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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All,

Newbie to the forum, looking at buying a 340i to replace my aging 2003 Acura TL-S.
Wanted to get your thoughts on,
a) the config I am contemplating.
b) lease vs. buy

340i config:
Mediterranian Blue Metallic
Coral Red Leather Interior
Driver Assistance Package
Heated front seats

As you can see, the config is pretty stock - since a number of packages I would have chosen are now standard (Lights, Comfort Access, HK, Sport seats and sport transmission). I won't be track driving this car - primarily home use with some spirited driving around North Carolina backroads when I can.

Questions:
a) I see most folks here are choosing the M-Sport pkg. Has anyone test driven a M vs Non-M car on the 340i? Is it worth spending 2.6k on the M pkg?

I am skipping track handling due to VSS. I'll just swap the tires to MPSS once the run flats wear out.

b) What is your opinion on my Ext/Int color combo? Could any owners of this combo please share pics?

c) What other pkgs/options do you recommend I consider?

Lease vs. Buy:

I will put about 7-8k miles on the BMW per year (esp. since we use the Odyssey for long trips).
I have always bought - bought my acura fresh out of grad school about 12 years ago. Our other car is a new 2011 odyssey that is going to be in the stable for another 5 years.

Given my track record, I am thinking of buying the bmw instead of leasing, and giving the car to my now 6 year old who will be 16 when I am ready to change. This way, I save some $$ over leasing plus another $15k since I won't need to buy a honda civic for my then teenager.

Do you see any issues with this line of thinking? I hear BMWs are very unreliable over 100k miles- what has been your experience?
 

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Button Pusher
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Do you see any issues with this line of thinking? I hear BMWs are very unreliable over 100k miles- what has been your experience?
As I just posted in another thread my GF's 2008 328i required about $4K worth of work at 115K miles (water pump, starter, battery, brakes/tires, valvetronic eccentric shaft sensor, valve cover gaskets, etc etc). Now that all that stuff's been refreshed it drives like a million bucks - better and smoother than almost any new car you can buy today.

Budget $1500-$2K/year in today's dollars for maintenance and repairs post-warranty. If you can live with that you should be good to go.

BTW - I second the previous poster - giving a car as fast as a 340i to a 16 year old is probably not a good idea if you want to see them celebrate their 17th birthday.
 

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Swedish Murder Machine
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4,387 Posts
Hi All,

Newbie to the forum, looking at buying a 340i to replace my aging 2003 Acura TL-S.
Wanted to get your thoughts on,
a) the config I am contemplating.
b) lease vs. buy

340i config:
Mediterranian Blue Metallic
Coral Red Leather Interior
Driver Assistance Package
Heated front seats

As you can see, the config is pretty stock - since a number of packages I would have chosen are now standard (Lights, Comfort Access, HK, Sport seats and sport transmission). I won't be track driving this car - primarily home use with some spirited driving around North Carolina backroads when I can.

Questions:
a) I see most folks here are choosing the M-Sport pkg. Has anyone test driven a M vs Non-M car on the 340i? Is it worth spending 2.6k on the M pkg?

I am skipping track handling due to VSS. I'll just swap the tires to MPSS once the run flats wear out.

b) What is your opinion on my Ext/Int color combo? Could any owners of this combo please share pics?

c) What other pkgs/options do you recommend I consider?

Lease vs. Buy:

I will put about 7-8k miles on the BMW per year (esp. since we use the Odyssey for long trips).
I have always bought - bought my acura fresh out of grad school about 12 years ago. Our other car is a new 2011 odyssey that is going to be in the stable for another 5 years.

Given my track record, I am thinking of buying the bmw instead of leasing, and giving the car to my now 6 year old who will be 16 when I am ready to change. This way, I save some $$ over leasing plus another $15k since I won't need to buy a honda civic for my then teenager.

Do you see any issues with this line of thinking? I hear BMWs are very unreliable over 100k miles- what has been your experience?
Driving wise M-sport does nothing vs the standard configuration other than that m-sport has the m-sport brakes standard (they just aren't painted calipers) apparently. M-sport is primarily a cosmetic thing. I'm not a fan of the red/blue combination (it's usually referred to as the "spider man" combo)... but whatever floats your boat. Mine is saddle brown on white and some would say that is too "old fogey" for a 340i. Other things you might want to spend on would be the driver assistance package is really nice to have for the backup camera and parking sensors. Navigation not only gives you navigation but also a much larger i-drive screen, extended instrument cluster, etc... worth it to me anyways.

