2022 BMW Z4

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2022
The Car Connection
2022
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Martin Padgett Martin Padgett Editorial Director
January 13, 2022

Buying tip

The turbo-4 Z4 pleases at a lower price—but we’d be lying if we said we’d settle for less than the rorty Z4 M40i.

features & specs

sDrive30i Roadster
sDriveM40i Roadster
MPG
25 city / 32 hwy
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
MSRP
$49,900
MSRP
$63,700

The 2022 BMW Z4 doesn’t wait for the perfect sunny day: it creates its own, every day.

What kind of vehicle is the 2022 BMW Z4? What does it compare to?

Sexy, slippery, and sporty, the 2022 BMW Z4 roadster sells two seats that strap on top of a capable chassis, behind turbo-4 or turbo-6 engines. That makes it a rival for the Jaguar F-Type, maybe the Chevy Corvette, even the Mazda Miata. 

Is the 2022 BMW Z4 a good car?

Review continues below

It bristles with performance and style, exactly what the roadster driver ordered. We give it a TCC Rating of 6.6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2022 BMW Z4?

It’s more what’s gone away this year. BMW blames the global chip shortage for the losses of ambient lighting, wireless smartphone charging, a wi-fi hotspot, and touch inputs on its infotainment display. 

Stylish but not to a fault, the Z4 has a wide stance, muscular haunches, and a plethora of details that meld together well. Its cabin could hardly be more effective, and designed as it is to wrap around the driver, it’s by no means stripped-down; leather, wide-screen digital displays, and aluminum trim grace its top edition.

BMW stocks the Z4 either with a 255-hp turbo-4 or a 382-hp turbo-6. Both can slice their way to 60 mph in under 5.2 seconds—it’s under four seconds for the Z4 M40i—and they share a paddle-shifted 8-speed automatic that salves the lack of a manual shifter. The rear-drive Z4 has adept handling on stock 18-inch wheels and a comfort-tuned suspension, but with 19-inchers, adaptive dampers, and M Sport tuning and braking, it’s ruthlessly flat on the track and anything but clumsy on the street. It’s also good for at least 25 mpg combined, per the EPA.

The Z4 has just enough room for comfort for two 6-foot-tall passengers; the trunk’s just shy of 10 cubic feet. The power-folding fabric top can be raised or lowered at speeds of up to 31 mph, and takes just about 10 seconds to do so. 

BMW fits the Z4 with low-speed automatic emergency braking, but charges extra for blind-spot monitors and adaptive cruise control. 

How much does the 2022 BMW Z4 cost? 

It’s $50,895 for the Z4 sDrive30i and its 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, turbo-4 engine, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The M40i starts at $64,695.

Where is the 2021 BMW Z4 made?

In Graz, Austria.

8

2022 BMW Z4

Styling

BMW reinvents its heritage cues on the Z4.

Is the BMW Z4 a good-looking car?

Absolutely. We give it an 8 for styling, with two extra points for its low-slung, muscular shape and one for the pretty precision of the interior. 

Some sports-car drivers might take the Z4’s multitude of cut lines and big air intakes to task, but the wide stance of the roadster and its flared fenders toughen the look of a car that started life as the almost-cute Miata alternative, the Z3. Forcefully shaped now, with some admittedly busy details, it’s not for everyone.

Inside, the Z4 cockpit focuses its attention on the driver, with a wide digital display in place of gauges and another canted toward the steering wheel, swathed in buttons and switches. It’s far from cluttered, though, and BMW’s precisely drawn lines stamp the cabin with trapezoidal shapes that stand out even in the basic-black upholstery of the standard edition. Still, we’d pay more for BMW’s rich and colorful leather selections and for aluminum interior trim, to polish off its look.

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8

2022 BMW Z4

Performance

The Z4 answers the siren call of the winding two-laner.

Is the BMW Z4 4WD?

It’s rear-wheel-drive only.

How fast is the BMW Z4?

It’s quick even in base turbo-4 form, with excellent handling that raises its performance score to an 8. Steering feel remains an open debate, though.

It’s a refined performer, but the Z4 has urgent acceleration and sticky feet whether it’s a 30i or an M40i. The former presses a 255-hp 2.0-liter turbo-4 for all its worth through a paddle-shifted 8-speed automatic. BMW quotes a 0-60 mph time of just 5.2 seconds for the base model, if you’d thought a not-inexpensive BMW roadster deserves more than a turbo-4. 

