From £28,880
The 3.0-litre six is a delight, but the Z4's lack of steering feel and its chassis flex detract.

Our Verdict

The BMW Z4 has more comfort and added practicality, but has it gone soft?

The BMW Z4 is a fine-looking two-seat roadster with indifferent driving dynamics

3 May 2006

What’s new? Minor cosmetic changes to improve aerodynamic efficiency, but the real treat rumbles under that aluminium bonnet — it’s the world’s lightest production six-cylinder engine. 10kg lighter than the unit it replaces, it offers improved performance and fuel consumption thanks to variable valve technology.What’s it like? Very fast — not that the previous 3.0-litre was slow. The torque peak now comes earlier, which helps shave 0.2 seconds from the 0-60mph sprint. There’s a meaty burble at low revs that gives way to a creamy scream towards the red line, and a sweet six-speed gearbox.Sadly, the Z4 still languishes behind its rivals for driver appeal. The electric power steering is imprecise when you’re pushing along a B-road enthusiastically, and the chassis begins to flex noticeably under heavier loads.Should I buy one? Maybe. The Porsche Boxster is the driver’s choice, and the Merc SLK is a more polished cruiser. But this engine is a cracker, and the Z4 is not without its charms.Jon Quirk

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