2015 BMW Z4 Photo
/ 10
On Performance
On Performance
The sDrive35is is the most memorable BMW Z4 to drive; even the base four-cylinder is quick and entertaining.
8.0 out of 10
Shopping for a new BMW Z4?


PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10

Expert Quotes:

Given the brilliance of nearly every other BMW, the unfocused handling of what should be one of the company’s sportiest cars is even more of a bummer.
Car and Driver

Even at serious cornering speeds, it's extraordinarily eager and imparts a feeling of utter competency.

Something this addictive should be illegal.
Motor Trend

At low speeds, acceleration becomes difficult to modulate.

With thirty fewer horses than the old M Roadster - which used the 330-hp six from the previous-generation M3 - the sDrive35i can't match that car's frenetic persona.
Automobile Magazine

The 2015 artfully blends the sportiness of a roadster and the comfort for of a compact luxury car into one handsome package. It may not be quite as sharp as some of its competitors, but it also doesn't make the compromises that other cars must in order to be fun behind the wheel. In short, it's quick, pleasant, and civilized.

Handling is good across the Z4 range, particularly when equipped with the optional M Sport Package (which is standard on the sDrive35is). Cornering is confident and quick, with direct, if not intuitive steering, and BMW's typical sense of feel only slightly muted from its more hardcore M Division vehicles. With the M Sport Package, the Z4 looks and feels much more like its M cousins, with the Adaptive M Suspension doing the bulk of the work in improving handling. Upgraded 18-inch alloy wheels with performance run-flat tires also improve grip, though the choice of run-flat tires does nothing for ride quality. 

Whichever Z4 model you choose, you'll get a balanced, controlled chassis riding on an adjustable Driving Dynamics Control suspension system that offers Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings. Dynamic stability control with traction control, brake fade compensation, start-off assist, brake drying, and brake stand-by features offer high-tech aids to improve driving safety and consistency.

Three main flavors of the 2015 BMW Z4 are available: sDrive28i, sDrive35i, and sDrive35is. The first gets a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 240 horsepower. The second rates 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque from a 3.0-liter in-line turbocharged six-cylinder powerplant. The sportiest version is the third, extracting 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.

As you'd expect, performance matches the engines: the base model is quick and fun, managing the sprint to 60 mph in as little as 5.5 seconds per BMW, but lacks the ultimate force and vigor of the two six-cylinder models. For those wanting a measure of efficiency with the luxurious sports roadster, however, the four-cylinder turbo sDrive28is is hard to beat. Moving up to the sDrive35i cuts 0-60 mph times to as little as 5.0 seconds, but also bringing a significant improvement in in-gear acceleration at any speed. The sDrive35is takes performance up yet another notch, hitting 60 mph from a stop in just 4.8 seconds and delivering even more responsive acceleration.

For the sDrive28is, a six-speed manual transmission is standard, and it's a great choice if you like to do your own gear changes. It's a slick, low-effort shifter that never gets in your way. An optional eight-speed automatic also provides quick and smooth shifts, though it leaves the car feeling somewhat less spirited. In the Z4 sDrive35i, the eight-speed auto is replaced by a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and the manual transmission has been removed for 2015. Quick-shifting and easy to use with the steering-wheel-mounted paddles (or left to its own devices in automatic mode), the dual-clutch gearbox offers the best of both manual and automatic worlds. BMW's dual-clutch in the Z4 is of an older school, however, and doesn't match the race-inspired crispness or near-telepathic logic you'll find in Porsche's PDK dual-clutch, offered in the Z4-rivalling Boxster. The sDrive35is is only available with the seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.


The sDrive35is is the most memorable BMW Z4 to drive; even the base four-cylinder is quick and entertaining.

« Prev: Interior / Exterior Next: Comfort and Quality »

Would You Prefer a Free Dealer Price Quote?

With competitive price quotes from multiple dealers, you will be prepared when you meet your local car dealer. Please tell us how to contact you so that dealers can compete for your business!
There are no dealers in our network that are located near the ZIP code. Please change your ZIP code or see cars for sale near you.
Update ZIP Code
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
New Car Price Quotes
Update ZIP
We are committed to your privacy. By submitting this form you agree the phone number you provided may be used to contact you (including autodialed or pre-recorded calls). Consent is not a condition of purchase.
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area

How does the
TCC Rating work?
The TCC Rating is a clear numeric rating value based on a 10-point scale that reflects the overall opinion of our automotive experts on any vehicle and rolls up ratings we give each vehicle across sub-categories you care about like performance, safety, styling and more.

Our rating also has simple color-coded “Stop” (red), “Caution” (orange),
or “Go” (green) messages along with the numerical score so you can easily understand where we stand at a glance.

Our automotive experts then also collect and show you what other websites say about these different aspects of any vehicle. We do this leg work for you to simplify your research process.

Learn more about how we rate and review cars here.

© 2015 The Car Connection. All Rights Reserved. The Car Connection is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.