I decided to have my midlife crisis at the age of 25. Before I bought my Z4 I had originally been looking at getting an Audi TT as you could get them in a 2+2 coupe version which is obviously more practical than a strict 2 seater roadster. My aunty had a MK1 Audi TT Coupe and I adored it.
I got onto Youtube and started looking for owner’s reviews of Audi TT second generation. I was looking online at cars from 2007-2009 as they were the only years in my price range. I knew that although I would be getting an older car I would be getting a ‘better’ car. A more driver focussed car. I know there will be people reading this thinking ‘hairdressers car’ and ‘air hostess’ but I have always liked the TT.
I watched endless reviews of Audi TTs, both from owners and professional journalists. I had just finished watching one when a video popped up in my ‘suggested’ for ‘5 things I love about My Z4’ by It’s Joel. I watched the video and started looking into BMW Z4s. This car wasn’t even on my radar. I remember having a model of one as a child but that was about it, I’d never loved them or longed for one but I began searching into them.
Back to AutoTrader again (I really should buy shares in that company) this time looking into Z4s. It approaching autumn now which meant the prices had start to drop on the convertibles. I saw a nice 2007, black Z4 facelift with 54,000 miles in Bolton. As with the Giulietta I didn’t tell my parents I was looking for a new car. I made my way down there and test drove the car. I fell in love with it. I loved how low down you sat and the ‘wind in my hair’ experience was fantastic. I was planning to part exchange my Giulietta as it’s the most convenient for me however the dealer didn’t offer me a good enough part exchange price so I walked away. My mind was made up however, I was getting a Z4. I saw another Z4 which was a lot cheaper than previous but upon inspection I realised why. The boot carpet was soaked, the bonnet didn’t open and the interior was run down.
I found a lovely silver 2004 (54) BMW Z4 nearby to my house at a dealer with fantastic online reviews and went to have a look. They offered me a fantastic price on my part exchange and I completed the sale a few days later. The Z4 was nothing like I’d ever driven before, it was rear wheel drive for a start and this time fuel economy had gone out the window. It had a 2.5l straight 6 petrol engine that purred like a tiger. The engine was silky smooth, powerful and engaging. It is hands down the best car I have ever driven. The handling was crisp, the driving position was spot on and the noise was glorious. The only down side (and a tip for anyone looking to buy a Z4) was the run flat tyres ruin the ride. I would recommend anyone buying a Z4 to change the tyres, although you don’t get a spare wheel (hence the run flats) the benefits of changing to regular tyres override the risk of puncture.
Luckily I was now working closer to home so the 2.5l petrol wasn’t too bad on the wallet. I did miss the motorway blasts and took the Z4 out on more trips than any other car I owned. The only downside to that car was the lack of practicality. It wasn’t a huge deal to me as I have no kids but it did mean if my friends went on trips that I could no longer drive (which I hated because I’m a terrible passenger).
It was a brilliant summer toy, I loved driving everywhere with the roof down and hooning around B roads but I soon realised that for me the car really wasn’t practical enough. I wish I could’ve kept is as a weekend car but I needed the money from that car to buy another and really couldn’t warrant spending hundreds on tax (240 for 12 months) and insurance to get a couple of uses a week out of it. Add that to the fact that in Winter it probably wouldn’t get used at all.
When looking for a car this time I wanted to go back to a full size saloon. I remembered the practicality of the Mondeo but decided to look at BMW 5 and 7 series as I was quite enjoying RWD life. I took to trusty AutoTrader again and began looking. I saw quite a few nice 7 series and 5 series, along with S class and E Class Mercedes. I knew I didn’t want an Audi as I’ve never liked their saloons but then I came across a Volkswagen Phaeton.
My mind cast back to Top Gear and the review Jeremy Clarkson did on the Phaeton saying how refined it was and basically that it was a baby Bentley. I began looking into the Phaeton but as it is such a rare car they were few and far between.