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2010 BMW Z4 sDrive30i Review

Luxury Drop Top

A three-quarter front view of a red 2010 Z4 sDrive30i

In short: Go kart-like luxe convertible.

othing says summer fun like a carefree spin along the coast with the top down, and the new Z4 sDrive30i screams both "summer" and "fun" from its throaty engine. However, whether you're cruising down PCH on a sunny day, or simply driving to your daily grind, the Z4—the first BMW roadster with a retractable hardtop—is sure to put a smile on your face. This quick and nimble drop top features super fun, responsive handling and holds the road great—even at high speeds. And although there are cars in its class with more powerful engines—the Chevy Corvette Coupe being one—our Z4, with its 3.0-liter, 255-hp inline-6, rocketed us around town without a problem.

While the emphasis is definitely still placed upon performance with this two-seater convertible, the updated Z4's expanded dimensions let us know that the people at BMW care about our comfort. The interior, while still tight, is slightly roomier, and the trunk offers decent storage space with the top up or down—maybe even enough to squeeze in a set of golf clubs. Despite the Z4's added emphasis on comfort, though, we were somewhat disappointed with the hardtop's noisy ride—and especially surprised to find that much of it came as a result of the car's mechanics within. However, given the chance to own the BMW Z4 sDrive30i as our daily driver, we're sure we could learn to live with a little background noise.

Warranty/Service: 4-year/50,000-mile warranty and full maintenance program; 12 year rust perforation limited warranty; 4-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance program.

Base Price: $45,750 / As tested: $60,795

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front engine, rear-wheel drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible

Engine: 3.0 liter, DOHC inline 24-valve 6-cylinder engine with Double-VANOS steplessly variable valve timing
Horsepower: 255 hp @ 6,600 rpm
Torque: 220 lb-ft @ 2,600 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Curb weight:
3,241 lbs
Wheelbase: 98.3 in
Length/Width/Height: 166.9/70.5/50.8 in
Turning circle: 35.1 ft

front and rear power-assisted disc brakes with ABS
Suspension: aluminum double-pivot spring and strut-type front suspension; central link rear suspension with cast-aluminum upper transverse links

Traction: dynamic traction control and dynamic brake control with brake fade compensation; start-off assistant; brake drying and brake stand-by features.

0-60 mph: 6 seconds
Top Speed: 130 mph (electronically limited)

EPA City:
19 mpg
EPA Highway: 29 mpg

dual-airbag supplementary restraint system; advanced safety system; rollover protection system; coded driveaway protection

Likes: sporty; roadholding
Dislikes: price; noise


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Photography: AlphaMedia


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