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SAFETY | 8 out of 10
Neither NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) nor the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has crash-tested the latest Z4. The previous Z4 fared rather poorly, but the new version has been reengineered. TheCarConnection.com will update this safety rating when more data is available.
Standard safety equipment includes dual front airbags, along with seat-mounted airbags that inflate to cover the head and thorax. Edmunds points out the folding hardtop roof "incorporates a support system that helps protect occupants in case of a rollover accident."
The stability control system has a sport-driving mode and simulates a limited-slip differential to help the Z4 corner more effectively. Motor Trend notes the Z4 incorporates a "Brake Drying function, Brake Standby and Brake StartOff," all controlled by "BMW's Dynamic Stability Control, which can be completely disabled, a development enthusiasts will surely appreciate."
Active cruise control is standard; automatic headlamps are a new option for 2010, but lane-departure systems and a rearview camera are not offered.
Compared to the previous Z4, the side windows are 40 percent larger and the back window is 52 percent larger, which means you don't get the visibility issues that make it a pain to drive in the city with the top raised. Jalopnik reports that the driver's "vision is excellent with no oversize blind spots," in large part "thanks to tiny rear 3/4 windows that retract into the car's body instead of the doors." Motor Trend figures "all-around visibility is up 14 percent over the outgoing model, with 40-percent larger side windows and 52-percent more see-through area out the glass rear window."
TheCarConnection.com rates the 2010 BMW Z4 highly for safety based on standard safety features, but crash-test data is unavailable.