Many would argue that the smallest BMW car, produced after the year 2000 is the BMW 1 Series E81, but if we define small in terms of length and width, the smallest BMW car would definitely be the BMW Z4 E85/E86.
With a length of just 161 inches and a width of 70 inches, the BMW Z4 E85/E86 is a tiny car. Not only that, but this is one of the few cars that can pass under a standard parking barrier, with its height of just 50 inches.
The BMW Z4 E85
In 1995, BMW released the BMW Z3, which is a few inches smaller than the Z4. As it was getting quite old, Z4 was based on it as an upgrade. The BMW Z4 was produced up until 2008, but worry not if you are looking for this baby, a total of 200,000 vehicles have been produced and sold, and you might very easily get your hands on a second-hand one.
The current smallest BMW, the BMW Z4, is a two-door roadster with impressive engine options and a sleek design. With an extremely sharp handling and an excellent grip on the road, this small BMW is a huge beast. BMW promises performance and driving pleasure and although this car might not be the most practical thing in the world, it delivers just that.
The standard entry-level BMW Z4 comes with a naturally aspirated 2.0 L four-cylinder engine. If you desire something bigger under the hood, you can pay a few bucks more and get the six-cylinder option, but it might be a bit too much in terms of maintenance costs and the standard one is good enough for the Z4’s body, as it is small and light (between 3100 lbs and 3300 lbs).
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BMW Z4 E85: Engine options and transmission
The BMW Z4 comes in a four-cylinder 2.0i, 2.2i, 2.5si, and 2.5i and 3.0i six-cylinder models. It offers five-speed manual, six-speed manual, six-speed SMG automated manual transmission, five-speed automatic, and six-speed automatic gearboxes.
Horsepower ranges from 148 hp to 338 hp, depending on the relative to the engine choice you make. Depending on engine options and exact model, the BMW Z4 tends to go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in around 4.8 seconds, which makes it quite quick.
The most powerful engine is the M roadster 3.2 L S54 6-cyl which brings in a 269 lb-ft torque. On the other hand, the 2.0i, which was sold only in Europe, takes a long 8.2 seconds to reach 62 miles per hour.
Regarding fuel economy, the BMW Z4 averages 37 miles per gallon for the stock model of 2.0 L engine. As expected, the bigger engine options increase the mile per gallon rate at 32.8 mpg for the 3.0 and 23 mpg for the 3.2 L, which is still good for a 338-horsepower beast.
Ownership costs and reliability of a BMW Z4
On average it costs around $400 per repair for a BMW Z4, and the range of repairs is estimated to be anywhere between $100 and $4,000 for drivetrain components and serious damage. Although repairs are not as costly as for high-end BMW SUVs like an X5 or an X7, at the end of the day, they might be more frequent and costs tend to pile up. Servicing costs as much as a 3 Series BMW would require.
These cars, when properly maintained, are known to frequently reach mileages all the way up to 250k miles or even more. Some have even reached 350k plus miles. Of course, these are rare occasions and might mean the vehicles were not driven aggressively at all and were perfectly maintained. Expect your Z4 to run around 150k – 200k miles.
Purchasing advice for the BMW Z4
Avoid purchasing second hand BMW Z4s if they have been driven for more than 100k miles. If you are getting a pre-owned Z4, pre-pay a licensed mechanic for an inspection. The hood of the vehicle is quite expensive, so do not neglect damage on the outside. It might cost more to fix than some minor issues like oil filters or liquid replacement.
Just like a luxury exterior, the interior is also costly to repair. Avoid second-hand vehicles that have damage on the leather inside, or on the dashboard. Unless you have set aside some buck for a powerful engine, it is best you go for the 2.0i engine, which would be the least costly to own over time.
More about BMWs
Which is the largest BMW car in production?
The largest BMW car currently in production is the BMW X7. With a solid 4.4 L V8 engine, top-notch technological features, all-wheel drive, and three rows of seats for up to seven passengers, the BMW X7 can both be an asset to impress in business meetings and arrivals, and a family vehicle at the same time.
Which is the smallest BMW currently in production?
The smallest BMW currently in production is the BMW 1 Series hatchback. It isn’t the most traditional BMW, since it is a front-wheel-drive instead of the typical rear-wheel-drive you would usually expect from a BMW. If you are looking for the smallest BMW sedan out there, it’s the BMW i3.
Which is the least expensive BMW to purchase brand new?
The least expensive BMW to purchase brand new is the BMW X1 subcompact SUV. The base entry-level model starts at a surprising $35,000, which is quite a low price for a BMW. Although it’s more affordable, it still speaks status and class as you would normally expect from the brand.
Is there a 2021 BMW Z4 being released?
You can now pre-order the Z4 2021 M40i Roadster from BMW’s website. It brings in 382 horsepower and reaches from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 3.9 seconds. The brand-new luxury Roadster starts at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $63,700.