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.
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