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BMW is popular thanks to its upscale, sporty cars. But because of those qualities, the German luxury brand’s vehicles are rarely cheap. That said, a few models are relatively affordable, including the M340i and M550i sports sedans. Here’s why the 2023 BMW M340i and M550i are superb examples of attainable luxury cars.

The 2023 BMW M340i is an excellent and relatively cheap luxury car

Attainable luxury car: A BMW M340i xDrive sedan on display at the 2021 Bangkok International Motor Show
BMW M340i xDrive | Guillaume Payen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The M340i compact sports sedan is the high-performance variation of the legendary BMW 3 Series. It’s much more potent than the base model, so it’s understandably more expensive. The standard 3 Series starts at about $42,000, while the M340i bumps that to just over $56,000. But that extra $14,000 pays for numerous upgrades, including performance features.

The automaker swapped the 3 Series’ standard four-cylinder engine for a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder harnessing 382 hp and 368 lb-ft of torque. That’s 127 hp more than the standard 3 Series power plant. This potent engine pushes the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. BMW also upgraded the brakes, further improving its sportiness.

The 2023 M340i is also worth its price due to its luxurious interior. It boasts leather upholstery and a sporty steering wheel. Tech features include a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster display and a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen. It also provides several smart safety features, including automatic emergency braking.

The 2023 BMW M550i costs more than the M340i but is even faster

Meanwhile, the BMW M550i is the range-topping performance version of the 5 Series. Priced at about $82,000, this midsize sports sedan costs over $25,000 more than the $56,000 base model. However, the German automaker makes it worthwhile by dramatically improving performance. BMW gave the car a 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, producing 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque.

That’s more than double the power output of the standard 5 Series engine. It also allows the luxury sedan to jump from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds. BMW gave it other performance-oriented features, including an active kidney grille and an air breather system. Inside the car, there’s leather upholstery, sporty seats, screens similar to the M340i’s, and more.

Here’s how the 2 BMW models compare to other affordable luxury cars

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Although the BMW M340i and M550i aren’t cheap, they’re relatively attainable, especially compared to other luxury cars. For instance, the Tesla Model S is one of those expensive luxury cars, starting at over $90,000.

A more comparably priced luxury car to the M340i and M550i is the Lexus LS, starting at about $78,000. Though the LS offers a different luxury feel, the BMW models provide superior performance. The LS has a 3.5-liter V6 making 416 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. That’s much weaker than the M550i’s V8 and is comparable to the much cheaper M340i’s powertrain.