BMW’s inline-four engines are good, but it is the straight-sixes that will always get nods for those in the know and petrolheads chattering. The much talked about powerplant is a TwinPower Turbo 3.0 litre turbocharged inline six-cylinder that produces 387hp and 500Nm of torque. Impressed yet?

The engine is mated to an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. And it’s fast — the M340i completes the century sprint in just 4.4 seconds and tops out at 250kph. Although it delivers sportscar-like power and performance, the M340i still offers decent fuel economy at 7.7 litres per 100km, while carbon emissions are rated at just 177g per kilometre.

Complementing the powerful engine, BMW has equipped the M340i with specially tuned suspension to harness and channel all that performance into a dynamic and engaging drive. The M-Adaptive suspension is 10mm lower than the standard G20 3-Series that can be electronically adjusted using the various drive modes available.

In case the nameplate hasn’t clued you in yet, the M340i is equipped with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system biased to the rear. Couple the xDrive with the standard M Sport differential, the M340i promises optimal traction and cornering stability for enthusiastic driving under various road conditions. Keeping all that speed under control are four-piston M Sport brake callipers up front, and single callipers at the rear, as well as larger brake disc for improved stopping performance.

Distinctly a 3 Series on the outside, the M340i comes standard with M Aerodynamics Package to highlight its sporty appeal and ability. BMW’s Laser Light with high beam assist also comes as standard, together with grey metallic finishing around the air intake, side view mirror caps and the signature BMW kidney grille. 19-inch M alloy wheels wrapped in run-flat tyres also come as standard, highlighted by the blue M brake callipers that peek through the alloys.

While its performance is undeniable, the M340i is still a luxurious and well-appointed sedan, and that is evident from its interior. The cockpit of the M340i has an M-specific design to enhance the sporty driving experience. The interior is well-appointed with Leather Vernasca sport seats, leather M Sport steering wheel, and M-specific mats and pedals. The dash finished in Aluminium Tetragon.

The main highlight of the interior would be the standard equipped fully digital 12.3-inch driver’s instrument display, and the BMW Navigation Professional System with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, as well as a heads up display feature. Additional convenience features include automatic three-zone climate control, 11-colour ambient lighting, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound System, and an electric glass roof as standard.

The M340i ensures its passengers are kept safe with a comprehensive suite of safety systems made available, such as the enhanced Driving Assistant. This system includes rear Cross Traffic Warning, Rear Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning with active steering intervention, as well as Forward Collision Warning with autonomous brake intervention. The Parking Assistant with rear-view camera also come as standard.

The G20 BMW M340i xDrive will be available in Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Sunset Orange, and Portimao Blue. The locally assembled M340i is priced attractively at RM402,354, almost RM 20,000 lower than the retail price thanks to the sales tax exemption.

Moreover, with the complete BMW Group Malaysia Premium Ownership experience which includes BMW’s 5-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty with Free Scheduled Service Programme and BMW Roadside Assistance and Accident Hotline among others, ownership of an M Performance vehicle has never been more attractive.

Yes, we all want the M3, but if you want a more ‘sensible’ saloon without giving up too much power, then you should give the M340i xDrive a spin.