Last post on Aug 12, 2008 at 11:04 AM
You are in the BMW Z4
What is this discussion about?
BMW Z4, Coupe, Hatchback
#18 of 27 Changed my views
Nov 16, 2006 (8:21 pm)
Although I haven't seen one on the road yet, everything I've read about the Z4 Coupe has been very positive. They feature the M Z4 Coupe in this month's ROUNDEL. I really dig the styling. I'd take it over the roadster. There are so few days to enjoy with the top down here in NY anyway.
blacktalon: How's the COupe driving? Didn't you have a prelude? How do the 2 compare?
Jan 23, 2007 (8:58 pm)
And I'm still loving it.
My one criticism is that the OEM Continental ContiSport run-flat tires (18" with the Sport Package) combine mediocre handling with a rough ride.
I replaced them with Michelin Pilot Sport 2 non-run-flat tires, and the handling, the responsiveness, and the ride comfort were all vastly improved.
For the winter, I bought 17" rims with Bridgestone Blizzaks. Yesterday, I was very pleased with the way they handled Boston's first snowfall of the season -- no problems whatsoever.
Compared to the Prelude, the biggest difference is the wide torque band of the 3.0 liter I6. It has more pull at 2000 RPM than the Prelude had at redline. Combined with the 6-speed tranny, this means that you always have power available when you want it.
And when you floor it, the Z4 is a lot faster than the Prelude. That's always gotta put a smile on your face.
Of course, the Prelude has excellent handling, and in that sense the Z4 feels similar. The Z4 has more grip and more precision, but the Prelude felt a bit lighter.
The other big difference is style: outside and in.
I like the way the Prelude looks, but it's a classic, understated coupe design.
The Z4 is the opposite -- pure "Wow!" every time you look at it. I've received more compliments on the Z4's style in the last few months than on all the other cars I've driven in the past 24 years. More importantly, even after half a year of using it as my daily driver, it still makes me smile whenever I see it, and I still take a moment after stepping out of the car to just look at its beauty.
Likewise, the Prelude's interior is very well-designed -- all the controls work well and are exactly where they should be -- but not very exciting.
The Z4's interior feels like a cross between a jet fighter and a spaceship, and I love it. Sleek, modern design, brushed aluminum everywhere -- and also a precise steering wheel and a great shifter.
The Z4 is like the Prelude in one other way...
When I bought the Prelude, I could have bought a Miata or a Z28 instead. The Miata would have offered better handling, but would have been much slower. The Z28 would have been much faster, but with much worse handling. The Prelude combined excellent handling with good acceleration, so it was my choice.
Likewise, when I bought the Z4, I could have bought a Boxster, S2000, or Corvette instead. The Boxster and S2000 are lighter and more tossable, but are considerably slower -- especially in real-world driving where you rarely rev the engine to redline then dump the clutch. Conversely, the Corvette is much faster, but it's a larger car with a different sort of performance philosophy. Like the Prelude, but in a different price category, the Z4 offers the balance between acceleration and handling that's perfect for me.
#20 of 27 Re: 7 Months Later [blacktalon]
Jan 24, 2007 (7:58 pm)
Nice write-up. I am considering a Z4 coupe in the 6-12 month range. My one reservation is that I am coming from a Toyota where upkeep is fluid changes and tire rotation.
Jan 24, 2007 (8:59 pm)
All BMWs come with free scheduled maintenance for the warranty period of 4yrs/50K miles!
#22 of 27 Re: UP Keep [nyccarguy]
Jan 26, 2007 (6:32 am)
It's the 2nd 50,000 miles that BMW owners talk about.
Jan 26, 2007 (6:48 pm)
My Dad has an '04 X5 3.0iA with Sports Package. His truck will be 3 years old this coming Valentine's Day. He's got somewhere around 62,000 miles on it. I think he's had it in for service a total of 4 times since 2/14/04.
18,000 miles first oil change.
36,000 miles Inspection I, replace front brakes.
