6 Best BMW Z4 Models Reliability and Years To Avoid

6 Best BMW Z4 Models Reliability and Years To Avoid

Here we will delve into the world of BMW Z4s, exploring the best BMW Z4 models reliability and years to avoid that offer unrivaled driving pleasure, as well as discussing which years may be best to steer clear from. 

Before you rush out to fulfill your dream of cruising in a Z4, there are some important factors to consider. You want to make sure you choose the best model that suits your needs and desires, while also avoiding any potential reliability issues So buckle up and let’s embark on this exhilarating journey together!

History of the BMW Z4

The BMW Z4 has come a long way since its inception in 2002, with each new model pushing boundaries and raising the bar for convertible sports cars. BMW’s achievements with the Z4 over time, it’s equally crucial to consider reliability when exploring used models or deciding on future purchases.

Models from early generations suffered from various issues such as electrical glitches and oil leaks.

6 Best BMW Z4 Models Reliability and Years To Avoid

The First Generation (E85/E86; 2003-2008)

You can’t go wrong with the first generation E85 and E86. These babies were not only eye-catching but also packed a punch under their hoods. The stylish roadster and coupe versions turned heads wherever they went, making everyone fall head over heels in love with their sleek lines and aggressive stance.

A key factors that make these Z4 models stand out is their reliability. Unlike some other sports cars of the time, the BMW Z4 proved to be a dependable companion for everyday driving or exhilarating weekend adventures. With proper maintenance and care, these vehicles have proven to stand the test of time, providing an enjoyable driving experience for years to come.

The Second Generation (E89; 2009-2016)

The second generation of the BMW Z4, known as the E89, marked a significant evolution for this iconic roadster. With the introduction of a retractable hardtop, BMW aimed to merge the best features of both roadsters and coupes into one sleek package. This innovative design not only added an element of sophistication but also enhanced practicality by offering better protection from the elements.

But it wasn’t just about looks – BMW also upgraded the engines on the E89 Z4, enhancing its performance even further. The available power options ranged from a 3.0-liter inline-six engine to a beastly 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged engine, delivering exhilarating acceleration and sheer driving pleasure.

Along with these improvements in exterior design and performance, BMW didn’t forget about luxury either – they raised the bar by making the interior more refined and luxurious than ever before.

The Third Generation (G29; 2018-Present)

best BMW Z4 models reliability and years to avoid

In 2019, BMW brought back the Z4 with its third generation, the G29, marking a stunning comeback for this beloved roadster. What’s interesting is that this model owes its success not only to BMW’s expertise but also to a collaboration with Toyota, giving birth to the legendary Supra as well.

The result of this partnership is a car that exudes an aura of sleekness and sophistication. The performance of the G29 is equally impressive. 

With turbocharged engines under its hood, this roadster offers that extra oomph that enthusiasts crave. Technology plays a crucial role in setting apart this third-gen Z4 from its predecessors. Equipped with cutting-edge features like digital instrument clusters and advanced driver-assistance systems, it ensures both safety and convenience are at the forefront of your driving experience.

6 Best BMW Z4 Models Reliability and Years To Avoid

Let’s explore some of the top BMW Z4 models to consider adding to your collection after reviewing an overview of them.

1. 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster

The 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster is undeniably a showstopper, with its powerful engine and thrilling performance. Equipped with a 3.2-liter inline-six engine, the same one found in the legendary BMW M3, this car is guaranteed to make your heart skip a beat. With an impressive output of 330 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, it delivers an exhilarating driving experience that will leave you wanting more.

What sets the Z4 M Roadster apart from other cars in its class is its manual transmission. In a world dominated by automatic transmissions, having the option for a traditional 6-speed manual gives drivers complete control over their gear shifts, heightening the overall driving experience. Paired with its sports-tuned suspension, this car not only blasts down straightaways but also handles corners like a true champion.

From every angle, the Z4 M Roadster exudes strength and aggression. Its distinctive design features flared wheel arches, dual exhausts, and a long hood that adds to its muscular appearance. Step inside the cabin and you’ll find yourself surrounded by luxury and sportiness.

