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Parkers overall rating: 4.4 out of 5 4.4

Impressive blend of comfort and sportiness

BMW Z4 Roadster (19 on) - rated 4.4 out of 5
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PROS

  • Eye-catching styling
  • Choice of engaging engines
  • Excellent handling on entry-level model
  • High-specification

CONS

  • Looks divide opinion
  • M40i is pricey to buy
  • Almost too many drive modes
  • Visibility isn’t great

At a glance

New price £37,115 - £54,515
Lease from new From £408 per month
Used price £25,000 - £41,550
Used monthly cost £617 - £1,025
Fuel economy 38 - 46 mpg
Road tax cost £145 - £465
Insurance group 30 - 38 How much is it to insure?

PROS

  • Eye-catching styling
  • Choice of engaging engines
  • Excellent handling on entry-level model
  • High-specification

CONS

  • Looks divide opinion
  • M40i is pricey to buy
  • Almost too many drive modes
  • Visibility isn’t great

BMW Z4 Roadster rivals

The BMW Z4 is something of a rare beast these days – a two-seat sports car with powerful petrol engines. There’s no hybrid option and it hasn’t been turned into an SUV to appeal to a wider range of buyers. Thankfully, BMW’s range and its ability to never stop expanding means there’s still room for a small, fun sports car. But with competition like the Porsche 718 Boxster and Audi TT Roadster – even the Jaguar F-Type at one end and the Mazda MX-5 at the other – it’s got its work cut out.

Like its two predecessors, the Z4 is a rear-wheel drive two-seater, and comes with a folding soft-top like the first car (the second-generation model featured a hard-top). It opens and closes in just 10 seconds, and is able to do so up to speeds of 31mph.

Powerful engines and sporty drive

Three petrol engines are available, ranging from a more sensible (but still powerful) entry-level model, all the way up to a more performance-oriented M version:

  • sDrive 20i – 197hp, 320Nm of torque, 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds, 149mph top speed
  • sDrive 30i – 258hp, 400Nm of torque, 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds, 155mph top speed
  • M40i – 340hp, 500Nm of torque, 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds, 155mph top speed

All models come as standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual and sports modes.

While the sDrive 20i is the entry-level model in terms of power output, it feels far from the poor relation. Quite the opposite, in fact. With just shy of 200hp and the lowest kerbweight of the whole Z4 range, it feels lively and agile on a twisty road. The responses are sharp from the steering, it’s keen to turn into corners and being able to tweak the driving modes means you can personalise the way it feels according to your preferences.

Familiar BMW trim levels, plus lovely interior

2019 BMW Z4 M40i interior

The Z4 comes with a choice of three trim levels. There’s entry-level Sport, followed by M Sport and then the top-of-the-range M40i. At launch, there was also an M40i First Edition. All come generously equipped with standard-fit LED headlights, electric folding roof, 18-inch alloy wheels, BMW Live Cockpit Professional (10.25-inch displays, sat-nav, Online Services, Bluetooth and digital instrument panel).

Inside, the Z4’s interior is essentially a low-slung version of the latest 3 Series, meaning you get lots of technology, large crisp digital displays and excellent build quality. The driving position is low and sporty, while the sports seats are an excellent combination of comfy and supportive.

Unsurprisingly, it’s not the most practical of cars, but the boot is surprisingly spacious and there’s more interior storage options than an equivalent Porsche 718 Boxster.

Going for the M Sport model adds a more aggressive exterior style with deeper bumpers, sportier looking bumpers and side skirts and M Sport touches to the interior such as sports seats and the leather steering wheel. The M40i looks similar to the M Sport but with silver exterior trim details to the grilles and mirrors, with different alloy wheel designs, too.

As you’d expect, you can add a vast array of options to the Z4’s kit list including various driver assistance items, a head-up display, sound system upgrades and a choice of exterior body and roof colours.

Read on for the full BMW Z4 review

BMW Z4 Roadster rivals

Other BMW Z4 models: