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So today I bid farewell to the 7.5R Estate, handed the keys over and took the M340i Touring in its place.

 

First the financials of the R. I bought with 4547 miles on the clock for £28350 (inc a £1000 dealer "contribution"). Kept for 37 months and sold for £21560. I suspect I could have got more, but there was a big of paint and alloy damage, and TBH, to get to where I was picking up the 340 would have cost £££ to get to. Time, hassle etc etc. So all in, I think the R cost me £183.50 a month in depreciation which I'm happy with. If it was a lot more than that, then maybe I would have gone through the hassle of finding a better price. 

 

I was a bit low in fuel and wanted to get there without leaving too much in the tank, because when I picked the car up, the range was showing a massive 0 miles. I know a different dealer network, but I tarred them all with the same brush. And because I was selling the car, I got a bit cautious about having a crash so drove in Eco!!! Amazingly it wasn't a bad drive. Of course a bit unresponsive, but fine for pootling about and on A and B gave near 37 mpg (inc a bit of a blast when I got bored!!)

 

So to the Touring. I'm a bit tight so always like to buy nearly new to avoid the VAT. The M340d is probably the better car, but I'm too much of a coward to buy and I am not into leasing at this stage - that no doubt will change when it becomes electric.

 

The engine..... The R and the M340i both have engines of repute. They are what they are. The R is boisterous, powerful and economic when it wants to be. All a bit hyper in the best traditions of a hot hatch. The BM's in line 6 works to a different remit and is superb. It's also surprisingly efficient. It goes about things in a much calmer manner. Is it more fun? Not sure. More sophisticated to be sure, but the R isn't exactly unsophisticated. I found myself happily driving the BM at slower speeds (but also equally happy at higher) when I used to drive the R (with Pedal Box) harder than I probably should, as it was more fun. I guess the i6 is more rewarding at low, sedate speeds. 

 

Comfort - having lambasted the R a bit for being uncomfy, the last 80 mile drive was actually quite comfy. But cabin for cabin shows where the extra £££££ goes. 

 

Space - this was one of the big reasons for changing. The rear legroom is much more generous than the R Estate. The boot is a different matter. I had a Halfords mat cut to the size of R's boot. I reckon between the wheel arches, the R is bigger by about 2cm and depth by about the same, if a little less. The BIG difference is under the boot floor. The BM you can get an umbrella and that's about it. The R (without spare tyre sub-woofer) had a huge amount that could be fitted in. 

 

Noise - this was another reason for changing. I didn't like the DSG farts but liked a crackle. The BM has far better sound deadening, and the cabin is that much more peaceful, but you can't hear the hooligan aspect of the R. I know lots of people complain that the R is already too quiet, but maybe in Estate guise it made more noise. The BM is more grown up, but I liked the childishness of the R. 

 

Before coming to the R, I had RWD i6 BMs (diesel) for 22 years, so am more used to the RWD nature. I never found the FWD bias of the R a probelm (save for early on when I was on a dual pushing on at high speed around a fairly sharpish corner, by dual standards, and it understeered towards the barriers. Just meant a bit of a change of driving, which I had to do a bit at first.  

 

There seems little point in comparing the 2 cars. Different prices. Different remits, Both fabulous at what they do. The R was definitely an itch that I had to itch. I do still regret selling the 2008 e61 535d, but the R was much more fun even if a lesser car. I guess it might have been my mid life crisis! But I've itched that, and am now in the w**ker classes. One positive is that I won't have to worry about keeping those chrome pipes clean. One other positive that I though that I might have had, doesn't seem to be the case. Went to the shops this evening, and some tool in his A Class AMG (prob A35 if he needs to try and goad me into a race) drives right up my chuff. I thought that the 3 Touring might not have attracted these idiots.

 

Anyway, summing it up - in line 6.

 

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1600174922_20210526_2030051.thumb.jpg.53a945121110eaff068dfaf0139d9cc4.jpg

 

Might try and take a better photo, away from the other cars.

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So today I bid farewell to the 7.5R Estate, handed the keys over and took the M340i Touring in its place.   First the financials of the R. I bought with 4547 miles on the clock for £28350 (i

I have to confess that I always thought the 7.5 R Estate was much better looking than many gave it credit for, especially the front end. It did look a bit clumsy viewing from 1-2 o'clock, down the fla

Various things.   The image. I liked driving the R. Those that know, know but most just see a plain old Golf (or some thought a Passat!). BM get's you shitty reactions, and it does bring out

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Looks well tidy Charlie, I’ve seen a few reviews on Carwow and Joe Achilles and was impressed. I’m not a BMW fan but that is nice so I’m sure you’ll be more than happy with that bad boy!

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That’s a good write up of your early impressions Charles with some interesting comparisons.   You sound happy enough which is what it’s all about, and the car looks really well.  I spy the Amarok there too!  

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@Booth11 ah yes, the lovely Amarok!! And behind that is a Polo. We were a little VW heavy!! Am a great fan of my Rok. Very comfy, but had a few electrical issues of late. A bit of a shame that they've stopped making it. 

 

Just gone out and sat in the 340 and nice to have those little LED lights in the ceiling that bathe the centre console in soft light (with various colour options). Something so small but I would say that the R could have had and been a big plus. It was all a bit dark with just the str ips on the front doors (which the BM also has, as well as on the rear doors). Does the 8R  have more lighting??

 

 

And by the by.....here's an interesting photo (well I obv find it interesting!)

 

 

image.png.6875b6ebce471a92f14b890f332d2f59.png

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37 minutes ago, Charles M said:

@Booth11 ah yes, the lovely Amarok!! And behind that is a Polo. We were a little VW heavy!! Am a great fan of my Rok. Very comfy, but had a few electrical issues of late. A bit of a shame that they've stopped making it. 

 

Just gone out and sat in the 340 and nice to have those little LED lights in the ceiling that bathe the centre console in soft light (with various colour options). Something so small but I would say that the R could have had and been a big plus. It was all a bit dark with just the str ips on the front doors (which the BM also has, as well as on the rear doors). Does the 8R  have more lighting??

 

 

And by the by.....here's an interesting photo (well I obv find it interesting!)

 

 

image.png.6875b6ebce471a92f14b890f332d2f59.png


Ah yes the next gen Amarok is a VW / Ford collaboration I believe with a Ford engine.  See how that turns out.  
 

The 8R doesn’t have ceiling ambient lighting (the usual LED overhead map lights aside, which are very good) but it does have a lot more ambient lighting in the cabin (including lit rear door strips ) than the 7/7.5, in the front it has lighting strips on upper doors, lower doors (above door storage bins), footwells, across dash architecture, in main cubby area area, and on virtual dash display and infotainment screen. Can choose from a number of preset colour themes or customise using an extensive colour palette which you can configure yourself in a variety of ways so can have colour split - upper lit areas one colour, lower lit areas another, and even spilt 3 ways - upper, middle and lower.  So considerably more colour than its predecessor. 

 

Tiguan R Line?  Interests you?  

 

 

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2 hours ago, Charles M said:

bought with 4547 miles on the clock for £28350 (inc a £1000 dealer "contribution"). Kept for 37 months and sold for £21560.

Decent figures.  You sold / changed at a good time, well done.  M340i sounds great, and well bought too. Good lump off new price. 
Agree too Charlie, that sometimes the ease of a pt/Ex Dealer transaction is well worth the £ lost by alternative disposal methods.  But must say I’ll be careful when I come to shift my R - they’re always in demand.   Good to hear about Wagon ownership, interests me as I may be having to go that way next, just for the extra boot space.  I always try to be a little prepared for what’s up next.

I hope you continue to enjoy your relationship with the M340i. 👌

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Booth beat me to it - was going to say driveway liiks similar and colour of the house.

 

Good write up of the M340i and the R - obviously both cater for slightly different markets too, being two different price points etc. I do like the new 3 series dash certainly a vast improvement compared to the previous one (which now looks so dated to me).

 

Be interesting to see how you find the car after a few more miles, I'm guessing more comfortable (which is something I sometimes crave, other times the R doesn't bother me - I have no DCC), bit quieter, but still nippy.

 

Its certainly one car on a very long list of mine currently.

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8 hours ago, Charles M said:

A 5 would be better for you, or looks wise, a Pug 508SW :)

Haha.  I’ve always liked the handiness of a hot hatch, and they’ve fitted my needs well.  A Wagon will be a size up for me ...looks huge at first sight.   And a 5 seems Massive...but yes, one to ponder thanks. 
I recall @Gavras expounding the virtues and attractions of the M340i Touring a fair while back, which first sparked my interest, but he hasn’t been on for a while. He may even be running the same too these days.  Hope he’s fit & well whatever he’s doing.😀

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Right, a few days in, 250 miles covered.

 

Firstly the storage. I never really trust manufacturers and how they get to their numbers. I look at the wife's Scooby Outback which is 559 litres compared to the R Estate's 605. I knew the 340, with 500, was going to be smaller, which I'm fine with. However, those thinking of getting one with space being an important factor will be disappointed. Here's a photo of the Halford's mat that fitted in the R Estate boot. I trimmed 1-2cm off the back and 4cm off the side.  And then the R had those deep pockets to the side where this is flat. And as mentioned you could store a fag paper or two under the floor, while the R had lots of useable space on top of the space saver wheel. (Guess I'll just have to stick with the run flats). 

