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2008 BMW Z4

Overview
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2008 BMW Z4 Review

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The 2008 BMW Z4 is BMW's most affordable convertible and easily rates as one of the best handling roadsters in any price category. After undergoing a major redesign in 2006, the 2008 model sees little change. Distinctive styling is augmented by a driver-oriented cockpit that is surprisingly roomy for taller folks, a rarity in this class. And when it comes to acceleration, handling and braking, the Z4 certainly holds its own against rivals from Porsche, Nissan and even Pontiac. With two models to choose from, buyers can opt for a fun and affordable BMW roadster with the 3.0i, or a faster but more expensive performer with the 3.0si.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you love the idea of a small, two-seat roadster, but need something more powerful and roomy than the Mazda MX-5 or Pontiac Solstice, the 2008 BMW Z4 should fit you nicely.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for the latest in retractable hardtop technology, the soft-top Z4 won't make the cut. Although more expensive than some convertibles, keep in mind the Z4 is a premium brand, much faster and more sophisticated than a Mazda MX-5 or Pontiac Solstice.

What's New for 2008

The Sport Package on the 3.0i models is available with 18-inch wheels and tires.

Driving the Z4

Driving Impressions The 2008 BMW Z4 will impress you with its confident handling, playful attitude and competent array of onboard traction and stability programs, the most impressive of which is the standard...

Dynamic Stability Control. The standard six-speed manual shifts as smoothly as sharp scissors slicing through silk, and BMW claims the 3.0si will accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in 5.6 seconds. The standard 17-inch tires and wheels provide excellent traction, but for the ultimate in grip you'll want the larger 18-inch wheels and tires of the Sport Package. Though you may like the grip these tires provide, be aware that the ride will become considerably firmer and can even be downright rough over broken and uneven pavement.

Pop-up Navigation
The pop-up navigation screen rises from the center of the instrument panel, which is so much better than having it integrated into the audio and climate controls.

Side Sculpting
Distinctive side sculpting really sets this car apart from everything else on the road.

2008 BMW Z4 Details
Interior

The black plastic interiors of BMWs past have been banished from the Z4. In its place is a modern instrument panel and console that is handsome, nearly seamless and very user-friendly. Excellent sport seats provide lots of leg, hip and shoulder room, and the standard leatherette seat covering is almost indistinguishable from the optional leather interior. The manual top is easy to operate and lock -- when in place, the long side glass helps minimize blind spots.

Exterior

BMW's unique geometric styling takes on a shark-like profile and pronounced geometric body sculpting, giving the little roadster its sporty good looks. The Z4's aggressive front end features a wide front bumper and air intake flanked by two rectangular fog lights. Standard 17-inch wheels can be upgraded to 18-inch wheels when the Sport Package is added. One thing that has not changed is the Z4's soft top. Although not as secure as a retractable hardtop, the design is lightweight and doesn't take up precious trunk space when retracted.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 3.0i features power windows, air conditioning, sport seats, six-speed manual transmission, 10-speaker AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, Rollover Protection system, run-flat tires, side-impact airbags, rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, manual top with glass rear window and defroster, 17-inch wheels, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). The 3.0si features leather seating, on-board computer, aluminum trim, automatic climate control and BMW's Premium THX-certified audio system with 10 audiophile-quality speakers and dual subwoofers.

Optional Equipment

Options for the Z4 include a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, sport suspension, power-operated soft top, xenon headlamps with luminous rings, auto-dimming interior and exterior mirrors, removable hardtop, M sport seats, power driver's seat, GPS navigation and upgraded audio. The Premium Package bundles the power soft top, auto-dimming mirrors, eight-way power seats with driver's-side memory and four years of BMW Assist into a single option. The Sport Package adds Dynamic Driving Control, sport suspension and 18-inch wheels.

Under the Hood

The Z4 3.0i is powered by a 215-horsepower in-line six-cylinder engine that loves to run. A healthy dose of torque provides brisk acceleration and excellent off-the-line starts. Although the 3.0si has the 3.0-liter engine, advanced electronics and a sophisticated induction system allow this version to produce even more power and torque.

