BMW Z4 review

Category: Sports car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:petrol
Available colours:
BMW Z4 RHD infotainment
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  • BMW Z4 Head Image
  • Z4 Rear Road
  • BMW Z4 RHD dashboard
  • BMW Z4 2019 seats
  • BMW Z4 RHD infotainment
  • BMW Z4 2019 side panning exterior
  • BMW Z4 2019 front right static
  • BMW Z4 2019 rear right static
  • BMW Z4 2019 bonnet view static
  • BMW Z4 2019 wheel detail
  • BMW Z4 Head Image
  • Z4 Rear Road
  • BMW Z4 RHD dashboard
  • BMW Z4 2019 seats
  • BMW Z4 RHD infotainment
  • BMW Z4 2019 side panning exterior
  • BMW Z4 2019 front right static
  • BMW Z4 2019 rear right static
  • BMW Z4 2019 bonnet view static
  • BMW Z4 2019 wheel detail
RRP £38,165What Car? Target Price from£33,727

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

The Z4 roughly follows the pricing structure of its rivals. The entry-level 20i and 30i are priced similarly to equivalent versions of the Audi TT Roadster, while the M40i is nearer to the more powerful Porsche Boxster and Audi TT RS. Resale values are predicted to be similar to the TT's, but not as strong as the Boxster's, while insurance and servicing costs are all competitive. 

If you're a company car user with benefit-in-kind tax on your mind, you’ll be pleased by how the Z4 20i and 30i’s official CO2 emissions are comparatively low, while those that pay their own way at the pumps will find the fuel consumption relatively palatable.

Choose the 20i or 30i and you’ll have a choice of two trim levels: Sport and M Sport. The former comes with a decent amount of toys, including 18in alloy wheels, power-folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, heated front seats and leather seat trim. We'd stick with that, because the latter adds more aggressive styling details in the main. 

The M40i is based on the M Sport but adds the bespoke sporty tech, brakes and electric seats we discussed earlier, plus 19in alloy wheels.

We can’t say for sure how reliable the Z4 will be, because it's too new to be measured. However, what we do know is that BMW finished a disappointing 21st out of 31 manufacturers in our 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, below Audi but above Porsche.

In terms of crash protection, the Z4 not only achieved a maximum five-star rating from Euro NCAP, but it also got a special mention in NCAP’s end of year awards for setting a “new safety benchmark for the segment”. For reference, its closest rival, the Audi TT, only achieved four stars when it was tested back in 2015.

It also comes packed with safety kit like 'front collision warning' with automatic emergency braking and a lane departure warning system. You can also add a Driving Assistant Package for more driver aids, including a clever bit of tech, which can detect traffic crossing behind you as you’re reversing out onto a road, lane-keeping assistance, which steers you back into line, traffic sign recognition, and, as a bonus, adaptive cruise control.

BMW Z4 RHD infotainment
BMW Z4 Head Image
Open Gallery10 Images

Overview

The Z4 will appeal to those looking for a comfortable and relatively practical convertible sports car. However, if you're looking for something that's primarily precise, fun and exciting to drive, both the Audi TT Roadster and Porsche Boxster outshine it considerably.

  • M40i’s engine is smooth and powerful
  • Comfortable ride
  • Practical next to its rivals
  • Poorly resolved handling
  • 2.0-litre petrol engines sound dull
  • Inconsisent brake feel

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