We’ve been busy on YouTube recently, with car restorations, new purchases and a trading up series. For that reason, I’ve had to transport cars across the country - courtesy of Woodford Trailers - which meant swapping out of ‘my’ £62,000 M340d and into Ethan’s £38,000 Octavia vRS longtermer (the only car of the two with a tow bar) after three glorious months. You can read about our thoughts of the car swap soon, but for now, and with the M340d now back at BMW, I wanted to debrief and answer the question: do I still consider it the best new car on sale?
I won’t waste your time with a flowery build up, because the answer to that first-world conundrum is ‘yes’, and here’s why. No car that I’ve driven can truly claim to be the master of all trades except for the M340d. It’s fast, efficient, spacious, good looking, refined, safe and has the added benefit of ushering slow-moving cars out of the way because of its not-so-accidental undercover cop car status.
It also covers vast distances with ease, and after a recent trip to the most northerly point of England - a place called Berwick - with CT Social team’s Edwin behind the wheel, he agreed:
“The easiest way to describe the M340d is effortless and discreet. It will eagerly oblige anything you ask of it. Even when you need to gun it past some slow-moving farm traffic, it does it in a way that barely causes you to raise an eyebrow. The seats are comfortable, the cabin is quiet, and there’s more power than you’d ever really need. It’s not what you want in a wagon. It’s what you need in a wagon.
I don’t want to call it the cliché ‘Swiss army knife’, because it’s far more potent than that, but the M340d is a mega all-rounder that I’m looking forward to buying for a pittance in 20 years.”
Meanwhile, on paper, the M340d’s stats - 335bhp, 516lb ft, 0-62 in 4.8 seconds - only tell half the story because this is a wagon that hauls effortlessly and hunkers down when you knock it out of Comfort mode. But more than that, this is a car that makes you feel special, while the quality of materials, solidity and pace confirm that its £50,000+ asking price (or £62k with options in the case of ‘mine’) is perfectly justified.
What’s more, nobody makes diesels like BMW, and in a world where car makers are going electric or full hybrid, the fact that we still get such a meaty diesel pulls on the heartstrings. It’s a unicorn of a car that’s no longer on my driveway (swapped instead with a Mazda CX-5 for towing, more on that soon), and one of a very few new cars that I’d recommend to a friend with cash and a vehicular wish list as long as your arm. Because whatever you need a car for, the M340d will deliver.