David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/16 4:28 p.m.

At a minimum, a new BMW Z4 is going to set you back 50 grand. Okay, technically the starting MSRP is $49,700, but you get the picture: That’s about double what a new Mazda MX-5 costs, and both cars offer the same view of the sky.

What is the lower-buck BMW alternative? It’s time to consider the ori…

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wspohn
wspohn HalfDork
12/6/16 4:49 p.m.

Worth remembering the M version of the Z4 as well, although they continue to get a significantly higher price, particularly the coupe version. The Z4M engine puts out 338 bhp @7900 rpm and red lines at 8,000. Superlative sonics and they came with regular power steering instead of the electric power steering of the non-M cars, which saps feel from the cars.

smokindav
smokindav New Reader
12/6/16 5:39 p.m.

Good article - I like BMW's. I'd like to see what you can do with the same topic, different car. The $10,000 (or less!) Boxster S.

David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
12/6/16 10:37 p.m.

Glad that you guys liked the piece. They're fun to put together.

Yeah, we looked at the M but, like you said, prices are healthy. Believe me, we wish they cost less. I know a certain art director who'd like one.

We did a Boxster Tech Tips piece over at GRM. See if this helps answer some immediate questions. But, yes, you should buy one.

Thanks again!

Mister Fister
Mister Fister Reader
12/7/16 9:55 a.m.

Of the 41 cars I've owned, my 2006 Z4 3.0i was my wife's favorite.

BimmerBrad
BimmerBrad New Reader
7/4/20 2:54 p.m.

Avoid 2003 to 2005 five models. The electric steering on these cars developed a dead zone or sticking in their electronic steering. It is truly annoying. There are several supposed internet solutions, however, most are just stopgaps and not permanent solutions. Short of replacing the entire steering column, there is no BMW approved or acknowledged repair. In-fact, BMW refused to acknowledge there was a problem during the model run. BMW did correct the problem from 2006 on. M's were not affected as they came along in 2006 and did not have electric steering.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
7/4/20 7:52 p.m.
Mister Fister said:

Of the 41 cars I've owned, my 2006 Z4 3.0i was my wife's favorite.

The Z4 3.0i is a great little car and surprisingly entertaining to drive. The engine makes good torque and good noises, and the handling is agile to match.

I cross-shopped these against my Boxster—I prefer the engine in the BMW but the styling of the Porsche. I found a deal on a 987 I couldn’t pass up but still keep an eye out for a deal on a Z4.

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