2011 BMW Z4

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2011 BMW Z4 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2011 BMW Z4 was new.

For 2011, the BMW Z4 amps up its aggression with the introduction of a new sports-tuned trim and an M Sport Package. Last year, the BMW Z4 was named a finalist in Motor Trend's showdown for "Car of the Year." With this year’s upgrades, it might just take the cake.

Pros & Cons

  • Strong powertrain options
  • All-new performance-tuned sDrive35is trim
  • Retractable hard top
  • An iDrive media interface that's now easier to use
  • Steering system lacks feedback
  • Limited cargo room

Research & Ratings

Currently, the BMW Z4 has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 26 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.6
Performance: 8.4
Interior: 8.5
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2011 BMW Z4 Overview

The 2011 BMW Z4 is sleek, sexy, luxurious and powerful. Its handling dynamics aren’t as sports-oriented as class leaders, but it makes a stellar choice for folks more interested in luxury than all-out sports performance. In fact, Edmunds writes, "Sleek styling, a high-class interior and plenty of performance combine to make the 2011 BMW Z4 one of the most desirable luxury roadsters available."

For 2011, BMW enhances the Z4’s sports performance with M Sport Packages available for both the Z4 sDrive30i and sDrive35i. Plus, BMW introduces a whole new trim -- the Z4 sDrive35is, which features more power and greater sports handling. It’s unlikely that the 2011 BMW Z4’s upgrades will enable it to overtake the Porsche Boxster, but they sure makes the compromise between luxury and sports performance easier to swallow.

Other Sports Cars to Consider

The 2011 BMW Z4 will leave the majority of shoppers in the market for a luxury sports roadster satisfied -- especially with the all-new Z4 sDrive35is. It’s still as luxurious as before, but with the added bonus of greater sports performance.

Still, shoppers serious about road and track performance should consider the Boxster, the convertible sibling of the highly-acclaimed Porsche Cayman. The Boxster costs roughly the same as the 2011 BMW Z4, but its performance dynamics are more in tune with the road -- which makes for tighter handling. The Boxster also provides loads of more cargo room, making it a more practical buy. Just note that while the 2011 BMW Z4's standard hardtop is retractable, the Boxster's is optional and must be manually removed.  

Details: 2011 BMW Z4

The BMW Z4 was last redesigned in 2009. The 2011 model is available in three trims, the sDrive30i, sDrive35i and sports-tuned Z4 sDrive35is. It features a standard retractable hardtop that lowers in just 20 seconds.

  • "Z4 is a reasonably practical daily driver convertible, and a capable two-seat sports car for enthusiasts. Sweet 6-cylinder engines, a classy interior, and a rewarding driving experience are among the Z4's compelling traits. These cars are pricey, so careful navigation of the options list will deliver the best value." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The new interior is more visually pleasing, and includes a slew of comfort and usability improvements." -- Left Lane News
  • "We'd still love to see an M edition of this Z4 (maybe they'd call it simply ‘Z4 M’ ... wouldn't that be novel?), but the new sDrive35is is a suitable flag-waver, no matter what, if anything, comes next." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Enthusiasts waiting for an ‘M’ version of the new-style Z4 Roadster will have to keep waiting. But for those who feel the new Z4 only needs minor sporting attention, well, your car will arrive at BMW dealers in the spring of 2010. Dubbed the 2011 BMW Z4 sDrive35is, this 2-seat retractable hardtop boasts more power and torque, along with an M Sport-enhanced suspension and interior." -- Road and Track

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