance model. These are the animal-skin seats but soon I'm going to show you the wide variety of different seats where you can go animal-free, and they have good new choices there indeed. Well, let's get inside.
As for the seating comfort, you've seen already the news here. Soon going to show all the details about that. This curved screen layout. This is new with a facelift. Soon, a detail shot to that.
Here inside, typical sedan seating position. I wouldn't say it's best in the segment especially with tall people 1.89 or 6'2, with shoes. A lot of headroom left. There's also a panoramic roof available.
But from the seat ergonomics, I think Mercedes C-Class, BMW 3-Series is not the best for tall people. I would more prefer the seats in the BMW SUVs for example. As for the sedans, for example, the Audi a4 gives me more comfort as for the seating position. Yeah, just a quick comparison between the big German three competitors. Steering wheel, in and out, up and down. Very nice and easy.
Smooth process. And this here is the Alcantara seat, alcantara Sensatec mix. So I have microfiber on the inside. This is really cool because it stays warm in winter and cool in summertime. I would prefer this seat. It's not available on all markets though.
In Germany, for example, it is available. So this is also a very nice choice, also base then for the M Sport in Germany, for example. So either this or the Sensatec seats.
And here we do have the perforated Sensatec seats. Here in this case, in red, but they're also available in black, beige, or brown depending on the market. They're also available in the US and in the UK and also the German market. And indeed, here's this perforation. They are breathable for that case. Very soft, nice high quality.
BMW, by the way, ensures that they have the same durability as animal-skin leather. So they did that in their long-term tests already. And they're also working on further technologies, for example, to put the seats in 100% recycling material. And also even further, based on plant materials like Deserttex so based on cactus fibers. Or so-called Mirum seat. There's already a first sample of that.
This is also mixed from different plant materials. For example, from natural rubber ingredients. Very interesting. So to make it basically a full circle.
And from 2023, BMW will also step up the game as for the steering wheel materials. For the first time, you will also get animal-free steering wheels. We already have a sample from a BMW iX steering wheel. And they are also, again, it is more sustainable. Less use of resources.
It has the same durability. And there's a very interesting figure by the way. So if you did animal-skin leather from the whole interior, you save 85% of the emissions in the car interior. And that's, of course, a very crucial thing. Interior overview, well styling wise, it looks pretty amazing here with this through screen. 12.3 inches on the left,
14.9 inches on the right. But it comes with a catch indeed. Well, you still have the manual volume knob.
However the climate unit here, this has gone into the screen. No more real dials. So to me, this is a disadvantage to control it while driving. You could also use the voice control. But to me, this is not really an advantage.
Here when we pull out of the car, it changes. For example, 'Temperature, 20 degrees' 'Tempelschatz Twenty Decrees'? Interesting. Okay, let's try again. Change temperature to 20 degrees. Oh, now it'll drive 3,800 kilometers! I'm... I'm cold.
That works, for example. It shows... I just prefer the real dials, you know. At least it says in this position here. What you can see here, as for the main infotainment screen, this is here the normal map. It is also actually decently fast.
But the OS 8 system, in contrast to the OS 7, has just so much more complexity that you have like a menu 'overflow', I would call it that way. And to me, it was easier in the OS 7. Especially here, you have four, but then the vehicle app is missing. So we have to go here, and then either with touch, open 'Live Vehicle'.
And then, for example, you get to the consumption figures and so on. So to me, this is actually too complicated. However, you can always use of course, Apple CarPlay or Android Auto Wireless. Soon, we'll have a look at that.
And this is the Apple CarPlay integration right here. Full screen, really nice. And then the music, Harman Kardon sound system. Yeah, to me, it's really fitting to the whole vehicle. That sound has as a nice surround character. Yeah, I really like it.
And as music lover, I would always go for that, indeed. So, good integration. And what else is cool with the OS 8? It's good advantage that when you use Apple CarPlay and then go to Apple Maps, then you can have...
You know, put your address in there. Let's see. I don't know, let's go to Berlin or something. Here we go.
And as soon as we start the navigation, now we have the advantage. Yes, that's my phone. Don't have too much signal here at this moment. So as soon as we start navigation, we can also have it then on the left side here of the instruments. In here, you can see Apple Maps via Carplay on the right side and also on the left side. This was not possible with OS 7 Remember that here in Apple CarPlay, Apple Maps works right and left.
Not with Google Maps. When you want to have that Google Maps, also on the left side, it's only working with Android Auto. It's not a BMW thing. It's a thing with Apple that they don't obviously allow the interface that Google Maps in CarPlay runs over the left side. But again, Google Maps could appear here when you use Android Auto. And here, we have the instrument.
And yeah, Michelle is allowed to rev it today. Oh yes, Michelle! Great! Because I'm sitting right next to him to be able to control here the different contents and so on. There, you can have the map inside. Here for example, you can also have the Apple Carplay map on the left side.