The sports seats embrace you with their supportive contours while the leather-wrapped M steering wheel adds to the feeling of exclusivity. Combined with high-quality materials throughout the interior space, this roadster offers both comfort and style.

The 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster has always been a force to be reckoned with on the streets. Its performance figures are truly remarkable:

  • 0 to 60 mph: The 2006 BMW Z4 M Roadster has earned its reputation as a true beast on the road, and it continues to impress even to this day. This car boasts an impressive set of performance stats that make it stand out among its competitors.

    With a powerful engine under its hood, the Z4 M Roadster can deliver breathtaking acceleration and speed. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in just a few seconds, making every drive an exhilarating experience. 
  • Handling: The handling of this car is truly exceptional. Thanks to its sports-tuned suspension and near-perfect weight distribution, it feels as if it’s gliding effortlessly on rails. The precise steering and responsive braking contribute to an incredibly agile and confident driving experience. 

2. 2013 BMW Z4 sDrive35is

Let’s examine the factors that distinguish this from other models and make it exceptional.

  • The engine that powers this vehicle is truly impressive. It boasts a 3.0-liter inline-six twin-turbocharged engine, which gives it the power and performance of a mini jet engine.
  • The Z4 sDrive35is is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to horsepower and torque. With an impressive 335 horsepower and a hefty 332 lb-ft of torque, this car packs some serious muscle. 
  • The transmission in this model is a standout feature, offering a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic system. It operates seamlessly, delivering a smooth and effortless driving experience.
  • The exterior design of the 2013 Z4 sDrive35is is undeniably sleek and aerodynamic. It exudes a sense of sportiness and sophistication, making it a head-turner on the road.
    Complementing the headlights are the sporty 18-inch alloy wheels that not only contribute to the car’s aesthetic appeal but also improve its performance on the road.
  • The interior amenities of this vehicle are truly impressive. The leather sports seats provide a luxurious and comfortable seating experience, ensuring that every drive is enjoyable.
    The automatic climate control system allows for personalized temperature settings, allowing everyone in the car to stay cozy and comfortable no matter the weather outside.
  • Complementing this performance upgrade is the snazzy aerodynamic body kit, giving the car a sleek and aggressive appearance that turns heads on the road.
    Inside, the M Sport package brings an even cooler interior, featuring luxurious and sporty elements such as high-quality materials, bolstered seats, and stylish accents.
6 Best BMW Z4 Models Reliability and Years To Avoid

Are you curious about its performance?

  • 0 to 60 mph: The car is incredibly quick, able to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 4.8 seconds. Its impressive speed is enough to leave anyone in awe.
  • Handling: The handling of the car is simply exceptional. Thanks to its adaptive M suspension, it offers a nimble and responsive driving experience. The car seems to anticipate your every move, almost as if it knows what you’re thinking. 

3. 2008 BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe

Let’s take a step back in time to 2008 and discuss the BMW Z4 3.0si Coupe.

  • The engine of the car is equipped with a 3.0-liter inline-six configuration, ensuring a powerful performance. What sets this engine apart is that it is naturally aspirated, meaning it delivers power in a smooth and linear manner.
  • With a respectable output of 255 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque, this engine may not be as exhilarating as some others on the market, but it certainly has enough power to get your heart racing.
    While it may not be the wildest option available, its impressive performance is more than enough to inject excitement into any driving experience.
  • This vehicle offers you the flexibility to choose between a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Having options is always a great advantage, as it allows you to select the type of transmission that best suits your preferences and driving style.
  • The exterior design of the car is truly captivating, with its coupe style that immediately catches the eye. The smooth curves and sleek lines give it a sense of elegance and sophistication. 
  • The interior amenities of this 2008 vehicle are quite impressive. The cabin is equipped with luxurious leather seats that not only add a touch of elegance but also provide utmost comfort for the passengers.
    The car boasts a remarkable 10-speaker audio system, guaranteeing an immersive and high-quality sound experience for all occupants. 

