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BMW Z4 (2003-2008) Buying Guide

BMW Z4 (2003-2008)
BMW Z4 (2003-2008)BMW Z4 (2003-2008)BMW Z4 (2003-2008)BMW Z4 (2003-2008)BMW Z4 (2003-2008)BMW Z4 (2003-2008)BMW Z4 (2003-2008)BMW Z4 (2003-2008)Pictures shown may not represent exact model specified

by Richard Dredge

Great to drive, fast and beautifully built, the Z4 was offered with a selection of strong engines and a choice of coupé or roadster bodystyles. While there are cheaper sportscars out there, none offers the range of talents available from the Z4 - although Porsche's Boxster is arguably a better all-rounder. However, the BMW is more affordable to buy and run and more practical too. BMW dealers are also among the best around, so while you pay for the privilege of running a Z4, few cars are as satisfying to own.

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Build quality
High purchase costs
Marmite styling
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Key Dates 
3/03The Z4 supersedes the Z3.
4/05A new entry-level model is unveiled, the 2.0-litre.
1/06A high-power 3.0-litre engine arrives, the 265bhp 3.0si. Also, the Z4M debuts, with a 343bhp 3.2-litre engine.
3/06A coupé edition of the Z4 appears, with a choice of 265bhp 3.0 or 343bhp 3.2-litre petrol engines.
8/06A high-power 2.5-litre engine joins the range, the 218bhp 2.5si.
3/08The Edition Exclusive and Edition Sport specials arrive, limited to 300 apiece and available only with the 2.0-litre petrol engine.
5/09An all-new Z4 coupé-cabriolet arrives.
  • Standard wheels get kerbed easily; aftermarket items are even more damage-prone.
  • If the engine runs erratically it could be because the ECU needs reprogramming or an ignition coil may need to be replaced.
  • If the automatic wipers fail, a new windscreen is needed.
  • Oil consumption can be high, so make sure the engine isn't running on empty.
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