Sharp handling, sophisticated image, quick-action roof
Far from generous levels of standard kit
The Z4 is BMW's alternative to the Porsche Boxster and replaced the lacklustre Z3 in 2003. It's great to drive with sharp handling and a well balanced chassis plus it looks good too - the Z4’s swooping design, classy looks and road-hugging stance attracts more than its fair share of admiring glances, especially with the roof down. There's a decent choice of engines and even the entry-level 2.0-litre unit offers strong performance, but it's the six-cylinder 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre engines which really appeal.
The super-fast electric roof retracts in just 10 seconds and the Z4 is practical with a surprisingly capacious boot. In 2006 the model was given a minor facelift which included new head and taillights plus a Sport model was introduced. Certain criticisms still remain though, including a lack of equipment that you'd expect to be standard given the considerable list price