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2019 BMW Z4 Review

The BMW Z4 ranks near the bottom of the luxury sports car class. It doesn’t have many glaring weaknesses and is, in fact, pretty good across the board, but many rivals outclass it with sharper handling and more monstrous engine options.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy seats
  • Straightforward infotainment controls
  • Great fuel economy estimates
  • Fun to drive
  • Less athletic and powerful than rivals
  • No Android Auto

7.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 8.0
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership:
This model has never been fully tested for total cost of ownership. Its overall score is being calculated without total cost of ownership.
N/A
Safety:
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 BMW Z4 Overview

Is the 2019 BMW Z4 a Good Used Car?

Despite its ranking, the 2019 Z4 is a good used luxury sports car. It’s a fun-to-drive roadster with a potent turbo-four engine. Additionally, this BMW gets great gas mileage, and it has a roomy cabin.

However, used models may lack connectivity features such as Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto is unavailable. Despite its strong base engine, this convertible lacks the performance-oriented upgrades that many rivals offer. Some of them have more focused handling as well.

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 this vehicle in our comprehensive review. It combines concrete data like fuel economy estimates, horsepower specs, and cargo space dimensions with eight professional BMW Z4 reviews.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. We care about cars, but we care more about providing useful consumer advice. To ensure our impartiality, an independent party handles our advertising, and our editorial team doesn’t accept expensive gifts from automakers.

How Much is the 2019 BMW Z4?

Based on listings for the 2019 BMW Z4, the average list price is $41,742. Prices range from $49,700 to $49,700 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 BMW Z4 Cost to Own?

At the time of writing, we are unable to provide estimates on the five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repair, and maintenance associated with this convertible.

2018 vs. 2019 BMW Z4: What's the Difference?

BMW did not produce the Z4 for 2018. You would have to go back to 2016 to find an older Z4, and that would be a significantly different vehicle. For example, the 2016 Z4 has a retractable hardtop instead of the soft-folding drop top that’s in the redesigned 2019 BMW Z4.

Compare the 2016 and 2019 Z4 »

Here are the key changes for the BMW Z4 over the last few years:

  • 2016: final model year of generation; last model with power retractable hardtop and 240-horsepower engine
  • 2017-18: no vehicle produced
  • 2019: reintroduced and fully redesigned with stronger engine (255 horsepower), more standard features (including a 10.25-inch touch screen and 12.3-inch digital driver display), revamped styling, a larger trunk, and more passenger space

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2015 Z4 and 2016 Z4 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 BMW Z4?

The 2019 Z4 has a slightly above-average predicted reliability rating of 3.5 out of five.

Read more about Z4 reliability »

2019 BMW Z4 Recalls

There have been 4 safety recalls issued from NHTSA.

