Phil's Morning Drive | Budget Roadsters: BMW Z4 M Roadster
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Budget Roadsters: BMW Z4 M Roadster

Budget Roadsters: BMW Z4 M Roadster

The first day of March is almost here and that means it’s about time to wrap up winter. If you are like me, the winter blues are in desperate need of a cure. I think the best way to cure the blues is to drive straight into spring fever with a roadster. I’ve always loved convertibles, but I’m especially fond of roadsters. They are two seaters with plenty of head room and also plenty of power.

So without further ado, I present to you a new “Budget Roadsters” series of articles that will focus on roadsters that meet a rather broad criteria. First, they must be under $35,000 regardless of age — ok, that’s really the only requirement. I’m combing the Internet looking for roadsters that are fun to drive and, through the magic of depreciation, are worth considering to purchase as we plunge headstrong into spring.

The first car that comes to my mind is the M version of the Z4 Roadster from BMW. I haven’t taken a good look at these in a number of years, so I started researching it to see how much they are going for today. The results may surprise you. The Z4 M was built from 2006-2008, so there really aren’t a ton of examples available. In fact only a little over 3,000 were sent to the U.S. during its 3 year run. I like it because it has just enough extra special features, great looks, and horsepower to make it stand out from the much more common, regular Z4.

Yes, a ten year old BMW might not be the cheapest car to own due to potential maintenance issues. That might scare some people away but let me assure you, there are plenty of examples of vehicles that don’t have a ton of miles on them. This brings up another point. Most roadsters are the 2nd or 3rd cars for owners and were likely only driven on sunny days. A used roadster with low miles is a lot easier to find than a low mileage, used SUV. It’s a good idea to have a mechanic that knows these types of vehicles look it over before you make your purchase. You might find the prices to be all over the place, but my advice is always to buy the best one you can afford.

So, what’s so special about the BMW z4 M? Well, it has the 3.2 liter inline 6 from the M3 and it makes 330 hp with 262 lb-ft of torque. All of this makes for a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds, which is still plenty fast now that it’s ten to twelve years later. Also, because it’s the M Version, it has M sport seats, an M sport steering wheel and a 6-speed manual transmission. You can’t get a Z4 M Roadster with an automatic. On the outside you get more aggressive body work and exclusive 18 inch M sport wheels and quad exhaust. Underneath not only do you get the M3 engine, but you also get brakes and suspension components as well. Overall the package makes for a more exciting Z4 experience.

It’s funny how time changes the looks of a car’s interior. This one doesn’t look as dated as some other cars from the period. I like the popup screen because you can fold it down anytime. The simplicity of controls is also something to be appreciated. For its features, it has the main option I would want, which is heated seats. To me, this is the embodiment of what a roadster should be. Just enough luxury features to make you comfortable and plenty of power to make the experience enjoyable.

Let’s talk pricing. When I started searching some of the popular used sites for listings, I found the numbers to be all over the place. For mileage, you can find some that have done less than 10,000 miles and others that have done over 100,000. Somewhere in the middle of that are plenty of cars which I would fully consider that have somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 miles.

Here’s what NADA says are few examples are worth:

  • 2006 BMW Z4 M with 20,000 miles – $26,050
  • 2006 BMW Z4 M with 40,000 miles – $24,425
  • 2006 BMW Z4 M with 60,000 miles – $23,075
  • 2006 BMW Z4 M with 80,000 miles – $21,975
  • 2007 BMW Z4 M with 20,000 miles – $29,875
  • 2007 BMW Z4 M with 40,000 miles – $27,925
  • 2007 BMW Z4 M with 60,000 miles – $26,350
  • 2007 BMW Z4 M with 80,000 miles – $25,075
  • 2008 BMW Z4 M with 20,000 miles – $32,025
  • 2008 BMW Z4 M with 40,000 miles – $29,650
  • 2008 BMW Z4 M with 60,000 miles – $27,750
  • 2008 BMW Z4 M with 80,000 miles – $26,225

As you can see, the mileage doesn’t really make a huge difference for the estimated value. Another pro for buying one of these after this many years is that the depreciation (for the most part) is basically finished. You could buy this car and put a bunch of miles on it and still not lose very much value. In fact, the M version of the Z3 is starting to go up in value – especially the coupe version. We may see the same for the Z4 M in the future. Again, if you are in the market for a roadster,  you should buy the best one you can afford.

The only problem I have now after doing all this research…is that I want one.

Photos/Video Courtesy: BMW USA

Phil’s Morning Drive, a web series about cars, is now streaming on Amazon and YouTube. You can also follow this blog on Apple News.

 

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