2019 BMW Z4
- The Z4 roadster is fully redesigned for 2019
- Part of the third Z4 generation introduced for 2019
Pros & Cons
- Classic roadster experience with modern conveniences
- Larger-than-expected cargo space
- Quiet and calm interior with the top up or down
- Not quite as exciting as it could be
- No manual transmission available
2019 BMW Z4 pricingin Ashburn, VA
Which Z4 does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
There's nothing quite like taking in the sights and sounds from a convertible sports car. Historically, that meant having to sacrifice some comfort and convenience, but in the case of the 2019 BMW Z4, there's less of a penalty. After a three-year hiatus, the Z4 roadster is back and it's better than before.
For 2019, BMW fits the Z4 with a standard 255-horsepower four-cylinder engine. A 382-hp six-cylinder is also available but only on the 2020 Z4 model. Unfortunately, there's no manual transmission available for purists, but the eight-speed automatic does give you plenty of control as well as better performance and fuel economy. Still, we mourn the absence of a stick shift.
Behind the wheel, the Z4 is lively and fun, though a small minority of spirited drivers may wish for a bit more engagement. Whether the top is up or down, the cabin remains pleasantly calm and comfortable for hours on end. On top of that, there's enough cargo space for a weekend getaway.
The 2019 BMW Z4 doesn't have many competitors, but we count the Porsche 718 Boxster and the Audi TT Roadster among the most direct. In many ways, the Z4 slots between them in terms of both price and performance.
2019 BMW Z4 models
The 2019 BMW Z4 is a two-seat convertible roadster that is available as the sDrive 30i. The more powerful sDrive M40i will be offered later as a 2020 model.
The sDrive 30i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine (255 horsepower, 295 lb-ft of torque). An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered and drives the rear wheels. The sDrive M40i steps up to a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder (382 hp, 368 lb-ft).
Standard sDrive30i features include 18-inch wheels with performance run-flat tires, automatic LED headlights, auto-dimming driver-side and rearview mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, a black fabric folding roof, a wind deflector, keyless ignition, selectable drive modes and cruise control.
On the inside, you get automatic climate control, a virtual instrument panel, 14-way power sport seats with memory functions, SensaTec simulated-leather upholstery, a center trunk pass-through, interior ambient lighting, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, emergency telematics and remote control via smartphone app, a rearview camera, voice control, a navigation system, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, two USB ports, HD radio, and 20 GB of multimedia storage. Advanced safety features include frontal collision warning/mitigation and a traffic sign reader.
The sDrive 30i is eligible for the Convenience package (smartphone key integration, an automated parking system, additional lumbar adjustments, satellite radio, and rear cross-traffic alert) plus a dark gray fabric top, leather upholstery, an automated parking system and adaptive cruise control.
Other bundled options include the Driving Assistance package (blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning); the Premium package (heated seats, a wireless charging pad, a Wi-Fi hotspot and a head-up display); and the Executive package (premium leather upholstery, adaptive headlights, automatic high beams, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system).
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our first drive of the BMW Z4 sDrive M40i (turbo 3.0L inline-6 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).
NOTE: We've only driven the 2020 Z4 M40i, but most of our impressions apply to both Z4 variants.
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2019 BMW Z4 video2019 BMW Z4 First Drive
2019 BMW Z4 First Drive
[MUSIC PLAYING] MARK TAKAHASHI: In the mid 1990s, BMW came out with a new roadster called the Z3. It was fun, it was light, it was lively. I was a big fan, especially of the Z3M, which had a lot more power. The follow-up, the Z4, was a bit of a disappointment for me. It felt heavy, disconnected. Kind of took me out of the equation. And that was a bummer. And the follow-ups to the Z4, well, they kind of suffered the same fate. But what we have here is the all new 2019 BMW Z4. And I'm here in Portugal to find out if it can reclaim some of that fun spirit that the Z3 had. [MUSIC PLAYING] Before I get too deep into the Z4, do me a favor and hit subscribe. We've got a lot of content coming your way. When this goes on sale in March, we're expecting the base Z4 30i to start right around $50,000. That's going to have a two liter turbocharged 4-cylinder puts out 255 horsepower. This, however, is the Z4 M40i. It has a three liter inline six turbo charge that puts out 382 horsepower. With that spec, as well as the lightweight nature of this roadster, there's a lot of potential for this to be a lot of fun. The best way to find out is to take it for a spin. [MUSIC PLAYING] 382 horsepower. On paper, that's pretty impressive, but honestly, it doesn't feel like it has that much power. It's got power to pass. But I think takes a little while for the turbo to spool up, so it's not a lot of punch right when you hit the pedal. And that's OK. I mean, it's comfortable. It's not a full on sports car. But I did expect a little more. Otherwise, I mean, it's a very pleasant driving car. There's not a lot to knock it for. With the top up, it's fairly quiet. At highway speeds, there is some whistling, but I actually think it's coming off the mirrors, not so much the top itself. There's a decent amount of road noise, but you kind of expect that with a roadster, any roadster. And the handling, well, it's pretty sharp. Like most cars today, there's very little steering feel, but most drivers