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2006 BMW Z4

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2006 BMW Z4 Review

Surely one of the best Z4s ever built.

Reviewed by Automotive on


There have been numerous significant changes to the already popular 2006 BMW Z4 as it enters its fourth year of production. The Z4 has more appeal than before and will more than likely reach a variety of drivers, instead of simply focusing on roadster buyers. This year marks the first coupe model.

The Range

Body Styles: hatchback, convertible
Engines: 3.0-liter six-cylinder
Transmissions: six-speed automatic, six-speed manual
Models: BMW Z4 3.0i, BMW Z4 3.0si

What's New

For 2006, the BMW Z4 gets a major update. Heading up the improvements and updates is the new coupe body style. Underlying mechanics stay relatively the same as the convertible except for the rigid roof.

BMW also offers new powerful engines. Two three-liter engine versions are available, and both 2006 BMW Z4 models have a standard six-speed manual transmission. Now the optional automatic has six gears replacing the previous five. The automatic has been reprogrammed for sportier responses and also adds shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. BWW no longer offers the Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) option. More 2006 enhancements include the retuned suspension for a better ride, new wheels, a high drive ratio to improve acceleration, stability control with added functionality for braking, updated rear and front styling, and minor trim updates to the interior.


The 2006 BMW Z4 comes in two trim levels, the 3.0i and 3.0si, and can be chosen in coupe or two-seat roadster body styles. The exterior is enhanced with 17-inch alloy wheels on roadster 3.0i models and alloy 18-inch wheels on the 3.0si models. Rain-sensing wipers, heated outside mirrors, and heated wiper jets come standard on the roadster 3.0i. An optional Premium package includes a power convertible top and HID headlights.


The 2006 BMW Z4 interior features a very simple design that entails a clean-looking set of analog gauges and a sweeping dash. The BMW Z4 3.0i features power windows, power mirrors, manually operated seats, a CD player, vinyl upholstery, and a telescoping and tilt steering wheel. The 3.0si adds leather upholstery, automatic climate control, a premium audio system, a center armrest, Bluetooth connectivity, and a trip computer. The additional packages offer upgraded wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, navigation system, and sport seats, along with other upgrades when opting for the package addition.

Inside the cockpit feels comfortable and cozy, seating two people very nicely. With the top lowered it offers about nine cubic feet of cargo space, which falls in the typical range for a roadster.

Performance & Handling

BMW offers two rear drive Z4 engine choices. The 3.0i model contains a three-liter, inline six-cylinder engine capable of generating 215 horsepower with 185 lb-ft of torque, and the 3.0si comes with a high-output engine version that produces 255 hp with 220 lb-ft of torque. Both trim levels come standard with a manual six-speed transmission and the Steptronic BMW sequential shift control can be chosen optionally. The 2006 BMW Z4 auto owner’s manual states the car reaches 60 mph from a standstill in just 5.6 seconds.

The roadster Z4's braking, handling, and acceleration meet excellent expectations, with an acceptable amount of road and wind noise at highway speeds.


Each 2006 BMW Z4 model includes standard anti-lock brakes and stability control. Reactive safety features include rollover protection, knee protection, child car seat anchors for the passenger seat, and side airbags. During the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration impact tests, the BMW Z4 earns four stars for front occupant protection and three stars for side crash safety.

EPA Fuel Economy

BMW Z4 3.0i: 18/28 mpg city/highway
BMW Z4 3.0si: 21/28 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Excellent build quality
  • Numerous standard safety features
  • Invigorating driving dynamics
  • Refined drivetrains

You Won't Like

  • No CD changer
  • Expensive options

Sum Up

Surely one of the best Z4s ever built.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Nissan 350Z
  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class
  • Porsche Boxster
  • Lexus 350C
  • Audi S5

See the New 2015 Z4.

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