It's up to you if you want to keep the car long term but maintenance on a BMW is much higher than the Japanese cars you are used to.

320+ horsepower 340i.... I can't think of a worse car to put a new 16 yo male driver behind the wheel of... well, maybe a 911 would be worse.
 

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Freedom isn't free!!
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Driving wise M-sport does nothing vs the standard configuration other than that m-sport has the m-sport brakes standard (they just aren't painted calipers) apparently. M-sport is primarily a cosmetic thing. I'm not a fan of the red/blue combination (it's usually referred to as the "spider man" combo)... but whatever floats your boat. Mine is saddle brown on white and some would say that is too "old fogey" for a 340i. Other things you might want to spend on would be the driver assistance package is really nice to have for the backup camera and parking sensors. Navigation not only gives you navigation but also a much larger i-drive screen, extended instrument cluster, etc... worth it to me anyways.

It's up to you if you want to keep the car long term but maintenance on a BMW is much higher than the Japanese cars you are used to.

320+ horsepower 340i.... I can't think of a worse car to put a new 16 yo male driver behind the wheel of... well, maybe a 911 would be worse.
This is incorrect. You have your equipment confused. The M Sport package is not just cosmetic. It is now the only way to get the static, 704 sport suspension, which, in addition to being firmer, sits 10mm lower than the standard suspension. M Sport brakes are part of the Track package, not the M Sport package.

OP, you'll find that on forums such as this a much higher than average number of buyers prefer/require the sport suspension.

It is a fallacy that BMWs are inherently unreliable as they age. What is true is that they do require a somewhat higher level of routine maintenance. Among owners who are willing to properly maintain their Bimmers over the long haul it is not uncommon to find cars with well in excess of 100k and even 200k miles.
 

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320+ horsepower 340i.... I can't think of a worse car to put a new 16 yo male driver behind the wheel of... well, maybe a 911 would be worse.
I don't really think so -- how many of us either had or had friends with 70s muscle cars back in our high school days - Chargers, Mustangs, Barracudas, Novas, etc. Hell, I drove a '76 Ford Econoline van with a 351 V8. All we had protecting us back then was just a lap belt (oh, and tons of steel) - no side impact air bags, antilock brakes, and the myriad of other safety features standard in our BMWs.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys, this is helpful. I'll try to test drive a non-MPKG and one with M and share feedback.

If anyone has owns a MBlue+Coral - would appreciate if you could share some pics.

voip-ninja, your car looks beautiful! I would have gone with a white+coral if I didn't already have another car with a white exterior.
 

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Swedish Murder Machine
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This is incorrect. You have your equipment confused. The M Sport package is not just cosmetic. It is now the only way to get the static, 704 sport suspension, which, in addition to being firmer, sits 10mm lower than the standard suspension. M Sport brakes are part of the Track package, not the M Sport package.

OP, you'll find that on forums such as this a much higher than average number of buyers prefer/require the sport suspension.

It is a fallacy that BMWs are inherently unreliable as they age. What is true is that they do require a somewhat higher level of routine maintenance. Among owners who are willing to properly maintain their Bimmers over the long haul it is not uncommon to find cars with well in excess of 100k and even 200k miles.

Fair catch on the suspension but I thought actually msport was required for the standalone adaptive suspension... I thought that as part of the LCI changes the standard sport suspension was now regular equipment in non x drive cars.

On the brakes, another member who is a regular contributor of "inside" info pointed out that m sport cars now get the m sport brakes just not painted. Visual inspection of my brakes seem to back this up?
 

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Freedom isn't free!!
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Fair catch on the suspension but I thought actually msport was required for the standalone adaptive suspension... I thought that as part of the LCI changes the standard sport suspension was now regular equipment in non x drive cars.

On the brakes, another member who is a regular contributor of "inside" info pointed out that m sport cars now get the m sport brakes just not painted. Visual inspection of my brakes seem to back this up?
BMW states that the LCI base suspension is more sporty than it was, but the actual 10mm lower, 704 sport suspension only comes with the M Sport package. The adaptive suspension is available as a stand alone option only with the M Sport package. On non-M Sport cars the adaptive suspension is only available as part of the Track package.

The M Sport brakes are only available as part of the Track package. On the pre-LCI models the M Sport line included more aggressive brake pads, but not the M Sport brakes. My assumption is the LCI M Sport package still includes the more aggressive brake pads.
 

