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

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out