Monday, February 6, 2017

Used Car Review - BMW Z4 (2009-2016)

Ready yourself for summer with this car.

2009-2016 BMW Z4

We all know that BMW has a soft spot for SUVs and sedans with a touch of class while providing sports car handling, bet you don't know that the Munich based manufacturer had produced convertibles since the 1950s with the 507. Although it looked good, this 501 and 502 based vehicle proved to be expensive - despite its position to fill the gap between the cheap British convertibles from Triumph and MG and the top end Mercedes Benz 300SL - and after a run of 252 units built between 1956 to 1959, it was discontinued. The limited release Z1 was introduced in 1989 and only 8,000 were built but only in 1995 they got serious with the Z3.

Similar to its predecessors, the second generation Z4 (with chassis code E89) was first announced in December 2008 with sales started in May 2009. One notable change for this vehicle is it assembled in Bavaria, Germany and not in South Carolina, USA as it was the case of its older brothers, with the latter now exclusively building SUVs for worldwide consumption. Production ended in August 2016 with rumors of a replacement model jointly built by BMW and Toyota.

Alongside several new models such as the fifth generation 7 Series, the second generation Z4 arrived in Philippine shores in September 2009 in one variant, the sDrive 3.0.

Value and Costs
Brand new, you can get this one for six million pesos until a price drop in 2015 which slashed the price to P4,500,000. What used to be a rich kids plaything used during the weekends can be now yours for a price range between P2,400,000 to P3,500,000 bucks. As a rule for premium brands, checking out the certified pre-owned section is the wise move.

Do not compare this one with the likes of the Mazda MX-5, rather maintaining one is similar to its compatriots, the Mercedes Benz SLK Class and the Porsche Boxster, which is definitely on the higher side. For such a vehicle like the Z4, do inspect the electronic parts thoroughly and the top if its folds properly.

Exterior and Interior
Philippine market models have a hard top as standard, which was followed suit by several German rivals for our market. Remove the badge, its kidney grille gives an identity that it is distinctively BMW. Let us leave the design alone, which speaks for itself.

Inside, more space was given for the occupants and slightly for the folding top, which hogs trunk space when used. Another room for improvement is the interior quality, with better materials used than before.

Paired to an N52B30 3.0 inline six which produces 255hp at 6,600rpm and 310Nm at 2,600rpm, this one is a willing performer. It does not disappoint you and it gives you a smooth tone whether driving slow or full bore.

Driving Impressions
Just like all BMWs, this is one entertaining driver thanks to a communicative chassis with an exhaust note similar to muscle cars and a smooth engine, While fun to drive, it pales in comparison with the Porsche Boxster though.

An improvement over its predecessor, the second generation Z4 still doesn't stray from the core values of a BMW. What used to be expensive when brand new is now affordable and could be a potential classic.

The Good:
  • Fun to drive
  • Looks good
  • Somewhat affordable when used
The Bad:
  • As always, impractical when top down
  • Smallish engine
  • Expensive to keep
The Pick: sDrive 3.0i

Engine: 2,996cc N52B30 I6 gasoline
Power: 255hp @ 6,600rpm
Torque: 310Nm @ 2,600rpm
Fuel Consumption: 4-8km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Suspension: Front McPherson strut, rear multi link

Price (New): P4,500,000 (2015), P6,000,000 (2009-2014)
Price (Now): P2,400,000-P3,500,000
On Sale: 2009-2016
Rivals: Mercedes Benz SLK Class, Porsche Boxster

Autohaus BMW - (02) 638-0734

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