I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for these Car and Driver retro comparison tests. Not only do I have a weird obsession with reading about how cars used to be but most of these comparisons come from an era when I was first getting interested in cars, so they appeal to my nostalgia. In this specific one, we get to see the 2003 E85-gen BMW Z4 Roadster take on all of its main convertible competitors.

This comparison test from August, 2003, consisted of the five best sporty convertibles on the market at the time; the BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster, Audi TT Roadster, Honda S2000, and Nissan 350Z. In a somewhat surprising turn of events, the Porsche Boxster didn’t actually win the test back in its day. So it’s certainly well worth a read, especially for anyone who’s looking for a cheap, fun convertible on the used market.

BMW Z4 E85 photos 11 830x553

Unfortunately for BMW, it placed fourth out of five, beating out only the Audi TT. Beating the TT is no surprise, as the original Audi TT was a great car to look at, not so great to actually drive. However, the BMW Z4 wasn’t that much better, with steering that lacked confidence and enthusiasm. The Z4 was a capable and competent sports car but never one that made C&D want to push it harder.

The winner of the test, though, wasn’t the Porsche Boxster. Despite the Boxster always dominating convertible comparison tests, the mid-engine Porsche fell a bit short when compared to its newer competition. The car that finished first was one that actually makes a lot of sense when looking back at it. I won’t spoil it, because this comparison test is a good weekend read for any enthusiasts like myself that enjoy learning about how sport scars from their youth performed.

[Source: Car and Driver]