2009 BMW Z4 Review & Ratings | Automotive.com

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2009 BMW Z4 Review

A sporty roadster that offers rapid acceleration, superior handling, and the luxurious cabin that is typical of BMW .

Reviewed by Automotive on 9/11/2009


The 2009 BMW Z4 is a two-seater convertible with a retractable hard-top. It is powerful, sporty and stylish, and will grab a lot of attention. Coming in two trim levels, the sDrive30i and the sDrive35i, it has been redesigned for 2009.

It now emerges as a viable performance roadster with the luxury to match. It

The Range

Body Styles: Roadster hard-top convertible

Engines: 3.0-liter 255-hp inline six-cylinder, 3.0-liter 300-hp twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder

Transmissions: Six-speed manual, six-speed shiftable automatic (sDrive30i), seven-speed dual-clutch shiftable automatic (sDrive35i)

Models: BMW sDrive30i, BMW sDrive35i

What’s New

The 2009 BMW Z4 receives a total redesign in this model year. It features a retractable aluminum hard-top. The 2009 Z4 is larger, overall. The roomier interior is more luxurious than last year.

The 300-hp twin-turbocharged engine is new and is standard on the sDrive35i.


Standard equipment on the sDrive30i includes 17-inch alloy wheels with run flat tires, variable intermittent rain-sensing wipers, rear defogger, power heated mirrors, power retractable hard-top, brake hill holder, four-wheel independent MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspensions, front and rear stabilizer bars, daytime running lights, and auto delay off dusk-sensing Xenon High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlights with self-leveling.


The exterior of the 2009 BMW Z4 has had a major overhaul. The first thing noticed is the retractable hard-top, which can retract in just 20 seconds. The length of the Z4 has been increased by six inches without changing the wheelbase.


Standard equipment on the sDrive30i includes bucket front seats with height adjustment, leatherette upholstery, cruise control, front console with storage, retained accessory power, electric speed-proportional power steering, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel with audio control functions, 12-volt power outlets, interior air filtration, air-conditioning, leather/simulated alloy interior trim, memory settings, tachometer, trip computer, external temperature display, pre-wired for cell phone use, and AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with radio data system. The sDrive35i has standard leather upholstery, alloy interior trim, and automatic climate control.

The interior of the Z4 offers more headroom and legroom, thanks to an overall length increase of almost six inches. The side and rear windows are larger, which results in improved visibility; all four side windows can go up and down. The leather upholstery is supple and luxurious.

Sun-reflective technology helps the steering wheel and seats from becoming too hot when the top is down on a sunny day. The trunk offers 11 cubic feet of cargo space when the top is up, and 5 cubic feet of space when the top is stowed. Alloy/leather and wood trim give the interior an elegant, yet sporty, look. The seats are supportive and well-bolstered.

The latest version of BMW’s iDrive controller is easier to use than in years past.

Performance Handling

Both of the engines in the 2009 BMW Z4 are fast and powerful. The Base sDrive30i’s 3.0-liter six-cylinder generates 255 hp and 220 ft-lb of torque. It can go from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds with either the manual transmission, and six seconds with the six-speed shiftable automatic transmission.

The sDrive35i’s 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder generates 300 hp and 300 ft-lb of torque, and it promises zero to 60 mph times of five seconds, regardless of transmission.

Handling is impressive in the 2009 Z4. The use of aluminum in the engine and suspension helps with weight distribution, and the car is designed to have a low center of gravity, which increases its agility on sharp turns. Electronic stability control and traction control help the Z4 hug the road as it goes through its paces.


Standard equipment on the 2009 BMW Z4 includes ABS with brake assist, electronic stability control, traction control, brake drying, an aluminum roof, a rollover safety system that automatically deploys a steel hoop behind each seat when a rollover situation is detected, and front and seat-mounted side airbags.

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