Review: BMW Z4 Coupe (2006 – 2008)

Rating:

Stunning, gorgeous looks. Z4M is very quick in a straight line. Classic shape and scarcity means that by 2014 values were on the rise.

Marred by awful (2 star) steering. Needs more weight and feedback from the steering at speed. Z4M is tricky to drive smoothly.

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9 May 2018

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BMW Z4 Coupe (2006 – 2008): At A Glance

It's a good looking car. Hunched on its back wheels like a cat about to pounce, there's a bit of competition E-Type, Ferrari GTO, Cobra Daytona and BMW 507 in it. Somehow, all the bells Bangles and beads come together. And before you ask there's plenty of room for golf clubs in the boot (of the 3.0i, anyway).

Road Test 2006 BMW Z4 M Coupe and 3.0i Coupe

What does a BMW Z4 Coupe (2006 – 2008) cost?

List Price from £40,815
Buy new from £37,205
Contract hire from £407.46 per month
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What's the BMW Z4 Coupe (2006 – 2008) like to drive?

Get into the Z4M and the first assault on your senses is the steering wheel. The rim is so thick, some people simply won't be able to touch fingertips around it. So it's a man's car, then?

Too right it is. The car has so much power it's actually quite difficult to change gear smoothly. You think that's the price of lightening quick gearchanges when accelerating hard. Yet, perversely, it's also difficult to make quick gearchanges. And the quicker you go, the lighter the steering becomes, making the car tricky to aim accurately through fast corners.

With that light steering, neither of us felt inclined to switch off the ESP. The trick variable diff digs in hard at the back. Yet still, as a driver, you're conscious of just not being able to pilot the car smoothly. And as a passenger you feel like the co-driver in a rally car. It's also very noisy, but instead of listening to an orchestra your ears get assaulted and battered by a hard rock band. So yes, it's quick. I've no doubt it does do 0-60 in 4.7 seconds and 0 to 1,000 metres in 23.7 seconds. Comfortably ahead of the 300bhp Nissan 350Z, for example. But I for one did not feel anything like as confident as I did driving Nissan's squashed toad. I can only guess it's something to do with the BMW's aerodynamics allowing too much lift at the front.

The £10,000 cheaper 3.0iSE is much easier to drive. Whereas in the Z4M the ‘Sport' button merely razor sharpens the already hair-trigger throttle response, on the 3.0i it strops both throttle and electric power steering. But the clutch is more comfortable for your passenger, it is easier to line up through a series of corners, and it had no trouble pulling over 140mph. Yet, despite a normal rim steering wheel, the helm still becomes a bit too light at serious speed. Completely the opposite of a Porsche, or a Nissan 350Z, for that matter. Yet at parking speeds in ‘Sport' mode the steering can feel like it has no assistance at all. So the problem must be an aerodynamic one.

And I have a problem. If I'm going to drive illegally quickly I want to feel fully in control. I did in the 350Z. I did in the Porsche Cayman S. I felt totally safe in the Audi RS4. But I didn't in the Z4M Coupe. And was no happier in the Z4 3.0i Coupe than I had been in the SLK280.

Maybe BMW will do something to the Z4 Coupe to increase its appeal to guys suffering from male meno-porsche. They must be able to because the M3 and M5 both steer much better. I'd like to come back to the car and find that they had.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
3.0 Si 33 mpg 5.7 s 207 g/km
M Coupe 23 mpg 5.0 s 292 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW Z4 Coupe (2006 – 2008)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

101%

Real MPG

21–38 mpg

MPGs submitted

22

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW Z4 Coupe (2006 – 2008)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

What can I buy for £10k that's FUN?

Great website and I love reading your advice every week. Having spent far too much on a house extension, I can no longer buy the 981 Cayman I desire. I wonder what your thoughts are for fast manual fun for £10k? My current shortlist includes Reanaultsport Megane 250, Fiesta ST, Z4 coupe, TT MKII 2.0 TFSi manual and a Scirocco 2.0 TSI GT. Is there anything else i should be looking at in this price bracket? I plan on keeping a £1000 year maintenance budget so a 987 Boxster or 996 is surely out of the question with IMS/RMS issues? Mileage is very limited so MPG is not an issue and I'd rather not pay the £490+ VED.
I don't think £10k gets you a Megane 250 that isn't knackered; maybe a Fiesta ST but be very, very careful; not enough for a good Z4 coupe because they are now classics and start at £15k; up to you if you fall for the myths surrounding a TT or a Scirocco. There's a Z3M in Historics auction on Saturday that might come for about £12k and a Capri 2.8i that might come cheap but might go skywards. Both of these would be investments.
Answered by Honest John
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What Cars Are Similar To The BMW Z4 Coupe (2006 – 2008)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Performance car and Coupe.

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