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Z Series (Z3, Z4, Z8) General discussion and technical help for all year Z series cars.

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Old 01-22-2008, 07:29 AM   #1
Jacosplein

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Z4 or X5?

I am in between the X5 and Z4 and I would like to ask the community to help me decide which one.

I live in Calgary, where the winter is approx six to seven months, yet summer is hot and fun. I live by myself, and seldom I will have other passangers driving with me.

People in snowy weathers complain about the BMWs in that they are RWD, and power is coming from rear wheels, so these cars when in snow often spin wheels because there is no that much weight in rear wheels as in front wheels.

As far as the X5, I am looking at models between 2001 or 2002, I do not see any change in newer models. As far as the Z4, I am looking at models between 2003 and 2004. I could stretch it a litle, but my budget is in between 15k and 20k

Any thoughts?
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:53 AM   #2
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why haven't you considered a 3-series xi (AWD)?
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Old 01-22-2008, 10:12 AM   #3
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If you wanna pick a Z4, you'd want limited slip differential.
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Old 01-22-2008, 06:15 PM   #4
sammyg007

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You can't go wrong with either, but I personally lean towards the X5. Also it should handle well in the winter as it is 4wd...
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:26 AM   #5
Jacosplein

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Denyo, I dont like that much the 3 series as much I like the X5s or Z4s

Whiteshark, what is limited slip diferential and how can I telll which one has it?

Sammyg007, yeah, it seems the X5s are better contenders for driving in snow, is just that you can carry too many people and too many things, which is not my case... but I still like them!

One question to you all... in the reviews from other owners, the often recommend getting the sports seats because are more comfortable than the regular ones. But how can I tell which are the sports seats? I have seen some Z4s with seats that does not seem to be made of leather, rather made of a mate cloth, are those the sports seats?

This car comes with the seats I believe are the sports seats, but it seems they are not powered: http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/2005-...em160202205249
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Old 01-25-2008, 04:46 PM   #6
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From the bolsters on the seat I think that z4 has the regular seats, the sport seats will have bigger side bolsters then that and they will go higher up the seat. I will say z4 all the way it will be more fun then the x5 (which are good on a track, pictured included from one of my recent track days where an instructor took one out for part of a session). As far as concerns with the snow go, I would suggest a good set of winter tires for that, they really make a huge difference in the cars ability in the snow. It won't solve all of your problems but between that and the traction control it should do alright, especially if your located someplace that doesn't get a lot of snow or they attend to it well. If you asked a BMW dealer to run the VIN you could probably find out if it has a Limited slip but I didn't think it was even an option BMW offers anymore (only the Ms get it for the last few years).


Last edited by nick_318is; 01-25-2008 at 04:56 PM.. Reason: Pictured added
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Old 01-26-2008, 07:06 AM   #7
bigtom21485

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let's jsut remember this: most bmw's have perfect 50/50 weight distribution. and if you're spinning wheels in the snow, you're either a)not good at driving in the snow, or b)asking your car to do something it's not made to do. However, if you get a second set of rims & tires designed for the winter months, with dedicated studded winter tires, you should find that with some cautious driving, your z4 will be fine. Oh, and get a manual, you'll like it better if you drive for performance in the summer. as for all-wheel drive, it's a personal preference, b/c once u really learn how to drive fast, all-wheel drive gets a little tight on dry pavement once you're used to real-wheel drive. finally, the x5 is probably the only suv you would enjoy after owning another bmw, however in the summer months you're gunna wonder what it would've been like to own a z4. I just went from a chevy silverado to a 328i convertible (e36) and haven't looked back!!

Last edited by bigtom21485; 01-26-2008 at 07:09 AM..
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #8
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Why are comparing two different cars? What are you look for in a car? If you are look to just have fun and drive around with no more than two people then get a Z4. But if you need a car to get groceries and drive you family around in then get an X5. The X5 is very good at holding the road for an SUV and the Z4 isn't the best sports coupe, if I were I would look at an Audi TT with the 3.2 instead of the Z4.
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Old 01-26-2008, 01:43 PM   #9
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sure X5, it will be more practical,
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Old 01-26-2008, 04:19 PM   #10
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From personal experience, the 4.4 or greater is the best choice in an X5. There are body changes from 2003 to 2004. I would suggest getting an 04. I found an 04 X5 4.4 for 24K (all packages). I'm sure if you offered 20K, they would sell it. I know you can find one.

Now, the Z4 is a totally different vehicle. You are comparing an SUV to a sporty 2 door sports car. First obvious observation...winter/bad weather. I know from experience that the Z4 is the worst handling when it comes to bad weather. The X5 is AWD and the best choice when it comes to bad weather. 2. Space. If you don't need much space...a Z4 is fine. X5 has more space. 3. Safety, I know all BMWs are safe, but realistically you are more safe in an SUV than a small sports car. 4. Insurance. An SUV is less expensive to insure than a small sports car. 5. Style. If you are a convertible person and love the outdoors, a Z4 has that option. Much better and stylish. Yes, an X5 has 4+1 wide sun roof, but hands down nothing compared to a convertible.
And, I would get the 2004 3.0 Sports package bare minimum. I personally love heated seats, so Cold Weather for me. And HK sound system for the Premium package for me too! Yes, you can find these for around 20K also.

Thats all I have for right now. Let me know if you need any other additional information.
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Old 02-02-2008, 02:37 PM   #11
Jacosplein

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BMW Lot attendant, good advice, do you know where should I be looking to spot opportunities like those you mentioned at 20k?

MTurboPower3, I do not like the line of the Audi TT. I like the BMW design better, I guess this is just personal preference.

bigtom21485, nice motivating words to get me the Z4 eh!
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Old 02-02-2008, 05:22 PM   #12
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Z4 coupe =sexier than the Z4 vert
IMHO
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