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Swedish Murder Machine
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I don't really think so -- how many of us either had or had friends with 70s muscle cars back in our high school days - Chargers, Mustangs, Barracudas, Novas, etc. Hell, I drove a '76 Ford Econoline van with a 351 V8. All we had protecting us back then was just a lap belt (oh, and tons of steel) - no side impact air bags, antilock brakes, and the myriad of other safety features standard in our BMWs.

And back then 0-60 in 8 seconds was considered "fast".
 

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Swedish Murder Machine
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Thanks guys, this is helpful. I'll try to test drive a non-MPKG and one with M and share feedback.

If anyone has owns a MBlue+Coral - would appreciate if you could share some pics.

voip-ninja, your car looks beautiful! I would have gone with a white+coral if I didn't already have another car with a white exterior.

Last car was black. This time I picked a color that will leave me with my weekends free!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
And back then 0-60 in 8 seconds was considered "fast".
Going by that trend, who knows what the 0-60 might be in 10 years - perhaps 2.1 seconds?
And the 340i will be struggling to keep up. :)

But good point by multiple posters - whether I should give my future teenager this car is a debatable topic.
 

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Fair catch on the suspension but I thought actually msport was required for the standalone adaptive suspension... I thought that as part of the LCI changes the standard sport suspension was now regular equipment in non x drive cars.

On the brakes, another member who is a regular contributor of "inside" info pointed out that m sport cars now get the m sport brakes just not painted. Visual inspection of my brakes seem to back this up?
* After reading various threads on standard suspension/M sport suspension/M adaptive suspension on RWD/AWD and if LCI changed anything, I only have a vague idea. I wish there was sticky that explains this in detail.

* 2016 pricing guide suggests "2NH M Sport Brakes" only comes with ZTR package and not with M sport. If it does, I would be extremely glad :)
 

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VSS was fine on my Nurburgring lap in the 340, don't let a few fearful people scare you away from it. The big thing is the options add up quick, so prioritize your top 3 and see if a package is a better overall value. You may want to look at Cold Weather vs. just heated front seats since your kids are at the point where the booster seats may hit the wayside soon.
 

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Swedish Murder Machine
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* After reading various threads on standard suspension/M sport suspension/M adaptive suspension on RWD/AWD and if LCI changed anything, I only have a vague idea. I wish there was sticky that explains this in detail.

* 2016 pricing guide suggests "2NH M Sport Brakes" only comes with ZTR package and not with M sport. If it does, I would be extremely glad :)
Orient has been a source of good info before, according to him, M-sport now for LCI comes with the same brakes as the m braking package that is part of the track package, just w/out the painted calipers.

Orient330iNYC said:
find one with MSport package. aside from the cosmetics, the brakes are upgraded. the latest cars have been coming with upgraded pads, calipers and rotors, even without the added msport brake option. even the older msports had upgraded pads

M Sport Trim Package (code P337A)
Front: 330mm rotors, single-piston grey caliper
Rear: 300mm rotors, single-piston grey caliper
If you ordered your 328i/428i with the $3,400 M Sport trim package (M Sport aerodynamic package, 18" wheels, M steering wheel, Shadowline trim) you also got a modest brake upgrade at the same time. The front rotors increased from 312mm to 330mm. The rotors are a blank design, not dimpled/slotted. The stock single piston calipers remained but use a different bracket. The pads are slightly more aggressive than the stock parts.
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Discussion Starter #16
Upgraded brake system + thicker steering wheel + m-suspension makes the m-package attractive. I am on the fence with this now....

Only piece I like in the tech package is the bigger screen. I don't need navigation - my Iphone6+ and Waze take care of that.
It also doesn't seem like i need the tech package OR the enhanced bluetooth option for bluetooth phone calls or music playing... which is all the tech i would need built in from the car (carplay would be awesome of course but that's years away).
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Brian, good point - I was thinking of taking the cold weather pkg for the same reason as well - its just $300 more than the heated front seats.
 

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I can't find it now but there was a thread a while back that listed the differences in the brakes for the 320, 328, 335, m-sport pkg, m-sport brakes, and m-performance brakes. I believe the rotors were the same size (or maybe just close) between the m-performance, m-sport brakes, & m-sport pkg. Different brackets, # of pistons, pads, and caliper color set them apart.

To the op's build, I would suggest nav and the cold weather pkg.
 
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