2008 BMW Z4 M Review | Edmunds.com

2008 BMW Z4 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 Z4 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 15/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 BMW Z4 M

  • Combining muscle-car mentality with European sensibility, the 2008 BMW M is one of the most engaging sports cars under $55,000.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Thrilling engine, sharp-edged steering and handling responses, impressive build quality.

  • Cons

    Ride quality can be overly harsh or twitchy, no automatic transmission available.

  • What's New for 2008

    The BMW M Coupe and Roadster carry over essentially unchanged for 2008.

Full 2008 BMW Z4 M Review

What's New for 2008

The BMW M Coupe and Roadster carry over essentially unchanged for 2008.


For Hitchcock, dialing "M" meant murder. BMW has been known to dial M as well. But in this case, any screaming you hear will be due to overloaded tires or passengers with wild eyes and death grips on the door handles.

The 2008 BMW M is a performance derivative of the Z4. Though its name is atypical -- cars rolling out of BMW's well-known M division typically have a number associated with them -- the M Coupe and Roadster are fully worthy of your attention.

The M Coupe or M Roadster (enthusiasts also call this car the "Z4M") have many performance-enhancing components from the previous-generation M3. It all starts with a 330-horsepower 3.2-liter inline-6. Smooth and high-revving, this is a BMW M engine in the most classical sense, especially as other M cars now have V8s or V10s. Contrasted with the Z4's optional 255-horsepower engine, the M's power plant delivers considerably more thrust to the rear wheels through an exclusive six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential.

The M cars sport many other tweaks to the base Z4 as well, including a wider front track, a stronger rear subframe, hydraulic power steering for better feel (the Z4's is electric), 18-inch wheels and 225/45 front and 255/40 rear performance tires. The springs and dampers are sport-tuned, and the brakes are the same as those used for the old M3's Competition Package. Even the stability control system has been altered to be less intrusive.

Where the 2008 BMW M really shines, however, is when you get past mere specifications and slide behind the wheel. Owing to their light weight, sharp reflexes and aggressively quick acceleration, both coupe and convertible offer competent drivers a thrilling experience. With just two seats, a modest trunk and no automatic transmission, the M Coupe and Roadster are perfectly suited as go-fast weekend playthings.

If you're looking for a daily driver, however, there are other competitors that also offer up plenty of smiles and may serve you better. The Porsche Boxster S or Cayman S are more expensive, but they're also quintessential sports cars with more polished and balanced driving dynamics that are less likely to get you into trouble should your driving be a little overeager. Meanwhile, this year's notably improved Chevrolet Corvette is much more versatile and offers the visceral punch of 100 extra horsepower and far greater torque.

So there's the brawny Chevy on one end of the sports car spectrum and the nimble Porsches on the other. The BMW resides happily in the middle, combining muscle car-like attitude with Continental-style design and build quality. Sound appealing? All you need to do is dial M.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 BMW M sports car is available as a hatchback coupe or roadster with a power-operated soft convertible top. The M is distinguished from its lesser Z4 sibling through subtle but purposeful styling enhancements including a more aggressive front fascia with larger air inlets, a pair of "precision" ridges in its aluminum hood and a set of quad exhaust outlets flanking a rear air diffuser.

As a line-topping vehicle, the single-trim M includes many Z4 options as standard equipment. These include 18-inch wheels, xenon headlights, leather sport seats and a 10-speaker audio system with CD/MP3 player. If you want cruise control and elastic storage nets, though, be prepared to ante up for the optional Premium Package. With this package you'll also get auto-dimming mirrors, eight-way power seats with driver memory settings, BMW Assist, Bluetooth connectivity and a THX-certified premium audio system. Other options include higher-grade full interior leather trim, heated seats, wood or carbon and leather accents, and a navigation system.

Powertrains and Performance

The BMW M Coupe and Roadster feature a high-revving 3.2-liter inline six-cylinder engine that cranks out 330 hp and 262 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission transfers its power through a special mechanical limited-slip rear differential, resulting in 0-60-mph sprints in 4.9 seconds. Fuel economy for 2008, should you care, is not particularly good even for this class of car, checking in at 15 mpg city and 22 mpg highway.


