Well, as I said I would I test drove a Z4 at our local BMW franchise and unsurprisingly immediately fell in love with it. There are a few reasons that it just has the edge on the Porsche Boxster, from my point of view at least. I think it is a tad less pretentious than the Boxster which when all said and done is the poor man’s 911. It is not as ostentatious and is all together more modest. Of course when pushed to the extreme the Z4 does not handle as well as the Boxster, but I am getting a little too old to drive cars on the ragged edge any more.
OK, so my mind was just about made up when I spotted a rather nice looking Mercedes SLK. I had always considered these to be out of my price range, but for curiosity looked a little further and I was surprised to find that if I was willing to compromise just a little on the age of the car it was perfectly possible to buy one and keep within (or just out of to be truthful) my budget.
What a great little car the SLK is and the standard of equipment is amazing. The performance is all that I could wish and I just love the metal folding roof and the fact that the sophisticated heated airflow system means that you can drive comfortably with the roof down even in cold weather.
I imagine that servicing charges are somewhat higher than those on the Z4 and the petrol consumption is considerably higher, but then I don’t cover huge annual mileages any more. So, what is it to be, Z4 or SLK?
After spending most of my life condemning BMW drivers as overly aggressive thugs, I have finally decided to become one myself. That is a BMW driver, not an overly aggressive thug. My problem though is which BMW?
The most sensible choice would be the 3 Series Coupe. I like the coupe style (I drive a rather ageing Cougar V6 now) and there is nothing wrong with the 3 Series performance, but when it comes to beauty there is nothing like the Z4 which must be one of the most beautiful cars that BMW have produced.
I had been toying with the idea of getting a Porsche Boxster but I have drifted away from that and anyway, the Z4 is supposed to be the BMW equivalent of the Porsche. A particular appeal of BMW is the availability of BMW approved used cars which are advertised to come with a full one year warranty, and although they cost a little more than equivalent non-approved equivalents, the extra peace of mind would seem to be worth the price.
This weekend I will take a trip to my local BMW dealer and hopefully make my decision. I will let you know how I get on.