I owned an 08 Z4 for a year and 1/2 when I was creamed in the back by a pickup. I soon began shopping for it's replacement and drove the BMW Z4 35i twin- turbo. My wife and I loved it, but my research...
I owned an 08 Z4 for a year and 1/2 when I was creamed in the back by a pickup. I soon began shopping for it's replacement and drove the BMW Z4 35i twin- turbo. My wife and I loved it, but my research showed problems with the N54 twin-turbo, and nearly scared us away. I'm so glad it didn't.
The issues with the fuel pump have led to a recall, but the repair seems to have resolved the issues. I have gone 17k miles and nearly 2 yrs w/o any problems, and I hardly baby this car. I've even done the launch control a few times w/ no adverse effects. BTW, the launch control is reason enough to buy the excellent 7 speed dual clutch tranny. Why shift when the car can do it better?
In an abundance of caution I follow the "old school" recommended service schedule in lieu of the "free" maintenance offered by BMW, and use premium gas. The more frequent oil changes cost 80 bucks at my dealer, but I won't argue with the results-a problem free car. BMW service is actually quite good, and they don't shy away from timely brake services, and other useful maintenance other makers do not offer free.
A mistake many people make when car shopping is to listen to auto journalists. Few people ever visit a racetrack, instead using their car in more mundane circumstances, so buying a car that performs well on the track makes little sense. Journalists focus on things like skid pads and top speed, things that mean little to most drivers. I don't mean to criticize them, just to point out that their preferences may not be the taste of all drivers. Do your own evaluations.
You need to determine what you want in a car, and what the prospective car really is. This Bimmer is heavier than many of it's competitors, but it was designed so. Therefore, it won't have the nimbleness or quickness some lighter models provide. All wheel drive can improve performance, and the rear-drive Z is a little tail happy at the limits. But if you want a car that can give you a comfortable, economical ride for your typical daily journeys, while offering some real dynamic prowess at the tap of a button, give this car a chance.
I've owned other sports cars, but replaced them with a BMW because fighting that heavy steering day after day wears thin. It also takes high revs, and risky speeds to feel the grunt of many roadsters, and you will feel every road imperfection. This Z4 offers a surprisingly comfortable ride, and the sport seats on mine are GT caliber. My 72 yr old Mom, suffering from arthritis, went for a long ride expecting to be bounced around in this sportscar, only to realize that my Z4 was more comfortable for her than her luxury sedan.
Then, when the urge arrives, press the sport button (sport+ is unnecessary) and those twin turbos offer immediate thrust as soon as you engage the throttle. With the top down you'll love the roar of that engine as you pass 3500rpm, and with the dual clutch auto in manual mode, the pop of each gear change at around 5000 rpm let's you know you're in a real performer.
With the a/c pumping on a warm summer day, you'll get above 30mpg on the highway if you keep it below 80. Top down at the same speed, with an optional wind screen I installed myself in 5 minutes, you can have a conversation with your passenger without raising your voice, or simply enjoy the very nice stereo. I changed the Flintstone-like run flat tires for a set of French aviators which made a huge difference as well, and was worth the additional cost.
I'll concede other cars have a nominal advantage on track day, but for normal driving, the kind most of us do, I think the BMW is the better choice. You may prefer the more sporting nature of other cars, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that, but you will sacrifice the comfort and ease of driving the Z4 provides. In my personal opinion, the Z4 is also the better looking car, top up or down, by a wide margin.
Choices always involve trade-offs. Despite claims to the contrary, no car can give you top level comfort with top level handling. It can't give you top performance with comfort and economy, and it can't offer top quality, technology and safety without adding weight to both it's chassis and it's price tag. For my money, the BMW Z4 twin turbo comes closest to bridging those gaps. It's not perfect, but drive one and I doubt you'll be disappointed.
TIP: I bought a dealer demo w/ just 1700 miles and saved a bunch of dough while adding a CPO warranty, for a small delivery charge as the car was out of state.