BMW Z4 parked by beach
Ryan Darby

Ryan Darby

Ryan is the Content Marketing Executive at Carparison, keeping you up to date on our socials. He also takes the lead on our fantastic car reviews, and with his experience, is the perfect person to make sure you have all the information you need.

Read time of 6 minutes.

Jaw-dropping performance makes the BMW Z4 a tantalising prospect

The BMW Z4 is a fierce and powerful roadster that delivers a memorable driving experience without compromising on the premium nature that the German manufacturer have developed such a strong reputation for.

The next car to grace the Carparison reviews is the beautiful BMW Z4 M40i B58 3.0i. This elegant but sporty roadster rivals the Porsche 718 BoxsterMazda MX-5, Audi TT or even the Jaguar F-Type.  

In this BMW Z4 review, we’ll guide you through just how well it drives, what the space is like, and whether you can live with it every day.

BMW Z4 side profile

Price

On The Road prices for the BMW Z4 can start from £38,760 if you’re looking at the entry-level models. M Sport trim levels begin at just over £40,000, meanwhile, M Models can start at £51,295.

Rivals like the Audi TT offer cheaper entry-level options at £33,795, but select variants can also reach a whopping £68,630. If you’re searching for something a little more premium, prices for a Jaguar F-Type start from £54,965.

A BMW lease deal with Carparison can create a cost-effective funding method to help you get behind the wheel of a new BMW Z4 for a fraction of the cost.

BMW Z4 detailing

Engine Options

Depending on the model you'd like to lease, you have a choice of a few different engines with varying power. The M40i - the model we're driving for this review - offers the most power at 340hp, but does also come with the biggest price tag.

You do get an instant sense of the power available from the M40i variant, so we think this is a worthwhile upgrade, especially from the entry-level options.

The Z4 is only available with a petrol engine and there is no manual gearbox, only Sport Automatic Transmission with Gearshift Paddles.

Sport

sDrive20i Sport - (197 hp) - From £38,760

sDrive30i Sport - (258 hp) - From £42,585

M Sport

sDrive20i M Sport - (197hp) - From £40,510

sDrive30i M Sport - (258hp) - From £44,335

M Model

M40i - (340hp) - From £51,295 

BMW Z4 parked by pier

Drive

The Z4 provides such a seamless drive. It was effortless and in truth, we could’ve driven it for days on end. Its steering is reassuringly weighty for a smaller sports car and that gives you the faith and trust to really work it.

The roar that greets you when you turn the engine on turns you into a child again and no matter how many times I got in and out of the vehicle, the sound didn't fail to put a smile on my face.

It sounds fantastic, there’s no denying that. BMW are known for playing artificial engine noise through the cabin to enhance the sound. Select models can adjust the level of engine noise played through the cabin, but the Voice Control assured us this wasn’t an available option on the Z4.

Make no mistake about it, the 340hp M40i TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder petrol engine doesn’t need it. It sounds incredible and offers a superb soundtrack to accompany the brilliant drive.

The Z4 has three driving modes; Sport, Comfort and Eco Pro, and while you’re in Sport mode, it’s seriously quick but remains constantly planted to the floor.

Comfort levels can often be a sticking point for roadsters and convertibles but even in the Z4 - where you sit reasonably low - the ride is incredibly smooth, while maintaining competitive cabin noise levels. Racking up the miles with longer journeys in this car wouldn’t be a struggle.

The Wind Deflector, which is included within the Comfort Pack, is a valuable addition and helps retain that cabin feeling when you drop the roof down.

BMW Z4 parked under tree

Design and Interior

The term ‘eye-catching’ doesn’t do the Z4 justice, especially in this beautiful San Francisco Metallic Red paint. It complements the black soft-top roof, black wing mirrors and the Jet Black 19” M alloy wheels (Both optional extra via Shadowline Plus Pack) beautifully. 

Viewing the Z4 from the rear allows you to appreciate the true width of the car, which is seriously muscular.

Meanwhile, its long, sloping bonnet leads into a fierce-looking grille. The German manufacturer have done a fantastic job of maintaining that typically athletic BMW styling on the body of a roadster.

The quality that runs throughout the Z4 is instantly recognisable. It’s clear to see that BMW have cut no corners in the design, with a plethora of soft-touch and chrome finishes. Rivals like Porsche Boxster or the Mazda MX-5 have sportier exteriors but don’t come close to the cabin quality that BMW offer.

I feared that the confines of a smaller cabin might get a little tight, but those fears were quickly put to bed once you take a seat.

BMW Z4 technology

Technology

As ever with BMW, the technology and infotainment system on offer did not disappoint. The touchscreen and navigation system are responsive, crisp and so easy to use.

