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7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.7
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 BMW Z4 Review

The 2016 BMW Z4 offers a roomy cabin for two, zippy acceleration, and a smooth ride. Because its handling isn't quite as thrilling as that of other sports cars, this hardtop convertible lands in the middle of our luxury sports car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious seating
  • Comfortable ride
  • Less agile than rivals

2016 BMW Z4 Overview

Is the 2016 BMW Z4 a Good Used Car?

The 2016 BMW Z4 roadster is a fitting option if you plan to do more relaxed cruising than corner carving. Its roominess and refinement make it a practical choice for daily driving, but the Z4 isn't nearly as quick or nimble as many other luxury sports cars. This BMW is a convertible with a retractable hardtop; no other body types are available.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our goal is to make shopping for your next car as easy as possible. You'll find everything you need to know about the BMW Z4 in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data (like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions) with 52 professional BMW Z4 reviews.

At U.S. News & World Report, we rank the Best Jobs, Best Hospitals, and Best Colleges to guide readers through some of life’s most complicated decisions. We've been ranking and reviewing the Best Cars since 2007, backed by a team with more than 75 years of combined automotive experience. To keep favoritism out of the picture, we maintain a separate advertising team and decline expensive gifts and trips from car companies.

How Much Is the 2016 BMW Z4?

A comparatively low purchase price is one of the Z4's strong suits. On average, a 2016 Z4 costs $39,300, based on more than 35 listings on our used car site (with list prices ranging from $28,000 to $50,000). That's thousands of dollars less than the price of a 2016 Porsche Boxster or 2016 Chevrolet Corvette. Prices vary based on the vehicle's trim, mileage, condition, and ZIP code.

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How Much Does the 2016 BMW Z4 Cost to Own?

Over five years, expect to pay about $29,700 to insure, maintain, repair, and fuel a 2016 Z4. These ownership costs are much lower on the Z4 than they are on many other luxury sports cars. For example, these same expenses run closer to $39,000 for the 2016 Porsche Boxster.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Z4?

You can't buy a new BMW Z4 – this roadster was retired after the 2016 model year. No other new luxury sports car cost about the same as the average 2016 Z4, but the 2018 Audi TT Coupe comes close. Pricing starts at just below $44,000, and savvy shoppers may be able to finagle a price drop by tapping into an Audi car deal. The TT indulges with its elegant, high-tech interior and sumptuous seats. While it isn’t as brawny as a Porsche when you mash the throttle, this lively sports car is delightful to drive.

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How Reliable Is the 2016 BMW Z4?

The 2016 BMW Z4 has a predicted reliability score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is a touch above average for a used car.

Read more about Z4 reliability »

2016 BMW Z4 Recalls

There are no recalls for the 2016 Z4 at the time of this writing.

See more information on BMW Z4 safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the BMW Z4 Is Best?

The Z4's second generation began with the 2009 model year and ended with the 2016 model year – the car’s final year of production. The Z4 didn't change much throughout its second generation, and its scores for the final few model years are nearly identical. You can save money on an older model while getting many of the 2016 Z4's features and styling. However, know that the 2016 model added standard sport seats, and you’ll want to stick to 2012 or newer models for the most recent base engine.

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Z4 »

Which Used BMW Z4 Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Z4 has three trims (sDrive28i, sDrive35i, and sDrive35is) each with a unique powertrain. Of the three, spirited drivers will likely prefer the sDrive28i, as it feels the most lively and nimble. Standard features for the base model include Bluetooth, a USB port, HD Radio, satellite radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and 10-way power-adjustable sport seats. The BMW sDrive35i adds a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, larger wheels, and leather seats. The top-of-the-line sDrive35is has a more powerful turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a surround-sound stereo.

See 2016 BMW Z4 trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned BMW Z4 Warranty

Although BMW's certified pre-owned program isn't quite as comprehensive as programs offered by Mercedes and Chevrolet, buying a certified pre-owned Z4 gives you an extra level of assurance. The BMW CPO program is available on vehicles with less than 60,000 miles on the odometer. The program covers buyers for one year with unlimited mileage after the expiration of the four-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty for passenger cars and SUVs for a maximum of five years of coverage. Each BMW undergoes an inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available. Restrictions apply on transferring certified-pre-owned coverage to subsequent owners. Read the BMW warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether it is eligible for the CPO program.

