BMW Z4 Convertible review (2003-2008)
BMW facelited the Z4 for 2006, but fans of the two-seat roadster should not worry.
BMW facelited the Z4 for 2006, but fans of the two-seat roadster should not worry. Those famous sharp creases remain, subtly enhanced by tinted lights, a black grille and new rear lights. The ultra-fast electric roof remains too, folding flat in 10 seconds. It exposes a roomy interior, with a 'cockpit' feel and racy twin cowled dials. Standard seats are set low and are very comfortable, but they do lack some side support. Equipment levels are OK but standard cars do lack some features that really should be standard. However, the Z4's shapely rear conceals a usefully large boot.
BMW's Porsche Boxster rival offers a sprightly 2.0-litre four-cylinder entry-level model, but the real excitement comes with six-cylinder models. The 2.5-litre is offered in two guises, either 177bhp or, in si guise, 218bhp. The latter is a real thriller - indeed, it process nearly as fast as the more costly 265bhp 3.0-litre Z4. Throttle response is sharp in all Z4s and the more powerful units have a flexible power delivery. They provide plenty of pull at low speed, plus strong punch right up to the red line. All Z4s corner well, with little roll, enhanced on M Sport models, which come with 15mm lower ride height and 18-inch alloys, providing superb levels of grip. However, these additions do little for the car's already-firm ride quality; SE versions are the comfier of the two. Elsewhere the Z4 is good and fuel and boasts strong retained values, but insurance ratings are, as you'd expect, high.