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Used BMW Z4 2019-present review review

Category: Sports car

Section: What is it like?

BMW Z4 driving
  • BMW Z4 driving
  • BMW Z4 interior
  • BMW Z4 infotainment
  • BMW Z4 seats
  • BMW Z4
  • BMW Z4 rear
  • BMW Z4 driving
  • BMW Z4 interior
  • BMW Z4 infotainment
  • BMW Z4 seats
  • BMW Z4
  • BMW Z4 rear
Used BMW Z4 2019-present review review
Star rating

What's the used BMW Z4 sports like?

The BMW Z4 is a breath of rarified fresh air. It’s a convertible two-seat sports car with rear-wheel drive and few recent rivals to speak of. What about the Mercedes SLC? Axed in 2020, we’re afraid. With that in mind, the Z4 deserves a look, especially now there are quite a few used examples out there. 

Under the bonnet, you get one of two 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines or a 3.0-litre six-cylinder. All three are petrol. With the 2.0-litre options, you have the choice of either 194bhp (badged 20i) or 255bhp (30i). The 3.0-litre – badged M40i – gets a hefty 335bhp. 

It's worth noting that the more powerful M40i version is treated to some extras on top of those two trims. They include lightweight 19in alloy wheels, electrically adjustable seats with lumbar support and driver memory settings, but the real highlights are its Adaptive M suspension and M Sport differential. These last two help to make the M40i feel more involving to drive than lesser models. 

Speaking of the Z4’s driving experience, how is it? Well, as we’ve touched on, the 20i and 30i probably won’t do it for enthusiasts. Both 2.0-litres are quite lacklustre in acceleration and sound. The eight-speed automatic gearbox they're paired with isn’t all that sporty (there's no manual option) and the grabby brakes aren't helpful in stop-start traffic or for fast road driving. 

The M40i is a hoot, though. The 335bhp 3.0-litre straight six responds excellently, pulling hard from low in the rev range. It sounds much more invigorating than the four-cylinder engines, with a smooth, free-revving nature that suits the M40i’s more focused demeanour. 

What’s more, the M40i’s eight-speed auto is impressively snappy. Beefier and more feelsome M Sport brakes give you more confidence when taking on country roads, while the bespoke, electronically controlled limited-slip differential helps put down the power successfully on the way out of corners.

Interior-wise, the Z4 is stellar. As with BMWs of the Eighties and Nineties, the whole dashboard is angled towards you, creating a driver-focused environment that's backed up by a purposeful, low-slung seating position. Everything is impeccably finished, from the stitching on the leather seats to the sections of chrome and piano-black trims.