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Old 11-12-2012, 08:05 PM
KAJ KAJ is offline
Registered User
Location: Austin, TX
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 16
Mein Auto: BMW Z4 35is
BMW Z4 > Mercedes SLK > Porsche Boxster

I carefully considered the Porsche Boxster and the Mercedes SLK 350 before deciding to order the Z4 35is. All were comparably priced with the same options, so that was not an issue. However, in the Z4 28i versus Mercedes SLK 250 price range, there is no contest, IMO, since the acceleration of the SLK 250 1.8 liter engine just is not in the same league as the Z4 28i.

I eliminated the Boxster early on since I am not fond of the styling and I wanted a hard top convertible, not a software. Having never owed a convertible, I figure most of my driving will be with the top up. Summers in Austin are too hot and the sun is too intense for open top driving. Like most places in the US, there is only a month or two of good top down driving weather. By all accounts the Boxster is the best for performance driving...but honestly, how often will I really push the car to the limits in cornering around town?

In comparing the Mercedes SLK350 with the BMW Z4 35is, there are several features that make it a close call. First, the SLK has conventional tires compared to the run-flat tires on the BMW, which everyone seems to hate due to their increased road noise, harsher feel and shorter life. Second, the SLK has more trunk space, which is more noticeable with the top down. Third, the new SLK350 gets much better mileage than the BMW Z4 35is (30 vs 24 highway). Finally, the ride on the SLK is a bit smoother and has less road noise. As a personal preference, that adds up to 4 points in favor of the Mercedes for me.

However, the DCT transmission on the Z4 is so much more smooth and the acceleration without hesitation is just fantastic. Jump on the gas and it just goes! But, for me the deciding factor was styling. I tried to like the SLK350, but the front end was just a bit on the ugly side for me. And I hated the way the side mirrors just stuck out from the side of the door like a tree limb. They seemed to be just out of place. On the other had, the Z4 is just gorgeous from any angle. In fact, it was the styling of the Z4 that made me start thinking about getting a roadster in the first place. I can live with the run-flat tires (or go rogue and change them!), I won't drive it so many miles that mileage will make much of a difference (I have a Lexus hybrid SUV for long trips), the trunk space is adequate, and the road feel is ok and something I did not find objectionable. I did 3 test drives just to make sure.

In the end, I am very happy with my decision...Melbourne Red Metallic Z4 35is. The car is on order and has just finished production.

Last edited by KAJ; 12-23-2012 at 09:09 AM.
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