BMW Z4 roadster

Price  £27,740 - £45,950

BMW Z4 roadster

reviewed by Carbuyer

  • Great build quality
  • Comfortable to drive
  • Powerful engine range
  • Expensive to buy
  • Limited practicality
  • No diesel option

At a glance

The greenest
sDrive20i 2dr £29,840
The cheapest
sDrive18i 2dr £27,740
The fastest
sDrive35is 2dr £45,950
Top of the range
sDrive35is 2dr £45,950

"With its responsive engine range and good looks, the BMW Z4 is an upmarket and desirable sports car that’s very comfortable to drive."

The BMW Z4 is the German brand's answer to the Porsche Boxster, but as a roadster it also travels in similar circles as the Mercedes SLK, Audi TT Roadster and the Mazda MX-5.

It has sporty looks thanks to its long-bonnet, short-boot, two-seater interior and electric hard-top roof. The latter means that less noise gets into the car's interior, as well as being more secure from thieves than older fabric-style roofs.

The BMW Z4 comes with a decent range of engines. There's no diesel option but the petrol engines can return decent MPG figures or impressive performance, depending on what you're after. All of the range offers 0-62mph times of at least 7.9 seconds, with the fastest getting there in just 4.8 seconds.

While the BMW might not be quite as enjoyable to drive as the Porsche Boxster, it probably makes a better day-to-day proposition. That means it is quiet and refined most of the time, but also fun when you find yourself on a twisty road. It also has an above-average boot in the roadster class – until you put the roof down.

The Z4 comes with good levels of equipment, but dipping into the options list can bring your Z4 up to luxury-car levels of equipment – with prices to match. As standard you do get 17-inch alloys, air-conditioning and xenon headlights, but sat-nav is an option.

The range starts around £28K for the 18i and leaps up to £37K if you fancy the M Sport trim. Go for the range-topping 35iS or the automatic version of the 35i and you’re looking at around £45K. The more expensive versions will offer poorer resale values after a few years, although they’re still likely to get close to 50% of the original value.

Our top choice is the BMW Z4 28i because it offers a speedy 5.9 second 0-62mph time, yet is no more expensive than the slower 18i or 20i to run day to day.

MPG, running costs & CO2

3 / 5

The BMW Z4 has plenty of economical petrol engines but no diesel option

Engines, drive & performance

3.5 / 5

Plenty of powerful engines, but the BMW Z4 still doesn’t feel very sporty

Interior & comfort

3.5 / 5

Easy to live with, the BMW Z4 is a comfortable motorway cruiser

Practicality & boot space

2.1 / 5

The clever roof eats into the BMW Z4’s bootspace when folded down

Reliability & safety

4 / 5

Strong reliability and lots of safety features mean the BMW Z4 should be dependable

What the others say

4 / 5
based on 3 reviews
4 / 5
"The rear-wheel-drive Z4 isn’t as engaging as a Boxster or Audi TT, but it is a surprisingly good cruiser, thank to its supple ride and refinement. Still, the naturally weighted steering, fine balance and decent grip mean the BMW still feels agile and composed through a series of corners."
3.5 / 5
"The Z4 does do the boulevard cruiser thing particularly well. It's a doddle to drive, with an easy consistency to the brakes, steering and throttle; the cabin is snug and attractively laid out."
4.5 / 5
"Compared with the original model, the second-generation BMW Z4 Roadster has become a slightly different animal as the German car maker looks to make the two-seater more appealing to people considering a Mercedes-Benz SLK or Porsche Boxster."
What owners say 
4.2 /5 based on 105 reviews
 people would recommend this car to a friend
Last updated 
15 Dec 2014

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