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2010 BMW Z4

Overview
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2010 BMW Z4 Review

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While some premium roadster drivers are serious about power, handling and feel, a good many are more interested in style and fresh-air fun. In a segment that includes the Porsche Boxster, Mercedes-Benz SLK and Audi TT, no car can appeal to both camps more so than the latest Z4. Inside, outside and underneath, the Z4 has the makings of one of the all-time great roadsters.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your desire for a premium roadster is driven by both performance and style considerations, you won't find a more satisfying car in the category than the 2010 BMW Z4.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The 2010 BMW Z4 may offer more power than a Porsche Boxster or Cayman, but those who place a higher importance on balance and driving feel are likely to prefer the Porsches. If rear-drive performance is less than a primary consideration, you might find the Audi TT and its significantly lower sticker prices especially appealing.

What's New for 2010

Since the latest version of the Z4 was just introduced in the second half of in 2009, there are no significant updates for 2010.

Driving the Z4

Driving Impressions We like driving BMWs. We like driving roadsters. Surprise, surprise; we've had a blast in the latest, greatest Z4. It's comfortable on the highway - far more so than the...

last model - but also delivers the goods when the going gets twisty. Steering feel is good, if not Porsche-perfect, and the new dual-clutch transmission shifts smoothly (important in auto mode) and quickly (important in manual mode). And we could hardly ask for anything more from the strong and responsive twin-turbo six (which is the only engine we've sampled in the latest Z4 to date). From a balance and feel and driving intangibles perspective, the mid-engine Boxster remains the category's gold standard. But throw power and style into the mix and the new Z4 just may take the crown.

Adaptive M Suspension
For a buyer who wants a Z4 softer, stiffer or both, the new Z4 offers an optional, three-setting "Sport Package featuring Adaptive M Suspension with Electronic Damping Control." "Normal" mode is softer than the standard suspension, "Sport+" mode is stiffer than the previous model's, and "Sport" mode splits the difference.

Dual-clutch Transmission
The transmission that made its debut on BMW's latest, world-beating M3 is yet another nail in the clutch pedal's coffin. In the 2010 BMW Z4, BMW's dual-clutch transmission shifts quickly and seamlessly, and engages more smoothly than the similar units we've experienced in VW, Audi and Mitsubishi vehicles.

2010 BMW Z4 Details
Interior

The Z4's interior was also designed by a woman. While some of us have grown bored with BMW's slowly evolving interior design, settling into the 2010 BMW Z4 - especially one lined in lighter leather - might actually evoke stronger images of a chic hotel than the first BMW 3 Series you ever rode in. In addition to styling and materials quality, noteworthy interior bits include an available trunk pass-through for short skis, usable storage space behind the front seats and two more inches of interior width compared to its predecessor. Navigation-equipped cars enjoy the best version of BMW's iDrive central control to date, enhanced by a retractable, glare-resistant widescreen display.

Exterior
2010 BMW Z4 photo

When we saw the first pictures of the newest BMW Z4, we thought it looked good. When we saw it in person, we fell in love. The newest BMW drop-top combines perfect proportions and gorgeous lines in a roadster that's both classic and contemporary at once. Visual highlights include the wide front end, long, bulging hood, strong character line sloping upward from the rear wheel and a light, well-integrated hard top. We find it interesting that the newest Z4 looks more like an offshoot of the first Z3, than its immediate predecessor. BMW notes the Z4 is one of the few cars in history with sheetmetal designed by a woman, and we're hoping more are on the way.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on a 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive 30i includes 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine, six-speed manual transmission, three-mode Driving Dynamics Control, Xenon Adaptive Headlights, Dynamic Cruise Control, rain-sensing wipers and an AM/FM/CD/SAT/AUX audio system. Some of the features you might be surprised to find on a vehicle costing more than $45,000 are manually adjustable seats, manual climate control and leatherette upholstery. Standard safety equipment includes front and side airbags, electronic stability control and adaptive brake lights, which activate more prominently during panic stops.

Optional Equipment

In addition to a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged, six-cylinder engine and seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, a fully loaded 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive 35i includes a navigation system, iDrive, keyless entry and start, rear parking sensors, premium audio with iPod integration, trunk pass-through, Adaptive M Suspension, leather sport seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and power seats with driver-side memory.

Under the Hood

The 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive 30i's 255-horsepower engine is another fine BMW inline-six engine, but the sDrive 35i's twin-turbocharged, 300-horsepower version is widely considered one of the best engines ever built. For some, any mention of turbocharging brings to mind words like "lag" and "surge" - both of which are virtually nonexistent here (and in many other modern turbos, thanks in large part to direct-injection technology). A six-speed manual is standard on both vehicles, a six-speed automatic is available on the sDrive 30i, but the standout transmission is the dual-clutch seven-speed unit available only on the 2010 BMW Z4 sDrive 35i.

