Car details navigation


Road Test

BMW Z4 sDrive20i driven

Driven February 2012

Additional Info

Double-edged compliment alert: this entry-level Z4 doesn't feel like a small-engined sports car.

Which means, on the upside, it doesn't feel small-engined. Though the 2.0-litre turbo four makes less power than the 23i straight-six it replaces (181bhp plays 204), it's nearly as quick to 62mph, with improved economy and emissions.

Unlike many old attempts to replace cubic inches with forced induction, the Z4 doesn't have a ricepaper-thin powerband. With BMW's twin-scroll turbocharging, it spools up smoothly, revving with nearly the freedom of a naturally aspirated petrol.

But, on the downside, this Z4 doesn't feel like a sports car. Even with this lightweight lump up front, this still isn't the most agile roadster around: if you want a bit more, er, phwoar from your Z4, hold out for the sDrive28i, which, for £3k more, gets a boosted version of the same engine, hiking power to 242bhp and dropping the 0-62mph time by just over a second while managing identical emissions and economy.

But should you choose to save your cash and opt for this Z4, you won't be disappointed: the 20i is beautifully finished and grown-up. Yep, that's another one of those double-edged fellas.

Sam Philip

The numbers
1997cc, 181bhp, 199lb ft, 41.5mpg, 159g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 6.9 secs, 146mph, 1470kg

The verdict
Cheapest Z4 on sale is no poor relation to the bigger hitters, but isn't an out-and-out sports car.

Now share it...

Latest road tests

5/10 BMW Z4 sDrive 18i Driven
August 2013
5/10 BMW Z4 sDrive35is
April 2010
6/10 BMW Z4 sDrive 35i
April 2009
6/10 BMW Z4 sDrive35i
March 2009

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.

Search BMW Z4 for sale