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Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5


  • Strong performance
  • Comfortable cabin
  • Refined at high speeds
  • Metal folding roof


  • Limited boot space with roof down


Compared with the original model, the second-generation BMW Z4 Roadster has become a slightly different animal as the German car maker looks to make the two-seater more appealing to people considering a Mercedes-Benz SLK or Porsche Boxster.

Folding metal roof as standard

The biggest difference compared with the previous Z4 is the introduction of a metal folding roof which means it is much quieter at motorway speeds. This also improves security while the cabin has plenty of space, especially in terms of head room.

Perhaps the most important improvement comes in terms of refinement and ride comfort, though: the Z4 is a coupe convertible that's easy to live with everyday.

The folding roof has been neatly integrated into the car’s styling, making the Z4 an attractive looking car whether its lid is up or down.

With the roof up, it feels very much like a fixed-head coupé to sit in and there’s a reasonable amount of boot space. As you’d expect, however, the boot does shrink dramatically when the roof is lowered.

Powerful petrol engines

There are currently two types of turbocharged petrol engine available for the Z4.

The majority of the range is powered by a four-cylinder engine, available with different levels of power depending on model. Power outputs currently range from 153bhp to 242bhp.

At the top of the range, the Z4 35is model is powered by a six-cylinder engine with a muscular 335bhp. It’s capable of an impressive turn of pace, reaching 62mph from rest in less than five seconds.

Minor updates for 2013

In spring 2013, the Z4 underwent a few light updates as part of a mid-life refresh. On the outside, the headlights have been smartened up with new LED rings and there’s a restyled chrome vent and LED indicator on the car’s flank.

Inside, elements of the dashboard have been given a gloss-black finish and some new interior and exterior colour combinations have been added to the brochure.

The most noteworthy change is the addition of a new, more affordable entry-level model, the BMW Z4 s18i. It uses a mildly detuned version of the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine found under the bonnet of other models in the range, pushing out 153bhp.

There’s plenty more information inside the full Parkers BMW Z4 Roadster review. Click on the categories above to find out more.

What owners say about this car

IMHO this car delivers genuine 'joy' with the top up or down. It's the intangible quality inherent in the car... Read owner review

It goes in all weathers, never needed any repairs and drives well. Read owner review

It is not a practical car but who buys a two seater to be practical - it a fun car!idrive. Read owner review

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