8 REASONS why you should opt for the BMW 340i xDrive M Sport over the Volkswagen Golf R CKD

Dont get us wrong, we absolutely love the Volkswagen Golf R. We are VW owners ourselves first. In fact our buyers guide of the Mk6 Golf R was a content we had a lot of fun producing. And we were raving about the Mk8 Golf R months before it hit our shores, and are well aware of its capabilities. However the CKD pricing estimates placed it right within range of a car which we feel is far superior in terms of tech, design, branding and experience. Here’s 10 reasons why you should opt for the 2023 BMW 340i xDrive M Sport over the 2023 Mk8 Volkswagen Golf R CKD. 

Our buyers guide for the Mk6 Golf R. Was it a coincidence the prices of used Mk6 Golf R’s shot up considerably months after this video came out? Just saying….

Before we get into the article, here’s how both cars differ in pricing. The BMW 340i starts from RM371,600 right up to RM391,800 with extended warranty and service package. The Golf R CKD is slated to be priced from RM330,000 to RM350,000. Which means a 7 year hire purchase with a 10% downpayment will mean that the gap between these two cars could come down to as low as RM280 plus per month in instalments with the downpayment gap down to only RM4000 plus. A very small gap when you are shopping at this price range. 

Inline 6 versus 4 cylinder

The 300bhp / 400Nm from the Golf R sounds amazing until you realise that the 340i puts out 387bhp and 500Nm. Despite the 191kg weight difference, the straight line performance of the BMW will feel much more ballistic compared to  the Golf R. Especially on speeds above 150kph, where the additional 1000cc of displacement will show its advantage. Which is why the 0-100kph time is lesser by 0.4 seconds in the BMW compared to the Golf R. 

Front wheel drive vs rwd based chassis 

The Golf R’s in the past have always been amazing to from behind the wheel. And we trust the current one is too. But is it better than a balanced, longitudinally mounted engine sporting RWD based BMW chassis? The G20 chassis has already proved itself to be extremely capable chassis with a lovely footprint to accommodate loads of power. With a straight 6 engine we are sure the feel is going to be significantly different compared to the transverse mounted Golf’s.

Drift mode vs brand known for drifting stunts 

Everyone is raving about the Drift Mode on the Golf R, which is great. But the BMW brand is pretty synonymous with side ways driving. In fact the brand holds the world record for the longest drift performed, which included fuelling the  record breaking car while both cars were sideways. If you are buying a performance car for the sake of some sideways action, you know which you would want to go for. 

xDrive with M diff 

The major hardware that contributes to the sporting nature of the BMW 340i is NOT the B58 3.0 inline-6 engine, rather its the M Diff that comes with the 340i. Similar to the tech seen in cars like the Ferrari 458 Italia, Porsche 997.2 Turbo, and the E92 M3, the M Diff is a limited slip differential with multi plate clutches controlled by a processor to ensure power is distributed to the left and right wheels. What it means is, if you slide, the diff will transfer the power between the right and left wheels to ensure you get the best grip to slingshot you out of the turns. Now add BMW’s rear biased AWD system, and you have a mini-GTR experience in a 4 door body. 

Much bigger dimension in all direction

Except for the height, the BMW is bigger in every direction compared to the Golf. Even the boot space is significantly larger. For the money spent you are definitely getting more for your money with the BMW in comparison with the Golf. But compared to the hatch based Golf R, the conventional sedan bodied 340i will definitely larger. Which is your preferred body style really comes down to a matter of taste and preference. 

Adaptive dampers and M Division parts

The Golf R sports multiple drive modes and supposedly the Drift mode gives a compliant ride and handling to cope with our back roads. We really hope VW engineers were referring to our back roads and not the ones in Germany. The BMW however comes with Adaptive M Dampers which changes according to the driver requirements, and the road conditions. Along side with that you have M Sport brakes with larger calipers. Both cars however feature 19 inch rims, with the BMW featuring a staggered rim setup. 

Branding that needs no explanation

The biggest motivation to move up from the Volkswagen Golf R to the BMW 340i is the brand itself. You have to explain why your Volkswagen costs over RM300,000. While the BMW requires far less explanation, and would require brands costing more than RM500,000 to upstage it. You dont even need to explain too much  on why your 3 series is a lot more different compared to the 330e. You’re commuting in a brand new 3 series, smile, you have arrived. 
Among the enthusiasts and pseudo enthusiasts crowds too the street cred the BMW 340i commands is quite intense. In the past 2 years we have had several BMW 340i’s join our RH Drive events, with the last drive even seeing a participation from a member who joined in his LCI unit car. And these guys have an intense amount of fun on our drives. Which is a testament of how well these cars are engineered as a driving tool. Would you agree with our analysis? Share your thoughts in the comments!