The 2008 BMW Z4 makes a good luxury sports car choice for its price, since so many favorite features come standard in its two styles: the convertible and hatchback. Reinvented from the clunky Z3 style, the Z4 coupe serves driving enthusiasts who love the speed of a car that hugs the road, but want the safety and stability of a fixed roof.
Body Styles: convertible, hatchback
Engine: 3.0-liter V-6
Models: BMW Z4 3.0i convertible, BMW Z4 3.0si convertible, BMW Z4 3.0 hatchback
Few changes modify the 2008 BMW Z4. The wheels measure one inch larger in the 3.0i Sports package, increasing from 17 inches to 18 inches in diameter. The price of the optional HD radio drops on the 2008 models.
With both roadster and coupe body styles, the Z4 makes an instant classic that accommodates driving enthusiasts who like to feel the wind in their hair, while appreciating the added safety of a fixed roof. The retracting roof of the roadster comes in power-operated or manual versions. The heated seating option suits those who want the luxury of a convertible without the chill of a cold night. The distinctive coupe design, with its compact yet sleek appearance, gives the buyer a new option over the roadster’s more classic style.
The roadster includes a manually operated soft top with a glass rear window and a defroster. The 3.0i model sports 17-inch alloy wheels, heated wiper jets, and rain-sensing wipers.
The Premium package comes with a one-touch power control over the convertible’s roof, xenon headlights, and auto-dimming mirrors.
The Z4’s interior design projects elegant simplicity that ensures the road keeps top focus over the inner furnishings. A metallic finish comes standard, but wood trim is also available. Along with wood and chrome accents, the seats come upholstered in leatherette material on the 3.0i model or in genuine leather on the 3.0si model. Along with power seats, the Premium package also offers driver-seat memory and Bluetooth.
The car comes with a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with built-in audio controls. While consumers find the car a bit cumbersome to climb in and out of, they willingly overlook this small fault when it comes to the quality of the drive.
Performance & Handling
The 2008 BMW Z4 employs a six-speed manual transmission that upgrades to a six-speed automatic with manual shift. BMW offers two models, the 3.0i and 3.0si, and much of the performance and handling remain the same, although many drivers enjoy the greater horsepower of 3.0si.
Although the suspension feels a bit stiff, drivers enjoy the Z4’s road handling. A V-6 engine and manual transmission propel it from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
Both varieties sport 24 variable valves with rear drive. The transmission includes a hill-holder feature, and the suspension stays the same in each car. They both feature a MacPherson strut front suspension, a multi-link rear suspension, and four-wheel independent suspension; although reviewers agree that the two-door does not handle bumps well.
The 3.0si version provides a 220 lb-ft torque at 2750 rpm, with 255 horsepower at 6600 rpm. In comparison, the 3.0i reaches a torque of 185 lb-ft at 2750 rpm, with 215 horsepower at 6250 rpm.
The safety features remain identical on both the 3.0i and 3.0si models. Each car comes standard with four-wheel ABS and dual front side-mounted airbags. The headlamps have an auto-delay feature, dusk-sensing, and running lights, but only for the daytime. The Z4 convertible adds rollover protection, while both cars come with run-flat tires, active knee protection, stability control, and traction control. The roadster earns four out of five stars in government crash tests for frontal-impact protection. Its side-impact safety rating gets three out of five stars.
EPA Fuel Economy
BMW Z4 3.0i: 18/28 mpg city/highway
BMW Z4 3.0si: 18/28 mpg city/highway
- Sexy, classic style
- Smooth handling
- Spacious interior for its size
- Affordable for its class
You Won't Like
- Pricey packages
- Impaired drive quality
A classy car that offers an enjoyable ride with a surprisingly affordable price tag compared to its competitors.
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