In terms of performance, this is what it does.

  • 0 to 60 mph:The Z4 sDrive28i is an impressively fast car, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds. Its powerful engine and efficient design enable it to reach high speeds quickly, providing a thrilling driving experience.
  • Handling:The handling of this Z4 model is truly exceptional, thanks to its nearly perfect weight distribution. Whether taking on sharp corners or navigating tight turns, the car glides with grace and precision.

4. 2016 BMW Z4 sDrive 28i

  • The engine of this vehicle is truly impressive. Despite its small size, it is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four engine that packs quite a punch.
  • The engine in question delivers an impressive performance with its output of 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque. 
  • Buyers of this vehicle are given the flexibility to choose between a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic transmission. 
  • The exterior design of the Z4 is a perfect blend of classic elegance and modern aesthetics. It retains the sleek and sporty silhouette that has made the Z4 an iconic car, but with a unique twist.
  • The interior of this vehicle offers a delightful experience with its leatherette upholstery that exudes both elegance and comfort. The inclusion of Bluetooth connectivity allows for seamless integration of devices, enabling hands-free calling and audio streaming.
    With the dual-zone climate control, passengers can individually adjust the temperature to their liking, ensuring everyone’s comfort throughout the journey. 

Here’s what you can expect:

  • 0 to 60 mph: The Z4 sDrive28i is an impressively quick vehicle, capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just about 5.5 seconds.
  • Handling: The handling of the Z4 model is nothing short of exceptional. Thanks to its nearly perfect weight distribution, this car effortlessly glides through corners with grace and precision. 

5. 2020 BMW Z4 M40i

  • We are talking about an impressive 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that truly packs a punch. This powerhouse of an engine delivers exceptional performance and exhilarating acceleration. 
  • The engine of this vehicle boasts an impressive power output, delivering a remarkable 382 horsepower and an equally impressive 369 lb-ft of torque.
  • The transmission on this vehicle is truly impressive. It features an 8-speed automatic transmission that is both slick and lightning-fast. 
  • The sharp lines along the body add to its sleek and dynamic profile, giving it a visually appealing appeal. One unique feature of this car is its fabric soft top, which adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the overall design.
    This soft top not only enhances the aesthetics but also allows for an open-air driving experience, adding to the overall allure of the vehicle.
  • The interior amenities of this vehicle are truly exceptional. As soon as you step inside, you are greeted with a plush cabin featuring luxurious leather upholstery that adds a touch of elegance and comfort to the overall experience.

The performance, here’s what you can expect:

  • 0 to 60 mph: With its impressive acceleration, the Z4 M40i leaves competitors in the dust as it effortlessly rockets from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.9 seconds. 
  • Handling: The handling of this car is truly exceptional. Thanks to its adaptive M suspension, it offers an unparalleled driving experience. Whether you’re taking sharp turns or cruising on the highway, this vehicle handles like a dream.
    It effortlessly glides through corners and provides a smooth and controlled ride. Driving this car is an absolute joy, as it offers precise steering and excellent stability. 

6. 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive 30i

  • The engine of this model is equipped with a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, providing it with a powerful and efficient performance. This turbocharged engine delivers an impressive amount of horsepower and torque, ensuring a thrilling driving experience. 
  • The vehicle boasts an impressive amount of power, with a solid 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. This combination ensures that it can effortlessly tackle any road or terrain with ease.
  • The vehicle is equipped with an 8-speed automatic transmission, providing a smooth and efficient driving experience. The advanced transmission technology allows for seamless gear changes, ensuring optimal performance and fuel efficiency.
  • The Z4 sDrive30i’s exterior design is both sleek and sophisticated. The stylish soft top adds a touch of elegance to the car, while the LED headlights provide excellent visibility and a modern look. The 18-inch alloy wheels not only enhance the overall aesthetic appeal but also contribute to a smooth and comfortable ride.
  • The interior of the vehicle offers a range of luxurious amenities. The leatherette upholstery adds a touch of elegance and comfort to the seats, ensuring a pleasant driving experience. The 10.25-inch touchscreen display dominates the center console, providing easy access to various entertainment and navigation features.

