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$17,325 - $22,477
$48,650 - $64,200

Pros & Cons

  • Good fuel economy
  • Responsive base engine
  • Limited space for taller drivers
  • Noisy at highway speeds




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 BMW Z4 Overview

The base 2012 Z4 sDrive28i comes with a new-for-2012 turbocharged four-cylinder engine that reviewers agreed provides plenty of power and torque for spirited drives. More powerful Z4 sDrive35i and Z4 sDrive35is models are available, which both feature a turbocharged six-cylinder engine. The base Z4 comes with a six-speed manual transmission or a new-for-2012 eight-speed automatic, which reviewers said is responsive and provides rapid gear changes. According to the EPA, the 2012 BMW Z4 sDrive28i gets up to 22/32 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. Test drivers noted that the Z4 rides firmly, and that you can feel some bumps in the cabin. While some said the Z4 can’t match the agility of competitors like the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, they still agreed that it has nimble handling and brakes that provide strong stopping power.

Reviewers said the 2012 BMW Z4 has an attractive interior filled with upscale materials, though some noted that road noise is prevalent at highway speeds. The Z4 seats two, and while many auto writers said there is enough head- and legroom for most drivers, a few said that taller drivers may want more space. The Z4 has 8 cubic feet of trunk space with its top up, though critics noted that there’s less room when the Z4’s retractable hardtop is lowered. The 2012 BMW Z4 comes standard with leatherette upholstery, HD Radio, a USB/iPod input and Bluetooth. Available features include leather upholstery, heated and power-adjustable seats, satellite radio, navigation and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Other Cars to Consider

Reviewers agreed that few cars can match the razor-sharp handling of the 2012 Porsche Boxster. Test drivers said even the base Boxster has a lively six-cylinder engine, and they agreed that the Boxster also features an attractive interior with first-rate materials.

The 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK250 gets great fuel economy for the class, and critics loved its controlled, comfortable ride. The SLK250 has a larger trunk than the Z4, and reviewers said its standard COMAND infotainment system is user-friendly.

Compare the Z4, Boxster and SLK-Class »

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