2016 BMW 340i xDrive: Monthly Update for October 2016
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.
The route initially took us from Los Angeles to Petaluma, California, via the interminably boring Interstate 5, the idea being simply to put a big distance in early. From there we veered toward the ocean, where the good roads are, and onward to the Lost Coast, then Portland; Corvallis, Oregon; Seattle and finally Vancouver. And back. We encountered a wide range of terrain, including lumpy and unmaintained pavement, washboard dirt roads and truck-mutilated Oregon freeways. After a brief spell back at the homestead, the 340 served additional daily-driver duty in Fresno, California.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Average lifetime mpg: 24.7
EPA mpg rating: 26 combined (22 city/33 highway)
Best-fill mpg: 34.6
Best range: 518.4 miles
Current odometer: 14,640 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
No maintenance was performed during the month of October, though one peculiar occurrence will be inquired about the next time it goes in. At one point during the road trip to Canada, the 340i's plastic dashboard panel directly above the center console fell out. Just like that. This occurred after some extended driving on bumpy pavement, which doesn't excuse the barfing of the panel.
"In the immortal words of Han Solo: 'She might not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid.' On the outside, our long-term test car is your typical 3 Series suburbia cruiser. Brown paint, even! But mash the gas and this 340i will out-accelerate just about every other car on the road." — Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
"Fantastic road-trip car. Power, control, comfort, and it's legitimately hard not to get 30-plus mpg. The F30 3 Series has been knocked around by the automotive press for its 'steering feel' and such, but for my money, this 340i is the best car in its segment." — Josh Sadlier, Content Strategist
"OK, so I gave our BMW 340i praise last week about its interior design. But this trim piece below the climate controls is disappointing. It's not quite the same color shade as the rest of the dash, and it doesn't feel solid or high-quality. In fact, I can easily pull it off with just a few fingers! As Donald Trump might tweet: Sad!" — Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
"The panel that Brent noticed is loosey-goosey is, in fact, precisely that — it vomited out of the dashboard of its own accord while I was driving on rural California roads. The panel remained tethered by a wire fastened to its underside, so it sort of flopped around on the center console until I could reach a safe stop. After I stopped laughing, I gave the panel a cursory inspection to determine if it was broken. It appeared to be intact, so I pushed it back into place. Apparently, it does not have a very robust mooring in the dash, considering Brent was so easily able to remove it. Not saying he has small, weak hands or anything. Just saying." — Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor
"This car has one of the loudest stereos in our fleet. Seldom am I able to turn something up to 75 percent volume and say, 'Yep, that's enough,' but with this car that's definitely the case. The sound quality above those levels is still good as well. And this is all when I'm playing music via Bluetooth, which normally has a lower volume than other sources. Good on ya, BMW." — Travis Langness, Automotive Editor