3.0-liter in-line 6
215 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
185 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 (manual), 19/28 (automatic)

3.0-liter in-line 6
255 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
220 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 (manual), 19/28 (automatic)

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2008 BMW Z4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.3
Out of 10

Based on 210 Ratings for the 2003 - 2008 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.2/10
    Quality
    9.4/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.6/10

Always brings a smile to my face

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "a blast to drive"

Cons: "would be costly to repair"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am the second owner of a 2003 3.0, 6-speed, with premium and sport package. I love this car. It's quick, agile, and surprisingly comfortable for touring. The soft top takes up practically zero trunk space, so you can pack for a long weekend with no problem. Put Michelin run-flats on it a couple of years ago. They are a huge improvement over the OEM Bridgestones. I've had minimal problems the 4 years and 35k miles I've owned it. Biggest expense was replacing a power window motor. The cup holders are flimsy, had to replace both of them. Other than that, it's been completely reliable. I plan on keeping it several more years"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Fabulous handling & fun, sporty drive

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Incredibly responsive, sexy car. Worth it!"

Cons: "cup holders best for small, sturdy containers only"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Excellent handling, turning, quality, reliability. Outstanding car. Only regret is not attending the BMW driving class on the east coast. Love unique shifting with paddles on the steering wheel. Turns on a dime. Only negative is that Sirius radio wasn't available when purchased."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

So much better than the new sDrive...

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "The best, bar none, weekend driver you can buy."

Cons: "Not so good in a city or on bad roads. Or snow."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My baby, brand new

"The 2006 BMW Z4, of any build, is infinitely better than the new sDrive Z4. The electronic controls have removed the driver from the new car. The 2006 Z4 is one of my favorite cars I've ever seen, and I'm lucky enough to have put 100,000+ miles on it with no mechanical issues. It looks fantastic, and driving through the mountains with the top down is one of lifes greatest luxuries. I could go on and on about how wonderful the car is. I really could. But I don't feel there's enough elaboration on the negatives, which are primarily ride comfort and maintenance costs. A full set of new brakes will run about $1000 installed, tires are generally Z rated and $180/tire (More if you stick with the runflat bricks) and though nothing ever really goes wrong, anything to do on the car is incredibly expensive. I had an oil pan gasket replaced and it costed me nearly $800. The ride comfort is... To put it bluntly, terrible. Low profile tires and a racing stiff suspension, you will feel every bump, rock, crack, and divet in every surface you drive on. As a daily commuter in a city, you will develop back problems quickly. That being said, that same suspension and those wide rear tires make this car one of the best weekend cruisers to have ever been made. I have the E89 i6 278hp 270lb/ft plant in my car, and that engine, combined with the amazing dual clutch flappy-paddle gearbox is an absolute DREAM to rev into the upper 6800rpms and hear that great engine purring as you cut a corner with the top down and the sun on your face. BMWs last true Ultimate Driving Machine."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

My baby, brand new

What a Winner

By on Thursday, June 12, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A real driver's car."

Cons: "Typical Z4 crummy cup holders."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is my third Z car. Started with a Z3 a few years ago. Gave up a low mileage 2003 Z4 that won awards in area car shows for the Z4M. Glad I did. What a joy to drive. I don't find the ride harsh at all. It's just very solid. The engine is the most flexible I've ever encountered; very tractable at low rpm and a real screamer above 4500. It'll never be a rare car (they made 3041 N. America roadsters), but it should retain good value if well cared for. My wife will not believe it, but this is likely my last car. It's that good."

4 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Two year old with me: second owner: awesome car!

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Superb driver after ditching the run flat tires:"

Cons: "None in my opinion."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought it two years ago, with 50K miles. Six-speed, 3.0, all options. My third BWM, and my best. Hauls a**, and cruises when necessary. Body still gets looks in a crowd, and low maintenance. Throw back to the long hood, in line 6 sports cars. A real winner. Looking for a great sports car, don't look any farther."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Bought car off BMW lease and love it.

By on Thursday, May 01, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,200

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Real sports car ride, handling, looks, fun drive"

Cons: "No cons"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is beautiful with every extra in it. Leather power seats, GPS. Auto/stick option, AM/FM/CD/DVD on board computer, rain censor wipers, power roof. All in excellent condition and only 31200 original miles. Garage kept. Looks like new."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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