The ability to jump between voice control, touchscreen or the rotary iDrive controller offers such fantastic versatility and BMW continue to offer some of the best systems on the road. 

In the Z4, the touchscreen is angled towards the driver, like so many of their BMW models, but you do notice it more in such a compact and small cabin. It enhances the driving sensation behind the wheel and makes you feel like you are really driving this car.

Our Z4 also came with Wireless Charging, a single USB port and 12V socket in the centre console, as well as a USB C port in the armrest.

BMW Z4 parked with boot open

Space and Practicality

The elephant in the room here is, well, you don’t lease this car for its practicality. However, the Z4 does come with some handy features.

The driving position is very good, the sports seats really do hug you in behind the wheel. Taller drivers above six foot will need to be aware of what is quite a relatively compact cabin. However, BMW have caveated this with a lot of flexibility in the adjustable position of the seat and steering wheel to allow for taller drivers.

Despite the Z4 having a smaller cabin, it doesn’t feel claustrophobic, even with a passenger in. Both the driver and passenger have a generous amount of room and comfort levels are impressively high.

Opening the soft-top roof lightens up the cabin to create a fantastic space. BMW say it can be lowered in around 10 seconds. We found it to be closer to 12-13 seconds, but it can be lowered at speeds up to 31mph and is very easy to do.

Cupholders are non-existent and you’ll struggle to fit even a small bottle in them. The glovebox is reasonable without being amazing, but there are good storage opportunities for your keys, phone and other bits and pieces within the armrest and centre console. 

The Z4 also includes a netted pouch behind the seats for any bigger items that you might want nearby, like a large bottle or a map (do people still use maps?). Within that is a ski-hatch compartment that can be used to shut away valuables or create through access into the boot if you upgrade to the additional Comfort Pack.

For a Roadster, you can’t be disappointed with the boot space on offer. It’s enough to get you by from day to day. 

The official capacity is 281L, but the wide opening makes it a good enough space for your weekly shop or a few overnight bags if you’re heading off on your travels. 

An Audi TT offers marginally more boot space at 305L, but we’re confident the Z4 comes with sufficient amount of storage opportunities for a car of this size. Meanwhile, the MX-5 can only offer a measly 130L, including underfloor storage.

BMW Z4 cabin space

Model Lines and Equipment

Sport

  • 18" light alloy V-spoke style 770 wheels, Bicolour Orbit Grey
  • M Sport seats, front
  • Sport multi-function leather steering wheel, three-spoke
  • Air conditioning, automatic with two-zone control
  • Interior rear-view mirror with automatic anti-dazzle function
  • Vernasca leather upholstery
  • Ambient lighting
  • LED headlights
  • Cruise control with brake function
  • Park Distance Control (PDC), front and rear
  • Eight-speed sport automatic transmission with gearshift paddles
  • Tyre pressure monitoring
  • BMW Live Cockpit Professional
  • Bluetooth hands-free facility with USB audio interface

M Sport 

In addition/replacement to Sport models

  • 18" M light alloy Double-spoke style 798 M wheels, Bicolour Ferric Grey
  • Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline
  • M aerodynamics body styling
  • M Leather steering wheel
  • Interior trim, Aluminium Tetragon
  • M Sport suspension
  • M Sport braking system (sDrive30i only)

M40i

In addition/replacement to Sport models

  • 19" M light alloy Double-spoke style 800 M wheels, Bicolour Cerium Grey
  • Exterior trim, High-gloss Shadowline
  • M aerodynamics body styling
  • M Leather steering wheel
  • Seat adjustment – front, electric with driver memory
  • Lumbar support, driver and front passenger
  • Instrument panel in Sensatec
  • Interior trim, Aluminium Tetragon
  • Adaptive M suspension
  • M Sport braking system
  • M Sport differential
  • BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder petrol engine
BMW Z4 driving under tree

Verdict

Wow. What a pure driving experience that was. I loved my time behind the wheel of the Z4 and, quite frankly, so did the rest of the Carparison office - as you can imagine. 

With the M40i engine, it's incredibly powerful, and while there is so much more to it than its power, it’s a car that will unleash the inner child in you, every time. The roar and pops of the engine are so infectious and it’s something you won’t tire of hearing.

The closer you get to the vehicle, the more you appreciate the size of the Z4. It is incredibly muscular and athletic. Perhaps not the sportiest roadster on the market, but that doesn't make it any less impressive.

The Z4 offers the perfect modern-day hybrid of sports car performance with first rate luxury that ensure pristine comfort levels.

Want to know more about a BMW Z4 lease deal? Browse our best personal contract hire offers and business contract hire deals.