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Used Car Expert Rating

BMW Z4 (2009 to 2017)

Expert Rating

Used car score:

62
%
C

This model is no longer on sale or in production, so it doesn't have a New Car Expert Rating score.

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

65
%
D

Safety Rating:

41
%
E

Eco Rating:

-

Reliability Rating:

99
%
A

Running Costs:

58
%
B

How are our Expert Rating scores calculated?

Expert Rating

Used car score:

62
%
C

This model is no longer on sale or in production, so it doesn't have a New Car Expert Rating score.

Expert Rating report card

Media Rating:

65
%
D

Safety Rating:

41
%
E

Eco Rating:

-

Reliability Rating:

99
%
A

Running Costs:

58
%
B

Summary


The BMW Z4 is a two-seat roadster, with this version here being the second-generation model. It was launched in 2009 and was sold until 2017, before being replaced by the current model in early 2019.

This generation of the Z4 is the only model in BMW’s Z Series history to feature a retractable hard-top roof, which was dropped when BMW reverted to a soft top for the current model. The range consisted of four different petrol engine options, ranging from 154hp to 355hp.

A facelift in 2013 didn’t change much visually, but brought some new engine options and made substantial improvements to the handling. Meanwhile, trim levels and specifications were revised at the same time.

“Don’t come to the Z4 expecting a Porsche Boxster-beater, and you won’t be disappointed”, commented Car‘s Ben Pulman after the roadster’s 2009 launch. Unlike its fairly raw predecessor, the second-generation Z4 was less a rival for the Boxster and more a competitor for the Mercedes-Benz SLK, against which it compared far more favourably. Indeed, Pulman noted that the 3.0-litre six-cylinder motor was an “awesome engine that will make you forgive its other foibles.”

Despite regularly noted drawbacks like the limited boot space, the road noise and expensive range-topping models, British reviewers agreed that the Z4 was certainly an improvement over the first-generation version. The Parkers team added that the roadster’s handling was markedly improved during its 2013 facelift, making it “great fun to drive on open and twisting roads.”

As of April 2024, the second-generation BMW Z4 holds a Used Car Expert Rating of C, with a score of 62%.

Z4 highlights

  • Strong performance and stylish looks
  • Comfortable driving experience
  • Improved steering after 2013 facelift
  • High-quality folding hard-top

Z4 lowlights

  • Not much usable boot space
  • Top-end models were expensive
  • Loud wind and road noise at speed
  • Porsche Boxster was more engaging to drive

Key specifications


Body style: Two-door convertible
Engines:
petrol
Price when new:
From £27,560 on-road

Launched: Winter 2009/10
Last updated: Spring 2013
Replaced: Spring 2019


Media reviews


Reviews, road tests and comparisons from across the UK automotive media. Click any of the boxes to view.

Auto Express

+

Autocar

+

Car

+

Car Keys

+

Evo

+

Honest John

+

Motors.co.uk

+

Parkers

+

The Sunday Times

+

The Telegraph

+

Top Gear

+

What Car?

+

Which?

+

Safety rating


Independent crash test and safety ratings from Euro NCAP

Overall score: 3 stars
Date tested: December 2015
Date expired: January 2022
Read the full Euro NCAP review

Adult protection: 69%
Child protection: 61%
Vulnerable road users: 91%
Safety assist: 46%

The second-generation BMW Z4 was awarded a middling three-star safety rating by Euro NCAP back in 2015. This rating expired in January 2022 as the Z4 no longer met the requirements for a five-star car. This is normal practice, as Euro NCAP reviews its ratings on most cars annually with most ratings expiring after about six or seven years.

However, if you are comparing a used BMW Z4 to vehicles of similar age, whose ratings will have probably also expired, its safety rating score is still useful.

Eco rating


Independent economy and emissions ratings from Green NCAP

No eco rating

The second-generation BMW Z4 was not lab tested by Green NCAP during its lifetime. A testing programme that only focuses on the emissions of new cars, Green NCAP was founded in 2018, after this iteration of the Z4 was removed from sale.

Reliability rating

MotorEasy logo 600x167

Reliability data provided exclusively for The Car Expert by MotorEasy

All data based on MotorEasy average workshop costs for extended car warranty claims

The BMW Z4 has an excellent reliability rating, according to workshop and warranty data provided by our commercial partner, MotorEasy. Please note that this data covers all models in BMW’s Z Series, which includes all generations of the Z4, as well as the older Z1, Z3 and Z8 models. The only caveat is that this data is currently based on a small number of vehicles, so may change over time.

Not many owners have reported issues with their Z4, but data suggests that, if an issue is to arise, it will relate to the car’s suspension. This is a relatively cheap fix though, costing £250 on average to correct. Braking system repairs are the most costly issues reported, with an average bill of around £300.

Awards


Trophies, prizes and awards that the BMW Z4 has received.

2009

  • Red Dot Design Award
  • Scottish Car of the Year Awards – Best Drop Top

Similar cars


If you’re looking at the BMW Z4, you might also be interested in these alternatives.

Alpine A110 | Audi TT | Mazda MX-5 | Mercedes-Benz SLCPorsche 718 Boxster | Porsche 718 Cayman | Subaru BRZ | Toyota GT86


More news, reviews and information about the BMW Z4 at The Car Expert

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Everything you need to know about BMW

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The second-generation BMW Z4 offered strong performance and stylish looks, but similar hard-tops were more engaging to drive.BMW Z4 (2009 to 2017)