In a recent video from Auto Alex, their friend Rory bought a very cheap £1,500 BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe. It was a bit rough around the edges but overall not too bad for the price. However, because the original Z4 Coupe is still such a good looking and fun-to-drive car, it’s well worth putting money into. But is it the best sports car you can get for that money. In this latest video from Alex Kersten, they put Rory’s Z4 up against Alex’s MX-5 and Taylor’s MINI, all of which were bought at around the same price.
Admittedly, the test is a touch unfair because Taylor owns a shop where he repairs cars and already put quite a bit of money and repairs into his MINI, including a new clutch and timing chain. So it’s in better shape than the others.
In the test, the put all three cars on the dyno to see which one not only has the most power but also which one lost the least power over the years. The BMW Z4 has the biggest engine of the three by car, packing a 3.0-liter straight-six, versus the small four-cylinder engines of the other two cars. From the factory, the Z4 3.0si made 265 horsepower but, after being put on the dyno, it dropped to 250 horsepower. That 15 horsepower drop was the biggest of the bunch, as the MX-5 only lost five horses and the MINI actually gained a couple. However, a 15 horsepower drop over 20 years is actually shockingly good.
After the dyno, they tested each car’s fuel economy. You’d figure that the car with the biggest engine and most power, the BMW Z4, would fail the fuel economy test dramatically. However, it actually beat the MINI for fuel consumption, which was surprising.
How are they to actually drive, though? They decided to bring all three cars to a track and take turns trying each others’ cars, to determine which is the most fun to drive. The BMW Z4, being the only six-cylinder, rear-wheel drive car in the test, was among the most fun. However, they determined that the MINI was actually the most fun, thanks to its sharp steering and impressive handling.
But which car was the best overall, after track handling and road handling? You’re going to have to watch the video to find out but the answer might actually surprise you. Even if it doesn’t, it’s a fun video to watch that feels slightly reminiscent of early Top Gear adventures.