Buyer's Guide

2021 BMW Z4
Select a Different Model (2 Available): sDrive M40i Convertible
Fuel Economy $ 24 / 31 mpg
Horsepower 382@5,500
Torque 368@1,850
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  • Strong engines
  • Nice interior


  • Looks sportier than it drives
  • Poor ride quality on M40i models

The Z4 is the latest in a long line of two-seat RWD convertibles from BMW. Built in collaboration with Toyota, the current-generation Z4 is closely related to the Supra. Unlike its cousin, the Z4 is more of a cruiser than a tail-happy sports car. The latest Z4 swaps the last-gen model's power hardtop for a soft top that you can raise or lower in 10 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph. Ditching the folding hardtop also added more trunk space. In addition to the standard turbo-four Z4, the six-cylinder M40i variant is available for drivers who want something faster.

The Z4 sDrive30i is a 2021 IntelliChoice Best Overall Value winner.

What's New

  • Wireless Android Auto compatibility
  • One-year satellite radio access is now standard
  • The Driving Assistance package now includes parking sensors
  • The Dynamic Handling package has been renamed the Track Handling package on the Z4 sDrive30i
  • Blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and remote start have been added to the Premium package on the Z4 sDrive30i
  • The Executive package now gets the Premium package's features plus wireless charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot with a 3-GB trial period
  • Wireless charging and M Sport brakes with red calipers are now available as standalone options on the Z4 sDrive30i
  • Automatic parking is now offered on the Z4 M40i

What We Think

Despite its sporty appearance, the BMW Z4 is more of a boulevardier. When driven enthusiastically, the base model's transmission isn't always in the right gear, which means the car isn't taking advantage of the turbo-four's power. The six-cylinder Z4 M40i provides better acceleration and will happily shred its tires doing power slides. When pushed hard, the Z4's heavy curb weight in M40i guise takes its toll—the car never feels like it's shrinking around you. Four-cylinder models, on the other hand, offer little predictability near the limit—and that can make it difficult to discern when a power slide will turn into something less controllable.

Also, in the case of the Z4 M40i, there's too much pogoing over rough pavement. At least the interior materials are appropriate for a luxury car—with one or two exceptions like the plastic trim on the center console—and tasteful when dressed in two-tone schemes.

If all you want to do is cruise along with the top down, try a BMW Z4 without a sportier suspension setup. If your idea of casual cruising involves canyon carving, consider other options in this price range.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Two engine options are available on the 2021 BMW Z4. The Z4 sDrive30i base model is powered by a 2.0-liter turbo-four with 255 hp and 294 lb-ft of torque. Upgrade to the Z4 M40i, and you'll get a 3.0-liter turbo-six rated at 382 hp and 368 lb-ft.

EPA fuel economy ratings with the standard eight-speed automatic transmission are 25/32 mpg city/highway for the Z4 sDrive30i and 22/30 mpg for the Z4 M40i.


Forward collision warning, front automatic emergency braking, and automatic high-beams are standard on all Z4 models. The Active Driving Assistant, which expands the active safety suite with the addition of lane departure warning, pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, is part of the Driver Assistance, Convenience, Premium, and Executive packages. Adaptive cruise control is a standalone option.


All Z4s get a dual-display layout featuring a 10.3-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a 10-speaker audio system. A head-up display is available via the Premium or Executive package. You can upgrade the audio system to a 12-speaker Harman Kardon unit, which is part of the Executive package.

Key Competitors:

Engine Name
Engine: 6-Cyl Turbo 3.0 Liter
Transmission Name
Transmission, 8 Speed Automatic with Manual Mode (8HP51)
sDrive M40i Convertible
Premium Performance Car
Standard MPG
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Unleaded Premium
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IIHS Best Pick
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
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Amount Description Expiry Date
$2500 BMW announces a Military Program for cash customers. 12-31-2021
$500 BMW announces a Military Program for customers who Lease/OwnersChoice/Retail Finance/Select Finance through BMW Financial Services that is good towards a purchase or lease of select models. 12-31-2021
$1000 BMW announces Lease/APR Credit on select models for eligible College Graduates. 01-03-2022
$0 1.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - BMW announces APR rates on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 36, 48, 60 Months - BMW announces APR rates on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 06-30-2021