2006 BMW M Review | Edmunds.com

2006 BMW M

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW M Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.2 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 330 hp @ 7900 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 14/22 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 BMW M

  • The combination of a powerful engine and a little car never gets old. The new 2006 BMW M is a solid choice for a sports car in the $50,000 range.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Ripping performance, perfect gearshift, tight handling without a punishing ride.

  • Cons

    Options are expensive, no factory-installed CD changer.

  • What's New for 2006

    An M version of the Z4 is new for 2006. Fortified with the drivetrain, steering, brakes and suspension components from the racy M3, the M announces its overtly sporty personality with double-spoke wheels, larger front air intakes and quad exhaust outlets.

Full 2006 BMW M Review

What's New for 2006

An M version of the Z4 is new for 2006. Fortified with the drivetrain, steering, brakes and suspension components from the racy M3, the M announces its overtly sporty personality with double-spoke wheels, larger front air intakes and quad exhaust outlets.


As the BMW Z4 enters its fourth year of production (the automotive equivalent of middle age) the company gives the lineup a shot in the arm with the injection of the M treatment. As enthusiasts know, BMW's in-house tuning firm goes by the letter M (for motorsport), and whenever its engineers lay their talented hands on a vehicle, good things happen.

The 2006 BMW M features much of the same go-fast hardware used in the M3 coupe. We're talking everything, from the engine, steering system and brakes to the variable differential lock and a handful of suspension parts. The M (which includes the Roadster and new-for-'06 Coupe body styles) also has unique 18-inch wheels and bodywork, not to mention about 200 fewer pounds to carry around compared to the M3.

Naturally, the M's status as a BMW is pretty much a guarantee of a high fun-to-drive quotient. A ripping 330-horse inline six coupled to a sweet-shifting six-speed manual makes straight-line acceleration a blast, literally speaking, while a taut chassis and telepathic steering make slicing through the curves in the road just as enjoyable. BMW enthusiasts will likely recall that this same engine was also featured in the previous, Z3-based M Coupe and Roadster. Though its horsepower ratings are pretty similar to the previous generation's, the new M's more sophisticated suspension and roomier interior make it a better package overall.

In the niche market of high-powered roadsters and coupes, the 2006 BMW M's arrival has made the final purchasing decision that much harder. The Mercedes-Benz SLK55 offers the security and comfort of a retractable hardtop but no manual transmission and a higher price tag. The Porsche Boxster S and Cayman S offer much more handsome styling (unanimous opinion among our staff) and a bit more athleticism, but less performance in a straight line. And while a Corvette will give you 400 horsepower and more performance than you'll ever need for less money as well, it lacks the panache of the German trio. In other words, there's not a loser in the bunch, and we suggest buyers choose based on their own particular set of desires.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2006 BMW M is a performance version of the Z4 and is offered as both a convertible and a coupe. Special styling details, such as a more aggressive front fascia with larger air inlets, a pair of ridges in the hood and a set of quad exhaust outlets flanking a rear diffuser separate the M from its less potent Z4 brethren. Since the M is at the top of BMW's line, virtually everything that's optional on a Z4 is standard. Standard fitments include xenon HID headlights, leather sport seats, auto-dimming mirrors and power seats (with driver's memory). A sport suspension with firmer calibrations and 18-inch double-spoke wheels shod with 225/45 front and 255/40 rear performance rubber is likewise included with all Ms. A navigation system is one of the few options.

Powertrains and Performance

The M's 3.2-liter straight six is identical to the M3's, save for a slightly more restrictive exhaust that shaves off 3 horsepower, leaving it with an official rating of 330 hp at 7,900 rpm. Torque remains the same at 262 pound-feet at 4,900 rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox is the sole transmission offering and a variable differential lock helps put the power to the pavement. BMW claims a 0-60-mph time of 4.9 seconds and EPA fuel economy estimates are 16 mpg city, 24 mpg highway.


The M comes with four-wheel antilock disc brakes, a stability control system, rollover protection, side airbags, active knee protection and child-seat anchor points for the passenger seat. In NHTSA crash tests, the virtually identical BMW Z4 earned four out of five stars in frontal-impact crash tests along with a three-star rating for side-impact safety.

