If you're in the market for a (not so) compact executive luxury sedan, the BMW 3 Series has some of the widest variety available. The 318i Sport had recently been introduced to serve as the entry-level model. But there's another model at the opposite end of the spectrum, and it's essentially a junior M3.
That model is the M340i xDrive, and it's being offered locally too. With that, there are now four 3 Series variants to choose from in the country.
The M340i xDrive is the only 3 Series with six-cylinder power, with the 318i, 320i, and 330i using boosted four-cylinder engines. The inline-six under the hood of the M340i is a turbocharged 3.0-liter unit with power figures that can bait some sports cars. That engine is good for 374 PS and 500 Nm of torque. It then shifts with an eight-speed sport automatic transmission and sends its power to all four wheels.
According to factory figures, the M340i xDrive can do 0 to 100 km/h in 4.4 seconds. Top speed is electronically governed at 250 km/h, just like most of its competitors. Speaking of competitors, its biggest rival here is the Mercedes-AMG C43. Like the BMW, it uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine. However, the C43 does pack more power at 390 PS and 520 Nm of torque. Curiously, Mercedes-Benz's 0 to 100 km/h claim of 4.7 seconds makes it 0.3 seconds slower than the M340i xDrive.
As for the exterior, several subtle cues differentiate this model from the 330i M Sport and 320i Sport. For starters, there's the unique kidney grille with a diamond pattern instead of the usual slats. Its corner air intakes also look more aggressive with the front apron looking sharper at each corner. The wheels fitted to the M340i are exclusive to this model, and the rear bumper has a different treatment as well.
Inside, it uses the new Live Cockpit digital instrument cluster, while the iDrive infotainment system has added functionality. Instead of the classic blacked-out trimmings, this model has what's called Aluminum Hexagon and, yes, it's made out of real aluminum. Deeper bucket seats are part of the package too, along with a meatier steering wheel rim.
So how much for this junior M3? The M340i xDrive starts at Php 5,490,000.