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The BMW M3 vs the BMW 330i: Which should I choose?

When it comes to cars that can do it all, few carry the cache of the BMW 3 Series. Over the past 45 years, BMW’s compact car has blended performance, comfort, and usability in ways that have made it one of the benchmarks other automakers aim for when developing their own sedans. If you are a BMW enthusiast already, then you know all about BMW M-Series vehicle sand how they differ from their regular-series counterparts. However, if you re new to the BMW brand, and you are looking into purchasing a vehicle for performance or work, or both, then it is important to know which series of BMW you should go for. At Pfaff BMW Markham, we have a massive selection of new and pre-owned BMW vehicles that are waiting for you to take out for a test drive. In this blog, we share some information about 2 specific BMW vehicle variants: the BMW M3 and the BMW 330i. 

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What are the differences? 

As anyone with some basic knowledge of BMW culture has probably figured out by now, the largest difference between these two 3-series vehicles is what lies beneath their hoods. Those numbers long since stopped corresponding to exact displacements, but bigger numbers still mean bigger engines: the 330i packs a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four making 255 horsepower and 294 pound-feet of torque, while the M340i uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six that spins up 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. Further setting the M340i apart: a limited-slip differential for the rear axle, a stiffer suspension that gives the car a 0.4-inch-lower ride, and wheel camber revised for better grip. The BMW M3 also gets a more sporty and aggressive exterior look than the BMW 330i.  

What are the similarities?

Apart from that, however, these two 3 Series models are about as similar as they come. Or rather, they can be, if you spec the 330i to match the M340i by picking the M Sport package, which includes a more aggressive front fascia, a sport-tuned suspension and variable-ratio sport steering. Unlike the aggressive M Sport six-cylinder car, however, you can also opt to have your 330i in more sedate form; just opt for the more high-end packages, which also open the door to different paint and trim options you can’t have in the other version. Both 3 Series models come with a sole choice of transmission, an eight-speed automatic, and the same two choices of driven wheels, rear or all four.

What does this all mean for the consumer?

95 percent of the time, driving an M340i feels exactly the same as driving a 330i. Both 3ers are comfortable highway cruisers, as you’d expect of any car born in the land of the autobahn; even at speeds well above what your driver’s ed teacher would advise you to do, it’s rock-steady and reassuring. The remaining five percent of the time, of course, are those moments when you’re driving with speed and power in mind. 382 horsepower is nothing to scoff at, and nobody makes inline-sixes quite as smooth and delightful as BMW; pushing your foot into the accelerator produces a thrilling burst of fluid acceleration that’ll make you wonder why you considered any other type of vehicle. 

Both the BMW M3 and the BMW 330i are exceptional vehicles. If you are looking for more information about these BMW variants, or about any of our other BMW vehicles, then we suggest that you get in touch with a Pfaff BMW Markham representative. Additionally, click here to learn about the Pfaff Difference. 

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