BMW Z4 vs rivals
Is the new turbo BMW Z4 the best choice for top-down fun? We test it against its rivals from Audi and Nissan
Roadsters make lots of compromises in the pursuit of driving fun, and the car that demands the fewest wins here. The Audi TT appeals on every level. Whether you want an eye-catching car to impress the neighbours, something for weekend open-air thrills or an everyday driver, it’s the one to have.
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It stands out with its assured handling, high-quality hood and classy interior. And if you think this S line looks expensive, lesser models are cheaper, without demanding huge dynamic sacrifices or styling compromises.
Second place goes to the BMW. The new turbocharged engine will mean it costs less to run than before, but the Z4 doesn’t have much personality and its hard-top feels over-engineered compared to the Audi’s simple fabric roof.
Bringing up the rear is the Nissan. It’s still able to put a smile on your face on the right road, yet has too many flaws to finish anywhere but last.
WinnerAudi TT Roadster ★★★★★ We were expecting a close fight, but the Audi merely underlined its superiority. From its unique looks and classy cabin to its composed chassis and lively engines, everything about the TT has been beautifully crafted. The result is a car that’s very rewarding to live with and own.
2ndBMW Z4 ★★★★ The turbocharged engine addresses many problems, but also creates some new ones. The 2.0-litre is more efficient and less polluting than before, but it has taken away some of the charm of the old straight-six Z4. Plus, while the engine is new, BMW has done nothing to fix the chassis, which is still tuned for comfort, not handling.
3rdNissan 370z Roadster ★★★ Flashes of brilliance from the 370Z are marred by too many flaws. If you can put up with the awkward driving position, tiny boot, flimsy hood and thirsty engine, this is a capable sports car. It’s fine for a short blast, but hard to recommend on a longer-term basis.
In this review
- 1Introduction - currently readingIs the new turbo BMW Z4 the best choice for top-down fun? We test it against its rivals from Audi and Nissan
- 21st Audi TTEstablished class leader still presents a stern challenge to the latest BMW
- 32nd BMW Z4Revised car gets more efficient turbo engine – but is it still as fun to drive?
- 43rd Nissan 370Z GTBrash, powerful roadster does things the old-fashioned way
- 5Facts and figures