3.0-liter in-line six (Z4 sDrive 30i)
255 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
220 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged in-line six (Z4 sDrive 35i)
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25 (manual), 17/24 (dual-clutch auto)

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Buying this car?

2010 BMW Z4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 24 Ratings for the 2009 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Serious mechanical problems . . .

By on Tuesday, July 08, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Mechanical Problems

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Beautiful body design."

Cons: "Lots of mechanical and electrical problems."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Lifters replaced TWICE since purchased, fuel pump replaced, brakes repaired several times, starter replaced, climate control panel replaced, OEM tires very loud and hunt on the road, adaptive headlights repaired, lots of squeaks and rattles. I will never, ever buy another BMW Z4. I must say the BMW dealerships have been very helpful trying to get things repaired properly . . . too bad, I do like the design of the body but mechanically and electrically it has lots of problems."

love this car!

By on Friday, January 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "beuty.gas milge.hard top.awsme inter(wood).lge nav"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I leased this car, now plan to buy it...excellnt car,fun to drive reliable, and gas mileage....36miles to gallon coming back from vegas! Fit and finish great..navi great with big screen! And all of this with the best part....when you put the top down..gorgeous....poetry in motion!! Who cares about cupholders!"

10 people out of 17 found this review helpful

BMW, what were they thinking?

By on Wednesday, January 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,800

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Looks and Driving Fun"

Cons: "No spare tire, outdated technology package"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I fully enjoy the look and drive of this car. It is amazingly fun to drive and it turns heads in the looks department. Several things annoy and disappoint me, however. I do not feel comfortable taking this car on short (300 mile) trips, no spare tire. Yes, it has run flat tires (difficult to replace) but after you get to a rest stop on a turnpike, then what? Wait and wait for a flat bed truck to tow you to where ever for a tire? Very time consuming and it stops a fun trip dead in it's tracks. Next, the navigation screen is not clear and crisp (as it is on my Acura) and does not change automatically when you cross into another time zone (as it does with my Acura). Then, no back=up camera, that's just sad. Additionally, the upgraded sound system is not good. I traded a 370Z on this car and it had a better (Bose) system. So many easy to correct errors and I fault myself for not doing my homework to find these things out before I bought this $70,000 car. I will just enjoy the car around town on nice days with the top down. My next car will not be a Z4."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Great car, very fun to drive, strong acceleration

By on Sunday, December 01, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great looks, fun to drive"

Cons: "Interior noise with top up, Tire life"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

BMW Z4 3.5

"I ordered this car from Germany because manual transmissions are very difficult to find. It took about 2 months to receive it after I put down my deposit. The service from the dealer has been exceptional. My only complaint is a rattle in the roof panel when the top is up which the dealer has not been able to resolve."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

BMW Z4 3.5

BMW Z4 - The most beautiful Deathtrap on the road

By on Monday, September 16, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Beautiful Vehicle"

Cons: "Not a safe car to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I have a 2011 BMW Z4 ( Vin# wbalm5c51be378952 ) with around 16,000 miles on it that has been constantly in the shop for a variety of electrical, mechanical and structural issues. These issues range from the driver’s side of the hood unlatching again and again after multiple services to the car, continually not starting and stalling out when driving at slow speeds. Each issue has been serviced multiple times and as of yet none of the issues have been resolved. Further, these issues have persisted in spite of countless service visits. The vehicle has stalled in stop and go traffic and while making left turns and my friends and family refuse to ride in it for safety reasons. It has now come to a point where I am actually fearful to drive the car. I have been formally reprimanded at work for getting there late due to my car not starting or needing to be taken into service. I keep it in a garage that is both air conditioned and heated. I am a high school counselor and work just 5 miles from my house and usually just drive it to work and to visit my parents on the weekend. I take the car for all of it’s services and only put super-unleaded gas in it. I really can’t think of how I can treat the car better or care for it more. I am sad I own this car and even sadder about the lack of ability BMW has to fix even the simplest mechanical problems..."

13 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Good car ruined by run flat tires.

By on Saturday, February 23, 2013

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Looks great"

Cons: "Noisy tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Noisy run flat tires take fun out of driving. Do NOT buy this car with run flats. BMW does not care or try to make it right. Will never buy another BMW. Back to Lexus!"

9 people out of 16 found this review helpful

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