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      01-14-2020, 10:08 PM   #1
Dutt1113
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2018 m550i vs 2020 m340i

I know this is a g30 forum, but I was hoping for some unbiased opinions on these 2 cars. If you highly spec both cars with all of the options and tech, which is the nicer car? I was leaning toward the 2018 m550i based on it having nicer build materials. Some say they can't tell the difference in refinement between the two, but I beg to differ. The m550 has stitching on door tops with option of leather on them and g20 just soft touch. The center console tunnel has hard plastic running down the sides and g30 has stitched material/soft touch ( correct me if I'm wrong). I haven't really been able to sit in both, just going mostly off pictures and peaking in at dealers.
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      01-14-2020, 11:57 PM   #2
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The highly optioned higher model will be the nicer car. Is this a trick question?

If you're thinking that the 3 series is "nicer" just because it is a few years newer in design, then I can assure you it is not.

But if you're that uncertain about it, then you really must sit in both.
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      01-15-2020, 05:53 AM   #3
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material quality is a big difference, 3 series leathers never look or feel anywhere near as luxurious as the 5 series IMO
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      01-15-2020, 06:31 AM   #4
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I keep trying to convince myself that I should get a 3 series to save money. And compared to my 540 it would actually perform better. Then I go and sit in a 3. If I were to move "down" to that class, the 3 series BMW would not be what I would buy. It would be an Audi S4/5, C class MB, or maybe a G70 Genesis.
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      01-15-2020, 06:51 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by jjscsix View Post
I keep trying to convince myself that I should get a 3 series to save money. And compared to my 540 it would actually perform better. Then I go and sit in a 3. If I were to move "down" to that class, the 3 series BMW would not be what I would buy. It would be an Audi S4/5, C class MB, or maybe a G70 Genesis.
That is my thought as well. I prefer a smaller car, a more tossable car, but BMW doesn't offer interior upgrades and I am not willing to again buy a car with the Dakota type leather seating.

While I enjoy my BMW, my next car may very well be from another company unless BMW starts offering better upgrades in the smaller series.
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      01-15-2020, 10:21 AM   #6
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i had a 2012 and 2014 335i, and now I have had the 2018 540i for the last two years and i can tell you that the 5 is so much more comfortable, it just feels like a much better car, with that said i'd never go back to 3/4 series( it's a great car, new one looks really cool, but personally i feel like i outgrew it)
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      01-15-2020, 11:05 AM   #7
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no comparison at all. the 5 series build quality is a lot nicer, especially the "older" BMW design ideology because I feel even in the new X5 the materials aren't as nice as previous gen. It may "look" nicer and may have better technology, but once you start touching everything you will notice a difference.

a lot of the 3 series uses hard plastics and lower quality leather whereas the g30 5 series uses soft touch materials and much nicer leather.
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      01-15-2020, 11:59 AM   #8
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Don't know a lot about the M340i. I can tell you that there is no comparison in quality between the M4 and the M550i. My M550i is head and shoulders above the M4 I had in comfort, quality, luxury, and IMHO, is very close in performance. It is clearly, the "nicer" car, to answer your original question. Not even close.
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      01-15-2020, 12:18 PM   #9
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I own a 2018 M550 and test drove the 2019 330 when it was first released. In my opinion, there is a small quality difference, but not enough to justify the price differences between a 3 series vs 5 series. It’s definitely not as big of a difference vs the 4 series. I also prefer better tech and the new 3 series has better drivers assistance feature and newer tech not present in the 5 series.

If I had to pick right now, I would get the M340 or wait for the M3 if it didn’t look as ridiculous as some of the leaked/spy photos show.
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      01-15-2020, 01:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by top1105 View Post
I own a 2018 M550 and test drove the 2019 330 when it was first released. In my opinion, there is a small quality difference, but not enough to justify the price differences between a 3 series vs 5 series. It's definitely not as big of a difference vs the 4 series. I also prefer better tech and the new 3 series has better drivers assistance feature and newer tech not present in the 5 series.

If I had to pick right now, I would get the M340 or wait for the M3 if it didn't look as ridiculous as some of the leaked/spy photos show.
what better, useable tech and driver assistance are you talking about on the m340 that's not on the 2018 m550 besides id7?
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      01-15-2020, 01:20 PM   #11
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I have 2019 M550 and got a loaner 2020 M340.
Different cars completely. 3 felt like it was on rails, you hear exterior noise, interior not as nice. When I got back into my car I felt rich compared to being in the M340.
M340 was fun to toss around and I was really impressed with performance and speed, but the cars are apples and oranges.
M550 is not on rails it's a little disconnected from road but it's a big 4 door, not a small 4door. 3 was quick but M550 is fast.
Just different
Depends on what you value the most.
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      01-15-2020, 01:28 PM   #12
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In short for a few reasons I am 100% sure I got the right car for my tastes. Again comes down to what you like
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      01-15-2020, 04:57 PM   #13
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what better, useable tech and driver assistance are you talking about on the m340 that's not on the 2018 m550 besides id7?
It’s similar drivers assistance systems, but seems to have software improvements that make it stay in its lane more and touch the steering wheel less. Work better off the freeway. Some sort of camera system watching your eyes to make sure you’re paying attention. Here’s an example video: https://youtu.be/ecE6_A7uJZo

