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BMW Z4 Roadster E85 (2003-2008)

The first generation BMW Z4 Roadster (E85) is often compared favorably to the older Z3 and it is true to say that this is much more of a driver’s car. The Z4 is everything that a BMW promises to be – it is excellent to drive with ample power and precise handling. It is also well thought out and superbly engineered. The Z4 holds its own in an increasingly competitive field of performance roadsters and boasted the fastest fully automatic power hood of any convertible on the market. The only down-side is rather firm suspension which can become trying on long runs.

The styling was challenging when the Z4 was first released, dividing opinion, but the bold move paid off and the roadster sold well despite challenging competition. The snug cabin is well equipped and elegantly designed. The fabric roof folds away quickly from a single button press with no clips to undo.

This Z4 was replaced in 2009 by an all-new hardtop convertible.

BMW Z4 Roadster E85 Details

Production dates2003-2008
Length 4091 mm / 161 in
Width inc. mirrors 1781 mm / 70 in
Height 1299 mm / 51 in
Wheelbase 2495 mm / 98 in
Turning circle 9 m
Luggage capacity 260 litres / 9.18 cu ft
Fuel tank capacity 55 litres / 14.5 US gal
Warranty 3 years or unlimited miles
Service intervals Variable miles

BMW Z4 2.0i Roadster

Added to the range later in the car's lifespan in 2005, the 2-litre engine is lively if not all that powerful. The four-cylinder unit is lightweight which made the most of the BMW Z4's nimble handling. It also made an excellent entry point to the range with a lower price and friendly running costs.

BMW Z4 2.0i Roadster Specifications

Fuel type Unleaded Petrol
Engine type Straight 4
Engine capacity 1995 cc
Power 150@6200 bhp
Torque 148@3600 lb.ft
Transmission type 6-spd manual
Kerb weight 1220 kg / 2690 lb
UK retail price from £24,220
UK insurance group 17/37

BMW Z4 2.0i Roadster Performance

Max speed (manual) 137 mph / 220 kph
0-60mph (manual) - seconds
0-100kmph (manual) 8.2 seconds

BMW Z4 2.0i Roadster Economy and Emissions

EU combined MPG (manual) 38.2 mpg
CO2 emissions (manual) 181 g/km

BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster

Two different 2.5 litre engines were put into the BMW Z4. This one was the first and was available from launch. With six inline cylinders it offers the classic BMW smooth power delivery along with a lovely engine note. Performance is respectable and handling great although the added weight up-front means that steering responce isn't quite as fast as with the smaller engines.

BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Specifications

Fuel type Unleaded Petrol
Engine type Straight 6
Engine capacity 2497 cc
Power 177@5800 bhp
Torque 170@3500 lb.ft
Transmission type 6-spd manual / 6-spd auto
Kerb weight 1270 kg / 2800 lb
UK retail price from £26,260
UK insurance group 17/43

BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Performance

Max speed (manual) 142 mph / 229 kph
Max speed (auto) 140 mph / 225 kph
0-60mph (manual) - seconds
0-60mph (auto) - seconds
0-100kmph (manual) 7.1 seconds
0-100kmph (auto) 7.7 seconds

BMW Z4 2.5i Roadster Economy and Emissions

EU combined MPG (manual) 34.4 mpg
EU combined MPG (auto) 33.6 mpg
CO2 emissions (manual) 197 g/km
CO2 emissions (auto) 197 g/km

BMW Z4 2.5si Roadster

With a brand new engine the BMW Z4 2.5si Roadster became perhaps the most appealing car in the range. The considerable increase in power meant the BMW Z4 2.5 went from pleasant roadster to one that can challenge the Porsche Boxster. Quick yet refined, particularly in SE spec, this Z4 has a great balance of performance and useablity without the constant need to refill its rather small fuel tank. Many drivers chose the Sport model over the SE, tempted by the attractive big wheels and sports suspension which make the car very firm and less planted on uneven surfaces.

