2009 BMW Z4 vs. Its Competition

2009 BMW Z4

The new BMW Z4 has taken on a retractable hardtop, several hundred pounds of weight, and some useful new high-tech equipment, and altogether it's a joy to drive.

But it doesn't feel nearly as edgy as former versions did.

The new Z4 is now heavier than the Mercedes SLK; while the SLK used to feel heft in comparison, they're now on equal footing.

The new Audi TT has a much more aggressive feel, with rear-biased all-wheel drive, than the models they replace, and it arguably comes across more like a full-fledged sports car than the Z4.

Those who want a true sports car should consider the Porsche Boxster, which just this year got an all-new engine lineup.

The Nissan 370Z is another possibility, though the Nissan Z has a loud, sometimes uncomfortable cabin with generous helpings of road and engine noise that don't make it a good traveling companion.

The Z4 weighs about 1,000 pounds more than a Mazda MX-5 Miata, and you can now get two Miatas for less than a base Z4; those who want that lightweight roadster feel might want to keep it basic.

2009 BMW Z42009 BMW Z4
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2009 Mercedes Benz SLK Class 3.0L2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class
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2009 Nissan 370Z2009 Nissan 370Z
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2008 Audi TT 2-door Roadster Auto 2.0T FrontTrak Angular Front Exterior View2008 Audi TT
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2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata SV2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata
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2008 Porsche Boxster Limited Edition2008 Porsche Boxster
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Quick Specs
The 2009 BMW Z4 isn't a lightweight, basic roadster anymore, but it's a comfortable and exhilarating touring sports car that leaves a lot of flexibility.
The 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class combines the romance of a small roadster with grand-touring comfort, as well as the poise and performance of a larger sportscar.
The Nissan Z has never occupied the top spot in the performance world—and it doesn't now—but it's still a great performance car that starts just under $30,000.
The TT is a little more engaging to drive than before, but it doesn’t stand out in the crowd quite like the original one did when it was new.
The 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata brings the classic roadster into the modern era, with fantastic handling and an optional power-folding hardtop.
The 2008 Porsche Boxster performs brilliantly, and looks and feels the part, delivering a modern take on the classic roadster experience.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
18 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy14 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy17 MPG City / 31 MPG Hwy20 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy19 MPG City / 29 MPG Hwy
Gas I6Gas V6Gas V6Turbo Gas I4Gas I4Gas Flat 6-cyl
EPA Class     
Two-Seater2 SeaterTwo-SeaterMini-CompactTwo SeaterTwo-Seater
Style Name     
2-Door Roadster sDrive30i2-Door Roadster 3.0L2-Door Coupe Manual2-Door Coupe Automatic 2.0T FrontTrak2-Door Convertible Manual SV2-Door Roadster
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear-Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
2 Dr Conv2 Door Roadster2 door coupe2 Door Coupe2 Door Convertible2 Door Roadster
ManualManual w/ODManualAutomatic w/ODManual w/ODManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2009 BMW Z4 vs. 2009 Mercedes-Benz SLK Class2009 BMW Z4 vs. 2009 Nissan 370Z2009 BMW Z4 vs. 2008 Audi TT2009 BMW Z4 vs. 2008 Mazda MX-5 Miata2009 BMW Z4 vs. 2008 Porsche Boxster