50,000 miles oil change #3, replace radio head unit due to worn preset buttons (my Dad has greasy hands from work), replace locking mechanism on rear tail gate.
61,000 miles add 1 quart of oil, replace rear brake pads, replace parking light wiring harness.
Now my Dad purchased BMWs extended maintenance so he's covered until the end of his lease (August 2007). His truck has been absolutely perfect. A Z4 coupe isn't going to be driven as much. The car has been out since '03. BMWs engine & manual tranny are solid. Once the warranty runs out, you can always take the car to an independent BMW mechanic for regular maintenance.
#24 of 27 Why isn't the coupe selling?
May 07, 2008 (7:52 am)
Why are sales so slow on this beautiful car?
There were decent numbers produced for '07, but it took some pretty big manufacturer to dealer incentives before they were sold off.
Now in '08 it doesn't appear that the dealers are ordering any.
Yes, the new 1 series is a great car with more practicality and outward visibility, but it is nothing to look at.
#25 of 27 Re: Why isn't the coupe selling? [scottie123]
May 07, 2008 (5:20 pm)
When I examined the Z4 on the showroom floor, I was appalled at the interior materials quality. The plastic panels were cheap in appearance and feel, and ill-fitting. A $15,000 Honda Civic appears to have superior build quality.
The exterior "flame surface" styling is also very polarizing.
I'd choose an S2000 over the Z4 for it's more sporting character, better expected reliability, better build quality, and better value.
#26 of 27 335i Coupe vs. M Coupe
Jun 08, 2008 (11:29 pm)
With the current "Canadian Dollar Adjustments" on many BMW models, the (Canadian) base prices of a 335i Coupe and M Coupe are not that far apart. As good as the 335i is dynamically, I've always found it's styling to be handsome, but somewhat bland. It has a bit too much Infiniti G20, or even certain vintage Honda Civic Coupe in its rear end, IMHO. The M Coupe, on the other hand, while perhaps more controversial and polarizing in its styling, definitely screams "sport" in a way that the 335i can never do. It just looks more like a car that costs as much as it does. However, the M Coupe does have some practicality issues, such as the lack of a back seat, plus poor outward visibility (both front and back).
Just wondering if anyone has cross-shopped these 2 models and has any comments.
#27 of 27 Re: Why isn't the coupe selling? [fedlawman]
Aug 12, 2008 (11:04 am)
I actually had an '04 S2000 and traded it in for my Z4 3.0si Coupe. The S2000 is fine with the top down, but with it up you need to be of below average height to see street lights. With the top up it's much noisier than the coupe as well.
I haven't done it yet, but I'm confident that on comparative non-run flat tires, the Z4 Coupe would have a superior ride as well. It's funny how the press has criticized the Z4 3.0si for it's ride, especially with the Sport package, but now all those same reviewers seem to be criticizing the 135i for being too soft. Basically, if you give a car a sporty suspension and then add run-flats, you'll get choppy ride. If you tune a suspension to give a decent ride with run-flats, then it won't be very sporting. The 3.0si's suspension is fine, it's the run-flats holding it back, both performance and ride.
Yes, as a pure track car the S2000 has the edge, but I don't go to the track, and the Z4 Coupe is the superior GT car. It's broad creamy torque curve make it a pleasure to drive on a daily basis without drawing unwanted attention like an S2000 does on boil (VTEC). However, the S2000's gearbox and ratios are so nicely done it's not so bad in "Stop and Go" traffic. Far superior to the "on-off" nature my WRX, but just a notch or two below the Z4 3.0si and it's abundance of low end torque (comparatively speaking that is).
My S2000 had plenty of fit and finish items that left something to be desired. The Z4's is easily on par with the S2000 in that regard. And it's cabin is a far better place to be when the weather is less than perfect (i.e. warm, dry, and sunny).
I have had my Z4 3.0si Coupe for a couple of months now and the feeling that I ripped off my dealer and got this car for a steal has only grown. With the discounted prices these have been selling for over the last eight months, these are one the best sports car deals out there.