Shopping for a new BMW Z4?
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You'll find firsthand driving impressions and observations from TheCarConnection.com editors in this Bottom Line assessment. TheCarConnection.com also read various reviews of the 2009 BMW Z4 to bring you the highlights in a comprehensive full review.
- Tight hardtop
- Velvety, responsive engines
- Excellent dual-clutch automatic
- Phenomenal poise, with good ride quality
- Storage bins!
- Tight cabin and low windshield header
- Steering ratio feels too quick
- Unimpressive standard sound system
- Bluetooth is optional
BMW's modern Z roadster started its evolution as the Z3 back in 1996 and was reconceived as the Z4 for 2002; now it's been thoroughly redesigned. The new 2009 BMW Z4 has revamped styling, a new retractable hardtop, and a raft of new high-tech performance features.
Overall, the new Z4's appearance is lean yet voluptuous, though a bit more conservative than the version that preceded it. The long and low hoodline, with the seating position near the back wheels, still screams out that it's every bit a roadster. The front grille and headlights are now more in line with the look of BMW's other sedans and coupes, and the sides no longer have the aggressive creases and carved-out appearance from the fenders back into the doors. Instead, the silhouette is more flowing, with long, smooth arcs continuing from the hood to the rear fenders, where a rear arc brings out the wheel wells and flows downward to the almost Porsche-like rear lamps. The lamps, combined with a lifted, aerodynamic crease at the tail, give the Z4 a more aggressive outline from the back. The side view of the Z4 exposes some differences from other BMWs: the bubble of the top's roofline, but also, most notably, the overhangs. BMW says that they're short, but relative to the otherwise tight proportions, they seem the longest for the automaker in years, especially at the back, where the automaker needed to add length for stowing the retractable hardtop.