by Edmunds Editors
What We Got
On its surface, the 2016 BMW 340i looked much like the outgoing 2015 BMW 3 Series sedan. It was the changes underneath that got our attention and made this addition to our long-term test fleet of interest. The new, slightly more powerful engine and updates to the steering and suspension were modest but noteworthy.
We'd be borrowing this car from BMW, so after some back and forth, we decided to get the 340i, which had the 320-horsepower, turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine. Next we opted for the eight-speed automatic transmission given that's how most 3 Series sedans are equipped. Although we didn't need the extra traction, we also went with the all-wheel-drive model to see how it might fare on winter trips to the mountains.
Base MSRP for the 340i xDrive was $48,795. We tacked on a bounty of optional equipment packages: Technology ($2,750), Driver Assistance ($950), Driver Assistance Plus ($1,700), Lighting ($800) and Cold Weather ($800). Further add-ons included adaptive cruise control ($1,200), rear manual sunshades ($575), enhanced integration of Bluetooth and smartphones ($350), leather dashboard ($1,450) and its exterior Jatoba Brown Metallic paint ($550).
All in, our 2016 BMW 340i xDrive had an as-tested MSRP of $59,920. Here's how it fared during the year:
by Carlos Lago, Senior Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
This month marks a full year with our 2016 BMW 340i xDrive. Unfortunately there wasn't a party or cake, but we did treat the 340i to an oil and filter change. Hopefully cars get far more enjoyment out of dealer visits for service than owners do.
The 340i accrued just over 1,000 miles this month, in the process providing quiet yet powerful transportation. Editors commented on its seat comfort and debated the value of the powertrain when faced with the constant stop-and-go of the Los Angeles commute. Also, a part of the dash fell off. Again.
by Mark Takahashi, Senior Writer
Where Did We Drive It?
We're in the home stretch of our yearlong test of the 2016 BMW 340i xDrive. It has already surpassed its 20,000-mile goal, so in the month of April our 3 Series was used mostly for mundane duties such as commuting and local errands.
That's not always a bad thing, however, as all those hours behind the wheel gives our editors plenty of time to think twice about how the 3 Series measures up to its current competition. As you'll see in the following comments, this BMW still delivers the kind of performance that impresses even the most experienced drivers.
by Michael Massey, Vehicle Testing Assistant
Content Strategist Josh Sadlier was the first to spot a bubble in the sidewall of the left front tire on our 2016 BMW 340i xDrive. He alerted me to it so I called to make an appointment at Santa Monica BMW. What followed was one of the most off-putting customer service experiences I've had working in the automotive business.
by Ed Hellwig, Senior Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
Daily commuting and a weekend road trip made up the bulk of our 2016 BMW 340i's time on the road in March. It's a common mix for a lot of 3 Series owners, we suspect, and this sport sedan handles mundane commutes through the city as well as it does a winding mountain road. It also delivers pretty impressive mileage figures, making it well suited to daily driver duty.
It wasn't all traffic and potholes, however, as one staffer snagged the sedan for a weekend golf trip. It put into perspective how much trunk space the 3 Series has available versus its larger 5 Series sibling. Let's just say that the 3 Series has its limitations.
by Will Kaufman, Associate Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
This month our 2016 BMW 340i xDrive did plenty of commuting, but it also took a few breaks for weekend getaways. A trip to San Francisco saw the all-wheel drive come in handy during a torrential downpour, although the adaptive cruise control system's sensors didn't fare so well. After that adventure, the 340i probably appreciated being taken to a spa in the desert near Palm Springs, even if it couldn't relax in the natural thermal baths.
Whatever the destination, the 340i remains much in demand for its comfort, poise and speed. However, not everything is wine and roses with our Jatoba Brown Bavarian. Concerns have emerged that the 3 Series feels less special than it once did, even as it gains features that should make it more competitive on the market.
by Calvin Kim, Road Test Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
January was a busy month for our all-wheel-drive 2016 BMW 340i xDrive, and as the miles have steadily piled on, we've grown accustomed to the character of BMW's most popular sedan. Along the way, we've noticed some of the smaller details that long-term tests are designed to highlight, and we've even discovered some new quirks. In particular, Southern California's once-in-a-decade winter rainstorms wreaked havoc on our already challenged roads and brought forth an issue that many in snow country will surely experience.
by Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
It's been a weird month for me and our long-term 2016 BMW 340i. The editors here at Edmunds generally sign out a different vehicle Monday through Wednesday and stay in something from Thursday through Sunday. With the holidays, however, we ended up keeping one vehicle for over two weeks straight.
Since I'm a Los Angeles native, there weren't any epic drives to Grandma's house, just a bunch of short trips and errands in our 340i.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
We drove our 2016 BMW 340i about 1,500 miles during the month of November. It was an an uneventful month, truth be told. But it rained here in Southern California (something of an event!) and that gave us a chance to test out our car's traction-enhancing all-wheel drive. We also visited a BMW dealership for some warranty work and impressed visiting family members during Thanksgiving. All and all, it was a solid month for our 340i.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on November 14, 2016
Where Did We Drive It?
In October our long-term 2016 BMW 340i xDrive pointed north for a sojourn in Vancouver, British Columbia. It ventured there with a few stops in each state along the way. After all, in the parlance of billiards, there's a lot of green between there and here.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor on November 3, 2016
Our long-term 2016 BMW 340i seems like it can do no wrong. However, BMW seemingly forgot about the feature that we warm-climate dwellers value as much as the rest of the world values catching rare Pokemon.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor on September 23, 2016
If there was one thing I didn't like about getting into our old long-term BMW M235i, it was closing the door. With the significant length and weight of the door plus the odd placement of the grab handle, it was like having a door knob mounted on the same side as the hinges.
Thankfully, the same design miscues don't apply to our current 2016 BMW 340i.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor on September 16, 2016
Last month we reported a dip in average fuel economy for our 2016 BMW 340i, largely due to a string of tanks inefficiently drained in LA city traffic. We needed a good road trip to help bring things back into balance, which is exactly what Editor Sadlier provided this month with a comfy cruise to the Pacific Northwest.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on September 13, 2016
German cars are not known for having frosty air conditioners, yet our 2016 BMW 340i can freeze your fingers off with the best of them. I find myself gradually turning the temperature up as I drive home to stay comfortable in the evening.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on August 30, 2016
Got your answers right here.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 26, 2016
Our 2016 BMW 340i test vehicle is jam-packed with optional features. As noted in our introduction of this vehicle, it's jam-packed enough to cost a rather eye-popping $59,920. But we did get a lot of cool stuff for that price, and one of the items that has pleasantly surprised me is the head-up display.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on August 19, 2016
By the time this post goes live, I'll be somewhere in the Pacific Northwest with our long-term 2016 BMW 340i. The plan is to drive from L.A. to Portland, spend a few days there with a couple of friends and then proceed to Seattle for a larger reunion. Due to time constraints, I'll be sticking to the express route — Interstate 5 — on the way up, but I'm hoping to meander back down with some interesting side-trips.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 17, 2016
A few days ago, a "service due" indicator began popping up on our 2016 BMW 340i's driver information display every time I pressed the start button. The timing seemed a little odd to me. Based on our experience with modern BMW products, I expected the first service wouldn't occur until 10,000 to 12,000 miles, yet our 340i was around 6,000 miles at the time. Our 2015 M235i, for example, first went in at 12,000 miles.
But iDrive's vehicle info page said we needed an oil change, so I booked an appointment at my local BMW dealer to get it done.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 15, 2016
Is a 2016 BMW 340i a viable family car if you've got little kids? Buying a luxury sedan packed with luxo-goodies and a stout 320 horsepower might pull on your heartstrings, but if you can't easily install child safety seats, your leather-lined rocketship won't do you much good.
Fortunately, the current 3 Series has you covered.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 9, 2016
Plenty of luxury sedans can be had with engines that produce more than 300 horsepower these days. But finding one that can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds is a lot harder. Our 2016 BMW 340i did just that in our instrumented testing, yet it's rated at a mere 320 hp. Typically, you'd have to shop cars packing closer to 400 hp to get similar performance.
Somewhere within in the depths of BMW's engineering offices, there's got to be a motivational poster with a picture of a kitten poking its head out of a box and text below reading: "Underpromise and Overdeliver."
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 8, 2016
We neglected to report on our 2016 BMW 340i last month, but I'll make up for it today. Consider it a special double-issue of fuel economy! Alas, you could also consider it a riposte to our initial fuel economy update, in which James provided a rather sunny forecast.
This time, the MPG clouds are darker.
by Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor on August 3, 2016
Most vehicles these days can be equipped with a blind-spot monitoring system. Blind-spot monitoring uses radar sensors to identify when another vehicle is in your left or right blind spot (i.e., the locations behind and over your shoulders that might not get covered with the vehicle's mirrors) and then gives you a warning if you attempt to change lanes. It can be a helpful safety feature, but certain systems are more useful than others.
I happen to like the one in our long-term 2016 BMW 340i, for two reasons.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on July 29, 2016
This job is all about picking nits. Drive a car, look for shortcomings, report on said shortcomings. So when I find it hard to say something about our long-term 2016 BMW 340i, that says something.
It's a car that does what it does at a high level of accomplishment. You might call this excellence, and I won't disagree.
by Jonathan Elfalan, Senior Road Test Editor on July 8, 2016
Thanks to the miracle of digital cameras, the need for well-honed, organic spatial awareness has faded for new and/or developing drivers. Backup cameras will be mandated on all new vehicles beginning 2018, and many manufacturers have already gone far and beyond future regulations, just as our long-term 2016 BMW 340i has.
While my personal beliefs rest in requiring people to learn how to drive with as few electronic crutches as possible, there are a few driving scenarios where the technology provides safety benefits beyond a driver's a skill or experience.
by Mike Schmidt, Vehicle Testing Manager on July 6, 2016
Will the luggage fit? To answer this question we loaded our 2016 BMW 340i with bags in different configurations and took photos. What constitutes carry-on luggage varies depending upon who you ask. So for the sake of standardization we used the same blue carry-on bag — size (21 x15x10 inches) and red checked bag — size (30x20x13 inches).