That is possible. That is a big advantage for the OS 8 indeed. And for example, also assistant systems view. That is possible.
Or you can change the whole layout like this or like this. Yeah, but I think I more prefer this one. What do you prefer? And head-up display to keep everything in your line of sight. Middle console, I appreciate that we do have alternatives to high gloss panels. Like here, the carbon fiber. Then here, this console has changed but this is the same, you know, control knob here to control the infotainment system while driving.
Good to still have it. And here, this is the new shift lever. It always comes with 8-speed automatic gearbox, of course. So, no manual. But here in this small design, so you have a nice integration. However, you have no classic sporty feeling.
Some might not like that indeed. Driving Mode selector. And then, you have this armrest well attached here. And you fold up, and then you'll have USB-C charging now. Rear door of the Sedan, top part's also soft touch. So that's nice.
Good build quality indeed. And then here, through bench. This has always been the classic BMW rear bench styling, hasn't it? Even reminds me of E30, still.
Then getting inside, well one problem is that I don't have too much space here in the rear when tall drivers are present. When you put the seat a little bit higher, than my knees would better fit into this recess. Otherwise with 1.89 or 6'2, it is a problem indeed. Headroom-wise, it does work for the sedan.
It's a little bit better with the estate. I'm going to show that to you very soon. The combat is actually quite decent, but not too good. Also here for the left elbow, there's a very thick area here.
Thick yo! So, yeah. Not too much space here. It is okay, but not more.
And also, there's the big middle tunnel. Of course, it's a rear-wheel driven platform or an optional all-wheel drive. So in the middle part, you can sit but it's rather stiff from the material also. Not ideal indeed. So what is new with the middle console here, that now you have two USB-C chargers.
Here in the estate, you have a little bit more headroom. That's indeed easier. It's more comfortable to sit here headroom-wise, even if you're a little bit taller. So it's like this for the sedan, and this then for the estate.
So yeah, it's a significant difference. Trunk for the sedan, 480 liters. Bigger now because there's nothing underneath. They are using the full potential. Of course, here the loading still is limited in height. Length, about 1 meter or 40 inches, and the width here is less...
Yeah, it's rather in between we are just like 90 centimeters or 36 inches. The estate, I'm going to show that right now, of course, has the easier entry to the trunk of all. But for a midsize sedan, there's actually decent trunk space available.
You can fold the seats from here. That's also good here for a sedan. Second release, then we have to push them from here or from... We have to push them from here.
Here we go. Yeah, that's actually quite cool then. And now the estate trunk. By the way, from the outside, the thing that's really cool is that they kept the same light design both for sedan and the estate. Classic with the estate, is always that you can have the separate opening of the window here, and just listen to this.
That sounds beautiful! That's beautiful. Then the whole trunk opening like this. And then, of course, you have the even loading still. That's so much more practical. This cover here, by the way, you can either lift it up like this, but it's not automatic, or than here completely. Not my favorite solution.
Let's take it that way. Let's keep out some luggage. And you can see with the wheel arches, it's not 1 meter of 40 inches.
That's a little bit disappointing. So that's more like, you know, 90 centimeters then or 36 inches. It's just wider here.
But you can see this would be 1 meter or 40 inches, and we do not reach it between the wheel arches. That's not that good. This is actually quite cool here, these rubber pads. So things don't slide around. Then you have this opening here with some more storage underneath, and emergency equipment. And then the top part here, here you can also store the top cover.
That's actually a cool thing and that's also nice. That's good build quality. Let's fold that whole thing.
Here. That's also really nicely done. The length here in the estate, yeah, this is about 1 meter of 40 inches normal length and then the length to the front seats is about 180 meters or 71 inches.
Interesting of course, also the total height in the estate. That is the big advantage. Here about 70 centimeters or 28 inches. As for engine, let's lift the hood here.
This is the inline 6-cylinder. Really cool. 3L of displacement, 374 horsepower.
The top engine here besides the true M3, of course. M Performance Model. And just over 4 seconds in the acceleration figure. The all-wheel drive model is a little bit quicker than the rear-wheel drive model. Overall, ranging from 150 horsepower, that's the entry-level engine, both petrol and diesel, 4 and 6 cylinders, and of course, also plug-in hybrids.
Welcome to Thomas's Driving Lounge. BMW M340i. We'll put it to the Sports shifting mode. I also put into the Sports Dynamic mode. This would be not necessary, but was necessary to put the attraction mode to ESC Sport, and then we can also induce a launch control here. Hit the brakes, don't do it like I am.
Let's go. This was even allowed to have the speed here but again, please don't repeat. So that was the acceleration. The figure is actually 4.1 seconds in the US and 4.4 seconds for the European model. So depending on the market, wow, it's really really impressive.
