BMW Z4 Road Test (2013)

BMW Z4 (Interior View) (2013)

BMW Z4 Review

BMW Z4 ReviewBMW Z4 Review  | Part Two

but wind noise is low when the top is up, and engine noise level is very reasonable

Comfort and Refinement

Even in this lowliest of versions, the Z4 is a class act with an executive calibre interior. The cabin décor is timelessly elegant and everything is high quality and beautifully crafted. Seat comfort is grippily excellent, and there is ample adjustment to let you get very comfortable behind the wheel whether short or tall. It’s a snug fit, but not a cramped one. There is not much stowage space behind the seats, but a netted shelf is a handy place to put things.

There is a bit of road noise, especially from the tyres on a motorway, but wind noise is low when the top is up, and engine noise level is very reasonable. The sporty tone of what you do hear is agreeable to listen to. With a mesh wind deflector filling the gap between the roll-over bars, the open cabin is surprisingly unblustery, even at speed.

Safety and Security

The current Z4 has not been tested under the Euro NCAP crash test programme. Its 2004 predecessor was awarded four stars. No qualms about this car’s safety, though, because of its high standard of engineering and inbuilt safety features. It has standard front, side and knee airbags for both driver and passenger, and seatbelt pre-tensioners, plus lots of electronic safety aids. Directionally adaptive headlamps are standard to increase cornering safety at night.


The Z4’s standard kit list includes xenon headlights, air conditioning, heated glass rear screen, run-flat tyres with a deflation warning, and an automatic soft-close function for the bootlid, that sucks itself shut if you fail to close it firmly. The car also comes with a six-speaker BMW Business radio with CD player and connection for Aux and iPhone. Colour satnav including a 3D view is optional.

  • Mercedes-Benz SLK
  • Mazda MX-5
  • Porsche Boxster
  • Nissan 370Z
What We Liked
  • Glamourous looks, it’s a head-swivelling two-seater
  • Its charm behind the wheel
  • The roof-down airy cabin that doesn’t rake your hair to straw
  • Reasonable sized boot when the roof’s up
  • Rapid efficiency in lowering or raising the powered hood
  • Tight weatherproof seal with the hood closed, and low wind noise at speed
  • Reasonable economy for the level of performance
  • High build quality, everything is beautifully crafted
  • Great performance
  • Taut sports car handling
  • That kidney grille and the charismatic blue-and-white propeller badge
  • What it does for your image
What We Disliked
  • Actual economy falls well short of the official figure
  • Sport mode makes the car too twitchy
  • A bit tight for boot space with the top down
  • Tempting areas at the sides of the boot unusable with the roof open
  • Steering could do with a bit more feel in standard mode
  • Quite pricey as you go up the range
What We Would Like To See
  • Less twitchy steering and handling with Sport mode engaged
  • Easier boot access with the top down

We love the Z4 for its glamour and efficiency. It looks good, with its sleek body lines and that clever design trick of appearing to be on the move even when it’s parked. It is dynamically pleasing and beautifully made. Top down, it’s a head-turning roadster. Top up, it’s sealed tight with a secure steel roof. This bottom-of-the-range version is engaging to drive and good value.

22 May 2013 Sue Baker
BMW Z4 ReviewBMW Z4 Review  | Part Two
BMW Z4 Road Test Data
Model ReviewedBMW Z4 sDrive 18i Roadster
Body Type2-door Convertible
ColourGlacier Silver
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph7.9 Seconds
Top Speed 137 mph
Transmission5-Speed Manual
Fuel TypePetrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban31.7 mpg
Extra Urban50.4 mpg
Combined41.5 mpg
Insurance Group33
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty3 Years / Unlimited Miles
Price (when tested on the 22/05/13)£27,615

The information contained within this BMW Z4 review may have changed since publication on the 22 May 2013. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local BMW dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2018