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E85 / E86 Z4 (2003-2008)
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:04 AM
easman61 easman61 is offline
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Location: Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2007 Z4 Coupe
2007 Z4 Coupe - Automatic Tranny Question

I'm struggling here and want to make sure this isn't something I'm going to regret with my upcoming purchase. I'm looking for assurances from those of you who have driven both that the automatic transmission in the Z4 Coupe is a fine choice. One of the professional reviews I read this morning are making me nervous about the decision. I've driven a manual roadster before and loved it - but am thinking that as a daily driver the automatic might be a better choice and it is preferred (but not a requirement) for my wife who will occasionally drive the Z4 when I need access to her larger MDX. Any words of wisdom would be much appreciated right now.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 11-27-2011, 01:36 PM
keeton keeton is offline
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Location: Atlanta, GA
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 179
Mein Auto: '07 3.0si
When I was looking for my Z4, the one thing that I was absolutely not going to compromise on was that it had to have a manual transmission. Fast forward about six months into my search and I found the perfect vehicle (color/equipment/mileage/price) except for (horrors!) an automatic box. I drove the vehicle and found that the Si engine had bags of torque and handled the automatic just fine.

With the '06 and later models, the automatic is the six-speed GM HydraMatic with paddle shifters. I found the paddles to be kind of gimmicky, and certainly no substitute for a stick shift - at least in terms of entertainment value. The "sport" mode in the tranny actually works well.

The manual tranny will certainly have more entertainment value zipping through the twisties and is why some will prefer it. For a daily driver, especially in heavy traffic, the automatic is more practical. While it may change the feel, the automatic does not diminish the overall performance.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:52 PM
impreza276 impreza276 is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW Z4 3.0si 2007 AT
Buy without regrets - the Z4 is a delight with the auto tranny. If you are worried, make sure you have the sport package with that sport mode button that loads a dose of Red Bull in the car's attitude.
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Old 11-29-2011, 09:31 AM
dominoaz dominoaz is offline
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Location: Phoenix, AZ
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 267
Mein Auto: 07 Z4, 77 Porsche, 11 528
Buy it

I couldn't agree more. My '07 Si Coupe is very fast in Sport Trans mode and even quicker with the Sport button activated. Tip in is remarkable in SD and, with the Sport button on, is startling. As for paddle shifting, I find it awkward, especially in turns. I prefer to shift with the floor mounted stick. Which brings me to another point. I find that I can't out shift the trans when it is in SD and the Sport button activated. I find it near impossible to predict the redline for the next shift, where the transmission does it by itself with precision. I would love to see a comparison test with the auto versus manual. I suspect that the auto may be quicker for the average driver.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:36 PM
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Gripster Gripster is offline
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Mein Auto: F10 535i M-Sport
This is a tricky one. I went through this a few years ago when I got my 330i. Since it was going to be a daily driver we went with the Steptronic. For 5-days a week that turns out to be the right choice. However - it can be frustrating on weekends when I want to drive for fun. Automanual mode doesn't cut it as compared to having three-pedals. Ultimately, since the car is a DD - I think that step was the right choice overall and would do the same again.

I am fortunate enough to have bought my Z-Coupe as a second/pleasure car, and it's a 6-speed. Either way, the Z4 Coupe is a spectacular car. I'm sure you will love it regardless of transmission!

This is my car btw. I've had it less than a week so far - it's awesome.


2006 330i - ZSP/ZPP/ZCW/i-Drive/Steptronic Sold
2007 Z4 3.0si Coupe - ZSP/Xenons/Navigation/6MT
2011 535i M-Sport - ZMP/ZPP/ZP2

Last edited by Gripster; 11-29-2011 at 01:40 PM.
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Old 11-29-2011, 08:40 PM
easman61 easman61 is offline
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Location: Arkansas
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2007 Z4 Coupe
I'm good with the auto

Thanks for the above replys. After the test drive, I have no worries about the automatic. Amazing. Gripster - beautiful car in a beautiful setting.
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