BMW 340i 3.0 M Sport Auto

BMW 340i 3.0 M Sport Auto


Entertain the unthinkable - the triumphant return of petrol

There is a long and not-so-illustrious historical record of people who thrive on the counterintuitive – the sort of fools who can look you dead in the eye and explain to you that if you jump one nano-second before the falling elevator hits the deck then you’ll survive unscathed. Or that if you were in the middle of the Sahara and were asked what you’d rather drink: a nice hot cup of tea or a can of Coke, you’d be wiser to take the tea since it would cool you down more.

You know the type, they’d rather believe in ghosts than the empirically proven qualities of reflective surfaces.

So, if you were to be told that the car you see in these pictures is, in many ways, a better choice than the epic 335d M Sport Xdrive, you might legitimately assume that your interlocutor had joined the tinfoil-helmet-wearing-daddy-longlegs-are-the-most-poisonous-spider cohort. Here’s the funny thing though… you’d be wrong.

Received wisdom has dictated that diesel is the sensible choice for some time now. Lower emissions, more efficiency, greater torque and all the rest of it. But that is about to change.

The various nasties that constitute a substantial segment of the average diesel emission are, it transpires, pretty damn nasty

In fact they’ve been quietly sending half of London to the pulmonary ward for the last 20 years and people are getting tired of it. What this means for you is higher taxation and stink eye at the school gates from the more enlightened (read ‘annoying’) parents.

That taxation is going to take three forms. Firstly the inevitable hike on fuel prices as the treasury attempts to mitigate what economists call the negative externality of pollution. Similarly with road tax but most importantly with company car tax. Put simply it is a given that sooner or later the emissions bandings that govern how much you pay will be reconfigured to hammer diesel drivers. And let’s face it, if you are driving a car like the 335d then this is the sort of thing that might concern you.

But not if you've plumped for this...

Sure, it’s 3 litre turbocharged 6 cylinder engine might not have the M3-challenging pace and low end welly of the diesel but it has something that no chugger can ever replicate – refinement and a frankly lovely engine note. In sport mode, it pops, gurgles and whines in a wonderfully guttural way. Sure, it’s not tuning-house bonkers but it does sound like a powerful car. And if you’re driving anything over two and half litres, that’s important because, after all, you’re paying for it.

It’s surprisingly quick at 5.1 seconds on the sprint to 60 but there’s a lightness, a feeling that there’s more. And indeed there is…because it’s after 60mph that this 321bhp engine really starts to find itself through the wonderful 8-speed automatic box.

Make no mistake, this is a great touring car and it is on faster roads and motorways where it munches up the miles with composure.

An assured subtlety

Gearbox-wise, in the higher performance settings gear changes are quick and the drive train is brisk with being urgent. Rear wheel drive and some assured suspension configuration brings a definite ‘driver’s car’ feel to proceedings when the back end steps out momentarily under Dynamic Traction Control. Sure, it’s not mental, but would you want it to be?

Inside, everything that you’ve come to expect from a modern BMW is there with cutting edge but dignified trim finishes, organised instrumentation and one of the best user interfaces around. Cabin noise is just so and comfort levels are high even under the beefier performance settings.

How we're responding to COVID-19.

At XL we've introduced several measures to ensure the safety of our customers and staff. Our head office is open for drop-offs and collections and all our vehicles are fully valeted and sterilised. Collections and drop-off staff all have full PPE including face masks, sanitising spray and hand cleaning fluid.

Our procedures for customers collecting vehicles:
  • New vehicles will be cleaned, sanitised and disinfected by our staff member, who will then place the keys on the windscreen and then go 2 metres away whilst the client goes to the vehicle to inspect it. Once our customer has checked and is happy with the vehicle a copy of the inspection report is emailed straight to them.
  • The handover is complete, and no contact is made between the customer and staff member. Spare gloves and sanitising wipes are available for our customers to use should they be required.
Our procedures for customers returning vehicles:
  • When a customer arrives with the vehicle our staff member will direct you to park the vehicle in a dedicated parking area and ask you to leave the vehicle, locking it and placing the keys on the windscreen. Once our customer has done this and is the required 2 metres away our staff member will approach the vehicle to disperse the sanitising/disinfecting fluid on the keys unlock and enter the vehicle sanitising the dashboard, steering wheel, handbrake, door and window controls, seat adjustment controls. Our staff member will then perform the initial visual checks inside the vehicle, such as mileage, servicing and fuel levels. A full external check of the vehicle is performed, along with tyres, under to bonnet and boot. Any new damage is noted. Once the inspection is complete a copy of the inspection will be emailed straight to the client.

Keep on keeping on... and stay safe!