Used 2008 BMW Z4 Hatchback

2008 BMW Z4
List price range
2008 BMW Z4


  • Engaging driving dynamics, refined powertrains, excellent build quality, spacious interior for a roadster.


  • Options are pricey, sport package's ride quality might be overly stiff for some drivers.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Available as both a roadster and a coupe, the 2008 BMW Z4 offers premium-brand cachet and an exhilarating driving experience. It all comes at a remarkably reasonable price -- provided you go light on the options.

vehicle overview

BMW reinvented the European roadster 12 years ago with the Z3, an instant classic driven by hairdressers and James Bond alike. It not only beat its Mercedes and Porsche competitors to the market, it beat their prices as well. While the 2008 BMW Z4 isn't quite the classic its predecessor was, it maintains that price advantage while being a much more adept driver's car, boasting a high level of handling and performance.

The Z4 is available in roadster and coupe body styles, the latter being a recent addition to the series for driving enthusiasts who appreciate the fixed-roof model's added rigidity or for folks who just want something different. While the unloved Z3 Coupe looked like it had been cooked up in Herr Frankenstein's lab, the Z4 Coupe's fastback profile lends it a compact, sinewy appearance that some feel is better sorted than that of the roadster.

Still, it's hard to beat top-down motoring, and for that, the Z4 delivers in droves. After all, the only thing more fun than a convertible is a BMW convertible. Just roll back the fast-retracting roof (available with manual or power operation) and settle into the supportive, roomy driver seat for some high-speed fun in the sun. Even if the weather turns chilly, flip on the optional heated seats, and in fine roadster tradition, don a tweed cap and wool scarf.

It's not very often a BMW is considered a budget buy, but the Z4 is. While the Porsche Boxster/Cayman and Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class enjoy about the same prestige, they cost thousands more than the Bimmer. Of course, the SLK's retractable hardtop provides many of the benefits offered by both the Z4 coupe and roadster, while the Porsches have a lead in the arena of handling excellence. Still, if you're looking for a two-seater that delivers outstanding performance and the glamour of a high-end nameplate at a reasonable price, the 2008 BMW Z4 is the best candidate to consider.

Trim levels & features

The 2008 BMW Z4 is available as a two-seat roadster or coupe. The roadster has a traditional, manually operated convertible soft top with a defroster-equipped glass rear window. Two trim levels, 3.0i and 3.0si, are available. The 3.0i (roadster only) comes with 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers with heated wiper jets, heated outside mirrors, full power accessories, manually operated six-way adjustable seats, vinyl "leatherette" upholstery, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel and a 10-speaker audio system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The 3.0si version adds leather upholstery, a center armrest, aluminum interior trim, a premium audio system, a trip computer and automatic climate control. Most of these features are available on the 3.0i as options.

The optional Premium Package includes a one-touch power operation feature for the convertible's top, auto-dimming mirrors, xenon headlights, power seats, memory for the driver seat and Bluetooth. Other options for the BMW Z4 include sport seats, heated seats, upgraded leather upholstery, a navigation system, satellite radio and HD radio. The Sport Package includes upgraded wheels and tires, a sport-tuned suspension and BMW's Dynamic Driving Control feature that quickens throttle response and reduces power-steering assist.

2008 Highlights

Changes are light for the 2008 BMW Z4 roadster and coupe. The 3.0i Sport Package now includes 18-inch wheels rather than 17s, while the price of optional HD radio has been lowered.

Performance & mpg

The rear-drive Z4 is available with one of two engines. The 3.0i features a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 215 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of torque. The 3.0si boasts a high-output version of the same engine making 255 hp and 220 lb-ft of torque. Each trim comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic with manual shift control is an available option. According to BMW, a manual-equipped 3.0si can achieve 60 mph in 5.6 seconds. For both trims and body styles, 2008 fuel economy estimates are 18 mpg city and 28 mpg highway for manual-equipped cars.


Every BMW Z4 comes standard with antilock disc brakes, run-flat tires, rollover protection (for the convertible), stability control, side airbags and active knee protection. In government crash tests, the Z4 roadster earned four out of five stars for frontal-impact protection. It received three stars for side impact safety.


In nearly all performance aspects, the 2008 BMW Z4 shines. Acceleration, braking and handling are all excellent. The Z4 is in its element on lightly trafficked roads where one can push the car toward its limits and enjoy the engine's sonorous exhaust note. From an everyday driver standpoint, the Z4 is still mostly agreeable. Wind and road noise on the roadster can be bothersome at highway speeds, however, and some drivers might find the ride quality produced by the optional Sport Package's suspension to be a bit too stiff.


Simplicity is the prevailing aesthetic within the 2008 BMW Z4's cabin. This is a driver's car, and as such, the cockpit's furnishings offer little to shift your focus from the road. The cabin offers a broad dash, pleasant gauges, firm sport seats and not much else. There's lots of standard metallic trim, though, and wood trim is available for those seeking a more classic look.

Drop-top drivers will find the manual or power-operated convertible tops intuitive and a snap to operate. Unlike the Z3's roof cover that literally required several snaps to operate, the Z4's roof conveniently serves as its own tonneau cover. Also, lowering the top doesn't result in compromises with regard to storage space in the trunk. With the top down, the roadster's 9-cubic-foot trunk capacity remains almost unchanged. For comparison, the Mercedes SLK offers 10 cubic feet of cargo space with its hardtop up, but considerably less in top-down configuration. The coupe can feel a little confined, but even those a few inches north of 6 feet should have just enough headroom.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2008 BMW Z4.

Perfect after changing tires
David Kirby,08/08/2009
WOW! I replaced the Bridgestons RF (run flat) tires, with Michelin Pilot Sport ASXL. The ride with the sports suspension, improved significantly, and eliminated the jolting, without compromising the handling. As a bonus, it may enable me to use the car year around in Upstate NY, without having to invest in snow tires, and if I can get even close to the projected 40K miles tread life, I will be even happier.
THE Coupe
It's actually my first time writing a review on a car, I was looking for a sport cart 8 months ago. My first choice was a Porscha Cayman S with a manual transmission. I am not going to bring back the whole Porscha vs BM discussion but let's say you will have to try the car to know what you really want. I did love the Porscha but couldnt resist to test the Z4. My only concerns about the Z4 was the look and I really didnt like it in the beginning cause all I could find here in Canada was SoftTop Z4. The driving experience of the Z4 3.0Si was magic yes I said it MAGIC. You do feel like you're driving a beast, nervous and everytime you step on the pedal you get the "push" of adrenaline...
Donkey Cart
I purchased the coupe off the showroom floor with the sports suspension package. The roads in Northern Illinois are not the best so my wife refers to the Z4 as "the donkey cart". Regardless it is a blast to drive and I get many compliments on its appearance. The dealer experience has been outstanding.
Fun car
fun car,04/30/2009
The standard suspension may be the better choice for most people. I have only 300 miles on the manual transmission coupe, and really enjoy it, but I will install all season ties when I have to replace the OE tires. This may soften the ride and extend the time you can drive the car in the Northeast before installing snow tries.
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Features & Specs

18 city / 28 hwy
Seats 2
6-speed manual
255 hp @ 6600 rpm
See all Used 2008 BMW Z4 Hatchback features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver3 / 5
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2008 BMW Z4
Used 2008 BMW Z4 Hatchback Overview

The Used 2008 BMW Z4 Hatchback is offered in the following styles: 3.0si 2dr Hatchback (3.0L 6cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2008 BMW Z4 Hatchback?

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Should I lease or buy a 2008 BMW Z4?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
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