2004 BMW Z4 Roadster i 3.0 from North America
Its quirky behavior does not deter from the overall experience - and it's a good one
SMG pump went out around 60,000. That's all.
Otherwise, normal maintenance. Drive belts at 70K.
The BMW Z4 3.0i is the most reliable car I've owned so far, including a '95 Acura Legend (built like a rock), '96 Jaguar XJ6 (surprisingly reliable), a '93 318i (awful car), and 2001 Saab 9-5 (the worst car I've ever owned).
It is quick, but not fast, even with S mode and stability completely off. But due to the car's quirky nature, I have still spun the tires (as well as the car itself) with the stability control off, so it has sufficient torque to be fun at all speeds and even off the line.
I have the SMG transmission, which has a bad reputation, but I enjoy it, even though it is rough around the edges (clunky, slow unless sport mode is on).
The SMG automatic mode is not very good; it shifts and revs oddly, even with the final software update (which you should get if you get an SMG).
The run-flat tires, unforgiving suspension, and stiff seats make the car a bit painful to drive off-highway (and especially off-road, which will happen by accident eventually).
The sport tire/rim setup will make you constantly wonder whether you have alignment issues.
The car gets a bit spotty on the edges of roads or if a road wasn't paved yesterday. It is a known issue.
The reason I like the car is that it is beautiful, ahead of its time, and oozes character.
I like the quirks because it reminds me of an 80s model Ferrari 308 or Porsche 911 - a bit unpredictable, rough around the edges, and ergonomically insane.
The interior looks awesome, like I dreamed car interiors would look in the future. The block of aluminum is so cool compared to cheap bargain plastic.
The trunk is spacious enough for groceries or light shopping, but that's all.
It is uncomfortable for the lone traveler; considering how noticeable it is for the driver, I have been in the passenger seat and it is pretty miserable.
The top goes down SO fast, that you can do it when a light turns green if there are a few cars ahead of you, and you will still beat the flow of traffic. Faster than any top I've ever seen, including the new Z4.
When you wash it and wax it (and if you have the awesome looking revolver wheels), it STILL gets impressed stares or comments, even though it is 6 years old.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd December, 2010
3rd Dec 2010, 19:40
I have one of these in my garage parked next to my Buick. My neighbor rents out my 2nd garage stall to store his "toy". He only drives it about 5 months out of the year because of the cold Indiana Fall and Winter. His has about 35,000 miles on it. It is a nice car, but not for me, I like mine big and luxurious.