Car: BMW Z4 Coupe (E86) 3.0si
Owned since: April 2013
Previously owned: BMW E36 316i and BMW E36 320i
"I distinctly remember an Imola Red Z4 M Coupe that I used to walk past every day back in 2006/7. Being an impressionable teenager at the time, I instantly fell in love and knew I had to get one someday!
"Fast forward six years and I needed to find a new car. Criteria: six cylinders, at least 3.0-litres, comfort, reliability and, ideally, something not too expensive to run.
"With those filters on PistonHeads I found many E46 330is and somewhere near the end of my price bracket, I saw a Z4 3.0si. I didn't even know these existed and I had to have one as Z4 M Coupes were out of my price range - I could fulfil the childhood dream to some degree, though I still want the M!"
"I wish I had researched the different options lists that were available; I initially thought most were the same until I joined a forum and that revealed the differences.
"However, that being said, there were very few for sale at the time so I had limited options anyway. I also wish I'd known how much the interior rattles - the interior build quality isn't great even though it looks like a pleasant place to be."
Things I love:
"The shape! My word... Have you seen the way this thing looks?!"
"The way it drives. It was slightly lacking in steering feel but this was significantly improved with new steering arms and polybushes. To me, it's a very rewarding drive on the road, I can place it where I want with very a balanced but rear-led chassis."
"The interior rattles - I'm constantly chasing rattles! The standard sound system is mediocre and when the tyres get low, it has a tendency to tramline.
"I have had a few little niggles that I have learnt to live with, including the one-touch windows that forget they're one-touch, so I have to reset this 90 per cent of the time I'm in the car."
"Beyond consumables I have fully poly-bushed this car, replaced all lower arms, replaced the front brake callipers, sorted the wheel alignment and had an exhaust Vanos solenoid fixed. In terms of fuel, I am currently averaging 29mpg but I have seen 53mpg whilst hypermiling. Not bad for a 3.0-litre straight-six!"
"Pretty much across the whole of the south of England - I have covered 70,000 miles in the four years I have owned the car! It has had a trip around Brands Hatch once too. I have always planned a Euro trip but I have never got around to actually doing it... I will one day!"
"I want the Z4M Coupe; however the prices seem to have skyrocketed and I am not convinced for the extra cash that I would fully appreciate it as a daily driver. But for the time being, I shall be replacing the springs and dampers with Bilstein items and potentially an LSD if I can commit to the cost.
"I'm also looking at exhaust alternatives, as I would like some extra pops and crackles occasionally."
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