One thing one needs to accept about this car is that it's not meant to compete on the track against a Cayman S or Boxster S. It's just not that kind of car. It's absolutely great for what it was built for, which is to be an enjoyable high speed, top down cruiser. If you drive these other cars, you will immediately notice how much better they handle, but for everyday driving, the Z4 is quite good. The N54 engine is superb and eminently chip-able. The car is comfortable and luxurious. The only cons I've really identified is that in the 2011 model year, some cars do not come with the Combox controller, which means you won't have bluetooth audio capabilities. Also, the handling in some tight corners feels a bit delayed. I've felt the rear end skitter out on me more than a few times. Not the extent that it would be dangerous or cause any real concern, but it certainly doesn't have the "turn on a dime" feel of those mid-engined cars.
I recently got the 2011 z435i with the 7 speed automatic, premium package, sport package, premium sound.
It combines luxury, style, and performance better than any other car out on the road. It has a distinguished look and gets a lot of attention on the road.
You can drive it like a true sports car with its high performance options, large horse power, and great handling.
Or you can take it for a luxurious lazy sunday drive for hours with the top down, nice sound system and comfortable spacious seating for a 2 seat car.
It wont beat the Porshe Boxter on a track but I feel the interior comfort, comparable unique style, and price difference make up for it. It is a very sexy fun car to drive
The engine's "throaty" rumble while accelerating is fantastic.
Handling around turns is also very nice. Ipod hook up and USB hook up for music is very intuitive and easy to use while driving.
The Hard top is fantastic and looks great watching all the parts moving while it goes up or down and gets a lot of attention.
Its interior has a few little quirks.
The cup holders are way to small and poorly locatated and hard to reach while driving.
Did no one think that someone driving a Z4 would also want to drink a "Big Gulp" (dont try it, it wont fit and youll be holding it between your legs trying to drive 100mph) even with the detachable cup holder.
The radio display is hard to see with the top down due to the sun light glare effect. BMW's a la carte options are also very pricey to get options that are really a must for most people who want to drive this type of car.
Premium package, premium sound,sport package are really a must and cost around 7K$ extra.
Purchased this vehicle coming from M6 through E63 AMG. Although M6 is very fast, SMG tranny is HORRIBLE in real life. AMG is an absolute MB service dream (8 weeks in service out of 6 months of ownership). So after browsing 911, SLK and boxter - I decided to go with the Z4. Hardtop convertible is awesome. Features, although very pricey (base $52k, mine $66K) are all there. Handling, although criticized, is very adequate. This car is not built to be driven on track only, it is a very comfortable sports car adaptation to real life conditions. Highway cruising feels like a 7. Thumbs up, BMW, can't wipe the smile off my face every time I drive it! Bi turbo is a mast, base model lacks power, etc.
Hard Top, 7 speed double clutch, bi-turbo, Sports seats
A bit more legpace, I am 6.5 and it feels a bit tight. Cupholder in the passenger's leg space - not very wise in such a small car.
After several 3-series coupes this is my first ever roadster. Although inherently impractical, it is much fun to drive - I love the throaty growl and sharp steering turn-in.
Sporty yet upscale styling. Snug and comfortable seats. Premium sound system (which at this price should be standard). Plenty of top-up trunk space for the vehicle's size.
For heaven's sake, make the parking sensors a standard feature! After several weeks of searching I never found a vehicle equipped with the sensors. It is incredibly difficult to gauge distance to curbs and other dreaded obstacles, especially to the front.
I took BMW Performance Center delivery of my 2011 Z4 sDrive 35i. That means that for four on-track hours BMW race drivers taught me how to explore safely the limits if a Z4 identical to the one I was purchasing. That experience and teaching has made my ownership much more pleasurable and rewarding than it ever could have been otherwise. I cannot recommend it too highly. The Z4 is a classic roadster and as such is completely at home on the country roads and Blue Ridge Parkway of my home state. The exhaust note is wonderful, nostalgic, echoing Healeys of old. The engine power is more than adequate and the driving experience, top up or top down, is immensely pleasurable. BMW got this car right!
The driving experience is emotional and rewarding. This car is all about making the journey the object of interest. This is a powerful car with wonderful handling ultimately safeguarded by BMW's Dynamic Stability Control System which has allowed me to quite safely scare myself on several occasions.
I would suggest more leg room. I am almost six feet tall and my seat is all the way to the back of it's track; yet the seat itself still has room left behind it. I suspect that drivers over six feet tall may find the driver's position cramped. I would extend that seat track rearward.