2003 BMW Z4 Roadster 2.5L from North America


Shows you how fun driving should be!


1. Possible computer issue (probably responsible for all the issues.

2. Top works sometimes, and sometimes it doesn't (it isn't the safety switches). If I start the car and the top does not go down, I turn it off after about 2 minutes, and then the top will work. Putting the top up is iffy sometimes too, so I keep the little tool with me to do it manually when/if needed.

3. A/C does not work, but I always have the top down anyways. It's stuck on heat all of the time, and will not even blow ambient air temp. Just hot, hot air.

4. Power lock button on key works sometimes, and sometimes doesn't, but may just be a battery.

5. The beeping noise the car makes when you leave the lights on or the key in the ignition... yeah, well that happens sometimes when you turn the car off for no reason, even when the lights are off and the key is out. It'll stop beeping after 20 minutes or so. It's just annoying when people ask "Why is your car beeping?" Because I don't know haha.

6. The dash lights do not indicate when the brights are on or when the blinkers are flashing, even though they DO work outside. Also at night when you turn the lights on, the panel lights will not come on until the car has been running for about 2 minutes.

The battery is not the issue. I was told it probably needs a new computer or re programed, which the dealer has to do. A used computer can be found for $200, so I'll probably go that route.

General Comments:

I know it sounds like a lot of problems. All the problems happened at once about two weeks after I bought it.

I'm not picky. I'm extremely happy with the car. Being a young 23 year old male, I get a lot of looks, so I can't complain. I feel like they see me as a spoiled rich boy, but in reality with no down payment, I only pay $200 a month for the note, and $125 for full coverage insurance, and that's including my pickup truck too.

The car handles and rides awesome, and is so smooth. I can't get enough of this car... I've had some special driver training on a closed course on how to handle a car at high speeds, or when it starts to slide, but I've never needed it, because this car is glued to the road!

It'll top out between 130-140 mph, and gets on average 28 MPG doing 80 everywhere I go.

I just took it on a 3000 mile 10 day trip with my buddy. Not much room for luggage, but we made do. Had no problems out of the car. Very reliable (minus the computer issues) for having 170k miles on it. The oil is still clean, and the engine bay and everything still looks brand new. To my knowledge, no major work has ever been done to it. Doesn't smoke, idles smooth, and shifts smooth.

The sound system is pretty awesome as well. Love the black leather interior, but wish I had some red thrown in there.

All in all, I love this car. I feel like it's one of the best looking cars on the road, and it makes me happy every time I get in it. I recommend it to anyone (who isn't too big for it).

If anyone has questions or knows about the issues on my car, feel free to email me at beau2006@ gmail dot com.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th June, 2012

2005 BMW Z4 Roadster SE 2.0 from UK and Ireland


A great sports car, lovely to drive and surprisingly practical!


Check engine light illuminates, indicating exhaust sensor faults, but no problem could be found.

Wing mirror glass dropped out.

General Comments:

The Z4 is a really very competent and usable sports car. I believe the SE is the best compromise model to get, the handling is still very taut and precise, but with an actually very comfortable ride, unlike the Z4 Sport.

A lot of things strike you about this car once you have owned it for a short while. Firstly, it has an enormous boot for a sports car, and that boot space is not intruded into when the roof is lowered.

Secondly, the speed of the roof operation is amazing, about 7 or 8 seconds to raise or lower the roof, and no clumsy catches to fiddle with to lock or unlock the roof, just a simple button press. Unlike many competing designs, the rear window is 'proper' glass, not plastic which tends to scratch easily and go opaque after a few years.

The engine is lovely, and whilst not terribly powerful at 150BHP, I feel that the power output is well matched to the handling of the car, so that you can exploit the power without it causing the car to lose traction. The gearbox is a very slick 6-speed manual, which lets you cruise on the motorway at reasonable engine RPM, and whilst the ratios do seem quite long, they actually make the car quicker than it really seems. Third and fourth gears can handle a very wide range of speeds on twister A or B roads.

The engine itself is very smooth and well-balanced, as good a petrol engine as anything apart from a Honda unit I believe, and almost as smooth as many 6-cyl engines. It has variable valve lift and timing, and there is a very nice kick to the power delivery over about 4000rpm.

The steering is very quick and direct, and the car has just about perfect weight distribution, with you sitting on the 'pivot' point, so turn-in is good and the car feels very balanced. This is a benefit of the 2.0 model, as the engine weighs significantly less than the 6-cyl models, and thus is much less nose heavy. Road-holding is very good, and the car never feels nervous or twitchy at the rear, despite being RWD, even in very wet weather. The only slight criticism here is that the car can sometime tramline on badly cambered roads, which I feel may be due to the run flat tyres.

The economy of the engine is also remarkable; I have averaged 45mpg on a motorway when driven very gently, and even with more usual driving, I rarely average less than 38-40mpg, with low-to-mid 30s in town driving.

The cockpit is very nice designed around the driver, and seems much more stylish and less 'plasticky' than some more recent BMW models. Leather seats are supportive and comfortable, even on long drives, and it is easier to find a good driving position. Slight criticisms here would be that there is very little accessible storage space in the cockpit; door pockets will not take a drinks can or bottle, there are no drinks holders, the glovebox is very shallow, and the storage compartment against the rear bulkhead is difficult to access when on the move.

Overall there is very little to complain about; the Z4 is a very practical every day car that drives beautifully, and with the 2.0 engine, has enough power to be sporty without becoming a handful!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 2nd March, 2012