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2010 BMW Z4

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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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2010 BMW Z4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 33 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.8/10

Excellent car!

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks, hard top convertible, handling"

Cons: "Cup holder position (for those who use it)"

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

"I bought my Z435i bmer on December of 2010 with 5000 miles on it. It's got the sports package, navigation, and is blk on blk. I have it as a second car, not as a commuter. The car's only issue has been a small leak in one of the folding top joints, which was quickly and successfully repaired by the dealer back in 2012. It drives like new, and even after five years, people comment on it."

17 people out of 32 found this review helpful

What a sport car should be!

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "I truly enjoy driving this car."

Cons: "No complaints and no use for the cup holder!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

Fresh from the dealership

"Since the mid-sixties I have owned several roasters up to the present including a 1997 Z3 5 speed soft top that ran trouble free all the years I drove it. In 2011 I traded it for a new BMW (E93) 335is coupe/convertible needing extra room for the wife and two Jack Russell Terriers. In the interim I missed having an open air roaster hence the Z4 35is factory direct in Glacier Silver that now has 2600 miles. The Z4 drives and handles superbly retaining all the qualities of an open air roaster. So if you’re not into stiff suspensions and road tire nose so common to roasters this is not the car for you. Don't get me wrong these are great cars, well built and my BMW dealer stands behind it. But it's still a roadster and not a car for those who are more interested in technology and ride comfort unwilling to compromise for the open road this vehicle excels at, it’s made to be driven. This is what a sports car should be."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Fresh from the dealership

Fnastatic, beautiful , fun to drive

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Cons: "None. Limited trunk space but it's to be expected"

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

"Most fun I've had with any car I've owned including a number of Porsches and BMW M3's. Hard top gives you great security unlike a soft-top convertible. The ability to adjust the driving dynamics means the car is a great highway cruiser and instantly switch to a very competent, fast sports car that will easily keep up with other high end sports cars. There are very few of these on the road so it gets a lot of looks. Lot of people give it a thumbs up or say that it's a great ride. Expensive when bought new but a great deal when purchased on a used basis. Life doesn't get any better than cruising thru Napa or Sonoma County on a warm day with the top down."

19 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Beautiful design and fun to drive

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Beautiful design"

Cons: "none"

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

"Bought this new in 2009, have 42K miles and after six years there has been no problem. There was no issue with the fuel pump but had to be replaced because of the recall, as well as the battery cable. This is a conv so there will always be noisy in the cabin with the top up. Drive 95% of the time with the top down. Replace the run flat with Michelin PSS, this really changed how the car runs and handles for so much better. Highly recommended."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great Car, but BMW will not stand behind it

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Poor Quality

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great driving experience on good roads"

Cons: "Terrible build quality and BMW support"

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

"I bought this car a few years back and put about 45,000 miles on it. This is a sports car. You feel every inch of the road and when the road is good, this is a great thing. When the roads are rough, this is a bad, very bad thing. The interior of the car is well laid out and comfortable, but I would not say it is luxurious. The seats are great for long drives and overall feel of the car is high end. The real issue with the car is that because it is a sports car, it gets banged around a great deal over rough roads. In the last year, one strut cracked, a wheel cracked, the top stopped working, the muffler started to rattle and the climate control began to buzz. This is all with less than 50k miles. It was monumental struggle to get BMW to cover the wheel (which had already been recalled in the UK)and strut under warranty and they flat out refused to cover the top, muffler and climate control saying they were all normal wear products. The convertible top? Anyway, sold it this week and bought a Mercedes SL550."

20 people out of 37 found this review helpful

The 2010 Z4 Sdrive35i is one to keep

By on Sunday, February 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Design, handling, it is a hard top convertible"

Cons: "Not very good on gas when driven aggressively"

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

"I purchased my '10 Z4 with 5K miles on in 2010; it has the sports package, leather, navigation, and 7speeds. I have it as a second vehicle. I love the way this car handles, its design is timeless, and after 5 years it turns heads. Not to mention that it is not a high volume seller, and so it is also rather exclusive. I have had a couple of minor issues with it: one of the headlights had to be replaced and the roof leaked once during a heavy storm. Both problems were quickly and successfully resolved by the dealer. I love convertibles, but hate the vulnerability and rather short life of the soft tops. Hard top mechanisms have proved to be reliable so far."

15 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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