BMW Z4 Head Image

BMW Z4 review

Cost & verdict
Review continues below...

In this review

Cost & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

With three models available at launch, BMW is still catering to a wide range of buyers. Indeed, the price structure follows a similar pattern to the Audi TT Roadster, with the cheapest model starting at under £40,000, rising to around £50,000 for the fastest and most technologically advanced model.

Choose the sDrive20i or sDrive30i and you’ll have a choice of two trims: Sport and M Sport. The former gives you 17in alloy wheels and black detailing on the front and rear bumpers, while the latter gets a different bodykit with more aggressive air intakes, lighter and more aggressively styled 18in wheels and a Vernasca leather interior.

Upgrade to the top-of-the-range M40i, however, and there’s no trim choice. The M40i is, in effect, based on the M Sport but adds a bespoke electronically controlled limited-slip differential to increase traction in corners, adaptive dampers with 10mm lower steel springs, a sports exhaust system, beefier M Sport brakes, leather and Alcantara sports seats and an upgraded sound system.

We can’t say for sure how reliable the Z4 will be, because we don’t yet have any reliability data for this third-generation version. However, what we do know is that BMW came 16th out of 31 manufacturers in our latest survey – almost exactly mid-table. That doesn’t quite tell the whole story, though, because BMW was the highest-placed premium manufacturer; Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes and Porsche all finished beneath it. Against its chief rivals, then, the signs are that the Z4 should perform pretty well.

The Z4 also hasn’t yet been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but we do know a front collision warning with automatic emergency braking system is fitted as standard to UK-spec cars, as is a lane departure warning system.

You’ll also be able to upgrade your Z4 with an optional package of driver aids, including a clever bit of tech that can detect traffic crossing behind you as you’re reversing out onto a road, a parking assistant, active cruise control and a head-up display.

BMW Z4 Static Front
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Verdict

Not only is the Z4 fun to drive, but it also sports a luxurious interior and a relatively big boot. Granted, the range-topping M40i lacks the delicacy and deftness that marks out the Porsche Boxster as one of the greatest driver’s cars, but we reckon as a day-to-day proposition it would be superior

  • M40i’s engine is smooth and powerful
  • Driver-focused interior
  • Class-leading infotainment system
  • Not as engaging to drive as the Porsche 718 Boxster
  • Wide dimensions make it hard to place on tight roads
  • Relatively high weight blunts handling