2010 BMW Z4 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2010 BMW Z4 Convertible

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BMW Z4 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 300 hp @ 5800 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 18/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2010 BMW Z4

  • Sleek styling, a high-class interior and plenty of performance combine to make the 2010 BMW Z4 one of the most desirable luxury roadsters available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Sharp styling inside and out, smooth and powerful engines, quick-folding hardtop, capable handling.

  • Cons

    Not as invigorating to drive as some rivals.

  • What's New for 2010

    Following its complete redesign last year, the 2010 BMW Z4 receives standard HD radio and optional automatic high beams.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Dream, or nightmare?

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Vehicle: 2009 BMW Z4

After my 08 Z4 was totaled by a teenager, I made the mistake of driving this car. This engine paired with the 7 speed transmission is the best drive-train I've ever driven, and that includes owning a Vette, Boxster, Jag XK, and my 08. My research showed an all-too-common complaint with the fuel pump failure and oil overheating. Knowing this, I still bought this car. I may regret it someday but unlike most modern muscle, this car gives you mega-power below 2K revs and keeps it through 5K with little or no turbo lag. Compare with the M3 which gives you almost nothing until you hit 4500 revs. The M3 may be the better track car, but I drive on the street. Nothing else can match this Z for daily use.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

So much fun!!

by on
Vehicle: 2009 BMW Z4

Just purchased the re-designed Z4. I have owned three Z4's, kept trying to talk myself into liking the previous version, to no avail. The new Z4 is a winner. The interior is roomier both in length and width, which is great for my 6' frame. The 3.0 has plenty of power. The only options I got were auto and heated seats. The body is rigid but not abusive when driving. Easily a commuter car. The styling is flawless - be prepared for people staring at you. If you can find an '09, grab it, BMW is giving a $5000 cash rebate if you finance. Mine had a sticker of $49k and I got it for $39,300!! Can't' wait for summer! I turned in a Lexus IS250 Vert - Lexus = fun to RIDE in, BMW = fun to DRIVE!!

Best of both worlds: eye

by on
Vehicle: 2009 BMW Z4

Always wanted a convertible, never enjoyed softtops. Always loved BMWs, owned a 325i, so I watched with anticipation when they released the new BMW Z4. The car is totally impractical, overpriced, but when my local dealer offered me a killer lease, $500/loaded SDrive35 and BMW finance also kicked in a rebate, I said,"You only live once." and drove off in my first convertible. The car is stunning, a true beauty in the Deep Sea Blue Metallic and Ivory White Nappa Leather, just like in the ads. I get looks and compliments constantly and I have only seen a red SD30 once on the road in the months I've owned it. In this economy, the car is rare eye-catcher. Anyone with a BMW knows, driving is #1.

Best car yet

by on
Vehicle: 2009 BMW Z4

I've had this car for about two weeks and it has been a blast to drive around town. The power is endless, but it has a refined quality to it. The sound of the turbos when I drop the hammer is music to my ears. The car sits very low on the road with the sports package, but with the 19in wheels it feels like it's planted to the asphalt.

Bmw z4 instant classic

by on
Vehicle: 2009 BMW Z4

Having loved my first roadster, a 2000 Z3 I was disappointed by the style changes with the first Z4. The 2009 Z4 brings back the beautiful lines with several improvements. The car fits like a glove, handles with incredible accuracy, and for the most part gives you the best of both a convertible and a comfortable sedan. This is my third roadster (also 2003 Boxster). Car came with sport shift paddles (I still don't get). Would have preferred a manual. The 3.0 automatic had plenty of power to match my driving style and I actually preferred to the 3.5. Bottom line, this is a gorgeous car that is a blast to drive.

Great roadster

by on
Vehicle: 2009 BMW Z4

I have only owned this Z4 for two months and love every minute I have owned it. I had 2006 z4, the 2009 is a much nicer car,looks, ride, comfort handling it is awesome. Build quality is excellent. It is one of the sexiest roadsters ever built, I had a car collector friend of mine tell me that nothing large colection of exotics looks any better the new Z4. I chose white with black leather. 23 mpg city and 31 mpg on road trips. The most fun car I have owned including two porsche's.

Full 2010 BMW Z4 Review

What's New for 2010

Following its complete redesign last year, the 2010 BMW Z4 receives standard HD radio and optional automatic high beams.


The 2010 BMW Z4 is a descendant of the Z3, a pint-sized ragtop best known for its performance as James Bond's car in the movie "Goldeneye." Unlike its forebear, the Z4 isn't a movie star; nonetheless, it's far more qualified to be 007's two-seater of choice. Comprehensively redesigned last year, the second-generation Z4 boasts a retractable hardtop, upscale styling inside and out, a refined ride/handling balance and a pair of superbly smooth and powerful inline-6 engines. Whereas that Z3 was essentially BMW's answer to the elemental but mainstream Mazda Miata, the new Z4 is a world-class luxury roadster that even the most debonair British spy could appreciate.

The first thing you'll notice about the Z4 is its sleekly sculpted sheet metal. This BMW may compete on price with the Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class, but its visual presence evokes the big-buck SL-Class. Like those Mercedes models, the Z4 comes with a retractable hardtop, which sets it apart from both its predecessors and soft-top rivals like the Audi TT and Porsche Boxster. The Z4 has plenty of firepower as well: Even the base sDrive 30i comes with a responsive inline-6 rated at 255 horsepower, while the sDrive35i features a 300-hp twin-turbocharged inline-6 that produces a 0-60-mph sprint of just 5.2 seconds. The sDrive35i is also eligible for BMW's seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission (it also appears on the high-performance M3), while the sDrive 30i makes do with a conventional six-speed automatic.