There’s the improved parking assistance with the auto reverse. There’s the “Hey BMW” feature. You can get remote start, which still doesn’t seem to be available on the 5 series. Using your phone as a key. Laser headlights.

Only features I can think of that my M550 has that the 3 series is missing is rear sunshades, active steering/rear wheel steering, night vision.

I think the fully optioned M340 was $68k. My almost fully option M550 was $90k. According to official 0-60 times, there’s a 0.2 second difference. I don’t think it’s worth the extra $22k if I had to pick right now. Maybe after the M550 LCI it might be worth it again.
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      01-15-2020, 05:43 PM   #14
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5 is always better than 3 for interior materials and quality, just like E will always be better than C in that regard, as you move up the size scale and price premium the nicer interior you will get.

The 3 is a sports sedan before luxury, and the 5 is a luxury sedan before sports in my opinion.

OP are you just looking mainly at opinions regarding interiors? Or are there any other aspects regarding the two vehicles your interested in? I've driven both the M340i and M550i so I can offer any opinions needed.
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      01-15-2020, 06:21 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
5 is always better than 3 for interior materials and quality, just like E will always be better than C in that regard, as you move up the size scale and price premium the nicer interior you will get.

The 3 is a sports sedan before luxury, and the 5 is a luxury sedan before sports in my opinion.

OP are you just looking mainly at opinions regarding interiors? Or are there any other aspects regarding the two vehicles your interested in? I've driven both the M340i and M550i so I can offer any opinions needed.
I know the m550 interior is nicer, I guess I just don't know if I would miss all the new modern tech in m340 that the m550i doesn't have like full idrive 7, remote start, laser lights and other improved things. I would get nicer build materials and quality in m550 but give up slight tech. The m340 I would give up the build quality and luxury to get the tech. I can't get over the hard plastic down the m340 center console tunnel. the tech would be cool but I think Id rather have the nicer build. I still think m340 is still nice build and I'd still get one it's just give and take on some things. It's hard to pass on that TT V8 though.
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      01-15-2020, 06:47 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutt1113 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
5 is always better than 3 for interior materials and quality, just like E will always be better than C in that regard, as you move up the size scale and price premium the nicer interior you will get.

The 3 is a sports sedan before luxury, and the 5 is a luxury sedan before sports in my opinion.

OP are you just looking mainly at opinions regarding interiors? Or are there any other aspects regarding the two vehicles your interested in? I've driven both the M340i and M550i so I can offer any opinions needed.
I know the m550 interior is nicer, I guess I just don't know if I would miss all the new modern tech in m340 that the m550i doesn't have like full idrive 7, remote start, laser lights and other improved things. I would get nicer build materials and quality in m550 but give up slight tech. The m340 I would give up the build quality and luxury to get the tech. I can't get over the hard plastic down the m340 center console tunnel. the tech would be cool but I think Id rather have the nicer build. I still think m340 is still nice build and I'd still get one it's just give and take on some things. It's hard to pass on that TT V8 though.
Pretty sure new 550's have iDrive 7, not sure about the professional driving assistant though or remote start, but even used iDrive 6 in my opinion is better than 7, but 7 does have OTA updates, although I don't think BMW has released a single one yet? (Correct me if I'm wrong)

It sounds like you'd prefer a comfortable and nicely equipped cabin so for you the 5-series is probably best.

Regarding the TTV8 it is a sweet engine, but do be advised its longevity is not as good as the B58 Inline 6, BMW's 8's tend to be more problematic in the long run.
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      01-15-2020, 07:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutt1113 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuastein55 View Post
5 is always better than 3 for interior materials and quality, just like E will always be better than C in that regard, as you move up the size scale and price premium the nicer interior you will get.

The 3 is a sports sedan before luxury, and the 5 is a luxury sedan before sports in my opinion.

