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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > Z Series > E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)

E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
E85 Z4 Roadster, E86 Z4 Coupe, E85 Z4 M Roadster, and E86 Z4 M Coupe talk with our BMW gurus here.

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  #1  
Old 07-07-2011, 07:40 AM
impreza276 impreza276 is offline
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Cross Shopping a Z4 3.0si and Boxster S for daily driver.

We're soon going to be living in a world of 3 cylinder turbos and EVs and I'm thinking, this is a great time to get a sports car before everything changes.

Right now the choices are a 2008 Z4 3.0si or 2006 Boxster S. Which will be better to live with and would be the more sensible choice maintenance-wise? I don't mind paying a bit more for upkeep but do not want to get scalded. Planning to run it until it dies. Also, are tiptronic Boxsters a big penalty box?
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2011, 08:36 AM
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bob lindquist bob lindquist is offline
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  #3  
Old 07-07-2011, 09:59 AM
chickdr chickdr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
We're soon going to be living in a world of 3 cylinder turbos and EVs and I'm thinking, this is a great time to get a sports car before everything changes.

Right now the choices are a 2008 Z4 3.0si or 2006 Boxster S. Which will be better to live with and would be the more sensible choice maintenance-wise? I don't mind paying a bit more for upkeep but do not want to get scalded. Planning to run it until it dies. Also, are tiptronic Boxsters a big penalty box?

The choice is so subjective it is hard to recommend, but I will put in my 2 cents since I have owned both a 2002 Boxster 2.7 and currently have a 2006 M Roadster.

1)I will tell you the si really isn't a good comparison to the Boxster S. You have to compare the M to the S. The si compares better with a non S Boxster.
2)Overall, I prefer even my 2.7 Boxster to the M I currently drive. The handling of the Boxster is simply amazing. Some think it is too easy and like the rawness of the Z4 better.
3)I love having the engine behind me. You can't see it in a Boxster, but you can hear it.
4)Brakes are better on the Boxster. Even with the M's CSL setup I liked my Boxster 2.7's brakes better.
5)The Z4 has more goodies available and the current prices are much cheaper than the P-car.

There is a great Top Gear comparo which is put up all the time and I will link below comparing the 987 Boxster S to the M Roadster. It is VERY accurate IMHO.

Drive them both and decide. They are so different, you will know which is for you.


Last edited by chickdr; 07-07-2011 at 10:03 AM.
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  #4  
Old 07-07-2011, 10:15 AM
impreza276 impreza276 is offline
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Interesting comparisons. I've driven both cars, just for short test drives on smooth surfaces though. Both drive well, it is a tough choice design and performance wise.

My main concern, though, is maintenance. Coming from an Accord I am not used to crazy upkeep costs . Obviously these cars will need more TLC, just trying to figure out which is the better bet. I hear the 2005+ Boxsters are a lot more reliable than the 986s but reliability information is harder to find. The Z4 M is out of my price range and needs quite a bit more caring.

Last edited by impreza276; 07-07-2011 at 10:18 AM.
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  #5  
Old 07-07-2011, 10:35 AM
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epbrown epbrown is offline
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Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
Interesting comparisons. I've driven both cars, just for short test drives on smooth surfaces though. Both drive well, it is a tough choice design and performance wise.

My main concern, though, is maintenance. Coming from an Accord I am not used to crazy upkeep costs . Obviously these cars will need more TLC, just trying to figure out which is the better bet. I hear the 2005+ Boxsters are a lot more reliable than the 986s but reliability information is harder to find. The Z4 M is out of my price range and needs quite a bit more caring.
The IMS/RMS issues that make owning a 986 risky were still present in the early 987 - Porsche didn't completely resolve the issue until 2009. The odds of this sort of thing happening isn't high, but more than I've ever been comfortable with.

As with many sports cars nowadays, the cars are so close in performance that odds are the typical owner will never see the differences magazines and car shows rave about; I've never sat in a car cursing the fact it wasn't .2 sec faster to 60 or was only capable of .95g on a turn.

The real issue is which you'll like driving more. The Porsche will have better balance and stronger brakes, and the steering is better than the Z4's EPS. The Z4 3.0si will be cheaper to buy, maintain, imo looks much better, and it's a it torquier low-down so more fun in day-to-day driving.
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  #6  
Old 07-07-2011, 11:51 AM
impreza276 impreza276 is offline
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Wow, reading about those Boxster IMS failures has completely put me off. 20% failure rate and $15,000 engine replacement fix? No thanks!

Last edited by impreza276; 07-07-2011 at 12:29 PM.
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  #7  
Old 07-07-2011, 12:38 PM
fastgaas fastgaas is offline
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I was in your boat about a year ago. Drove both, talked to drivers of both, compared both. I think both are good cars, but as the previous poster said, each has a very different approach to the two seater convertable sports car.

In the end I picked the Z4 because it fit me better (size, position, style), cost, and I'm partial to the straight six (grunt, reliability, balance).