Enthusiasts will no doubt mourn the passing of the old M Roadster, a hard-core, M3-engined version of the previous Z4. Even the turbocharged sDrive35i is down 30 hp by comparison, and it has none of the M Roadster's edginess when driven hard. However, the latest Z4 greatly expands upon that car's niche appeal, nearly matching its on-paper performance while slathering on thick layers of style, luxury and versatility. Those in search of maximal thrills may want to look elsewhere, but the Z4 is plenty capable for most tastes, and adds a level of sophistication that few small convertibles can match.

Consequently, the Z4's competition is all over the map. The aforementioned Mercedes-Benz SLK-Class remains a viable contender, but it looks and feels less special; as noted, the Z4 may be closer in spirit to the SL-Class, which commands twice the BMW's price. Porsche's Boxster ragtop and Cayman coupe are significantly more engaging to drive, and Chevrolet's Corvette convertible delivers big V8 power, but they can't match the versatility of the Z4's retractable hardtop. The Audi TT and Nissan 370Z convertibles are cheaper, but they're also less car. W.W.B.D. (What Would Bond Drive)? Quite possibly the 2010 BMW Z4.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 BMW Z4 is a two-seat roadster with a retractable hardtop, available in either base sDrive30i or more powerful sDrive35i trim. The main distinction between the two cars is in the engine bay, but standard equipment also differs.

The base sDrive30i model includes 17-inch wheels, xenon headlamps, heated outside mirrors and rear window, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel, premium leatherette vinyl upholstery, six-way manually adjustable seats and a CD audio system with HD radio, satellite radio preparation and an auxiliary audio jack. The sDrive30i also comes standard with driver-adjustable steering, throttle and -- if applicable -- automatic transmission programming. Going with the sDrive35i gets you a more powerful engine and a few extra features like sun-reflective leather seating, automatic climate control and brushed aluminum interior trim.

There are several notable option packages. The Premium package includes leather and automatic climate control for the 30i model, power seats with driver-side memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient lighting, Bluetooth and BMW Assist. The Cold Weather package includes headlight washers, a heated steering wheel, heated seats and a ski bag pass-through from the trunk. The Premium Sound package includes a 14-speaker surround-sound audio system with a six-CD/DVD changer and an iPod/USB jack. An Ivory White Leather package gives you exactly what it sounds like and also includes special wood trim and 10-way-adjustable manual sport seats. Finally, the Sport package includes 18-inch wheels with performance tires (19s are available at extra cost), adaptive suspension dampers, the aforementioned sport seats and a higher top speed thanks to a recalibrated electronic limiter.

Many of these options are available separately, but a few stand-alone options that are not included in packages are keyless ignition/entry, a hard-drive-based navigation system with iDrive, a pop-up screen and digital music storage, parking sensors and automatic high beams.

Powertrains and Performance

The rear-wheel-drive 2010 BMW Z4 offers two engines -- one for each trim level. The base sDrive30i comes with a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6 that makes 255 hp and 220 pound-feet of torque. The sDrive35i receives BMW's twin-turbocharged inline-6 that's rated at 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. Both cars come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed conventional automatic is optional on the sDrive30i, while the optional transmission for the sDrive35i is a seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual.

In performance testing, we clocked the sDrive35i from zero to 60 in 5.2 seconds with the six-speed manual. EPA fuel economy estimates range from 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined for the sDrive30i (19/29/22 with the automatic) to 18/25/20 for the sDrive35i (17/24/20 with the automated manual).


Side impact airbags, antilock brakes with brake assist, and stability control are all standard on the 2010 BMW Z4. The antilock brakes also integrate several features designed to improve braking performance, such as periodically wiping the brake rotors dry when the windshield wipers are in use and automatically snugging the pads to the rotors if the driver abruptly lifts off the throttle.

The roof is made of aluminum and incorporates a structural support system that helps protect occupants in case of a rollover accident. To provide protection in the event of a top-down rollover, there is a steel hoop behind each seat.

Interior Design and Special Features

The 2010 BMW's Z4's cabin is sleek and upscale. High-quality materials abound and combine with diverse shapes to create an undeniably premium environment. Thankfully, BMW didn't forget about practicality along the way. There's a small storage area behind the seats that works well for purses or backpacks, as well as a moderately sized pass-through that effectively expands trunk space to accommodate long items like skis or golf clubs. The iDrive vehicle interface has been vastly improved -- it's now arguably the best of its breed, with an intuitive menu structure and helpful physical buttons alongside the familiar circular controller.

The hardtop does eat into storage space when folded -- there's a respectable 11 cubic feet with the top up, but only 6 with the top down. The folding top is power-operated and takes about 20 seconds to retract.

Driving Impressions

Even the base 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive30i is an entertaining drive thanks to its willing and exceptionally smooth 255-hp inline-6. The twin-turbocharged sDrive35i is better yet, offering up authoritative yet ultra-refined acceleration. One of our editors described the exhaust note as "flatulent," but others appreciate its distinctive character. The sDrive35i's dual-clutch automated manual transmission delivers quick and smooth shifts in Manual mode, yet it also does a very credible impression of a conventional automatic.

When driven aggressively, the Z4's limits are high, but its reflexes and communication with the driver are somewhat lackluster. The culprits here are a numb electric power steering system and the Z4's stubborn understeer in hard cornering. Nonetheless, a Z4 sDrive35i with the Sport package should provide enough sporting entertainment to satisfy the majority of luxury roadster buyers.

Talk About The 2010 Z4

Gas Mileage


  • 18
  • cty
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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