BMW Z4 2021-2022 Review
There are few cars that have a history as complex and convoluted as the BMW Z4. The Bavarian automaker’s two-door, two-seater, drop-top roadster is now in its third generation – but that doesn’t make it the third of its kind, and in reality the model’s lineage stretches back a lot further than the original BMW Z4.
That being said, the product has evolved a great deal over the years with only one core principle remaining the same: provide the roadster experience as interpreted by the clever engineers and brilliant designers at BMW, in a relatively approachable and relatable package.
To look at the BMW Z4 as it stands today, we need to understand where the BMW Z car came from. The first generation was quirky to the point of making your modern MINI product blush, with doors that dropped into the side sill and swung under the car when you opened them. The BMW Z1, as it was known, had a fairly short production run of just two years at the end of the 1980s.
The second generation would be known as the BMW Z3, and came with more conventional design attributes being based largely on the BMW 3 Series of the era – as would be the case with many of the Z cars to come. You could get it in either the roadster or shooting-brake coupe form, but it cemented BMW’s reputation for producing compact roadster models.
While there was the BMW Z8 – a more luxurious albeit limited run Z car – it was the BMW Z4 that proved to be the true successor to the Z3. The naming convention for BMW’s roadsters has stuck with the Z4 until today, with the first generation spanning the mid 2000s, and the second generation running between 2009 and 2016.
After a short hiatus, 2018 saw the global launch of the current generation BMW Z4, with the local launch being in the second half of 2019. It also received a mild technological update that introduced additional advanced driver assistance systems in 2020.
Globally, the BMW Z4 is offered with two different engines, but unlike the first generation it is only available in the drop-top roadster form, with a soft-top instead of the hard-top of the second generation. It is produced by contract assembly at a plant in Austria, where it is built alongside the Toyota Supra – a car which shares its platform and various mechanical items.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Specifications
There is but a singular engine on offer for the Malaysian variant of the 2021-2022 BMW Z4, and it comes in the form of the B48 – a turbocharged, 2.0-litre petrol engine that makes 258 PS and 400 Nm of torque from just 1,550 rpm. This engine is similar to the one that’s found in a variety of other BMW products that wear the 30i suffix, and hence this variant is known as the Z4 sDrive30i M Sport.
Drive is delivered exclusively to the rear wheels through an eight-speed conventional automatic transmission. This is a transmission that any BMW fan would be familiar with, as it arguably redefined the standards and quality of an automatic transmission and has been adopted by numerous manufacturers throughout the luxury automotive space.
As mentioned earlier, the BMW Z4 comes with a retractable soft-top and there is no hard-top or coupe variant as there were in the past. If you want your BMW Z4 with a hard roof, you’ll need to look at a certain other Japanese brand – although many of the styling elements and the suspension tuning are also different.
In other markets, there is a larger turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine that’s also available for the BMW Z4, but this hasn’t been introduced locally; it would be similar to the powertrain found in the BMW M340i xDrive, and produce north of 300 PS.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Exterior
What can we say about the outside of the BMW Z4? It’s definitely unique among BMW products in this day and age, as we haven’t seen the most recent form of BMWs styling direction and styling cues applied to the two-door drop top form. The BMW Z4, like many roadsters, looks better with its roof down – though it’s obvious that the transition between the previous generation and the current has resulted in some curiously long overhangs – somewhat uncharacteristic for a BMW product.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Interior
Where does the outside of the 2021-2022 BMW Z4 end, and the inside begin? Once the roof is down that’s an incredibly difficult question to answer – though one thing is certain: the layout of the BMW Z4 is definitely familiar to anyone who’s had experience with BMW products, though there are minor touches that also set it apart and make it somewhat unique. What is important is that it looks nothing like its Japanese twin sister – and that’s something BMW highlights often. Driver centric would be a good way to describe it, while being still accessible and operable by the sole other occupant in the vehicle.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Safety Features
As of 2021-2022, most – if not all – BMW products have been equipped with various different advanced driver assistance features in an effort to modernize the product line-up. The BMW Z4 is no different, with autonomous emergency braking and lane-keep assist provided an extra bubble of safety that may keep you out of harm’s way when you need it most.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Strengths & Weakness
If you’re looking for a drop-top car in Malaysia, you aren’t exactly spoiled for choice if you stick to purely official channels. The problem compounds when you aren’t going to settle for a cabriolet – a four seater drop-top – and if you want it to be a strictly two occupant affair then the BMW Z4 sits on a very short list. In that sense it’s easier for it to dominate, but the opposing view is that it really has to stand out purely on its own merits rather than being carried by a strong brand.
Naturally the BMW Z4 comes with all the handing balance and agility that BMW’s have as standard factory items, which may or may not suit your tastes when it comes to a car like this. It is a bit of a shame that there isn’t a more hard-core variant of the Z4 like there was with the first generation model, though perhaps the market for a car like that just isn’t there anymore.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Price
The singular variant of the BMW Z4 as it is available in Malaysia is priced at RM 455,000.09, while the additional extended warranty and service package bumps the pricing up to RM 469,510.09. This money gets you the Z4 sDrive30i M Sport variant, which is the simplest version of the Z4 that is available globally – sadly we will most likely not be seeing the Z4 sDrive40i variant locally anytime soon.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Features
With luxury cars like the BMW Z4, it’s not the simple features that you look at – they’ve had items like keyless entry and start for over a decade. It’s the connectivity and comfort features that really count – with the BMW Connected App allowing you to turn your NFC-equipped Android smart phone into a digital key. There’s also wireless phone charging to add that extra bit of speed when you’re starting your journey.
BMW Z4 2021-2022 Fuel Consumption
The manufacturer quoted fuel consumption for the BMW Z4 as it is available locally in the sDrive30i form is a reasonable 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres, which works out to roughly 15.4 kilometres per litre of fuel. As is the case with all turbocharged vehicles, that consumption figure can vary quite wildly depending on the way in which you drive, as more aggressive driving will consume significantly more fuel.
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- Body Type: Convertible
- Transmission: Automatic
- Engine Capacity: 1998 cc
- Fuel Type: petrol
- Seat Capacity: 2
- Price: RM 455,000
User Review of BMW Z4
Perfect weekend car
Bmw z4 20i