Very cool. With the all-wheel-drive model. The rear-wheel-drive model is a little bit slower. But you can remember, around 4 seconds. Really impressive. And this inline six-cylinder 3L just gives such a great feeling overall.
That's really awesome. Of course, when we stay on the road now, now I put DSC to On completely. In the Sports mode, the adaptive dampers give a little bit more feedback. Also, the steering gives a little bit more feedback. But that's one thing they still haven't fixed with the facelift. I think the 3-Series needs more response from the steering.
I think it is a little bit too loose, too light. Even the BMW SUVs are totally fine. Recently had a ride in the X7 facelift. The big BMW SUVs have a better steering feeling than the 3-Series which should be the benchmark for BMW steering. Yeah, I don't really get it. I don't understand.
But yeah, I mean, it is okay to control and you can drive it in a sporty way by it just lacks steering feedback. When I'm in Comfort mode, it's even lighter. So I would probably go with the Individual Mode, and then make the steering feedback always as stiff as possible. Yeah, as stiff as possible. You get that? And then maybe, put the suspension to a more comfortable note or something.
And as for the suspension differences, indeed, when you're in the Comfort mode, this adaptive suspension gives you a very nice comfort even though we are here in the M-performance setup. In the Sport mode, you have everything spiced up steering-wise, also for the throttle input. And the dampers, you feel this, you know, you just feel more of the road. And for longer comfortable rides or something, that's not really necessary. But when you want to go on sportier rides, of course, that's cool. So you have this flexibility here.
And the base dampers of course also do fine. However, I would not pick the M Performance Model or the M Sport then with the stiffer dampers without the adaptive dampers. Either go base-base if you want to save money. And if you go for an M Performance Model, then I'm gonna also go for the Adaptive dampers because they have the sportier setup each, and then it's good to have the adaptive dampers to get more comfort out of these, by this. With the all-wheel drive, of course, you have a little more safety when accelerating and so on.
Otherwise, the rear-wheel drive model is a little bit more fun. You can get that in the US here for this model because you can just push it out of the corner a little bit nicer. However, it remains with rear-wheel bias so that's not too big of a problem. Still, I would like to get this one here also in Germany. Not only in the US.
As for the facelift changes, while driving, of course, it's about the infotainment system as well. Well, the instruments are very well visible. I really like them. I prefer a little bit the easier more classic layout and setup in the pre-facelift model but this is to me also totally fine. Yes, that one big advantage that for the Apple Maps or Android Auto, also Google Maps, you can also get it in the left side.
That's also a cool advantage. Other than that, I mean the map here is also very well to read. And it looks cool here, this whole setup. But while driving, I would like to you know, control the climate units as well a little easier.
Doing that here is somewhat okay. But then vent strength is not possible So I either have to leave it at a vent strength, or go for the AC auto mode and then the strength of the vents is also adapted automatically. So you have to decide for something then there. To me, this is little bit of a step backward.
So it comes indeed with pros and cons as I said earlier. Driving-wise, if you compare it to also to the competitors, Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4, this one here, the BMW always has the sportiest note, especially here as the M340i. It would be comparable to the Audi S4 or S5 or then also the Mercedes C43.
And there, of course, the Mercedes has also a sportier note. For tall drivers, as for long-term comfort, I would go with the Audi A4 or Audi A5. Best seat ergonomics, together with the Volvo, by the way, with Volvo S60 or Volvo V60. They don't have the sporty, you know, corresponding models, however. And how they feel in general, well the C-Class is quite narrow also from the cockpit here. The BMW gets close to that.
And the Audi has the widest cockpit, I would say in that case. You can move around quite freely in there. The BMW, the thing is that it already feels sporty even as the base model and not only as the M340i. Noise installation, so far, we've been driving like this 100 kilometers or 60 miles an hour. And it's a very good nice insulation.
It's really silent in here. So indeed from this whole premium approach, this one does feel premium indeed. Also while driving, both comfort suspension, how easy it is to control. There's no body roll or something. Not at all. And then you can understand why it's still one of their most popular cars.
And even if you don't use the launch control, just normal Sport mode, for example, you can always enjoy a very nice acceleration, you know, from a red traffic light. You're just waiting, you know, until it turns green. And this inline six-cylinder really rewards you with a nice sound.
That was almost 0 to 60 kmph. Oh, you hear that? Really nice plop plop plop from the exhaust as well. Yeah, that definitely brings emotion.
And I mean, when you let it run at a very low RPM pace, it's actually quite silent, you know. So when you have more... This is really beautiful.
In this case then, it pays off when you haven't gotten electric yet. Let's see if they may also introduce at a later stage for the i4 or something like this. So as for the fuel economy here with the six-cylinder, it is a little bit worse than with the four-cylinder when you keep it at a minimum pace. But you can also drive this one here with some 7 liters on 100 kilometers minimum. That would be even like some 30+ mpg US or 40mpg UK.
