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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 220 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
    9.5/10

Great car.

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Chick magnet."

Cons: "Seats are very uncomfortable ."

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

"The only flaw with this car is this is not built for comfort. It is very sporty and has great power for a V-6. I have no regrets buying this car. I do wish that they would have put cruise control in the car to."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

This is a great, fun car. Fast and good mileage.

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fuel efficient, fast, fun to drive."

Cons: "Transmission notchy in second gear. Steering."

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

"Bought this car second hand in 2012. Has been reliable except for battery replacement....when battery starts going, systems shut down, including fuel injector which makes motor undrivable. This is a hoot to drive, gets great mileage and looks great. The top retract system is fast and cleverly engineered. Would buy again, but not the post 2008 hard top version. This model has a usable trunk, but hard top has virtually no storage with top down."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great Car Fun To Drive

By on Monday, February 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great handling and even better gas mileage."

Cons: "Start every 3 days to keep battery charged."

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

"Thia car is fun to drive. It has great pickup and stopping. Takes turns real good but has a bit of understeer that you have to adjust to. Once you get the feel of the car it is great. Turns heads wherever it goes because color is discontinued Maldives Blue, it has an exceptional look. When I took it on a drive to Orlando, 150 miles, I was getting 30 miles to the gallon. Not the number the computer said, but based upon the miles traveled and the gas used. I did not use a full tank. And that is avereging 85 MPH. At 65 the unit gets about 35. Premium."

10 people out of 13 found this review helpful

12 Years off Pure Sports Car Fun!

By on Friday, January 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Blast to drive. Strong clutch. Smooth gears."

Cons: "Rough roads accent tight suspension."

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

"A blast to drive. Corners like it's on rails, even after 12 years, especially when in the Sport mode. Bought new. Used as daily driver for 11 years."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Not very comfortable

By on Monday, December 22, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: terrible ride and noise

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
3/10

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

"I've owned many roadsters and sports cars however this car was unacceptable when it came to ride comfort and noise. Of course, sports cars aren't going to ride like a Rolls Royce but I couldn't take this car anywhere over 100 miles from my house because the ride was so bad."

15 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Most fun to drive of the dozen cars i've owned

By on Saturday, December 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "A blast to drive"

Cons: "Maintenance (new brakes, gaskets, etc.) pricey."

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

"Best car for road feel, handling, demands acceleration through corners, not just coming out of corners. I'm AARP-age and daily commute hasn't bothered my back for 8 years, but yes, you'll feel the road more than a land cruiser. But because I'm a commuter, flaw is cupholders, cheap plastic popouts. The spring clip died or came loose. What should be a $5 clip replacement is a $200 unit replacement. $600 each to replace two engine gaskets. Gaskets are dirt cheap, so it must be labor. Brakes are about $500 each, front vs. back, but my original set went for 55,000 miles, commendable. Lousy in snow with summer or even all-weather tires. Much better if you go to extra expense of winter tires and swapping out each season. Minor gripes except for pricey maintenance costs. Most fun for dollar now that Honda retired S2000, though if you can't afford those, Miata5 is a worthy step back. Buy your times from TireRack if dealer gouges you. I've bought run flats there for less than $180 mentioned in another review here."

14 people out of 19 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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