 

So practicality wise, the boot is a lot smaller. But my main issue with the R was rear passenger leg room. This has a lot more. So to get both, a 5 series it would have to be!! This mat used to be in my old 5, was cut down to fit the R and now cut down for a 3rd time. Good value as had it since 2011.

 

23038787_20210528_1346511.thumb.jpg.656ff12af4ef05d46d92771ac355bb69.jpg

 

Economy - seems to be pretty on par with the R. Driving sort of sensibly, got 37mpg on an 80 mile run and by the return (not so sensible) was down to 34.5mpg not bad for a 6cyl car that weighs a lot more. 

 

Engine and gearbox are both to me better. I have always liked 6 cyl and its nice to be back in one. The gearbox is an 8 speed ZF and changes quickly and seamlessly. Not that the DSG was/is a bad box, but it did clunk once in a while between 2nd and 3rd. The ZF doesn't fart, which to me is a bonus.  The chassis I find easier and I can go around corners quicker, but maybe that was because from 1996-2018, I had RWD cars and just got used to them. 

 

But the big one - aural appeal and speed. It is so much quieter inside the cabin, both from road and engine noise. That has its appeals and drawbacks. The appeal is that it is more grown up, the drawback is that it is more grown up. And speed, it is quite quick esp at road legal speeds. However, I would be surprised if it could lose a Golf 7.5R let alone 8. However, that might be down to lack of sound giving the appearance of it being slower, but it shows some the difference of character of the cars.  

 

And finally, the seating position. I do like to be cocooned when I'm driving. The 7.5 was fine, this is more me as it has a higher centre console. The 8 seems to be a wee bit too open, though I've never sat in one. 

 

 

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On 26/05/2021 at 22:38, Charles M said:

@Booth11 ah yes, the lovely Amarok!! And behind that is a Polo. We were a little VW heavy!! Am a great fan of my Rok. Very comfy, but had a few electrical issues of late. A bit of a shame that they've stopped making it. 

 

Just gone out and sat in the 340 and nice to have those little LED lights in the ceiling that bathe the centre console in soft light (with various colour options). Something so small but I would say that the R could have had and been a big plus. It was all a bit dark with just the str ips on the front doors (which the BM also has, as well as on the rear doors). Does the 8R  have more lighting??

 

 

And by the by.....here's an interesting photo (well I obv find it interesting!)

 

 

 

Car looks great!  Really good initial review / comparison as well.

 

I'd remove the badges from the back, they look awful anyway, but it will stop people trying to race you as they'll just think it's a 318d.  I did the same with my 750i, it made it look like a 730d which was fine with me and if I did want to make a point, it was a lot quicker than anyone thought.  The thin plastic crappy M badges on the wings should go as well really, I also had them removed .

 

Ahhhh....ambient lighting!  It can really improve the quality feel of a car at night.  I do like the little lights in the ceiling, my last few cars have had them front and rear and my 5 series had aluminium trim which looked good under the orange glow.  My 7 series had the best ambient lighting as it had two levels which could be different colours, lighting in the roof/door pockets/door sills/footwells/door panels (etc etc) and it also included backlighting for the speakers (which was off when muted) and the tweeters were the B&W diamond speakers which looked amazing.  Terrible picture which doesn't do it justice, but you get the point:

 

 

IMG_1905.jpeg

 

Better than my current car, although that does have 3 levels which can be different colours as well (there is B pillar lighting and roof lighting you can't see in this pic along with backlit sills etc)

 

 

IMG_4176.jpeg

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That's a lovely car Charles. I once had a BMW 540i Touring. SE body and factory de-badged. Nobody ever 'raced' it as it looked like a 520i. This is my way of saying you are only a hairdryer, dental floss and bit of polish away from ever being 'raced' again!

 

TBH, I am thinking of changing my 7.5 R Estate. I am fed up to the back teeth of being 'raced' by morons, I worry unduly about where I park it, I am paranoid about putting swirls in the paint and, more crucially, I am fed up of the noise it makes on the motorway and my wife is uncomfortable in it. Mine is mostly on the motorway so I end up turning up the (Helix) audio a good amount so I can hear the music. Each long journey is therefore much more draining than it should be. I can fully understand your change to a more 'grown up' car.

 

I really love the directness of DSG. However, the ZF 8 speed is not far behind but with the advantage of being so much smoother off the line.

 

I swore off BMWs due run flat tyres (I have a wonderful horror story that happened to me) but your lovely example has me thinking about them all over again!!

 

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