BMW Z4 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The Z4 offers greater day-to-day usability than rival two-seaters, but a 2 Series Convertible is more practical
There’s only the one bodystyle available with the fabric soft-top, and no coupe option for Z4 owners. This may deter some customers who liked the previous generation for the security and refinement of its retracting hard-top, but the upside is the latest roof doesn’t eat up all the Z4’s boot space when it’s retracted. If you really want a fixed roof, take a look at one of the Z4's many rivals.
The latest Z4's roof retracts and deploys electrically in around 10 seconds at speeds of up to 31mph, so you don’t have to pull over when the weather changes. The cabin is practical too, with usable door bins, glovebox and cubbies, although if you want to combine open-top motoring with trips to the DIY store, the larger four-seat 2 Series will doubtless make more sense.
Visibility from the Z4’s driving seat isn’t bad, but that long swooping nose could be awkward in tight parking situations, because you can’t see where it stops. However, parking sensors are standard, while the Parking Assistant self-parking system will be a boon to less confident drivers.
The small 52-litre fuel tank could be a nuisance, as it means trips to the filling station may be frequent.
The BMW Z4 measures up at 4,324mm long, 1,864mm wide and 1,304mm tall. That means it takes up a little more space on your drive than the 4,177mm x 1,832mm Audi TT and the 4,133mm x 1,810mm Mercedes SLC.
Leg room, head room & passenger space
The BMW Z4 has a decent amount of leg and headroom for its occupants, and feels less constrained than a Porsche 718 Boxster or Alpine A110. It has a greater range of seat adjustment than its predecessor too, so taller drivers have a better chance of finding a comfortable seating position.
Z4 enthusiasts with touring aspirations will be delighted by the disappearance of the folding hard top which destroyed the luggage capacity of the previous model. The latest one is pretty good in this regard, at least for small-ish two-seater. You get 281 litres of boot space, and there’s an optional ski-hatch for longer items. The Porsche Boxster has a similar amount of total luggage volume, but it’s considerably less useful as it’s split between the front and rear boots.
In this review
- 1BMW Z4 reviewBMW’s Z4 front-engined, rear-drive sports car is an old-school delight, although keen drivers will favour a Porsche Boxster
- 2Engines, performance and drivePunchy performance is guaranteed whichever model you pick, but the driving experience can be a little bland
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsFuel consumption is reasonable if you drive with a light foot, while Z4 insurance costs shouldn't be too high
- 4Interior, design and technologySporty exterior design is undermined by a dull interior, but the Z4 impresses under the skin
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe Z4 offers greater day-to-day usability than rival two-seaters, but a 2 Series Convertible is more practical
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe BMW Z4 is highly-rated for safety, but customer feedback for the car maker isn't positive