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In-depth reviews

BMW Z4 review - Reliability and safety

The BMW Z4 is highly-rated for safety, but customer feedback for the car maker isn't positive

Euro NCAP crash tested the BMW Z4 in 2019 and awarded it a full five stars. The two-seater convertible achieved an excellent 97% score for adult occupant protection, with child passenger safety rated at 87%.

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.

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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, but the German marque came 27th out of 30 brands included in our 2020 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.

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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