Of course, there’s a 382-hp 3.0-liter turbo-6 to address any perceived slights in the power department. With the same 8-speed automatic twisting power to the rear wheels, the Z4 M40i hurtles to 60 mph in a BMW-estimated 3.9 seconds, with drive modes that let the transmission linger longer, which amplifies all the right inline-6 noises coming from underhood. 

The poise and balance of the Z4 chassis can’t be denied. It’s tuned for cruising comfort and firm enough to entertain track drivers. Even better are the M Sport tuning that’s available on the base car, or the available adaptive M Sport suspension, locking rear differential, and 19-inch wheels that become standard on the M40i. With all those upgrades, the Z4 widens its envelope with an even more supple highway ride, and flat, tenacious grip on the track. The picture could be rosier: the Z4’s variable-assist electric power steering doesn’t have much low-speed feedback and feels artificial, at least until the car’s breathing hard to maintain traction on a wide sweeping turn. At the limits, it’s in constant contact with the driver, offering the latest in-car data on exactly how much tread’s still in touch with the road.

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5

2022 BMW Z4

Comfort & Quality

The Z4’s old-school roadster vibe translates into snug space for two.


The Z4 earns a 5 for utility and comfort, with sculpted front seats and interior fit and finish picking up points that it gives right back for its small trunk and its inability to seat more than two.

The Z4’s heavily bolstered seats support driver and passenger for any driving maneuver the roadster can execute. They’re power adjusted and covered in synthetic leather; heating and leather are options. The Z4 surrounds the seats with fair room, though the driving position’s offset from the wide center console.

BMW leaves a decent amount of space in that console and in the door pockets, and it cuts a trunk pass-through between the seats for skis and golf clubs. Otherwise, be content with less: the Z4’s trunk holds only 9.9 cubic feet of stuff. Only Miata owners will come away impressed. 

The Z4 has a power fabric roof that can be lowered or raised in about 10 seconds at speeds of up to 31 mph. It keeps the cabin quiet enough for long-distance touring, and the materials BMW fits in the cabin are of a high grade; it’s tech-forward with aluminum dash trim and dark leather, more indulgent when wrapped in Cognac or Ivory leather.

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2022 BMW Z4

Safety

The Z4 has some advanced safety gear, but no crash-test scores.

How safe is the BMW Z4?

It’s unknown, since neither the NHTSA nor the IIHS has put one through its test regimen.

BMW makes low-speed automatic emergency braking and lane-departure warnings standard on the Z4, but blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, parking sensors, and other cutting-edge features found on other BMWs are either options on the Z4, or simply not available.

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7

2022 BMW Z4

Features

The Z4 has wide-screen infotainment and an excellent warranty.

The Z4 earns a 7 for features thanks to generous standard features and a 4-year/50,000-mile warranty that includes free scheduled maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles.

Which BMW Z4 should I buy?

The $50,895 Z4 sDrive30i comes with 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, power accessories, 14-way power seats, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and white paint (all other shades cost extra). A 10.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto had been standard but the chip shortage has led BMW to remove touch inputs from the interface, leaving its rotary-knob controller and voice commands to do the infotainment dirty work.

This year BMW has also deleted ambient lighting, wireless smartphone charging and a wi-fi hotspot, due to the global chip shortage—but features such as an M Sport suspension, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, parking sensors, and Harman Kardon premium audio are available as options.

How much is a fully loaded BMW Z4?

Starting at $64,695, the M40i gets adaptive dampers and the high-output drivetrain, with options for 19-inch wheels, Alcantara-and-leather upholstery, and M Sport brakes.

Review continues below
5

2022 BMW Z4

Fuel Economy

The Z4 breaks even at the gas pump.

Is the BMW Z4 good on gas?

It’s no hybrid, but its EPA ratings of 25 mpg city, 32 highway, 28 combined for the 30i and 22/29/25 mpg for the M40i probably won’t put off the Z4’s drivers—but they should know that BMW’s two-seater requires premium fuel.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$49,900
MSRP based on sDrive30i Roadster
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6.6
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 5
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 5
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