Interior Design and Special Features

The cockpit features a pair of aggressively bolstered sport seats, a chubby M edition steering wheel and a Motorsport spec tachometer with a variable redline that settles at 8,000 rpm when the oil is fully warmed up. The speedometer reads to 180 mph, but the computer will cut you off at 155 mph. Although you sit deep in the cockpit, the view over the arched dash is still good. There's enough legroom for 6-footers but the cockpit feels tight even for smaller folk. There's a new trim option BMW calls "Carbon Leather," which is black leather with a carbon-fiber pattern. Everything else is similar to the Z4 in design and feel except for the automatic climate-control knobs, which get extra rubber trim around the edges. With the roadster's top up, the trunk has a capacity of 9 cubic feet, 1 cube less than a Benz SLK. Fortunately, folding the top down does little to diminish the M Roadster's capacity, whereas stowing the hardtop steals much of the SLK's capacity.

Driving Impressions

Although the M shares its steering system, brakes and numerous suspension parts with the M3, most of the parts were tuned specifically for it. The ride quality is noticeably better than the M3 on the street. In fact, although the M is remarkably stiff for a convertible, you seldom get any harsh impacts. Steering feel is about perfect and the brakes are way more than you'll ever need for the street. As stiff and precise as the M is at normal speeds, rip through a corner fast enough and the car does exhibit some body roll. Nothing off-putting, just enough to let you know when you're approaching the M's considerable limits.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Rated m

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

Purchased this car used as a fun car/daily driver on nice days. The performance is incredible. I find that the engine is a little different than older BMW inline-6 in that you have to rev it for power. The exterior has a love it or hate it design but it must be seen in person to render a final opinion. The additional touches that the M car adds to the Z4 (front & rear valence, bigger wheels, quad- exhausts) go a long way to add some aggression to the design. The interior is very comfortable but I have a slim build. Interior design is top notch with the optional carbon leather trim. Bottom line, this is a pure driver's car, those looking for a plush riding luxury car need not apply.

Great car with a few

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

This car was a spur of the moment purchase for me. Originally was going to buy a Boxster but this was a better deal. I took the car to performance driving school even before I got the license plates. This car handles amazing!!! Mine is Interlagos Blue/Black and fully loaded. It is flashy but living in Houston Z4s are common so it appears more low key. This car is a true sports car with handling that can blow your mind. Mine is a daily driver so my gripes are lack of trunk space, but I knew that going in. Depreciation is a killer... I got this car at half of what it originally cost in 06. Great deal for me and puts a smile on my face every time I hear the deep roar of the exhaust.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The honeymoon isn't over yet

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

My wife and I have come back from 3 day trips and continued past the house just because we didn't want to quit driving this car. Average gas mileage is about 21.6. You can get 26 mpg rather easily just by keeping the rpm down around 2500, (boring). Beyond 3000 rpm the sound is kind of like the Teutonic scream you would expect from an 11.5:1 compression ratio engine tuned to deliver more than 100 hp/liter. The ride is firm like a performance car, but very comfortable. Noise is not a problem either. It is noisier than a limo in all the right ways. The wood dash trim improves the interior. The stereo is first rate. It has a dipstick, no run flats, and hydraulic steering. Brilliant!

Worthy competitor to the boxster

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I have owned cars such as the Honda S2000, Porsche Boxster S, 2001 M Coupe, Subaru WRX, Integra Type R and can honestly say that the BMW Z4 M Roadster is the most exciting car to drive. It doesn't have the balance-poise of a Boxster S but it will make your heart rate shoot up in a flash once you've tried shifting at redline under full throttle. It's not an easy car to drive at first and drivers should be careful at the limit. My main complaints are: 1-Ride quality. Compared to the Boxster S or Cayman S the ride is VERY choppy-bouncy. The chassis does not soak up bumps as well as the Porsche. 2-Build quality. Exterior panel gaps and the interior trim pieces wear out quickly.

The ultimate "droptop" sports car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

The Z4 M Roadster is a true sports car following a long tradition of drop top British sports cars. It has awesome power and incredible handling and always puts a smile on my face when I drive it. This is not an Italian exotic that looks like it should be ready for takeoff from an aircraft carrier's flight deck, but a true traditional fun to drive thrilling sports car. It is my childhood dream come true!

Love the m roadster

by on
Vehicle: 2006 BMW M 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

The car is nimble and yet awesomely powerful, it handles the curves like it's on rails. The interior is a tad bit cramped for a large person but is comfortable and does not have that cheap look found in a Corvette. The M roadster draws some attention on the road but not like the glitzy Italian inspired vehicles. It is a true classic sports car for someone who drives a sports car for the sheer love of it.

Talk About The 2006 M

2006 BMW M Discussions See all Started By

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Read more about the 2006 BMW M

Gas Mileage


  • 14
  • cty
  • 22
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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