The M is equipped with antilock disc brakes with automatic brake disc drying, stability control, traction control, side-impact airbags and rollover protection for the roadster. In government crash testing, the companion BMW Z4 roadster and coupe both earned four out of five stars for front occupant protection during frontal impacts. The convertible also received a three-star rating for side-impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2008 BMW M's intimate two-place cockpit features a pair of aggressively bolstered sport seats, well-placed controls, a thick M-edition steering wheel and materials befitting a luxury brand. Gone, however, are the flashy color combinations of the preceding M Roadster and Coupe -- aside from available red leather, the inside is pure staid class. For those who appreciate as much info flowing to them at all times, a 9,000-rpm Motorsport-spec tachometer with a variable redline is standard, reaching a heady 8,000 rpm when the oil reaches operating temperature. The speedometer tops out at 180 mph, but the vehicle's actual maximum speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. The roadster's trunk capacity remains virtually unchanged at approximately 9 cubic feet when the top is lowered. The coupe's enclosed hatchback design is a bit more practical with just under 13 cubic feet of space, although some may find the fixed roof a somewhat claustrophobic environment. It's no worse than the Cayman, however.

Driving Impressions

From the driver seat, the view over the M's elongated hood -- made necessary because of the also-lengthy straight-6 power plant resting underneath -- gives the impression you're sitting in what should be the backseat, directly ahead of the car's driving wheels. Which is essentially true, and entirely understandable given BMW's desire for evenly balanced weight distribution in one of its premier sports cars.

Once underway, the engine spins willingly to its 8,000-rpm redline and, considering its size, delivers a surprisingly broad torque band that hurtles the car forward at any speed. The car's sharp responses -- the quick steering, instantaneous throttle and direct brakes -- won't reward a casual driving style, however. Many drivers might find the ride quality harsh and the car's lack of stability to be unsettling when driving hard on broken pavement.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

A true roadster...

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW Z4 M 2dr Convertible (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

Just as advertised, this is a true roadster. Great styling outside and in, power, balance, great to drive fast both straight and around the curves. Take note however, as a second car, it's fun, but not recommended as a primary mode of transport. It is a sports car. The M version has a stiff suspension and low MPG... a car to be driven for pleasure, top down, in fine weather. To leave garaged until one feels the urge for fun.. If one were to drive it every day, it would soon lose the fun value. Stiff suspension, firm seats. This car is designed for racetrack performance, not for around town comfort and convenience. Fit and finish is as you would expect from the brand. MMMM... did I mention fun?

Outrageous car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW Z4 M 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I ordered this car in April 08 and have been totally impressed ever since I took delivery in July 08. I have always been a Porsche guy, but this thing actually gets more looks and compliments that the GT3 that I have the fortune to borrow from a friend now and then. Not quite as fast as the GT3, but for half the price I'd say that's okay. It actually is the closest thing I could find to a GT3 for less than $100K. A true street legal race car.

First one in alaska

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW Z4 M 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

So I have the first BMW Z4 M coupe sold in Alaska, bought it in September, now there is only one other one up here. I have had it for about 5 months and still love driving it everyday even in the winter. People are always looking at it and telling me how cool it is. Just got the windows tinted. That's the only thing I would ever need to do to this car. Amazing machine.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Perfect sportscar

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW Z4 M 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I tried several competitors (new M3, IS-F, RS4, C63) but the 1st time I sat and drove this car I knew it was what I wanted - a pure driver's car that has some semblance of practicality too. Not full of driver aids that detract from the driving experience. The looks are stunning and it gets endless complements from everyone. Just fun to drive, even when noodling around town. Sure to be a classic, in terms of design/performance - a little hot rod.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Stunning sports coupe w/ great

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW Z4 M 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I love this car. It really is my favorite car that I have driven and the best handling BMW bar none. After 5 bimmers, I can say this is the ultimate 2-seater sports car for the M driver. After 4 months, I still get a thrill just commuting to work and back home. And I still get lots of complements from co-workers and wide- eyed looks from fellow drivers. The dark red leather sport seats are the best in any German car for sale today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Exotic car at half the

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW Z4 M 2dr Coupe (3.2L 6cyl 6M)

I have taken this car on several road trips, the longest to Vegas and I have autocrossed it once, too. The car handles amazingly well and stuck corners I didn't think I could do. It is fine on a track which is why I bought it but it is civilized enough for daily use, too. Most people think the car costs over $100k. In Vegas they parked my car out front with the Maseratis and Astons because of its looks. People point at you as you drive around and kids holler (good) things at you at the theater. I love the sculpture like looks and the fact not a single other car on the road is even vaguely similar.

Talk About The 2008 Z4 M

2008 BMW Z4 M Discussions See all Started By

2008 BMW Z4 M Coupe...

How far below invoice can I get a Z4 M 2008? I live in California. I figure since the car industry is doing bad, I may be able to get a deal better then invoice. Invoice seems to be about 46k-48k. ...

Gas Mileage


  • 15
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Other Z4 M Years

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