Flash Drive: 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i
This 2009 review is representative of model years 2009 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos
The Z4 received a complete makeover for the 2009 model year, and the changes are much appreciated. The most obvious is the updated styling. While the all-new Z4 still sports the automaker's traditional dual-kidney grille, it features curvier lines and bolder fender flares than the previous generation. The interior is roomy enough for a 2-seater, with comfortable, supportive seats; a large navigation screen; and an improved iDrive system. The retractable hardtop adds security over a soft-top and folds effortlessly into the trunk, where it unfortunately takes up most of the space. Carrying a suitcase with the car's top down is almost impossible. We drove the sDrive35i (doesn't exactly roll off the tongue), which gets BMW's turbocharged 300-horsepower engine and a smooth-shifting 6-speed manual transmission. The combination makes this car a blast to drive. Quick and easy to control, the Z4 is exactly what I'd want in a high-performance roadster. However, it seems a bit overpriced (the sticker on our test car was approximately $65,000), especially for today's market. – Perry Stern
The BMW Z4 looks fantastic. It's aggressive and subtle and easily the best of this era of BMWs. The only drawback is a short windshield that forces the rear-view mirror to be in the way sometimes, but that's a price I'd be willing to pay. The engine also exceeds expectations, with convincing power and an exhaust note that is better than sports cars — much more powerful and expensive, loud or quiet depending on your mood. Overall, the BMW falls easily between its competitors, almost matching the best-in-class for comfort and nearly best-in-class for performance. For buyers who don't single-mindedly pursue one aspect of a sports car at the expense of all others, and can accept the high price of admission, the Z4 is an excellent choice. – Paul Hagger
The 2009 BMW Z4 sDrive35i is one aggressive-looking ride — top up or down. Its menacing demeanor is backed up by a sweet, twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six delivering more than 300 horsepower, making this lightweight 2-seater one of the fastest cars ever from BMW. Adaptive M Suspension, 18-inch wheels with performance tires and Servotronic steering make this little roadster just as agile as it is potent. But add the Premium Package, Premium Sound, Sport Package and Navigation, and you're up to $65,000 — that's a pricey ticket to ride, for sure. – Mike Meredith