Take the jump for photos and more detail...
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on June 30, 2016
It's easy to forget that our 2016 BMW 340i has well over 300 horsepower on tap. You don't hear any roar from the exhaust when it starts, and even when you get into it on the highway it remains relatively subdued.
Don't let the silence fool you. This is a very fast sedan that could flat out embarrass cars that boast far bigger engines that make considerably more noise.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on June 8, 2016
We've had our long-term 2016 BMW 340i for a little more than a month now and after crunching its fill up figures for the first time, things are looking promising for our fast Bimmer on the fuel economy front.
We've been averaging exactly 24 mpg, a bit less than its EPA combined estimate of 26 mpg. The best we've managed to accomplish is 31.1 mpg, which I did between Los Angeles and Phoenix at speeds not exactly conducive to thrifty fuel economy. With less wind and lower speeds, I think the EPA's highway estimate of 33 mpg is quite do-able. That's really quite incredible for a car with this much power.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on June 6, 2016
This is the gauge cluster on our 2016 BMW 340i. As you can see, it is quite simple. Some might say it looks boring. I think it's perfect.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on June 2, 2016
Perhaps the $575 price tag is a bit steep, but the optional rear side sunshades on our 2016 BMW 340i are nevertheless a great feature. As much as my dogs love warming themselves in the sun on occasion, they can only do so for so long before getting too toasty and moving away.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on May 31, 2016
A great adaptive cruise control can make a road trip a far more pleasant experience, reducing fatigue and limiting the aggravation caused by left lane hogs and drivers who can't seem to figure out how to maintain their speed.
On the other hand, a bad adaptive cruise control system can infuriate, leaving too much space to the car ahead, slamming on the brakes when it isn't necessary and being slow to speed up once again.
In my experience, Mercedes-Benz's Distronic Plus is one of the best systems of its kind while Honda's adaptive cruise control is one of the least helpful. The "Active" Cruise Control system in our 2016 BMW 340i is somewhere in between.
by Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor on May 27, 2016
If my memory serves me right — and it usually doesn't — our 2016 BMW 340i is the first BMW I've driven with the standard sport steering wheel. With the exception of our long-term i3, which had a unique wheel, every BMW I've driven in my two-and-a-half years at Edmunds has been either a true M car or was equipped with the M Sport package.
Among other upgrades, the M Sport package adds an upgraded steering wheel that feels fantastic. The standard sport wheel just doesn't measure up. If I was in the market for a BMW, I would have to get the M Sport package for the better wheel.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on May 24, 2016
You might have seen the recent post that details our new long-term 2016 BMW 340i's performance at the test track. Hopefully, you noted its 0-60 time: 4.4 seconds. Or, 4.1 seconds with 1 foot of roll-out, which is how enthusiast publications would report it.
Either way, holy Bavarian cow. 4.4 seconds! Allow me to put that into perspective.
by Ed Hellwig, Executive Editor on May 20, 2016
This is an odd thing to say about a sport sedan like our 2016 BMW 340i, but one of the first things I noticed was the simplicity of the dashboard design. Not the powerful new engine, not the striking leather seats, but the dashboard. Here's why.
by James Riswick, New & Used Car Editor on May 19, 2016
The eight-speed automatic transmission in our 2016 BMW 340i is excellent. Like virtually every BMW model in which it resides, this transmission is refreshingly quick to respond to throttle inputs, happily downshifts at moments when other gearboxes would be slow on the trigger, and is just generally less hell-bent on saving fuel despite the driver's acceleration intentions.
Despite all that, however, it's the wrong transmission. I'm sorry (not sorry), but I want the no-cost optional six-speed manual transmission in a 3 Series.
by Reese Counts, Vehicle Testing Assistant on May 17, 2016
Our newest long-term car, a 2016 BMW 340i, replaces the smaller, sportier 2015 BMW M235i in our hearts, minds and test fleet. We opted to go full luxury with regards to options with the 340i, but that doesn't mean all of the inherent BMW sportiness has been tuned out. In fact, the 340i posts better numbers than some purpose-built sports cars.
The 3 Series has always been one of the best performing sedans on the market. Read ahead to see our breakdown of the latest one.
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Editor on May 12, 2016
I'm possibly not the first person on the intertubes to point this out, but my, how large today's "compact sport sedans" have become. Here's our long-term 2016 BMW 340i parked behind an "E39" BMW 5 Series — the (perfectly styled) one from the late '90s and early '00s. I'll be dog-darned if they're not about the same size.
This calls for some numbers.
by Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor on May 11, 2016
Compact SUVs are moving off dealer lots as though their cargo holds are packed with free bacon, but they haven't pushed sedans into irrelevancy just yet.
To the contrary, even as those tall wagons gain popularity, the longtime benchmark among entry-level luxury sedans — the BMW 3 Series — is enjoying a streak of record sales over the past few years.
The 2016 BMW 340i is BMW's attempt to further stoke that success by introducing a range of enhancements that reside mostly under the skin. Chief among them is an all-new, more powerful twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, but there are also revisions to the suspension and steering said to make it sharper without sacrificing comfort.