This week the staff was behind the wheel of a couple of BMWs and an impressive family hauler. Here’s what they had to say.
2007 BMW Z4
After spending a lot of time lately writing about crossover SUVs, it was nice to get back into a car designed for drivers. The 3.0si is the most powerful non-M version of the Z4 you can get, and its 255-horsepower, 3.0-liter inline-six sings a sweet song at high rpms. Acceleration isn't fierce, but it's plenty strong if you're looking for an occasional thrill. Our coupe had the six-speed automatic transmission, and its manual mode featured impressive rev-matching on downshifts.
The car is planted and stable through fast corners and the handling is top-notch. The sport seats' aggressively bolstered backrests may be a little narrow for some, but they do a good job of keeping you in place when driving the car hard. For such a small car, the 12-cubic-foot cargo area adds some unexpected practicality.
There are a couple of drawbacks. The super taut sport suspension and low-profile run-flat tires make for a punishing ride on rough roads — even for a sports car. Additionally, if you're much taller than 6' 1", you'll be pushing the limits of the cabin, and over-right-shoulder visibility is significantly compromised by the coupe's large hatch.
- Mike Hanley, Cars.com reviewer