As far as I’m concerned, the BMW that’s the absolute most fun to drive is the Z4 Roadster, which is the only pure sports car currently available in BMW’s lineup—that’s a big part of why it’s my top choice. Now, to be fair, when we’re talking about something being “fun,” we’re getting really subjective, and what that word means to different people will vary. That being said, I think we can all agree that it’s hard to beat zipping down an open road—preferably along a warm and sunny seaside somewhere—with the top down and 382 hp at our disposal. Since the Z4 is the best way to get that right now, I can pretty well rest my case (but I won’t).
Whether you’re planning on heading to your local BMW store to shop for your next car or are simply interested in what’s out there, I’m here to help take you through what BMW has to offer. In total, BMW has well over a dozen different vehicles to choose from, with even more options if you start looking at variations with different engines and drivetrains. To keep things simple, however, I’m going to look at the seven models that I’d consider the most fun ones to get behind the wheel of and hit the road. I’m not saying these are the best BMW models, just the ones guaranteed to put a smile on your face.
#1 – BMW Z4 Roadster
Yeah, I already said this one at the top, but it’s still my first choice, so I’m saying it again. When it comes to BMW models that are exquisitely fun to drive, you just can’t beat this roadster. The Z4 seems as though it was designed and built by some puckish spirit born as the embodiment of pure joy. It looks gorgeous from the outside, has a stunning interior that’s perfect for couples looking to hit the road together and have a great time, and is powered by a beastly six-cylinder engine that delivers 382 hp and launches it from zero to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds. I don’t care what your definition of fun is when it comes to a car; the Z4 has you covered.
#2 – BMW M Series
Full disclosure: I’m kind of cheating with this answer because it’s not a specific model. There are a ton of different M Series models, from coupes like the M2 and M4 to SUVs like the X5 M and X6 M. My point is simply that if there’s a certain BMW model that you like the looks of, but you want it in a high-performance version that’s incredibly fun to drive, then you should check out the M Series version of it. These cars and Sports Activity Vehicles (SAVs) are built for speed and fun with powerful engines that propel them with acceleration sure to have you grinning.
#3 – BMW XM
If you like the idea of a plug-in hybrid SAV with two rows of seating that you can load up with the whole family and then go from zero to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds, then your dreams have come true! This is a plug-in like no other I’ve seen, with a 4.4L BMW M TwinPower V8 engine featuring a high-performance electric motor that comes together to deliver 644 hp and 590 lb-ft of torque. If that’s somehow not enough for you, then just check out the upcoming Label Red model that’s tuned for 738 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque (yes, you read those numbers right) with the ability to go from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds! With all of this power and 31 miles of all-electric range on offer, this is a plug-in hybrid beyond any other.
#4 – BMW 3 Series
What if you just want a traditional BMW sports sedan that delivers a fantastic driving experience and exemplifies what a BMW should be? Then the 3 Series is the way to go. This car is about as iconic as it gets for a modern BMW, with gorgeous sedan styling and design coupled with impressive power and performance. There are numerous models to choose from, including the core 330i, the all-wheel drive 330i xDrive, and the performance-focused M models. If you want something larger, then the 5 Series could be a great choice, but I’m partial to the feel and fun of the 3 Series.
#5 – BMW X3
On the other hand, if you’re interested in classic BMW performance and design but like the idea of a crossover rather than a sedan, the X3 is a fantastic choice. This is essentially the 3 Series of the SUV models (at least from my perspective), and it’s a great place to start if you want a vehicle that’s fun to drive while still being quite practical. Just like with the 3 Series, you’ll find lots of different models and variations of this one vehicle, including the sDrive30i and xDrive30i models, plus performance-focused M Series models. Just like with BMW’s sedans, you can choose from different SUV sizes if you need something larger, like the X5 or X7, creating plenty of options to meet your needs while delivering unparalleled automotive happiness.
#6 – BMW i4
If you’re interested in an all-electric sedan, the BMW i4 is my choice since it delivers the perfect combination of precision design and gorgeous style. Just like the rest of the BMW lineup, you have numerous options available with the i4, including the standard eDrive35 model that has 282 hp and can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds or the 335-hp eDrive40 model that can accelerate to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and travel 301 miles on a full charge. If that’s not enough for you, then the BMW i4 M50 has a pair of motors that deliver 536 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque, letting it go from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 bliss-filled seconds. Sounds like a good time to me.
#7 – BMW iX
But what if you’re interested in an all-electric SUV rather than a sedan? Then the BMW iX should be at the top of your list with its incredible performance and gorgeous design. True, not everyone is going to appreciate the large grille on the front, but that’s their problem—the rest of us know greatness when we see it. The standard iX xDrive50 model has dual motors that deliver 516 hp and 564 lb-ft of torque, letting it go from zero to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds and get an estimated 307 miles of maximum range from a full charge. If that leaves you unimpressed, then there’s the M60 model with a pair of high-performance motors that provide 610 hp and 749 lb-ft of torque and heart-pounding acceleration that goes from zero to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds.
How Important Is a Fun Drive to You?
BMW is known for many things, not the least of which is making vehicles that are exciting every time you get behind the wheel. Deciding which model is the most fun is a lot like choosing which one is the most stylish or has the nicest interior features: they’re all amazing and have something for a wide range of drivers. It comes down to what’s most important to you in a vehicle and then picking a BMW with everything that you’ve been looking for. As far as I’m concerned, every BMW is a lot of fun on the road, thanks to the combination of rich luxury and incredible performance, something that few other brands can brag about in the same way. Still, I would argue that the Z4 Roadster is simply on another level.