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In-depth reviews

BMW Z4 review - Reliability and Safety

There’s plenty of safety tech as standard or on the options list, and BMW has recently improved in our customer satisfaction survey

You’re not likely to see a Euro NCAP crash test of the BMW Z4, as the independent tester focuses on more mainstream models. That said, we’d expect any model from BMW to be structurally impressive and perform relatively well in crash scenarios.

What we can say is there’s a lot of technology available should the worst happen. Apart from the obvious airbags, anti-lock brakes, chassis stability and tyre-pressure monitoring, the standard kit list includes autonomous emergency braking.

Unfortunately, if you want all the safety benefits the Z4 can provide you need to ‘spec up’ from the options list. Adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and parking assistance, as well as adaptive anti-dazzle headlamps, are all on the options list.

You’d think a BMW ought to be reliable, and the German marque came ninth out of the 26brands included in our 2018 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey. Audi was 18th and Mercedes languished down in 21st place. Last year 12.4 per cent of new BMW owners reported a fault with their car in the first year they owned it. In 2017, BMW was one of the tail-enders in our Driver Power survey too, so we’ll be keeping an eye out to see if the improvement is sustained.

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There’s nothing wrong with the perceived build quality of the Z4 mind you. It looks extremely well screwed together, and the materials used have a high-quality feel too.

Warranty

BMW’s three-year warranty includes unlimited mileage, which is exactly the same as the cover offered by both Mercedes and Porsche. Audi’s three-year cover is limited to 60,000 miles. You can extend the BMW warranty at extra cost beyond three years, but at that point a 100,000-mile cap comes into play. 

Servicing

Like all BMW’s your Z4’s electronics will tell you when it needs a service, based on your driving style and constantly monitored oil quality. Few drivers are likely to escape an annual service, but the costs should compare favourably to those charged by Porsche. Routine maintenance will also be more expensive on cars driven hard, as tyres, brakes and other consumables wear out quicker – and are typically more expensive anyway due to their high-performance spec.

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