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2003-2008 BMW Z4 Pre-owned

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Justin Pritchard
Last-gen Z4 looks like a reasonably reliable convertible-- but standard checks are mandatory
Springtime is here! The days are longer, the nights are warmer, and the scent of freshly defrosted dog-business lingers in the air. For car enthusiasts across the continent, spring is also a time of new beginnings-- especially when it comes to what’s parked in the driveway.

2003 BMW Z4 (Photo: BMW)

Is this your year to finally get into a sleek and sexy German convertible? The BMW Z4 is one such machine. Not only is it about the most distinctive and popular drop-top in the premium marketplace, it also promises to blend a decades-long reputation for driving dynamic excellence with an open-topped motoring experience.

The Z4 hit Canadian showrooms as a 2003 model year vehicle available with several powertrain configurations and options. Look for 2.5i and 3.0i trim levels, indicating engine displacement of 2.5 or 3.0 litres, respectively. Horsepower output was rated at 184 or 225, and transmission choices were manual five or six-speed units, or a five-speed automatic. For models sold onwards from 2006, the sole engine was a three-litre straight-six, offering 215 horsepower in standard trim, or 255 horsepower in ‘Si’ trim. Five and six-speed manuals were available here too-- as was a five-speed automatic. Lastly, a high-performance ‘M’ variant of the Z4 was available in both coupe and roadster body styles. It got a larger 3.2 litre straight-six engine with over 330 horsepower.

All Z4 models were two-seat convertibles with fabric roofs, and those in the used market will find all the staple features on board-- including heated leather seats, power accessories, a powerful stereo and a tilt and telescopic steering wheel.

Note that the Z4 isn’t a large car, and doesn’t have a whole lot of room for your stuff. If God proportioned you generously, or if you like to fill your SUV with shopping on weekends, you may need to look for something larger. Not only is the cabin snug to enter and exit, it can feel plenty confining for larger passengers once they’re settled in. For those of average size though, the Z4 should fit like a glove.

There’s a strong BMW owners community online, and it’s full of folks willing to share stories, problems and advice about their rides. If you wind up becoming a Z4 owner, be sure to check out and consider joining the various forums. For the most part, last-generation BMW Z4 owners are a proud and loyal bunch-- but that doesn’t mean the vehicle itself proved completely perfect as it aged.

2006 BMW Z4 (Photo: BMW)
Justin Pritchard
Justin Pritchard
Automotive expert