2008 BMW Z4 Coupe

The hardtop revolutionizes the look of the Z4: I like the styling of the coupe SO much better than that of the roadster. In fact, we thought so highly of the Z4's looks that we parked it next to the classics on display during Ann Arbor's Rolling Sculpture car show.

Even in non-M trim, the Z4 is very quick and tossable, although the ride can be a bit too rough; it's particularly noticeable over the large transverse bumps that riddle Michigan's highways. The silky straight six gets almost Honda-revvy on the highway, too, as 80 mph is more than 3000 rpm in sixth gear.

The comfortable, intimate cabin is undermined by an outdated navigation/stereo interface, but the surprising amount of luggage space under the hatch almost makes up for this. Truthfully, I prefer the Porsche Cayman to the fixed-head Z4, but a lower price and a quicker 0-to-60-mph time help make a strong case for this BMW.

Rusty Blackwell, Copy Editor

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