In terms of performance, factors that are crucial to consider. 

  • 0 to 60 mph: The vehicle showcases impressive speed, as it has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 5.2 seconds. 
  • Handling: The vehicle’s handling is one of its standout features, thanks to its well-balanced chassis. It provides a sporty and confident driving experience, allowing drivers to feel in control on the road. 

Most reliable BMW Z4 models and years to avoid

The E89 generation of the BMW Z4 is often praised for its reliability, making it a top choice among enthusiasts. While earlier models had their fair share of issues, BMW seemed to have learned from their mistakes and addressed them in this newer generation. The result? A roadster that you can rely on without constantly worrying about breakdowns or unexpected repairs.

One area where the E89 shines is its electrical system. Previous generations had an infamous reputation for glitches and failures in this department, but thankfully, the E89 seems to have ironed out most of these issues. This means that your Z4 will likely have working lights, a functioning audio system, and no sudden hiccups with electronics while you’re out enjoying the open road.

Not only does the E89 generation offer improved reliability when it comes to mechanical and electrical components, but it also provides a more refined driving experience overall. With better handling, increased performance capabilities, and a smoother ride quality compared to previous iterations, the E89 truly stands out as a reliable and enjoyable sports car option from BMW.

Common BMW Z4 Issues

It’s hard not to be captivated by its sleek design and powerful performance. like any car, it has had its fair share of issues over the years. One particular area of concern lies with the engine.

Earlier models, up until 2006, equipped with the M54 engine have been known to suffer from misfiring problems due to a faulty DISA valve. This can lead to a less than optimal driving experience and potentially costly repairs.

Another issue that has plagued some Z4s is related to the N52 engine, which replaced the M54 in 2006. Owners have reported problems with hydraulic cam lifters losing oil, resulting in an irritating noise during cold starts. While this may not pose a substantial threat to the overall reliability of the vehicle, it can nevertheless become an annoyance for daily drivers who value a smooth and quiet ride.

Potential buyers should also be cautious when considering convertible models of the BMW Z4. The soft top motors have been known to fail or require relocation over time. This could result in additional expenses down the road if repair or replacement becomes necessary.

While the BMW Z4 offers plenty in terms of style and performance, it’s important for buyers to do their due diligence before committing to a specific model year. Keeping an eye out for issues such as misfiring engines or problematic soft tops can save you from unexpected headaches and expenses later on.

BMW Z4 Years to Avoid

When shopping for a used BMW Z4, it is crucial to pay attention to the specific model years. According to reported complaints, the 2003, 2005, and 2007 models are best avoided. While the number of complaints alone may not be the only factor to consider, it’s essential to understand that these particular years have experienced a significant number of issues – many of which are expensive to fix.

One common problem found in the Z4M’s S54 engine involves valve clearances that need periodic checks. This maintenance task can prove costly over time. Conrod bearings and bolts have been known to fail in some cases, leading to potentially disastrous consequences for the engine itself. Should such damage occur, repair costs can become exorbitant.

For those considering Z4 models with the N52 engine, an important aspect to investigate is whether there has been any replacement of the cylinder head and lifters. Such replacements could indicate a more reliable unit overall. 

Regardless of engine type or year chosen when buying a used BMW Z4, it is imperative to thoroughly examine its service history as this will provide insight into how well-maintained the vehicle has been throughout its life. 

Opting for a well-cared-for Z4 with higher mileage may often be a wiser choice than selecting a low-mileage option that has neglected regular maintenance requirements. By being informed about potential pitfalls associated with specific model years and understanding which components require extra attention during evaluations, buyers

Which BMW Z4 engine is best?

The best BMW Z4 models, it’s hard to overlook the high-performance M variants. Equipped with the revered S54 engine, these models are a driving enthusiast’s dream. With its impressive horsepower and torque figures, this engine truly sets the Z4 M apart from its siblings.

But what about reliability? Like any car, there have been reports of issues with certain Z4 model years. Some enthusiasts mention that earlier versions like the E85 generation had more problems compared to later iterations like the E89.

