Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?
The immediate impression of the BMW Z4’s pricing is that it’s a bit of a bargain, because it will no doubt be advertised as “from $84,900”, and it certainly looks like a lot of car, in terms of style alone, for that money.
Yes, it’s still a lot more than a Mazda MX-5, but in terms of a German roadster, that’s a tempting offer.
The trade-off is that the entry-level BMW Z4 sDrive20i is not exactly bristling with power, although its standard equipment list is quite good for the price (see below).
The Z4 sDrive30i has the same 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with more power, but costs a significant amount more at $104,900.
The range tops out with the M40i at $124,900, which is getting into large numbers, but its power figures are also hefty.
Standard specification for the entry-level Z4 sDrive20i surprisingly includes some of the things you might expect BMW to charge you for, like an M Sport Package (very much a non-mechanical package of M bits and badges), and an M leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons, plus a wind deflector, a head-up display, and heated M Sport seats with electric adjustment, covered in ‘Vernasca’ leather, and wireless phone charging.
You also get 18-inch alloy wheels, an eight-speed Sport Automatic transmission with paddle shifters (there’s only one gearbox option), a tyre-repair kit, because there’s no spare in there, a through-loading system for bulky items, cruise control with Braking Function, high-beam assist, LED headlights and Parking Assistant including Reverse Assistant.
In the dash, you’ll find a HiFi Loudspeaker System with 10 speakers and DAB digital radio, and Connected Package Professional, which allows you to access Apple CarPlay wirelessly. Which is clever, but it’s only free for the first year, and then you have to pay a subscription fee to use it, which is $179 for the next year.
Throw another $20K at your BMW dealer and the sDrive30i gets you an upgrade to 19-inch alloys, the Comfort Access package - which allows you to lock and unlock the car, and start it, using either the provided, credit-card-sized Digital Key, or via your smartphone, as long as it’s a Samsung.
You’ll also stop quicker with M Sport Brakes and ride better with Adaptive M Suspension. Your 30i also gets you Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and adaptive LED headlights.
The top-spec Z4 M40i has everything you get in the two models below plus M Performance engine and suspension tuning and an M Sport Differential to help you get all that power to the wheel where it’s needed, plus lumbar support in the seats, ambient lighting for the cabin and a harman/kardon Surround Sound System with 12 speakers.