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.
3/03: The Z4 supersedes the Z3.
4/05: A new entry-level model is unveiled, the 2.0-litre.
1/06: A high-power 3.0-litre engine arrives, the 265bhp 3.0si. Also, the Z4M debuts, with a 343bhp 3.2-litre engine.
3/06: A coupé edition of the Z4 appears, with a choice of 265bhp 3.0 or 343bhp 3.2-litre petrol engines.
8/06: A high-power 2.5-litre engine joins the range, the 218bhp 2.5si.
3/08: The Edition Exclusive and Edition Sport specials arrive, limited to 300 apiece and available only with the 2.0-litre petrol engine.
5/09: An all-new Z4 coupé-cabriolet arrives.
BMW Z4 (2003-2008) Checklist
- 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.
- Build quality
We Don't Like
- High purchase costs
- Marmite styling