EXTERIOR LIGHTING:HEADLIGHTS Recall Date: 08/26/2020
  • Summary: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2019-2020 Z4 sDrive30i, Z4 M40i and 2020 Toyota Supra vehicles. The headlamps are able to be adjusted horizontally. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 108, "Lamps, Reflective Devices and Associated Equipment."
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 4265
  • Consequence: Should the headlamps be adjusted horizontally, there could be increased glare and reduced visibility for oncoming drivers, or reduced visibility for the vehicle operator, thereby increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: BMW will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the headlamp vertical and horizontal adjustment plugs, correcting them as necessary, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin October 19, 2020. BMW owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417 or Toyota owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371.
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 20V516000
STEERING:LINKAGES:TIE ROD ASSEMBLY Recall Date: 06/14/2020
  • Summary: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2019 Z4 sDrive30i, 2019-2020 330i xDrive, M340i and M340i xDrive, 2020 X3M and X4M, and Toyota Supra vehicles. In certain driving conditions, such as high temperatures and rough road surfaces, a steering gear tie rod may become damaged, possibly resulting in a fractured tie rod.
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 2779
  • Consequence: A damaged or fractured tie rod may affect vehicle handling and control, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: BMW and Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the steering gear tie rods, free of charge. This recall is expected to begin August 7, 2020. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417 or Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371.
  • Manufacturer Recall Number: Toyota: 20TA09
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 20V355000
ENGINE Recall Date: 10/14/2019
  • Summary: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2019-2020 330i, 330i xDrive, and 2019 Z4 vehicles. The needle roller bearings of the counterbalance shafts may have been improperly installed, potentially causing the counterbalance shaft to loosen.
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 217
  • Consequence: If the counterbalance shaft loosens, severe engine damage could occur, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: BMW will notify owners, and dealers will replace the engine, free of charge. The recall began December 13, 2019. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417.
  • Dates of Manufacture: MAY 23, 2018 to APR 02, 2019
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 19V732000
BACK OVER PREVENTION: SENSING SYSTEM: CAMERA Recall Date: 09/26/2019
  • Summary: BMW of North America, LLC (BMW) is recalling certain 2018 540d, 2018-2020 530i, 530i xDrive, 540i, 540i xDrive, M550i xDrive, M5, 530e, 530e xDrive, X3 sDrive, X3 xDrive, X3 M40i, X3 M, and 2019-2020 X4 xDrive, X4 M40i, X4 M, X7 xDrive, X7 M50i, 740Li, 740Li xDrive, 750Li, 750Li xDrive, 8 Series Convertible and Coupe 840i, 840i xDrive, M850i xDrive, X5 sDrive, X5 xDrive, X5 M50i, X6 xDrive, X6 M50i, 330i, 330i xDrive, M340i, M340i xDrive, Z4 sDrive, Z4 M40i, 740Le xDrive and 745Le xDrive, 2018-2019 640i xDrive Gran Turismo and Rolls-Royce Phantom, 2019 M850i xDrive Gran Coupe and Rolls-Royce Cullinan and 2020 Toyota Supra vehicles. The back-up camera and display settings can be adjusted such that the rear view image is no longer visible and the system will retain that setting the next time the vehicle is placed in reverse. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) number 111, "Rearview Mirrors."
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 257473
  • Consequence: The lack of an image in the back-up camera display increases the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: BMW will notify owners, and dealers will update the back-up camera software, free of charge. The recall began November 8, 2019. Owners may contact BMW customer service at 1-800-525-7417 or Rolls-Royce at 1-877-877-3735. Toyota owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371.
  • Dates of Manufacture: MAY 23, 2019 to AUG 25, 2019
  • Manufacturer Recall Number: Toyota: 19TA19
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 19V684000

See more information on BMW Z4 safety recalls »

Which Used BMW Z4 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 BMW Z4 roadster is available in a single trim: sDrive30i. The performance-oriented sDrive M40i came out as a 2020 model.

Standard equipment in the sDrive30i includes a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, the iDrive infotainment system, a 10.25-inch touch screen, a navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, two USB ports, and HD Radio. Other standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, 14-way power-adjustable sport seats, push-button start, alloy wheels, a rearview camera, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

BMW offered the sDrive30i with several options when it was new. In addition to the features above, you may find a model outfitted with a Wi-Fi hot spot, a 12-speaker Harman Kardon stereo, wireless device charging, proximity keyless entry, premium genuine leather seats, heated seats, or a heated steering wheel. You may also find models with safety features such as blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a park assist system, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, or a head-up display.

Some models may also feature BMW’s Active Driving Assistant, which bundles forward collision warning, city collision mitigation, pedestrian detection, and rear cross traffic alert.

See 2019 BMW Z4 trims and specs »

What Does BMW's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

The BMW Certified CPO program is available on vehicles no older than five years with between 300 and 60,000 miles on the odometer. The program covers buyers for one year with unlimited mileage after the four-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty has expired. This warranty can be renewed for a fee, but there is a maximum of five years of coverage. Each BMW must pass a road test and a 196-point inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available. This CPO coverage can be transferred to subsequent owners, but some restrictions may apply, so read the BMW warranty page carefully.

BMW has one of the less-attractive CPO programs among luxury car manufacturers, according to our research. You’ll get better warranties from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Jaguar.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Z4?

Neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash tested the Z4. That’s common for high-end luxury vehicles.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Parallel and perpendicular park assist
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Head-up display
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive headlights

See Z4 safety scores »

2019 BMW Z4 Versus the Competition

Starting with the 2020 model year, the reimagined Toyota Supra coupe is built alongside the Z4 as part of a collaboration between BMW and Toyota. The Supra is equipped with a punchy inline-six-cylinder engine, and it shares many similarities with the BMW. To read more about the Supra, check out our 2020 Toyota Supra review.

Which Is Better: 2019 BMW Z4 or 2019 Mercedes-Benz SLC?

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz SLC is a decent luxury sports car. If you want something more powerful than a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, then the Mercedes-Benz is the way to go. There’s even a V6 in the performance-oriented Mercedes-AMG model. On the other hand, the Z4 roadster has roomier and more supportive seats, as well as slightly better gas mileage. In other respects, such as trunk space (at least with the top up), both vehicles are similar. Choosing between them is a matter of preference.

Which Is Better: 2019 BMW Z4 or 2019 Porsche Boxster?

The 2019 Porsche Boxster is a great vehicle. Its dynamic handling makes it exceptionally fun to drive, and it has a lineup of muscular engines. Notably, the Porsche swaps the traditional front-engine layout for a midengine design. As a result, it has both a traditional rear trunk and a small front trunk, or “frunk.” Between the two, it has roughly the same amount of cargo space as the Z4. Additionally, the Porsche delivers a high-quality interior, decent gas mileage, and roomy seats. It has a good predicted reliability rating too. There’s really no comparison here: The Porsche is the better vehicle.

If you’d prefer a coupe, check out the otherwise similar 2019 Porsche Cayman.

Compare the Z4, SLC, and Boxster »

2019 Z4 Performance

How Does the 2019 BMW Z4 Drive?

The turbocharged engine is robust, and it delivers enough power for just about any driving situation. The automatic transmission makes rapid shifts, helping this car feel eager on the road. There are no engine upgrades available for 2019.

The Z4 is not the most athletic car in its class, but strong brakes, decent steering feedback, and a sport-tuned suspension all help this roadster feel fun to drive. Ride quality is a bit stiffer than other cars, but it’s not uncomfortable, and most bumps are smoothed over.

  • Engine: 255-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: rear-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic
Does the 2019 BMW Z4 Get Good Gas Mileage?

With 25 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway, this BMW roadster is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in our luxury sports car rankings.

Read more about Z4 performance »

2019 Z4 Interior

How Many People Does the 2019 Z4 Seat?

The 2019 Z4 roadster is a two-seater, but for a small sports car, it’s surprisingly roomy. Six-footers have ample headroom with the soft top up. The seats have sufficient bolstering to keep you in place without feeling snug. Cabin materials are mostly high-end too, although they’re not quite as upscale as what you'll find in a Mercedes.

Standard seating features:

  • SensaTec synthetic leather upholstery
  • 14-way power-adjustable sport seats

Available seating features:

  • Vernasca leather upholstery
  • Heated seats
  • Heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 BMW Z4?

It’s not recommended to install child car seats in the front seats of any vehicle. For a sporty alternative with a back seat, consider the 2019 BMW 3 Series.

2019 BMW Z4 Features

It’s easy to use the iDrive 7.0 infotainment system, thanks in part to a responsive touch screen and a straightforward rotary dial. However, unlike most manufacturers, BMW offers Apple CarPlay on a subscription basis. A used model may not come with the included year-long subscription. There is no support for Android Auto.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 12-inch digital driver display, the iDrive infotainment system, a 10.25-inch touch screen, navigation, a one-year subscription to Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, two USB ports, 20 GB of multimedia storage, and HD Radio
  • Available infotainment features: wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium stereo
  • Additional standard features: push-button start
  • Other available features: proximity keyless entry

See 2019 BMW Z4 specs »

Read more about Z4 interior »

2019 BMW Z4 Dimensions

BMW Z4 Cargo Space

This BMW’s 9.9-cubic-foot trunk is about average for a luxury sports car. Unlike many convertibles, that number remains the same whether you have the top up or down.

2019 BMW Z4 Length and Weight
  • Length: 14 feet, 3 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,443 pounds
  • Gross vehicle weight rating: 4,092 pounds

Where Was the 2019 BMW Z4 Built?

BMW built the 2019 Z4 in Austria.

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