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Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 15 Aug 2009, 10:22 am
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sterling, VA.
Posts: 293
Default Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

I know it's a bizzare comparison, but the other day I had the chance to take the BMW Z4 3.0i for a spin, and I thought the comparison with my daily driver would be fun. Since my PT is a 2003, I also chose 2003 for the BMW. All data is from Edmunds.com or MotorWeek.

2003 BMW Z4 3.0i
MotorWeek: Road Test
Weight: 2,998 lbs
Seats: 2
Engine: inline 6 cylinder 3.0 liter
Horsepower: 225 hp at 5,900 rpm
weight/ HP: 13.32
Torque: 214 ft.lbs at 3500 rpm
weight/torque: 14.01
0-60: 6.0 sec (manual trans.)
Max Cargo Capacity: 9 CF
MPG 18 city, 27 HWay, 22 Combined
Used Dealer Price: $15,877

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT 2.4 Turbo
MotorWeek: Road Test
Weight: 3,108 lbs
Seats: 5
Engine: inline 4 cylinder turbocharged 2.4 liter
Horsepower: 215 hp at 5,000 rpm
weight/ HP: 14.45
Torque: 245 ft.lbs at 3600 rpm
weight/torque: 12.68
0-60: 6.7 sec (auto trans.)
Max. Cargo Capacity: 64 CF
MPG 18 city, 25 HWay, 21 Combined
Used Dealer Price: $7,383 (obviously used)

First impressions of the Z4 was that I hated sitting so low. I kept trying to "sit up" so I could see what was going on around me. The front end was so far out in front, it was hard to maneuver in parking lots, but the awesome turning radius made up for that.

On the highway, I was disapointed in the Z4s power. Maybe my expectations were too high, but it seemed like I really had to push hard on the accelerator to get it to accelerate well, and it frequently had to down-shift to do it. The high-reving engine startled me, and I would instinctively let up on the accelerator.

Looking at the numbers explain my impressions.

The first surprise is that the PT Cruiser only weighs 110 lbs more than the tiny Z4 roadster. If I take out my back seats, the PT 2-seater weighs about the same as the Z4 2-seater. In this configuration, the PT Cruiser has more cargo capacity than a Hummer H3 (56 CF - edmunds.com).

The second surprise is that the 4 cyl PT Cruiser has 14% more torque and only 5% less HP than the 6 cyl Z4. The PT Cruiser produces 220 ft-lb torque at only 2300 RPM, so it doesn't need to down-shift to accelerate hard. The Z4 needs 3500 RPM to get only 214 ft-lb.

The Z4 has 10 extra HP but needs 900 more RPM to get there. These two factors contribute to the high-reving Z4 engine that I didn't like.

I also wondered about MotorWeek's 0-60 time in 6.0 for the Z4 compared to 6.7 in the PT Cruiser. Then I realized that the Z4 they tested was a manual tranny, but an automatic on the PT. Apples to apples, the Z4 would probably barely beat the PT in a 0-60, but then pull ahead in the quarter mile due to drag and better HP.

Handling of the Z4 on hilly/windy Georgetown Pike was better than the PT, but I felt that going faster than I would have gone in the PT was unsafe, and the better visibility with the PT gives me more confidence in the hills and turns. You can see better over the hill crests with the taller PT.

For comfort and ergonomics, the PT is better, but that's to be expected with the litlle Z4 roadster. I didn't care for the paddle shifters. In a hard turn, shifting was difficult.

MPG were surprisingly similar thanks to the PTs 4-cylinder engine. At less than half the price, the PT is the hands-down winner unless you're racing slalom. I loved the idea of the Z4, but didn't like the experience.