OP are you just looking mainly at opinions regarding interiors? Or are there any other aspects regarding the two vehicles your interested in? I've driven both the M340i and M550i so I can offer any opinions needed.
I know the m550 interior is nicer, I guess I just don't know if I would miss all the new modern tech in m340 that the m550i doesn't have like full idrive 7, remote start, laser lights and other improved things. I would get nicer build materials and quality in m550 but give up slight tech. The m340 I would give up the build quality and luxury to get the tech. I can't get over the hard plastic down the m340 center console tunnel. the tech would be cool but I think Id rather have the nicer build. I still think m340 is still nice build and I'd still get one it's just give and take on some things. It's hard to pass on that TT V8 though.
Just go out and get a 2020 m550. You won't be disappointed.
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      01-15-2020, 08:29 PM   #18
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I was looking at used 2018 m550i or slightly used 2020 m340i. I don't lease aka rent and I don't buy new because cars are a rip-off new and depreciation is your friend with used cars so a 2020 m550i is out of the question. No car is worth to me what they charge new.
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      01-15-2020, 08:34 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutt1113 View Post
I was looking at used 2018 m550i or slightly used 2020 m340i. I don't lease aka rent and I don't buy new because cars are a rip-off new and depreciation is your friend with used cars so a 2020 m550i is out of the question. No car is worth to me what they charge new.
If you don't pay for car in cash your just renting from the bank as well, but with the liability of depreciation and a chance of getting hit by someone and being stuck with a car with bad car fax(aka large drop in resale value). Leasing is controlled and your free of liability and with fixed cost thru "renting". Your renting the car either way, either BMW holds your title or the bank does (again unless your wiring/cutting check in full)
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      01-15-2020, 08:51 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dutt1113 View Post
I was looking at used 2018 m550i or slightly used 2020 m340i. I don't lease aka rent and I don't buy new because cars are a rip-off new and depreciation is your friend with used cars so a 2020 m550i is out of the question. No car is worth to me what they charge new.
If you don't pay for car in cash your just renting from the bank as well, but with the liability of depreciation and a chance of getting hit by someone and being stuck with a car with bad car fax(aka large drop in resale value). Leasing is controlled and your free of liability and with fixed cost thru "renting". Your renting the car either way, either BMW holds your title or the bank does (again unless your wiring/cutting check in full)
good point. But I'm pretty sure the lease payment on a good spec 2020 m550i would be well over $1000 and I'm not willing to spend that much. At least with financing a car you have some equity after 5-6 years if you keep cars for 5-6 years like I do. I feel like when I mod up a car you've put your mark on it and it's "you". If the car has good features I like keeping for while and enjoying what I've done to the car for a long while.
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      01-15-2020, 09:00 PM   #21
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I've also found leasing a new car cost less on monthly payment than financing a car for 60 months. Example $60k used car is over a grand a month when taxes and even 1.9% interest(my usual apr from bmw financial). I know I'm never keeping a car more than 2-3 yrs anyway. Regardless $60k car your payment is over $1k a month for used. I leased $87k car 12k miles a yr and payment is $917/month after negotiating. But point is you get new car for less than used car with no liability. Go lease a new 2020M550 already! Probably be within a few bucks a month of a used M340 in terms of monthly payment.
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      01-15-2020, 09:06 PM   #22
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Quote:
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good point. But I'm pretty sure the lease payment on a good spec 2020 m550i would be well over $1000 and I'm not willing to spend that much. At least with financing a car you have some equity after 5-6 years if you keep cars for 5-6 years like I do. I feel like when I mod up a car you've put your mark on it and it's "you". If the car has good features I like keeping for while and enjoying what I've done to the car for a long while.
My 86.5K almost fully loaded custom built 2020 M550i is quoted to me at $980 after taxes for 36/15k lease. It's on order now, and I'm sure I'll get it lower once it comes in.

This is less than any decent 2018 CPO M550i with finance or any other comparable vehicle.

On used cars you're always settling, whether it is the color, options, mileage, etc... I bought so many used cars and never ended up with a perfectly optioned car, unless I ordered new for purchase or lease.

Also, I'm writing this lease off, so technically I'm out of pocket around $600? lol That's what some pay for an Accord!

Lastly, just leased a 2020 X5 M50i with MSRP of $98.5K, for $1,200. Do the math on how much that would be financed...

Quote:
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I've also found leasing a new car cost less on monthly payment than financing a car for 60 months. Example $60k used car is over a grand a month when taxes and even 1.9% interest(my usual apr from bmw financial). I know I'm never keeping a car more than 2-3 yrs anyway. Regardless $60k car your payment is over $1k a month for used. I leased $87k car 12k miles a yr and payment is $917/month after negotiating. But point is you get new car for less than used car with no liability. Go lease a new 2020M550 already! Probably be within a few bucks a month of a used M340 in terms of monthly payment.
It's hard for people to grasp the concept if they are set on believing that a vehicle is a long term asset. I was in that boat too... it took me a few P cars to get rid of that mindset. No matter how much I thought I'd keep that perfect 911 for ever, it never happened and never made sense, and those depreciate the least out of most cars.

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