BMW Z4 2.5si Roadster Specifications

Fuel type Unleaded Petrol
Engine type Straight 6
Engine capacity 2497 cc
Power 218@6500 bhp
Torque 184@2750 lb.ft
Torque 250@2750 nm
Transmission type 6-spd manual / 6-spd auto
Kerb weight 1285 kg / 2832.9 lb
UK retail price from £29,060
UK insurance group 18/34

BMW Z4 2.5si Roadster Performance

Max speed (manual) 149 mph / 240 kph
Max speed (auto) 148 mph / 238 kph
0-100kmph (manual) 6.5 seconds
0-100kmph (auto) 6.9 seconds

BMW Z4 2.5si Roadster Economy and Emissions

EU combined MPG (manual) 31.7 mpg
EU combined MPG (auto) 29.7 mpg
CO2 emissions (manual) 199 g/km
CO2 emissions (auto) 207 g/km

BMW Z4 3.0i Roadster

With the full-blooded six cylinder engine the BMW Z4 3.0i Roadster is a serious performance car. It makes all the right noises and the figures confirm that it can challenge some very seroius machinery with much higher price tags. The Z4 has the handling to match and while it lacks the suspension and steering upgrades of the Z4M it is an easier car to live with when you are travelling rather than racing. The SE spec gives a more comfortable ride that sticks to the road so well that it makes the harder Sport seem unnecessary.

BMW Z4 3.0i Roadster Specifications

Fuel type Unleaded Petrol
Engine type Straight 6
Engine capacity 2996 cc
Power 265@6600 bhp
Torque 232@2750 lb.ft
Transmission type 6-spd manual / 6-spd auto
Kerb weight 1290 kg / 2844 lb
UK retail price from £33,510
US retail price from $33,510
UK insurance group 19/44

BMW Z4 3.0i Roadster Performance

Max speed (manual) 155 mph / 249 kph
Max speed (auto) 155 mph / 249 kph
0-100kmph (manual) 5.7 seconds
0-100kmph (auto) 6 seconds

BMW Z4 3.0i Roadster Economy and Emissions

EU combined MPG (manual) 33.2 mpg
EU combined MPG (auto) 32.1 mpg
CO2 emissions (manual) 221 g/km
CO2 emissions (auto) 231 g/km

Information last updated

2 Owner Reviews

Do you drive a BMW Z4 Roadster E85? Would you recommend it to others? Why not leave a comment to let us know what you think of the car. This BMW has 2 owner reviews.

  1. Nigel East Nigel East says:

    All in all my 2007 BMW Z4 has been a great car. Averaged 10,000km/ year just love drivingthe car. A few faults have cropped up all covered by the warranty. I haven’t had a close look but I think the exhaust manifold has a crack.

  2. Steve Worts Steve Worts says:

    Bought my very first BMW Z4 in March 2016. Spent some time looking around at the difference between 2.5 and 3.0 engines as i needed an Automatic.

    Having looked at the Road Tax. It was clear that it was £265 for 12 months RFL for the 2.5 and over £500 for the 3.0. Whilst the 3.0 is faster. There is very little between them. I couldn’t justify the difference in RFL for a car which was not in regular use.

    So I looked for a 2.5 Automatic.

    I found a 2003 – 2.5i SE Automatic in Sterling Grey with 89,000 Miles which I agreed on a very reasonable £3,000 for privately.
    After researching the models. My chosen car had. Black Milano Trim with Electric Seats and Memory. Rain Sensing Wipers and Auto Headlamps. Rear Parking Sensors and Power Folding Mirrors.

    It might sound odd. But if you have 2 different users. The Memory Drivers Seat is great. Set up 1 – 3 settings. Then just push the button when you change driver bingo!!!!

    Some things i would recommend.

    1.Check Service History carefully. Also go on VOSA. check the mileage at each MOT. I nearly bought a 3.0 which had been clocked by 100,000 Miles!!!!!

    2. Look at Roof carefully. Check fabric for tears or wear holes. Not that obvious. Check roof folds if electric. Look at switch when you press it. Make sure you only see a Red Light when using the switch. Anything else will mean there is a problem brewing.

    3. If car has Headlamp Washers under Headlamps. Make sure they work. Put Headlamps on and hold Washer Stalk. If they do not work. You have an MOT failure. Be warned!!!

    4. Check the car drives smoothly. No noises from engine. When you get to around 4,000 revs. Engine Note will change. Sound racuous. Vanos noise.

    Enjoy.

    A car to drive and savour.

    Parts not too bad. BMW Dealers are helpful enough. 10% Discount should be available if you ask.

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