If someone offered me either a PT Cruiser GT or a BMW Z4, I would take the Z4, sell it, and buy a PT Cruiser GT and a pick-up truck.
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http://www.pbase.com/robinjoe/pt_cruiser
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 10:50 am
mopar_man's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SK, Canada
Posts: 290
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Cool comparison. I see those Z4's every once in awhile and thought they had better performance than that. A couple of bolt-ons on the PT and you have more power than the Z4. Add a couple suspension bolt-ons and it'll likely handle better too. My dad bought an '01 325ci a couple weeks back and I was checking out performance parts for it. Those BMW's aren't cheap to modify.
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1973 Barracuda
340/auto
Modifications: Too many.
2002 PT Cruiser
N/A 2.4L/5-speed
Modifications: Boogers, Maddog 80% STS, Auto throttle body, Airbox modifications, Eibach Pro springs, Energy Suspension control arm bushings & motor mount inserts, disabled balance shafts.
1989 Caprice Wagon
307/auto
Modifications: Lowered 2" front and rear, flat black paint, emblems and trim removed and filled, pinstriping, big 'n little tires.
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 05:46 pm
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Carmichael, CA
Posts: 16
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Cost of ownership for the BMW will easily be double that of the PT Cruiser. I'm on my second BMW (2001 750iL V12 4 dr Luxury Sedan). The price of BMW parts is insane in some cases, and don't even think about taking it into the dealer for service or major repairs unless you're ready to take out a second mortgage (we in the BMW community refer to them as Stealers).

Just an example, the transmission fluid for my 750 is $32/qt from the dealer and there aren't many other places that carry it. On top of that, there's no dipstick on the tranny, so you have to fill it by pumping the fluid through a hold in the bottom of the pan until it overflows, then with the motor running and the tranny in neutral, keep filling it until it overflows, then run it through the gears, then wait until it reaches a certain temperature, add a little more until it overflows and then put the plug in. Of course, the dealer has a special machine that does all this, but they'll charge you a couple hundred dollars in labor to do it.

I love my BMW, but be sure if you get one you know what you're getting into. They're great cars, but there's a reason they have such low resale values. Since I can do my own work and I shop around for parts, it's not a huge issue for me, but if you are going to have to pay someone to fix and maintain it for you, be ready with a wad of cash.
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1970 Dodge Challenger R/T - under construction
1970 Dodge Daytona Clone - under construction
1970 Dodge Charger 383/Auto/A/C
1974 Plymouth Duster Slant 6
1979 Dodge Lil' Red Express 360 4bbl
1990 Dodge W350 4x4 Cummins Turbo Diesel 5 speed
2001 BMW 750iL V12
2009 PT Cruiser 5 speed
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 05:50 pm
Fresh Cruiser
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Carmichael, CA
Posts: 16
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Cost of ownership for the BMW will easily be double that of the PT Cruiser. I'm on my second BMW (2001 750iL V12 4 dr Luxury Sedan). The price of BMW parts is insane in some cases, and don't even think about taking it into the dealer for service or major repairs unless you're ready to take out a second mortgage (we in the BMW community refer to them as Stealers).

Just an example, the transmission fluid for my 750 is $32/qt from the dealer and there aren't many other places that carry it. On top of that, there's no dipstick on the tranny, so you have to fill it by pumping the fluid through a hold in the bottom of the pan until it overflows, then with the motor running and the tranny in neutral, keep filling it until it overflows, then run it through the gears, then wait until it reaches a certain temperature, add a little more until it overflows and then put the plug in. Of course, the dealer has a special machine that does all this, but they'll charge you a couple hundred dollars in labor to do it.