It’s worth noting that BMW has continuously improved upon their engines and addressed common issues throughout production years.

If you’re looking for a used Z4, it may be a good idea to avoid early model years and instead focus on more recent generations. This way, you can benefit from BMW’s advancements in engine technology and enjoy a more reliable driving experience in your own piece of automotive excellence.

Overview of BMW Z4 Engines

The BMW Z4 has seen a variety of engine options throughout its existence, catering to different preferences and driving styles. The M54 engine, for example, is well-known for its durability and smooth operation. While it may not offer the best fuel efficiency compared to the newer turbocharged engines, its performance is still more than adequate for relaxed driving.

The N52 engine improves upon the M54 with lighter materials and advanced technology, resulting in slightly better performance and fuel efficiency. It’s a great choice for those looking for a reliable and efficient engine upgrade.

For those seeking more power, the turbocharged N54 and N55 engines are excellent options. The N54 is highly tunable and offers an impressive performance boost over previous models, albeit with potential reliability concerns. In contrast, the N55 is considered more reliable while still providing an exhilarating driving experience.

The latest addition to BMW’s lineup of Z4 engines is the B58 inline-six turbocharged engine. This powerhouse delivers excellent performance while maintaining relatively good fuel efficiency. Regarded as one of BMW’s best engines in terms of performance, smoothness, and efficiency,

Those craving ultimate performance might consider opting for the S54 engine found in Z4 M models. Though it sacrifices fuel economy and requires more maintenance than other options, it offers unmatched power delivery with its high-revving nature and incredible sound.

While these are all exceptional choices in their own right, it’s also worth mentioning that newer models come equipped with four

Which BMW Z4 Engine is Best for you?

There are several factors to consider. Performance-oriented buyers will find the S54 in the Z4 M to be a top choice. This engine offers exceptional power and is perfect for thrill-seekers who crave an exhilarating driving experience.

If you value both performance and reliability, newer models like the M40i with its B58 engine should be on your radar. It provides an impressive balance of power and dependability.

For those who prioritize daily driving and fuel efficiency, turbocharged four-cylinder engines are a great option. These engines offer sufficient power for everyday situations while also being economical at the gas pump. They provide a smooth driving experience that is ideal for city commutes or highway journeys.

Enthusiasts who appreciate a smooth, high-revving engine may gravitate towards the S54 in the Z4 M. While this engine necessitates some extra maintenance, its distinct characteristics make it hard to resist for passionate drivers who enjoy pushing their cars to their limits. Another enticing option for enthusiasts is the N54 engine, known for its tunability and ability to unleash even more power from this sporty roadster.

If you seek a balanced approach that combines performance with everyday usability, both the N55 and B58 inline-six engines fit the bill perfectly. These engines offer a great compromise between power, reliability, and efficiency—a true win-win solution.


The BMW Z4 offers a tantalizing blend of luxury and high performance that is sure to ignite your passion for driving. It is crucial to carefully consider the best model that suits your needs and desires, as well as being aware of potential reliability issues.

By exploring the Best BMW Z4 Models Reliability and Years To Avoid, you can ensure a smooth and exhilarating journey on the open road. So don’t hesitate any longer – take the wheel of a BMW Z4 and experience the thrill of driving in style and speed like never before!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any specific years of BMW Z4 to avoid?

The early model years, particularly 2003-2005, are known for having more reliability issues. Proper maintenance can still ensure their performance.

How often should I service my BMW Z4?

BMW recommends servicing your Z4 every 10,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first, to maintain optimal performance and reliability.

Can I use regular gas in my BMW Z4?

It is recommended to use premium unleaded gasoline (91 octane) in your BMW Z4 for best performance and fuel efficiency. Regular unleaded gasoline can be used if necessary.

What is the typical lifespan of a BMW Z4?

With proper care and maintenance, a BMW Z4 can last well over 100,000 miles or more. Some owners have reported their Z4s reaching 150,000-200,000 miles with no major issues.