BMW Z4 (2009-2016) review - Reliability and Safety

Plenty of safety kit should reassure drivers, and servicing costs are well controlled

The latest BMW Z4 wasn't crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the previous model received a four-star result when it was tested all the way back in 2004. However the standard level of safety kit is as comprehensive as you would expect from a BMW, and includes the manufacturer’s full Driver Stability Control system, which includes traction control, anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution to keep the car stable in extreme conditions.

Run-flat tyres are also fitted as standard, along with protective rollover hoops and a whole host of airbags, including a pair in the seat headrests to protect you in the event of a side-on smash. Incidentally, the latest Audi TT has been tested by Euro NCAP, and that received only four stars in 2015.

As for reliability, the previous-generation Z4 had an excellent reputation in this area, and the last model is proving just as impressive. It has been the subject of one recall, though, which was for a potential fault with the electric power steering.

The Z4 hasn’t yet featured as a specific model in our Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, but BMW finished 15th overall in 2016, one place down on its performance in 2015 – putting it three places behind Mercedes, but six places ahead of Audi.

Interestingly, breaking down the 2016 results shows BMW polled 21st for Reliability, but 8th for Build Quality. Its dealer network scraped in at pretty dire 24th, though – four places behind Mercedes, but two ahead of Audi.

Warranty

The standard BMW warranty covers you for three years with unlimited mileage – the same as Porsche offers on the Boxster and Mercedes on the SLK.

Audi’s TT has unlimited mileage cover for the first two years of its warranty, but a 60,000-mile cap kicks-in for the third year.

Servicing

As with other BMW models, the Z4 was available with a great value pre-paid servicing pack that took care of scheduled maintenance for five years and 50,000 miles. This is an extra that's well worth seeking out if you're looking to buy a nearly new example.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    sDrive 20i Sport 2dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
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Most Economical

  • Name
    sDrive 20i Sport 2dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,720

Fastest

  • Name
    sDrive M40i 2dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £48,760

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