What is the difference between a BMW Z3 and a BMW Z4? | Answerbag

7 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on What is the difference between a BMW Z3 and a BMW Z4? | Answerbag
BMW Z3

Answers. 3 helpful answers below.

by miamian on December 27th, 2008

Well, in my utterly not unbiased opinion, the Z3 is one of the most beautiful BMWs ever, and the Z4 is one of the ugliest, the worst of the Chris Bangle folded-and-creased-panels design excess. There#039;s that. 😉

Edit – Added 12.29.08 –

This pic of the Z4 doesn#039;t convey the odd lines on the sides and rear, but a side-by-side comparison of the two cars #039;in the flesh#039; should be very revealing. In performance, I think the Z3 is considered somewhat more of a roadster, where the Z4 is more of a cruiser/boulevardier. The Z3#039;s frame needs some stiffening, but with the Strong Strut trio installed, the Z3 corners more nimbly than the Z4, while the Z4 has a softer ride and a larger cabin.

BMW Z3

Both the Z3 and Z4 are also available in #039;M#039; versions, and the new, current MZ4 is reported to be significantly improved over earlier MZ4#039;s. (There are also coupes – The Z3 M Coupe only LOOKS like a shoe – It#039;s actually a very fast and quite rare car [less than 3000 total in the US]. See http://www.tarr.com/personal/mcoupe.htm)

Secondhand Z3s are truly a bargain these days, and many of them spent most of their lives as #039;garage queens,#039; only driven for pleasure on sunny weekends, so lots of them are in exceptional condition, with very low miles.

If you want to prepare yourself for the return of $3-per-gallon gas, the 1.9 liter Z3 is not thirsty, and some people believe it#039;s the best-handling among all the Z models. (The story as I heard it was that The 1.9-liter was the Z3 that the BMW engineers wanted to build, the 3.0-liter was the Z3 that the BMW marketing department wanted to sell.) I#039;ve owned both a 1.9- and a 3.0-liter Z3, and the 1.9 was somewhat more agile on the fun, twisty roads – Like a plush go-kart. (Over the years, the Z3 was also available with 2.3-liter and a 2.8-liter engines. The 2.3 is sort of a hidden bargain, as it is actually a 2.5-liter engine, but it was #039;downbadged#039; as a 2.3, so as not to compete with the then-top-of-the-line 2.8-liter model.)

Finally, one great thing about both of these cars is that they each have a body of devoted fans who communicate extensively on line, meet, invent and sell fixes and upgrades, and even organize road trips. Even if (like me) you#039;re not so much of a car-club-joining kind of person, a car with an existing and enthusiastic fan base is a very good thing, as they make available both lots of little aftermarket upgrades/luxuries/goodies/fixes, as well as an immense body of knowledge on line about common problems and solutions. For examples, see the Bimmerfest and Roadfly Z3/Z4 forums, and this page of Z3 links – http://www.waycoolinc.com/z3/essentials/fixit/index.html. (This link also has info on what to look for when buying a used Z3. If you get a Z3, I can personally recommend two of these upgrades very highly; a) the #039;Strong Strut#039; trio of Z3 struts and b) Ron Stygar#039;s Delrin seat bushings, which eliminate flex in the chassis and play in the seats, respectively.)

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