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How Safe Is the Z4?

Like most luxury sports cars, the 2016 Z4 did not undergo crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Z4 has few active safety features, but it does come standard with adaptive headlights. Front and rear parking sensors and dynamic cruise control are available.

See Z4 safety scores »

2016 BMW Z4 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 BMW Z4 or 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata?

The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata costs far less than the Z4, but it delivers a more thrilling performance. We named the Miata our 2016 Best Sports Car for the Money – and for good reason. It has outstanding cornering abilities, sharp steering, and strong brakes, delivering one of the best sports car driving experiences among both affordable and luxury sports cars. The Miata's four-cylinder engine provides quick acceleration while maintaining outstanding fuel economy estimates. Its six-speed manual transmission is smooth and quick.

Which Is Better: 2016 BMW Z4 or 2016 Porsche Boxster?

If you want a true sports car driving experience, few vehicles are more attractive than the 2016 Porsche Boxster. It tenders some of the best driving dynamics in the class, with exceptionally precise steering, engaging handling around corners, and a fairly comfortable ride. The Boxster's interior is fitted with first-rate materials and solid construction, and its dashboard controls are user-friendly. It also has supremely supportive seats. However, this Porsche provides poor visibility for the driver, and its base engine power is somewhat underwhelming, so you might want to step up to one of the stronger available engines.

Which Is Better: 2016 BMW Z4 or 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL?

The 2016 Mercedes-Benz SL offers the practicality of spacious seats alongside the fun of engaging driving dynamics. Like the Z4, the SL is a two-seater with plenty of head- and legroom. It also has a luxurious cabin made with top-notch materials. The SL comes with a potent twin-turbocharged V6 engine that is much stronger than the Z4's four-cylinder, and there are two additional twin-turbo engines available: a V8 and a V12. The SL has balanced performance, offering composure through turns, strong brakes, and a serene ride. It also has more standard and available tech and safety features than the Z4.

Compare the Z4, Boxster, and SL »

2016 Z4 Performance

How Does the 2016 BMW Z4 Drive?

The 2016 BMW Z4 comes standard with rear-wheel drive and a turbocharged, 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates good acceleration. Still, that’s a fairly low horsepower rating for this class. Two stronger twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engines are available in the Z4 sDrive35i and Z4 sDrive35is, producing 300 and 335 horsepower, respectively. The base model comes standard with a manual six-speed transmission, and an eight-speed automatic is available. A seven-speed automated manual is paired to both six-cylinder engines. The Z4 roadster has agile handling and a smooth ride. However, competing sports cars offer sharper steering and more agility.

Does the 2016 BMW Z4 Get Good Gas Mileage?

According to the EPA, the four-cylinder Z4 with a manual transmission gets 22 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. That is on par with similarly powered sports cars.

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2016 Z4 Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Z4 Seat?

The 2016 BMW Z4 is a hardtop convertible with a spacious two-person interior that offers plenty of legroom for tall adults. The cabin has an attractive design, and its materials are high-quality.

2016 BMW Z4 Features

The 2016 Z4 comes standard with Bluetooth, a USB port, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-folding hardtop, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. It's available with smartphone app integration, navigation, and an upgraded stereo. The dashboard controls are user-friendly, and the instrument cluster is easy to read. 

See 2016 BMW Z4 specs »

Read more about Z4 interior »

2016 BMW Z4 Dimensions

BMW Z4 Cargo Space

Trunk space is above average for the class at 8 cubic feet (with the top up). There’s also a small storage bin behind the seats.

BMW Z4 Length and Weight

The BMW Z4 sDrive28i measures 13.9 feet from end to end and has a 3,263-pound curb weight. Z4 sDrive35is models are 0.2 inches longer and 286 pounds heavier.

Where Was the 2016 BMW Z4 Built?

BMW built the 2016 Z4 at its Regensburg, Germany, factory.

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