BMW’s Comfortable Cruiser: The BMW Z4 Guide

Introducing the BMW Z4

Guide Version: 1.0. This guide was created on 09-11-2015 and updated monthly with new information.

With a nice blend of technology, comfort, and sport, the BMW Z4 makes up for its pricier segment. The BMW Z4 puts the icing on top with its handsome interior and a composed ride.

Despite having a spitting image of a sport and the powerful roar of its engine, the BMW Z4 is more like a comfortable cruiser than a track-racing sports car. From the setup of the suspension alone, you are given a balanced and engaging handling, credit mostly to the layout that is a rear-wheel drive. Although the M series of the Bavarian automaker features the stiffer suspension that we’d come to appreciate in potted cities, the trade-off for the BMW Z4 is a surprisingly firm ride.

As expected from BMW, the features of the BMW Z4 are an upmarket interior. Nothing but superior quality materials and a tight finish gave the two-seater cabin of the Z4 that premium appeal. And along those lines of quality, BMW never fails to provide a number of standard kits that most automakers would offer as add-ons. This includes xenon headlamps, DAB radios, Bluetooth connections, climate controls, and alloy wheels, just to drop a few. The M Sport Models however are granted a few more features such as: a muscular body kit, larger wheels, and leather trim for the seats. On the other end of the spectrum, the flagship 35i gets a seven-speed DCT twin clutch gearbox and an additional adaptive damping—any other model gets the standard six-speed manual or they could opt for the optional eight-speed automatic.

What You Need To Know About the BMW Z4

Performance

Their 18i version is Z4s entry level, clocking in at 154bhp with its 2.0-litre engine, that pulls rev strongly from below. On the other hand, their 20i version, which delivers 181bhp, is a far better choice, and much better bet in terms of value pace. The 28i model is yet another version with a tuned 2.0-liter motor which can 242bhp and leap out 0-62mph in six seconds flat. 35i and 35is versions are six-cylinder models that have a true ‘performance’ pace.

BMW Z4 sDrive34i and sDrive 35is both has a turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0-liter capable of producing 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque and 335hp and 332 lb-ft torque, respectively. Both are mated with their exclusive seven-speed automated manual transmission. 0-60 mph is estimated at sub five-seconds.  Estimated mileage by the EPA is 20mpg.

Driving

Along with a grippy handling and a slick agile ride, the BMW Z4 has an outstanding combination of control and comfort. Each model has their Drive Dynamic Control that comes as standard, which lets the drivers tailor the feedback of the steering, stability, and throttle control to suit whatever situation they are in. A heed of warning, though—M sport versions may provide a firmer suspension that can just ruin your ride but does nothing to improve your handling.

Steering has been drastically improved. It’s linear and responsive, provided that you’ve wound some lock. But in general weight, the accuracy is still on point.

Interior

Crisp analog gauges, consistent quality materials, and a sleek dashboard welcomes you a familiar sight when entering the BMW Z4; an undeniable upscale, ergonomic, and pretty visual to drive to indeed. If you want a more custom feel, you can choose between two-tone color schemes to jazz things up a little. Small cargo shelf behind the seats and a knee-level air vent are just a few of the thoughtful touches you can add pre-purchase.

The BMW Z4 is considered a practical roadster in the auto market, placing its modest size, that is. While its rivals treat legroom as a premium, the BMW Z4 welcomes folks that have longer inseams. And even with the top up, visibility is still at stellar quality that can be credited to the blind spots that the rear quarter windows eliminate.

Safety

Safety standards are the usual as with every other BMW: traction and stability controls, antilock brakes, etc. Still, the BMW Assist eCall system is a standard feature but can be upgraded to the BMW Assist Remote Services.

The eCall systems only features automatic crash notification and emergency assistance button while the upgrade ups the ante with the remote door unlock and stolen vehicle recovery upgrade.

Sensors for rear parking come as standard while the rearview camera and front parking sensors are only available as options. In the Technology + Driving Assistant package, more add-ons are included such as a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and a forward collision warning system, which includes mitigation for frontal collision which provides automatic braking.

BMW Z4 SPECS

ENGINE TYPE: turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

HORSEPOWER: 240 hp @ 6500 rpm

TORQUE: 260 lb-ft @ 1250 rpm

FUEL ECONOMY- 22/34 mpg

TRANSMISSION- 8-speed automatic with manual shifting mode, 6-speed manual

FUEL TANK CAPACITY: 14.5 gal.

CYLINDER CONFIGURATION: Inline-4

DRIVE TYPE: rear-wheel-drive

TOP SPEED- 155mph

0-60MPH- 5.6 sec

Price: $49,945 (base)

WHY YOU SHOULD GET THE BMW Z4

With all its bells and whistles (and by that, we just mean the standards that come with it), the BMW Z4 is already an eye-catcher that does many things very well. It’s truly an eye candy both for us and the people we meet. The perceived quality behind this on-road cruiser is beyond criticism as much as its thoughtfully designed cabin. And although the boot isn’t overly generous, it’s reasonably spacious still.

While most critique the unnecessary four-cylinder—and pricey one, at that—that comes with this sports car, it’s really uncalled for. Yes, the 28i’s four-cylinder may clatter when idle. And the intrusive shudder caused by the fuel-saving engine stop-start system may become annoying—even though you could easily disable it with a button—you surely won’t have any complain against it if you hit your gas right. With a pleasing exhaust note, this beauty of a torque-rich engine can pull hard.

With that in mind, both the 35i and 35is models seem to be quicker at higher speeds. And in today’s demand for smoothness, the extra money on the BMW inline-6 is surely well spent. Keep caution though if you are buying the 35is purely for its advantages in performance. Besides the pricey difference, improvements are seen as minimal at best.

In terms of its dynamic performance, it’s really a tale of two halves for the BMW Z4. Whichever model you choose, you are warranted a drivetrain that’s excellent to the core. With an excellent response and plenty of power, the engines become smooth and free-revving. And when it comes to scaling the performance of emissions and economy, it’s up to the ceiling-standard of BMW, which is, as always, impressive.

PROS

√ Powerful engine

√ Base models are fuel-efficient

√ Each model provides a comfortable ride

√ Visibility is excellent, provided that it’s a roadster

CONS

× Handling and steering does not provide full feedback

× Limited space

× Stop-start engine doesn’t fit the BMW Z4 sports-car persona

× Not as sharp as most sports-cars