Auto Review: 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive20i

SUN’S out, guns out. Well not quite, but you’ll understand what we mean the first time you drop the roof on the 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive20i, especially with the wicked M Sport Plus enhancement package thrown in.

Designed by Aussie Calvin Luk, it draws its inspiration from the heritage of the BMW 507, with the sculptured design of the new look Z4 offering what might just be perfection, from the front lights and slightly oversized grille, through to the unique tail lights and trunk lid.

Opening the driver’s door and sliding into the creative looking cockpit very quickly tells you one thing about the new Z4 sDrive20i, and that is that it’s a real driver’s car, resplendent in a myriad of infotainment screens.

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But it’s in dropping the roof and running your Z car as a proper convertible that somehow makes you feel connected, more aware of the outside world. It feels more natural. That roof by the way, can be lowered in 10 seconds and at speeds up to 50km/h.

Back to what happens when you get in though. After you’ve got yourself comfortable in the drivers seat with the endless supply of lumbar and bolster adjustments, you hit that start button, and the beast comes alive with a crackle. At this point you will be smirking.

On the open road, the Z becomes an extension of you, the steering and feedback is absolutely spot on. You can throw it into the corners knowing that the aerodynamics and suspension has it all under control.

That smirk has now turned into a smile, and another corner approaches and you drop it back a gear using the comfortable paddle shifter. Followed by pop and crackle, you have got the Z set up for another set of twisties. That smile turns is now an infectious laugh.

It’s that much fun, and we don’t just mean when you are out for a spirited drive either, as the Z4 handles the daily commute just as well. Sure, in the three sport modes on offer, it’s a little rough, but there’s plenty of settings to choose from.

You can of course select Sport or Sport Plus, Sport Individual, Comfort, Comfort Plus, Comfort Individual, Eco, Eco Pro, Eco Individual, and finally Adaptive. That’s a lot of choice. Adaptive is best for the every day journey to work.

The sDrive20i is powered by a 4-cylinder inter-cooled turbo engine, delivering a tidy 145kW of power and 320Nm. And sure, you could always have more power, there’s the sDrive30i and M40i for that, but the sDrive20i brings more to the party than you think.

Some 190kW of power is on offer from the sDrive30i, which features a beefier version of the engine in our test vehicle, while 250kW and the B58 power plant it shares with the new Toyota Supra grace the powerhouse M40i.

Our 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive20i came in San Francisco Red, with that M Sport Plus package adds adaptive M suspension and sports brakes, M seat belts, tyre pressure monitoring and 19-inch M double-spoke bi-colour light alloy wheels.

As you would expect, the options are many, including five different interior upholstery choices, different trims, and a Comfort and Precision package to choose from. There’s also Apple CarPlay at an extra cost.

Pricing starts at $93,152 drive away, and the remainder of the colour range includes Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Misano Blue, and Frozen Grey II. It comes with a 3-year unlimited kilometre warranty.

Our test vehicle was provided by BMW Australia. To find out more about the 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive20i, contact your local BMW dealer. Pictures courtesy of Cameron Cooke Photography. As this vehicle is a two-seater, we have removed the Family Friendliness category from the ratings below.


Driving experience
Exterior styling
Interior look and feel
Technology and connectivity
Value for money


Pros - impeccable styling; surprising performance; good as a daily driver or on long trips.
Cons - cup holder location; wiper blade mechanism; phone charging port location; no Android Auto and Apple CarPlay only an optional extra.
Cameron Cooke
Cameron Cooke
Cameron Cooke is a professional photographer and writer with extensive automotive industry experience. He's living the dream as far as he's concerned, working in a career in digital photography and penning automotive content.


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<strong>Pros -</strong> impeccable styling; surprising performance; good as a daily driver or on long trips.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> cup holder location; wiper blade mechanism; phone charging port location; no Android Auto and Apple CarPlay only an optional extra.Auto Review: 2019 BMW Z4 sDrive20i