​BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe: Spotted

Yes, really, the 3.0si is the quick Z4 to have over the M car. Rather, there are plenty of arguments to support that point, and it therefore makes quite an interesting subject to home in on from ye olde PH classifieds.

What was the M car's problem? The other M car. The Z4 M shared an engine with the E46 M3, yet never quite delivered on the promise of the sharper, more precise sports car that should have come from something smaller and slimmer. It was tricky when pushed, spiky when provoked and not exactly in keeping with the M car style. Entertaining by some accounts, yes, though in the same way a rollercoaster without restraints might be: your heart rate is raised and the experience is memorable, but it was as much about survival as anything else.

So why not save a bit of cash - like so many naturally aspirated M cars, the Z4 is climbing up the appreciation curve - and plump for a Z4 3.0si instead? Here was a car described as "undoubtedly engineered for people who want to drive, not just pose", offering more than 260hp from a lovely BMW straight six (remember those?) through a six-speed manual gearbox and the rear wheels. It wasn't as frenzied as a Z4 M, sure, but then it wasn't as scary either.

There's a case to say that the Z4 Coupe looks more desirable than ever, too. No, really, there is. Not only are Bangle-influenced designs still appearing fresh and modern, but the prospect of BMW doing another car in this mould looks highly unlikely. The next Z4 will likely maintain the coupe-convertible cruiser thing introduced with the previous car, every engine will be turbocharged at the very least and people will look at you weirdly for wanting a manual. Right now the closest equivalent would be a 228i; far more staid in appearance, and powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. Hmm. Finally, don't forget that this was the only era of Z-car in which BMW offered non-M coupes, making it even rarer (European markets received Z3 coupes).

This 3.0si is lovely. Well, it looks to be. Black with CSL replica wheels, it still has presence and style that belie its age. It has covered just 50,000 miles in its 10 years of existence and the advert is full of encouraging details: it's an approved used BMW, it's always been serviced at BMW, it's still under a BMW warranty and the Goodyear tyres are near-as-dammit brand new. So if you're after a Z4 Coupe this looks like one of the best.

The mid-2000s was a good era for the sports coupe though, before everybody realised that they wanted a Sports Activity Coupe instead. The very best Nissan 350Zs, for example, are available for less money and with fewer miles than the Z4. If power is a priority you then a Monaro is in budget, or you could want an Audi TT. You probably don't, but you could. In fact the most appealing alternative to the Z4 could be another BMW - that aforementioned E46 M3. Cars are still available in budget, although if the looks of the Z4 appeal then the slightly plain M3 might seem a bit boring.

Plenty of reasons to go for it, and seemingly not too many against the Z4, then. Although that's just our view - what about yours? Are your ownership and buying stories good, or bad? Over to you...


Engine: 2,996cc, inline-6
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 265@6,600rpm
Torque (lb ft): 232@2,750rpm
CO2: N/A
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 53,000miles
Price new: £31,400
Yours for: £13,000

See the original advert here

[Source: evo]

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Comments (99) Join the discussion on the forum

  • paulyv 13 Dec 2017

    I'll get my popcorn for this one.

    I ran a 3.0si sport for about 2-and-a-half years, only seeing the shapely back of it in July. I don't think anyone commenting on here will argue it does not have inherent issues, all of which are well documented in these forums, but a fettle or two can see the car behave far more like one should expect it to. It was a magnet for stone-chips and I never did have a rattle-free drive from the interior however.

    All that said I would love another one over the stated alternatives. Low, more than fast enough for my liking, and with a peach of an engine that could return a supposed 45mpg with a light right foot. Not that I often attained such figures as the noise and sensation of being hurled forward by the rear tyres which were positioned seemingly directly below ones bum was far too addictive.

    Took it on Silverstone National with some professional tuition at a PHSS once and it became clear just how good the car could be - we got nowhere near it's limits despite our best efforts.

    Did I mention the interior rattled a lot though?

  • sdiggle 13 Dec 2017

    Yes please!!! Super looking and a great engine. Although 13k....hmmmm

  • *Al* 13 Dec 2017

    I had one of these a few years back, great cars but as usual ditch the runflats as it ruins the ride. I can only see these rise in value in the coming years as not too many were registered in the UK. Would I have another? Hell yes!

  • Fishy Dave 13 Dec 2017

    On the M "yet never quite delivered on the promise of the sharper, more precise sports car that should have come from something smaller and slimmer. It was tricky when pushed, spiky when provoked and not exactly in keeping with the M car style. "

    It just needs different springs, ideally dampers too and it's sorted. Great cars.

  • ryanthescot 13 Dec 2017

    did these have open or limited slip differentials? would be a waste of money if it's open.

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