2003 BMW Z4 Reviews
2003 BMW Z4 Reviews and Owner Comments
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I have a 2003 Z4 that I purchased as an extra car to use for local errands and such. I purchased the car in 2011 with approximately 70K mile on it. Within the first 100 miles the water pump failed causing the engine to overheat. The gauges had not been working correctly on the car when I bought it but I thought it was not worth getting looked at. The previous owner had put 5K miles on it or so with no problems and lived with the faulty gauges. My mistake. After the enginte "blew", I took it to a highly recommened shop in Nashville, TN specializing in in European cars and was told the only safe fix was to have the engine replaced as the heads were warped. So I sucked it up and let them replace the engine. I did not pay that much for the car and even considering the engine replacement, I was into the car for book value. Then, on a short trip, the power steering assist failed. This repair is estimated to cost $2K to $3K. NHTSA looked into this failure and determined that it did not pose a significant safety risk. Perhaps, but it makes the car very hard to steer! I like the looks of the car and it seemed to handle nicely prior to the PS failure. I also own a 2007 Lingenfelter modified Corvette, a 2007 Mustang (supercharged), and 2007 Lotus Exige SC along with various other vehicles. Each of the cars have their special attributes and styling which I suppose is why I was attracted to the Z4. I know the car is an older model, but one would think that BMW would have issued a few recalls for known problems. The water pump on the car employs a plastic impeller instead of a metal one and is a known item to fail. The power steering is also a known issue. I still like the car and feel like the overheating of the engine was my fault for not getting the gauges fixed. The power steering issue is another matter, but I am now far enough invested in the car that I will probably get it repaired.
Overall this is a great sports car, in my humble opinion. The styling is not for some, but I happen to love it -- nice not to see yourself coming and going, as they say. Handling and steering response like a go kart, and the 2.5 liter is quite peppy (but yet gets good gas mileage and is said to be indestructible). The overly harsh ride and squirlyness over pavement imperfections can be much improved by replacing the stock Bridgestone Potenzas with Michelin Pilot Sport PS2 runflat tires. (Actually it's the ride that's much improved; the squirlyness disappears altogether.) (Or you could switch from runflats and go with Goodyear Eagles and probably notice vast improvement as well, but there are trunk space and other benefits to runflat tires...) Basically it's your classic late-60s British sports car updated by BMW, and thus with rock-solid reliability, impeccable handling, and great overall sporting driveability. (They don't call them Ultimate Driving Machines for nothing...) In short, a perfect car for canyon roads, weekends, and mid-life crises of all sorts.
It is worthy to purchase a new z4 or in maintenance warranty. After purchase a used under warranty z4 would spend a lot of money on maintaining the car in good condition except you have some mechanical background and do your work and research every problems on your own. It is a great convertible little beast but you may need to pay for the beast to keep in a good shape.