No regrets now 8 months on, I love my Z4 and it has been reliable and economical to maintain.

-H
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  #8  
Old 07-08-2011, 09:42 AM
Hill Hill is offline
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If Accord like reliability and ease of owwnership are your goals, and you're not an outsized human you may like throwing the Miata into your mix.
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  #9  
Old 07-08-2011, 11:38 AM
impreza276 impreza276 is offline
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Nice car the Miata.. The hard top version is a work of engineering design genius, and it is roomy enough to accommodate my large self. A lot of fun to drive - they let us track one at the Mazda Zoom event. I could even forgive the joker's grin. It is just lacking in power - a Mazdaspeed version is way overdue. It could use the 265hp/280lb,ft of the Mazdaspeed 3's turbo mill.

Last edited by impreza276; 07-08-2011 at 11:51 AM.
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  #10  
Old 07-09-2011, 07:07 AM
flahertb flahertb is offline
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I started looking at both a little over a year ago. Drove both the Boxster and the Z4. I agree that the Boxster handled a bit better, thought the Z had more pickup off the line. Ultimately it came down to which one looked better, to me personally. I am a BMW fan anyway and have loved the Z4 since it first hit the market. I purchased my 2008 Z4 last May and have not regretted the decision once. A colleague of mine went bought the Boxster just about the same time. We have had fun comparing and contrasting the two cars.

Basically it came down to which one I wanted to look at every day. I don't think you will go wrong with either one.
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  #11  
Old 07-09-2011, 06:40 PM
zhan zhan is offline
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Originally Posted by impreza276 View Post
Wow, reading about those Boxster IMS failures has completely put me off. 20% failure rate and $15,000 engine replacement fix? No thanks!


20% failure rate? where you get that figure? someone's anus?
if you talk about engine failures by BMWs... E46 m3 motors had vanos and rod bearing issues too... so did/do e39 m5 s62 motors ...
failure rate is like 1/1000 max... i dont lose sleep over it, if the motor blows... it blows... you won the anti-lotto

i test drove the cayman non S, i was -><- close to get one ...
it was both nice to drive AND comfortable... the z4 was totally not comfortable to me (changing from RFTs helped a bit, but wasnt porsche level comfort)...
there is almost no way to get the cayman out of shape it seemed, we went quite aggressively on the test drive and it just gripped and gripped...

Last edited by zhan; 07-09-2011 at 06:42 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-09-2011, 09:29 PM
BMWz3FTW BMWz3FTW is offline
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On a BMW forum, I don't think many would push you toward the Boxter, and I am in the same boat, go for the Z4.
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  #13  
Old 07-09-2011, 11:01 PM
zhan zhan is offline
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Originally Posted by BMWz3FTW View Post
On a BMW forum, I don't think many would push you toward the Boxter, and I am in the same boat, go for the Z4.
i mean, i had both z3m and z4 3.0si...
from my ownership experience, i felt the cayman/boxster are just better cars than my bmws...
especially the new ones with nice interior and navigation, coupled with PDK
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  #14  
Old 07-10-2011, 03:07 AM
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epbrown epbrown is offline
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i mean, i had both z3m and z4 3.0si...
from my ownership experience, i felt the cayman/boxster are just better cars than my bmws...
especially the new ones with nice interior and navigation, coupled with PDK
The 986s were no patch on the Z4 with those interiors, but the 987-based cars are better. However, they weren't better enough to warrant the price difference, especially when new.
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  #15  
Old 07-10-2011, 06:06 AM
zhan zhan is offline
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The 986s were no patch on the Z4 with those interiors, but the 987-based cars are better. However, they weren't better enough to warrant the price difference, especially when new.
986 and 996 interior was designed by someone who was deaf dumb and blind...
997.2 is the best porsche to date for sure, interior wise and performance wise lol (thats not saying much is it)
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  #16  
Old 07-11-2011, 05:20 AM
zhan zhan is offline
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my comments are not intended to say that the z4 3.0si isnt a good car.
for around $20,000, its probably the only roadster to buy.
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  #17  
Old 07-12-2011, 01:50 PM
impreza276 impreza276 is offline
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The Z4 looks slightly toyish to me but the interior design is a dream! Conversely for the 987 the interior is bland but the exterior with the right wheels and color looks more manly and sporty to me.

These things are pushing me more towards the 3.0si: Maintenance costs, the sound of the NA inline six (love the way it sounds in the 330i) and that interior! Will be going out to test in the next few days.
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  #18  
Old 08-03-2011, 07:19 PM
Ncblum Ncblum is offline
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What did you go with?
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  #19  
Old 08-04-2011, 04:59 AM
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Swanicyouth Swanicyouth is offline
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Never owned a Porsche, but I can tell you I'm on my 3rd BMW Z car and all were / are my daily drivers. The BMW is pretty darn reliable and usually you can fix it yourself if your handy. If you go for a non M , most of the parts are the same as other BMWs, so they are pretty sturdy.
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