Is BMW Z4 the best daily driver?

If you are anything like me and like cars, you can’t make yourself drive a boring, slow car to work every single day without loosing your mind. This puts a lot of pressure on what to get as a daily driver and I think I have found the perfect one! Without spending a fortune, you can have a very cool and practical looking 2 door car as your daily driver!

Your daily driver doesn’t have to be a dreadful driving experience and you should enjoy some power and excitement every time you drive. Let me show you WHY the BMW Z4 works so well as a daily driver!

Since most commuters drive all on their own, you don’t need more than two seats. One for you and one for your laptop or a briefcase, it’s perfect.

BMW Z4 is low, feels fast even in traffic but you must be able to get in and out as it’s not as easy as it looks since the seating position is quite low.

Another great reason to get a BMW Z4 as a daily driver is that you get to practice your manual driving every time you are in traffic and the use those skills to go on the track and do some spirited driving there.

It can fit a suitcase and plenty of groceries as well as you and your passenger very comfortably, It’s an enthusiast car, so it’s only practical for a sports car. You can’t expect to go on a Costco trip and bring back a month worth of groceries, but it works well for most everything else.

Another reason BMW Z4 is a great daily driver is because it’s economical. Even though this is a sports car, you can get around 22mpg in the city and 34mpg on the highway but you still get around 240 HP to play with each time you drive.

It’s also very versatile, when it is nice and warm outside, you get to use the car as an awesome convertible cruiser and just enjoy the sun and great weather. Once it gets cold outside, you you gotta do is swap to some winter or all season tires and you have a very competent sports coupe to drive around.

If you worry about the ride quality for you daily driver, BMW Z4 offers a decent enough ride on OEM tires and even more so on non run flat tires. So if you want the best comfort, going with a good regular tire on the 17 inch wheels will do wonders. Now, if you are like me and enjoy the look of the car just as much as the ride quality, you can go with 19 inch low profile sticky tires for the summer and enjoy every minute of driving. With the regular tire and traction control off, you can also have lots of fun in the winter by sliding (controllably and safely) around corners.

What I also love about having a BMW Z4 as a daily driver is that you start taking less direct way home to enjoy your drive even more! You want to go on the smaller roads, not take the highway and just enjoy your time with the car every time possible.

As a perk of having only two seats and not a lot of cabin space, the interior the cabin warms very quickly as there isn’t much space to heat up

Last and probably most important for a lot of people, the BMW Z4 is as reliable as any BMW 128, BMW 228, BMW 328, BMW 428 or BMW 528 as they have the same engine and if you pay any attention on the roads you can see how many people actually drive those cars on the daily bases.

Mini Cooper R56 Problems to Expect

This Mini Cooper S is so much fun to drive, amazing style, has great features but unfortunately the build quality was lacking when these were built and thus there are some problems to expect. Of course there are a few variants of the R56 Mini Cooper. There are Non Turbo Cars with N12 Engine, Mini Cooper S cars with n14 engines and 2010+ non-s n16 engines and turbo S models with N18 engines.

Just because people have reported problems, doesn’t mean you will have issues with your car, but its good to know what you can expect. Normally, people don’t post about how reliable their car is.

Some general Mini Cooper problems that people report are:

  1. All minis have a little bit of a throttle lag which can only be solved by tuning, but not noticeable in normal driving.
  2. Some buttons within the cabin are poor build quality compared to the rest of the car. No much can be done here.
  3. Hood scoop warping on the S models – there is a heat shield that dramatically helps with this
  4. Ignition coils and plugs are common replacement and maintenance parts that go wrong
  5. You can’t listen to 10-15k mile changes by dealers
  6. Stay away from Automatic transmissions especially if there is a harsh shift

N12 Engine: mostly reliable engine with typical issues like timing chain tensioner and timing chains and water pump

N14 Engine: This variation of the car has the most amount of issues and you will often find pretty good deals on these cars, like I did on mine. If you are willing to do some labor, they can be a great deal.

  • Timing chain tensioner should be replaced as a preventative task before timing chain stretches and needs replacing. This will save you a lot of money in the future being that timing chain a much more expensive job.
  • Carbon build up is another big issue on this engine, you either will have to have it walnut shell blasted or install an oil catch can
  • Water/Coolant pump/Thermostat – probably the worse part of the engine as it is a terrible design and there isn’t an aftermarket solution as such
  • HPFP – as with most BMWs of this age, the high pressure fuel pump goes bad
  • Turbocharger – Oil line fails and leaks, turbo usually wears out 75-100K
    • This is because people don’t properly allow the car to idle down and cool off before shutting down
    • usually because people do not maintain it properly, you have to check oil all the time as it’s crucial to keeping the turbo cooled of
  • Oil consumption – N14 engines burn about 1 quart of oil every 2-3k miles once it has higher mileage.
  • Vacuum Pump – can fail and cause catastrophic failure as it can result in bent valves. Frequent oil changes will help as it will allow the oil better and not clog the tiny oil channel that lubricates the pump.

Stuff done to this car so far:

  • No issues until 50k miles
  • At 50k drive belts were replaced
  • At 80k miles water pump was replaced
  • At 90k miles water pump and water pump pulley replaced
  • At 102k ignition coils and plugs, car started misfiring
  • At 102k antenna corroded and navigation stopped tracking properly
  • At 103k miles water pump replaced by me

N16 Engine: Basically trouble-free other than water pump.

N18 Engine:

  • HPFP is an issue on only the early variants of the car, latest revision of the pump fixed the issue
  • Water pump and thermostat are still an issue on these engines just like on the n14

Top Useful BMW Hidden Features

No matter what kind of car you drive there is always something new and useful to learn about your favorite ride. I’m a big fan of BMWs and try to learn anything and everything about my car from the first day. Luckily manufacturers ‘hide’ some cool stuff for us to hide or even leave in the wide open and we just have to learn them In order to learn the top useful BMW hidden features, you can read the entire manual and find a lot of them. That of course takes quite a while and who has time for that!? Well, luckily for you, I read the manual and have owned my BMW 550i xDrive for over 2 years and learned about some cool features.