BMW Z4 Road Test, Review
Grip, grip, grip, oh and the remarkable powered foldaway roof – these are the two things that standout the most in the 2014 BMW Z4 Roadster.
I was fortunate enough to have a week in the sDrive 28i version, fitted with the optional M Sport package, a $2,900 option that provides 18” alloys, a subtle body kit, sports suspension and just the most wonderful leather wrapped steering wheel.
Along with an eight-speed automatic transmission – this is a combo that will set you back from about $92,800.
That’s a lot of money, especially for a vehicle that only accommodates two people! But still, what a car!
Under that long and low bonnet is a remarkable engine. 2.0 litres in capacity and fed by an intercooled turbo-charger, the output is 180kW and 350Nm.
Matched with the silky smooth eight-speed transmission, acceleration and power at any speed brings a smile to your face.
There are three driving modes (sport, sport without traction control and comfort) and two transmission modes (sport and normal), whatever you select the Z4 is ready to get up and go.
Fuel consumption is very reasonable given the sporty feel – I averaged just under 10L/100kms in a mix of country, freeway and urban driving.
The official combined figure is 6.8L/100kms – possible perhaps, but would be without any of the fun this engine provides!
But, unlike most of the sports cars of the past, the Z4 isn’t just fun in a straight-line, in fact it really comes alive in the bends, it literally feels like it could get around any bend no matter how hard you pushed it.
Remarkably, despite the amazing handling, the ride is very, very impressive. Oh, and the steering is superb.
Tyre noise though, on some road surfaces, is obvious in the cabin.
Speaking of that cabin, you don’t realize just how far back the roadsters two seats are until you get up close to the Z4 – you literally are sitting in the back of the car and that gives you quite a different feel when cornering.
The interior, well there isn’t too much of it!
But, it is well-laid out and functional, being a BMW the feel is top notch and despite the seats being very sporty in shape are comfortable even after a couple of hours in them.
Then we get to the amazing foldable roof – just standing back and watching how this roof manoeuvres itself into the boot is remarkable, smooth, quick and easy – it’s mighty impressive.
Yes, if you do have the wind in your hair your boot space is naturally limited, but with the roof up boot space is actually pretty good. Set of golf clubs good? I reckon yes, but at a pinch.
I was amazed to find that even at 100km/h with the top off you could still easily enjoy the stereo.
As with every BMW there’s a comprehensive list of extra features you can add, at this stage though there isn’t a safety rating for the Z4.
Summing it up: Yes, the price is up there. But, hey it’s a convertible M tweaked BMW Roadster, how wrong could you go?
It would be worth taking this car for a test drive just to check out the foldable roof!
Then there’s the handling, the engine, the engine sound, the fit and finish…9/10 from me!
NUTS and BOLTS – 2014 BMW Z4
- Engine: 2.0 litre turbo producing 180kW and 350Nm
- Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
- Safety: Not tested
- Warranty: Three years
- Origin: Germany
- Price: From $89,900