M340i hit dealers. Quick drive
So the M340i hit my dealer yesterday. They had about 7 of them in stock. I drove a fairly stock car with passive dampers on the 18 inch wheels that look fairly plain.
I own a 2014 335i M sport with passive dampers on 19 inch wheels for comparison
My first impression is that the car feels instantly firmer than my 2014. Both the steering and the suspension felt firmer. The steering is definitely an upgrade from my 2014 but it's still not close to the eager turn in of an Alfa or Cadillac. I didn't take too many aggressive turns but it generally felt pretty much like the 330i that is already available.
The handling was good. It felt nicely planted. Better than my 2014 which felt a little bit floaty by comparison. But the compromise is that the car did not ride as well as my 2014. They've gone for a firmer suspension tune in the M340i than in my car.
The engine felt very powerful. But then again so does mine. I thought I would notice a larger difference in power but I didn't. I think if I had spent more time at floor I would have noticed more difference but I didn't want to just hammer on a car with 9 miles. I'm sure the M340i is faster than mine but it is not dramatically so.
The engine was also louder than my 2014 which is on the quiet side and one of the things that I don't like about my current car. But it was still much quieter than the optional exhausts in the AMG C43. I didn't get too far into the settings beyond selecting sport plus and letting it rip, but overall I was disappointed in the engine note and feel that it needs more emotion when you really get on it.
Overall I was expecting a bit more from the M340i. It's an improvement over my 2014, but it is still the quiet and capable performance sedan that we are all familiar with just a bit better.