BMW Z4 (2009 – 2016) Review

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BMW Z4 (2009 – 2016) At A Glance


Stylish and refined roadster coupe with folding hard top. Strong performance from six-cylinder engines. Much improved steering feel came as part of 2013 revamp.

Top sDrive 35i 340PS engine is expensive.

BMW’s second generation Z4 is a very different beast from the original. Where the first Z4 was very much a gruff, up and at ’em sports car, the current car is a more refined sportscar with a broader customer appeal.

Much of the wider appeal comes from the folding metal roof, which follows the trend set by the Mercedes SLK. While some might feel the Z4 has gone soft and grown heavy with this approach, it undoubtedly means the Z4 is an easier car to live with day in, day out.

The metal roof makes the Z4 quieter at motorway speeds, so it is better suited to long distance journeys in the UK where the weather will not always play ball. When the sun does poke out, the metal roof drops more quickly than the Mercedes SLK’s and scissors away under the boot panel to leave uncluttered lines with the characteristic long bonnet, short boot looks of the previous Z4.

A downside is the roof and its mechanism take up more space than a fabric hood, so the Z4 has to make do with a 180-litre boot. This means squashy bags are the order of the day for any sort of weekend away and access is not brilliant when the roof is lowered.

Still, the Z4’s cabin provides even taller drivers with plenty of space and seat adjustment, while the dash is one of the least fussy and stylish in this sector. As well as the excellent driving position, cars with satellite navigation also benefit from BMW’s superb iDrive system that is also one of the easiest infotainment set-ups to operate.

Just as good to use as the infotainment is the entertainment under the bonnet as all of the Z4’s engines are great to use. This includes the twin-turbo 2.0-litre petrol in the sDrive18i and 20i models.

For those wanting more speed and growl, the sDrive28i takes the four-cylinder turbo engine to its maximum with 245PS or you can opt for the six-cylinder 35i with its potent 306PS. For those looking for the most performance from the Z4, the sDrive35is ups the ante to 340PS for 0-62mph in 4.8 seconds to be the spiritual successor the previous Z4M.

BMW Z4 sDrive 23i manual and 35i DCT auto Road Test

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Real MPG average for a BMW Z4 (2009 – 2016)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

20–42 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW Z4 (2009 – 2016)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Which sports car with a folding or detachable hard top would you recommend?

I have a budget of £10,000. Which sports car, with a folding or detachable hard top would you recommend? A soft top is not an option as I have nowhere to garage the vehicle.
I'd be looking for a BMW Z4. It has a folding electric metal roof which is easy to operate and it's a very easy car to live with day-to-day. Your budget will get you a 2011 model with the 2.5-litre engine.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The BMW Z4 (2009 – 2016)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Sporty and Convertible.

Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.

What does a BMW Z4 (2009 – 2016) cost?

Contract hire from £328.22 per month
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