nowadays don't know what steering feel is. The ride quality is pretty good. You feel what you should feel in a roadster like this. It's not jarring, and it's not too soft either. It's well tuned. For normal touring like what I'm doing right now, the brakes feel good. It's an adequately firm pedal, but had the opportunity to turn a few laps at Esteril yesterday in the Z4 and in that setting, the brake pedal actually felt a little soft. The seat comfort is good. I've got good lateral support, and it's not overly aggressive. It should fit a variety of people. What I want to do now is check out the top. Let's see. Let's see how long it takes. That was pretty quick. Oh, I'm also hearing a nice little turbo whoosh with a top down. The buffeting's not too bad. We're not at highway speeds. We're kind of, what is this? 72 kilometers an hour. Does that come out to about 40 something? We do have that wind screen installed. And it's pretty easy to see out of. With the top down, it doesn't really change the character that much. It is really pleasant. Like a lot of BMWs the traction control is pretty well tuned. On track yesterday when we're really pushing it hard, it'll let you hang the tail out just a little bit. And as long as you stay in the throttle, it'll let you hold it there. Once you exceed those parameters though, it will snap you right back in line, and that's a good thing. I really didn't have that much desire to disable stability control, even on track. One thing I'm not too hot on is the lane keep assist. It's really aggressive, and it felt like I was fighting the wheel, even though I was still centered in the lane. And that's too bad, because I do like event safety systems, and I never like having to disable them because they're too aggressive or send out false alarms. Even though I like the power in this M40i, I was still hoping for a little more life out of it. I really think most drivers are going to be fine with the 30i. After driving this Z4 M40i on some epic roads in Portugal, I can say it is tons better than the previous Z4s. Is it as good as a Z3 and Z3M was before it? I don't think so. It's coming really close though. Maybe the Z4M, if and when that comes out, has a better chance. And in the class, it's competing against the new Porsche Boxster, which is also really fun, but the sound of that new engine just doesn't do it for me. They are both really great cars. It's just not getting me as excited as I was hoping to be. For more information on the Z4, as well as its competition, head on over to edmunds.com. To see more videos like this, hit subscribe. [MUSIC PLAYING]
Edmunds Senior Reviews Editor Mark Takahashi got the opportunity to drive the all-new 2019 BMW Z4 roadster in Portugal. He wasn't a fan of previous Z4s and was hoping that this redesign would bring back some of the lively spirit of the Z3 and other past BMW roadsters. In the process of trying to answer that question, Mark delves into more practical concerns and assesses how the Z4 stacks up against the competition.
Our experts’ favorite Z4 safety features:
- Frontal Collision Warning
- Warns if a collision is imminent and applies the brakes if the driver doesn't react in time.
- Active Blind Spot Detection
- Alerts the driver if a vehicle is lurking in the blind spot.
- Lane Departure Warning
- Warns if the vehicle begins to drift out of its marked lanes.
BMW Z4 vs. the competition
BMW Z4 vs. Porsche 718 Boxster
The Boxster will set you back almost $8,500 more than a base Z4 and doesn't come with as many standard features. You will get stronger overall performance, though. Unfortunately, the Porsche's mid-engine layout will limit cargo size and shape, and we're no fans of the way the Boxster's engine sounds. A possible forthcoming Z4 M may be a better match to the Boxster.
BMW Z4 vs. Audi TT
The TT Roadster is similarly priced to the Z4 but benefits from standard all-wheel drive, which is unique among the class. The Audi is down on power but is still a lot of fun to drive on a twisting road thanks to its sporty handling. There are comparable amounts of tech between the two, and both are easy to use. In some ways, we consider the TT a baby R8, and that's a good thing.
BMW Z4 vs. Jaguar F-Type
Normally, the F-Type would be in a different class, but with the base four-cylinder engine, it can indeed go head to head with the Z4. The Jag is marginally slower, but it responds well to being driven hard on a challenging road. In everyday driving, there are some occasional transmission missteps. The F-Type has more cargo space, but the infotainment system is a constant source of frustration.
Is the BMW Z4 a good car?
What's new in the 2019 BMW Z4?
According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2019 BMW Z4:
- The Z4 roadster is fully redesigned for 2019
- Part of the third Z4 generation introduced for 2019
Is the BMW Z4 reliable?
Is the 2019 BMW Z4 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2019 BMW Z4?
The least-expensive 2019 BMW Z4 is the 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive30i 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $49,700.
Other versions include:
- sDrive30i 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A) which starts at $49,700
What are the different models of BMW Z4?
More about the 2019 BMW Z4
2019 BMW Z4 Overview
The 2019 BMW Z4 is offered in the following submodels: Z4 Convertible. Available styles include sDrive30i 2dr Convertible (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A).
What do people think of the 2019 BMW Z4?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2019 BMW Z4 and all its trim types. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2019 Z4.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2019 BMW Z4 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2019 Z4 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2019 BMW Z4?
Which 2019 BMW Z4s are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2019 BMW Z4?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out BMW lease specials