Jeremy Clarkson Drives & Likes the New, Softer BMW Z4


Jeremy Clarkson once mentioned something about BMW ‘s first generation iDrive system and it ‘s internal navigation only seemed to go the direction of Poland. Yes the man ripe with analogies that only seem to serve his purposes equal parts humor and horror. Yet there are still times when he manages to be a true motoring journalists. Case in point, his latest review of the BMW Z4 35i:

“To a racing driver, who is used to slick tyres and fish-sharp reflexes, it’s wallowy and slithery and horrid. But to me it’s brilliant. Mostly because you can drive for more than 10 minutes without your head coming off.

I also liked the styling, the ride — provided you stay out of the sport settings — the engine’s urgency, the fluidity of the responses and the elegance of the interior…

..I’ve thought quite hard about this and can confidently say that the Z4, with its folding metal roof and softer feel, is now the best of the medium-sized sports cars. Certainly, I prefer it to the Boxster and the Mercedes SLK.

However, if it’s a real driving experience you want, forget the ultimate driving machine. Because, as I now realise, it isn’t.

Interesting and provocative words that seem somewhat in line with other reviews. We ‘ll add our own voice to the chorus in a few weeks when we get the Z4 35i in the BimmerFile garage. And yes, we ‘ve talked to all the right people and manages to make it a manual. Stay tuned…

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  • Luis

    Yes! Bring me that review of yours!! =D

  • Ucla95

    This is the second website to call this a positive review – have you guys read the last sentence?

  • @Ucla95: I assumed the tittle made the nature of the review obvious? It’s positive for what it is, a less than hardcore roadster.

  • Ucla95

    @Gabe: Well either it’s an ‘ultimate driving machine’ or it’s not – and in this case unfortunately it’s not. To me that’s a bad thing.

  • California Lawyer

    Ucla95, Clarkson gave it 4 out of 5 stars. That’s the most favorable review of a BMW from him in years. Making fun of BMW’s slogan at the end of an otherwise positive review, well that’s just typical Clarkson.

  • Eliot R.

    The point to Clarkson’s review is that unless you are driving in a racing car, or are in something like an Ariel Atom or Caterham, the “ultimate driving machine” just ain’t there. So if you are in the real world, where you don’t annihilate corners all day, something like the Z4 makes more sense to some people. Clearly Clarkson is that type of person.

    Remember, this is a guy who loved the previous Merc SL. With the Z4 looking more and more like a cut-price SL (though, with a better chassis), it’s really no surprise that Clarkson liked it.

  • JonPD

    Of course Clarkson likes it, the new Z4 and him share traits they are both heavier and softer 😉

  • TMQ

    I think for open air driving in the countryside, this new Z4 will surely please more people than the old one ever will.

    And you can’t really take the soft top roadster to the track either, at least not at BMWCCA driving schools.

    Anyway, a long article with 10% dedicated to the actual vehicle. I guess that’s just his style.

    Even the MINI Cooper S convertible gets only 3 stars.

  • Evelyn l

    I don’t rate what clarkston says, I own the tested model and it is fantastic to drive, in sport or out, all you people should test drive it and make your own minds up !