Long-term update: 2006 BMW Z4 2.5i
I have a 2006 BMW Z4 Roadster 2.5i, purchased in April 2008 from the BMW agent with 37,000 km. The previous owner was an Emirati woman, and from what I can tell, it was looked after extremely well as the car was in superb condition when I bought it. After driving many cars in the Dhs 100000-150000 price range over a few months, I strolled into the used car dealership by chance one afternoon, had a test drive, and then walked out Dhs 1000 poorer after putting down my deposit.
As far as I can tell, the car is stock standard. Despite this, it has cruise control, steptronic 6-speed gearbox, electric soft top, leather seats, xenon lights with auto-on, rain sensor, 6-disc CD changer, 17-inch wheels and multifunction steering wheel.
Above all else, I purchased the car because it makes every drive a sensory experience. The steering wheel is always “talking” to you (despite reports of the lifeless electric power steering), the exhaust note is throaty regardless of speed, the car itself feels agile without feeling soft, and with the colour combination (dark metallic blue with white leather interior and aluminium inserts) turns head wherever it goes that it almost feels like a rolling work of art. I don’t even feel the least bit shy pulling up next to a Porsche or Ferrari at traffic lights if that situation arises.
Needless to say then, that the car has gotten under my skin, and anything that needs attending to is addressed almost immediately. These are the costs so far:
i) The car was purchased for Dhs 128000, and annual insurance due to age and the car being classified as a sports car equals a premium of Dhs 10600.
ii) Since I have bought the car, it has had an Inspection II (major service) carried out at the dealership, free of charge as the car has BMW Service Inclusive.
iii) The only original BMW “part” I have purchased is touch-up paint for Dhs 70, which I bought from the UK on a recent vacation due to the part not arriving in the UAE after it was ordered. I have also purchased 2x metal clips for the airbox, which seem to get lost whenever the cover is removed to clean the air filter, at Dhs 15 each.
The above does not cover “free” work done under warranty. A new side mirror, including stripping and painting, would’ve cost Dhs 6900. New window winder mechanisms, both left and right, would’ve cost Dhs 1000, excluding labour. Labour for the windows was free as I wrote a letter directly to BMW Germany complaining about the dealer’s poor service.
“Checking” the repair of work done under warranty cost me Dhs 500. Yes I did query it, but I was told if I didn’t pay it, then I wouldn’t get my car back. That Dhs 500 was a bogus amount that the Dubai dealer created to offset their labour costs.
Insurance work for a new bumper and right headlight was worth Dhs 16000, including stripping and painting. This was due to a parking incident where some guy hit the front right corner, necessitating a new bumper, headlight and some fender repair work.
As for fuel costs, the tank is quite small, so that I achieve around 420 km from full to reserve – approximately 9 gallons for around Dhs 60. In an average month, I would spend Dhs 300 to Dhs 350 on fuel alone.
Upcoming costs include:
i) Professional touch up and dent removal. I am expecting this to add up to about Dhs 1200, but have not gotten any quotes yet.
ii) New tyres to be changed in about 4 months (10,000 km) given my current mileage. Surprising longevity has been noted from the performance Bridgestone rubber, as 50,000 km has already been done. Due to runflats being original spec, I have received quotes as high as Dhs 4800 from Pirelli!
The car has not broken down ever, nor has it missed a beat since I bought it. Furthermore, the car has not used any oil so far, nearly 7000 km after the most recent service. The car seems to take whatever I throw at it in its stride, unlike previous cars which are not as willing (I consider myself to be a hard driver).
With winter approaching, I am able to open the top more often these days and the experience is a real joy. It being my only car, I use it everyday and it is perfectly suited to my lifestyle. Given the alternatives, I do not think there are many cars that are better driving, and the ownership experience, whilst it could have been better, has been satisfactory so far. I am totally satisfied with my Z4 and am now hooked on it!
Jeremy John is a voluntary contributor
Original Mileage When Bought: 37,000 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 51,500 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 11.9 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 600
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Bought:: Dhs 600