The 2015 BMW Z4 is one of the best-balanced cars in the business, but it's not without its compromises.
One particularly welcome feature is one you can't even see: BMW's unique Sun Reflective Technology leather. Rather than soaking up the sun to then scorch your exposed skin, the seats do an admirable job of staying merely warm to the touch, greatly increasing comfort in summer top-down driving.
The Z4's power retractable hard top is another strength, stowing or deploying quickly and smoothly. When the top is up, the Z4 is effectively transformed into a coupe, with all of the security, weather protection, and noise reduction that entails.
The seats are comfortable and adjustable to suit a wide range of body sizes and types, but they're mounted rather high in the cabin, compromising head room for drivers over six feet tall when the top is up (or putting the top of the windshield near eye-level even with the top down).
Cabin and trunk space are also tight in the Z4. Planning a weekend trip will involve a careful selection of what you really need to bring along, as there's just no room for much more than two small carry-ons and a few personal items. The cabin itself has numerous pockets and trays, but they're small--don't expect to securely stash a laptop with two people in the car.
Despite these shortcomings, however, the Z4's construction and materials are very good throughout the cabin. Leather upholstery is soft and supple, and can be expanded to the dash, door caps, and visors with an extended leather package. Unlike many convertibles, the Z4 exhibits very few squeaks, rattles, and vibrations, further indicating its build quality.