2016 BMW 340i xDrive: Monthly Update for December 2016
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.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Unsurprisingly, our 340i's lifetime average for fuel economy dropped while the car was in my care. What can I say? I like performance. Still, it was only a 0.2-mpg drop, and we're doing pretty well against the EPA estimates.
Average lifetime mpg: 24.4 mpg
EPA mpg rating: 25 mpg combined (22 city/32 highway)
Best fill mpg: 34.6 mpg
Best range: 518.4 miles
Current odometer: 17,664 miles
"The difference between Comfort and Sport+ driving modes is sizable. It sounds corny, but it's like you get a different car in those modes, and both are excellent at what they're intended for. In Sport+ mode, you hear a subtle crackle from the exhaust on throttle overrun. I approve!" — Mark Takahashi, Automotive Editor
"I'm always astounded by the 340i's lovely powertrain. On paper, the specs aren't exactly eye-popping (320 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque from a turbo-six are just 10 hp and lb-ft more than the Ford Mustang's turbo-four manages), but real-life performance is fantastic. At our test track, our BMW pummeled an automatic-equipped Mustang by 1.5 seconds in a zero-to-60-mph sprint. On the road, the 340i's accelerator pedal has a bit of resistance that I appreciate. It sounds silly to say, but it makes you feel like unleashing the engine's power is a deliberate decision that is not to be taken lightly." — Cameron Rogers, Associate Editor
"It finally rained in L.A.! I took the BMW out to a special area where I can test out a car's handling on wet pavement and was both disappointed and impressed. First, I was disappointed because I totally forgot our 340i is the xDrive all-wheel-drive model and it just wouldn't get squirrelly enough for me. Usually with a rear-wheel-drive BMW, I can have a bit of hooligan, tail-out fun. Not so in our 340i. That said, it was impressively quite controllable, even with the stability control system turned off." — Mark Takahashi
"We've written about BMW's front sport seats before, but it bears repeating: BMW makes some of the best thrones in the game. They feature a multitude of adjustments, including four-way lumbar and adjustable side bolsters. But the highlight for me is the seat bottom, which offers a steep incline and extendable thigh support, a boon to tall drivers like me. The headrest can also be angled forward quite a bit, too. Best of all, these seats come standard on most 3 Series models except the 320i, where they are included in the Sport package." — Cameron Rogers
"After a few days with the 340i, I didn't have to look at buttons for the various drive modes, iDrive (media, phone and navigation) and on the steering wheel. That tells me they're thoughtfully and logically placed." — Mark Takahashi
"Standard on the 340i is a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system and it sounds great. From Beethoven to Lil Jon, the speaker delivered precisely what you'd want, and that's power and clarity. If you like strong audio, it may be worth upgrading to this if you get a supporting 3 Series model." — Mark Takahashi
"I like the way the adaptive cruise control works in our long-termer, though I agree with a previous post that it's not quite as good as the Mercedes system." — Mark Takahashi