What Car? Car of the Year awards 2010 - Open-top winner

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  • 16 categories of awards
  • All the winning models featured here
  • What Car? Car of the Year 2010 revealed
The winner
BMW Z4 2.5 sDrive23i
List price £29,272
Target price £27,537

If proof were needed that open-top cars aren’t just for posing in, then the BMW Z4 provides it.

The Mazda MX-5 might be the one you choose for B-road blasts and the BMW 3 Series Convertible might be more of a refined boulevard cruiser, but the Z4 manages to do both almost as well as its rivals.

While it’s got the appearance of a muscular sports car, inside it’s a whole different matter: the cabin looks and feels luxurious, with its leather trim and tasteful silvered highlights. It’s not exactly a barren wasteland when it comes to equipment, either: dual-zone climate control, a CD player and a point for your iPod all come as standard, along with xenon headlights and alloy wheels.

You want fun? Then the Z4 can provide it. There’s oodles of grip and the steering is
pretty sharp – although not quite Porsche-sharp – so any enthusiastic weekend drives down country lanes will still be fun and rewarding. The Z4 also comes with BMW’s Adaptive Chassis Control, so you can tweak the car’s steering, traction control and throttle response to suit your mood.

This is no all-out bruiser of a car, though: the Z4 can perform just as well as a refined, relaxed cruiser. The metal roof makes the cabin a quiet haven of calm when it’s up, and things don’t change that much when you want to lower it to enjoy the sun – should it make a rare appearance. The ride is also on the comfortable side of firm.

Granted, it won’t be cheap to buy, and running costs aren’t that much better, but you get the kudos that BMW’s premium badge brings. Besides, quality costs money, and the Z4 has quality in spades. It’s a worthy winner.


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