I love my BMW, but be sure if you get one you know what you're getting into. They're great cars, but there's a reason they have such low resale values. Since I can do my own work and I shop around for parts, it's not a huge issue for me, but if you are going to have to pay someone to fix and maintain it for you, be ready with a wad of cash.
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1970 Dodge Challenger R/T - under construction
1970 Dodge Daytona Clone - under construction
1970 Dodge Charger 383/Auto/A/C
1974 Plymouth Duster Slant 6
1979 Dodge Lil' Red Express 360 4bbl
1990 Dodge W350 4x4 Cummins Turbo Diesel 5 speed
2001 BMW 750iL V12
2009 PT Cruiser 5 speed
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 06:28 pm
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Location: Oregon.
Posts: 3,521
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Rule of thumb is if you can afford to buy the Z4 then you can afford to maintain it. While I loved my modified '03 GT and it would easily take a Z4 sDrive30 (255hp) I'd take the newer Z4 sDrive35i (300hp) with the twin turbos over a GT any day. You gave a nice comparrison for the '03 vs '03, though.
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 06:29 pm
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lake-O-The-Pines , E.Texas
Posts: 199
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Alice traded her 88 M7 skunkworks prototype in on a new 750 about a week ago , soon as I heard about it I went back down and gave them what they allowed for it on trade in..Just happened that the dealership owner is one of my old racing buddies that went straight..I couldn't let it loose for 100 X what they allowed her for it..She had really forgotten what it was..It has a conventional automatic transmission dip stick , havn't looked at the new one yet.

As far as parts there is a place in Tyler Texas that has been very reasonable on what few parts I have needed for my 2002 TII..I can't remember the name but they adv. in most magazines.
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Last edited by edsidders; 15 Aug 2009 at 06:34 pm.
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 06:57 pm
mopar_man's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: SK, Canada
Posts: 290
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Quote:
Originally Posted by edsidders View Post
88 M7 skunkworks prototype
Got any pictures of that one?

My dad is fairly mechanically-inclined so he'll be fixing the car himself. He's got a Bentley manual and he buys parts to just about everything he owns online where he can get it the cheapest. It's got some slight accident damage so he's already finding out that parts are expensive for it. The same amount of damage would cost less than $700 in parts on a PT Cruiser and he's got close to $1500 into the BMW. He's always wanted a BMW for some strange reason and now he's got the money pit he's always wanted.
__________________
1973 Barracuda
340/auto
Modifications: Too many.
2002 PT Cruiser
N/A 2.4L/5-speed
Modifications: Boogers, Maddog 80% STS, Auto throttle body, Airbox modifications, Eibach Pro springs, Energy Suspension control arm bushings & motor mount inserts, disabled balance shafts.
1989 Caprice Wagon
307/auto
Modifications: Lowered 2" front and rear, flat black paint, emblems and trim removed and filled, pinstriping, big 'n little tires.
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Old 15 Aug 2009, 08:27 pm
Regular Cruiser
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Lake-O-The-Pines , E.Texas
Posts: 199
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Outside looks exactly like a White/bk 88 750 I with 1'' wider wheels,Suspension tightened up and dropped a little ,1 turbo for each bank into common small innercooler then into plentum..nothing much outside of regular hotrodder stuff..I'll get it out of the building sometime next week and pop a few underhood pics ,real giveaway is open airfilter cone on each side,really sounds sweet wound up..
This car and project is one the factory says never existed. I got it from another racing buddy that was tight at the time with BMW R&D He diverted it from the scrap crew..
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This Black Thing Keeps Chasing Me



YES ! That is a Ron Paul for President Sticker..

Growing OLD is Natural - Growing UP is Optional It's NEVER too late to have a Happy Childhood

Ed Sidders , Lake-O The-Pines , Northeast Texas
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Old 16 Aug 2009, 10:11 pm
Cool Cruiser
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Sterling, VA.
Posts: 293
Default Re: Comparing the BMW Z4 to the PT Cruiser GT

Thanks Mean Green, I'm not that car-savy, so your compliment there really made my day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mean Green View Post
Rule of thumb is if you can afford to buy the Z4 then you can afford to maintain it. While I loved my modified '03 GT and it would easily take a Z4 sDrive30 (255hp) I'd take the newer Z4 sDrive35i (300hp) with the twin turbos over a GT any day. You gave a nice comparrison for the '03 vs '03, though.
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