But that's the best consumption figure. Usually, when you also have some fun with it, it's more like 9 liters on 100 kilometers. And then you're off course, more like in a 25mpg region US and 35 something mpg region UK. That is a more realistic figure then for this engine.
Interesting is that with the new OS 8, there are more and more software updates coming. So they do over-the-air stuff. I just wanted to say 'over the air s...'
Sorry about that. Kids are watching as well. So when you go through the different driving modes, here for example, Sport mode, it has this, you know, "Hey, we're in the Sport mode!" visualization. Looks quite fancy.
And you've maybe been following also what I said in the X7 review. So BMW is also watching our reviews and also watching your comments, your reactions to our videos because our videos are also somewhat like a benchmark in industry. And we said that it's actually a bad idea to go in a different driving mode, and then you manually have to go back to the GPS and so on.
This is a big problem. So now, it switches back automatically. See here, it's in Sport mode. There we go. And it switches back.
And also for example, when I go to Comfort mode, it has more this Canyon style with the road... Road trip style or something like this. And this is a very comfortable thing to do. So you see this nice visualization but then it's also gone again, and you don't have to manually switch back to the GPS. So this is a good thing here with a new infotainment system with over the updates, that they can improve things when they see some customer feedback.
Or, I haven't mentioned it yet in this review. So that's about controlling the climate unit driving as well. Yes, okay, plus-minus for temperature. I can live with that.
But then for the vent strength, if I'm not in the Auto mode, I have to do it like this. But what's now new, you can deactivate the AC function. See here while driving, it's also not the best thing to do.
But if you don't want... less humid in the vehicle, if you want to have better air to breathe, and you don't need the AC functionality, then you can also turn it off. It was before that like, 'Hey, we want to make things easier' and that's also a good thought in general.
But then a lot of customer feedback here on our channel came as well saying, and I also said like, "Why not offer this option, still?" You know, you don't have to use it. But still for those who want to use it, they can use it then. And they also thought about it and couple of months later now, they did this software upgrade and it's possible again. So that's actually a cool thing. I really like about the 3-Series that it always feels so sporty but it's at the same time very comfortable.
It can do both, indeed. The only really thing I criticize is yeah, the new 0S 8. I like climate knobs, and also then the steering should have you know, just more resistance in there, you know. And I'm not sure if that's even a problem of the 3-Series and so on. It was there since the beginning of this generation.
And I don't know, maybe it's that focus of these cars. Meanwhile, the Chinese market that they maybe think it's not so important for them or so. But especially for European customers, it's a very important aspect, the steering feel.
And of course, also for all US customers. Especially you know, when you're watching this, you're probably a car enthusiast and this should be also very important to you. Assistance systems, you can set it here on the steering wheel, and these are not #capacitiveBS buttons. Glad. It's also an advantage if you compare it to in the Mercedes C class in that aspect.
Here we have... Okay, that's the... the active steering was deactivated.
And distance to the car in front of me is being kept. You can also follow that in the head-up display, for example. And then there's also the Active Steering. Here when you see the green steering symbol in the middle instruments, then it is active.
And here, very smooth intervention. It's not oversteering, overcooking it, basically here. You're not supposed to keep your hands off the steering wheel, just doing it for testing purposes now.
So here, not too hectic movements. Overall, smooth. They weren't so distinctive lines even visible. So that's actually also a very nice thing to have.
But the 340i, of course, you can drive it comfortably but it still always wants to be pushed at some point. Well, and that's why we put it to Sports mode and accelerate on our German Autobahn motorway here. 180 kmph.
Still super silent on the exterior. That's really cool. The only thing is, we can hear the great exhausts. This the great thing about the M340i with that six-cylinder. The 4-cylinder, as I said, it has less consumption.
But this one here just brings more emotion and it's always cool. Also do some lane changing, for example, the agility of this car is really amazing and the reactions also cool. So yes, the steering is sporty. But wow, that works very cool and it always stays upright. That's really nice. When the road is even here road surface by the way, it's not uncomfortable in the Sport mode or something.
Of course, if you seek more comfort, you just go to the Comfort mode. Then the exhaust is also a little bit more silent, and you can also drive fast in the Comfort mode. That's actually no problem at all.
So this car indeed feels at home in the city, feels at home in the countryside, and also feels at home on the motorway. And once again, if I compare it to the competitors, seat ergonomics could be a little bit better. I think the Alcantara seat already helps or you can also go for base fabric seats for example, or the new perforated Sensatec. The new perforated Sensatec is also a little bit softer than here the animal-skin surface.
This will also increase the comfort. And one of the direct competitors is the Mercedes C43. Tune in there, or maybe going a little bit bigger with BMW 5-Series Sedan. Check it out.