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When it comes to European roadsters, BMW convertibles boast drop-top tenure to rival anything from Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. However, only some fans can afford a new G29 BMW Z4 or Porsche 718 Boxster. No bother; the sun-soaked second-generation Z4, the E89, could be your ticket to a used BMW convertible roadster bargain with looks that stand the test of time.

The E89 Z4 is a BMW convertible with the best of both worlds

An orange BMW roadster drives next to a harbor.
E89 BMW Z4 sDrive35is | BMW

The first generation of the Z4, the E85, sported a controversial aesthetic. However, the second-gen model opted for a more muscular, world-class appearance. Gone was the E85’s soft top and awkward lighting in favor of a two-piece folding hardtop and segment-leading looks. 

Further, range-topping options across the E89’s range, like the sDrive 35i and 35is, pack melodic inline six-cylinder grunt, a sought-after Bimmer quality. However, don’t be confused by the sDrive and think all-wheel drive (AWD). Models with sDrive send power to the rear wheels exclusively. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though. Sports cars with potent power reserves and rear-wheel drive (RWD) tend to make for more spirited, tail-happy driving dynamics. 

Still, the handsome BMW roadster isn’t all raw sports car appeal; the Z4’s electronic steering dulls feedback from the road. As a result, sports car enthusiasts, avid drivers, and midlife crisis cases are better off with a Porsche Cayman to enjoy sharper cornering dynamics.

Is a BMW Z4 good for long drives?

The E89 BMW Z4, which took over after the E85 in 2009 and left production in 2016, enjoys an extra cubic foot of trunk space. Despite the folding hardtop, the E89 offers 10.0 cubic feet of volume. Furthermore, the E89’s seats are adjustable and comfortable enough for long drives.

Better yet, even with the folding roof, a tray descends into the trunk to let drivers know what fits in the trunk with the top down. However, larger bags may require you to lift the roof for access. Moreover, interior space is tight, save for a less-than-accommodating luggage tray space behind the seats. A center hatch opens up the cabin to skis and oddly shaped articles.

Is the BMW Z4 a reliable car?

The second-generation BMW Z4 has the potential to be a reliable roadster. Some owners report issues with faulty components like high-pressure fuel pumps, misfires due to coil packs, and limited leaking at the sump and other locations. However, proper maintenance can nip these issues in the bud.

Furthermore, RepairPal gives the 2009 model an annual repair cost of around $746, depending on factors like mileage and location. While that’s not quite Mazda MX-5 territory, it’s also not debilitatingly pricey.

Is it worth it to buy a BMW Z4?

A gold E89 BMW Z4 convertible keeps its top up and shows off its side profile.
2009 BMW Z4 | BMW

The market for used E89 BMW Z4 convertibles has remained consistent. Better yet, while the Z4 started at around $46,575, the used roadster has an average value of closer to $26,380 for a late-model 2016 sDrive 28i. 

E89 trim (2016)Average value
sDrive 28i$26,380
sDrive 35i$28,587
sDrive 35is$28,903

Of course, pre-facelift, 2009 to 2012 models will demand a smaller average price than the 2013 and newer examples. Moreover, the earlier E89 models included an sDrive 30i trim with a naturally aspirated N52 version of the 35i’s turbocharged N54 3.0L inline six-cylinder mill. For those who want all the style and presence of the E89’s hardtop convertible look without the added performance of the N54, the sDrive 30i lives in a sweet spot.  

Is the BMW Z4 E89 a collectible? 

The E89 Z4 is a bona fide bargain collectible among modern convertibles. Furthermore, the E89 is one of the only sports cars on the modern market to be entirely devised by a design team of women.

What do you think of the E89? Would you drive it or ditch it for a competitor? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and keep up with MotorBiscuit for the latest performance and sports car content!