The 2022 BMW Z4 sports car remains one of the most engaging and luxurious ways to get from A to B with great driving dynamics and fuel economy too.
For 2022, the BMW Z4 actually loses some features. The Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless charging option from the past few years are gone. In addition, ambient lighting is no longer standard. Finally, a Driving Assistance package is now a standalone option as opposed to being part of other packages.
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Outstanding driving dynamics
Impressive fuel economy
Small fuel tank
Little cargo area
M40i is expensive
The car deserves three pedals
This little sports car is properly quick even in base sDrive 30i trim with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque. 0-60 takes just over 5 seconds and that time drops to under 4 when you opt for the turbocharged six-cylinder engine that makes 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque in the M40i version.
That’s downright fast and the 2022 BMW Z4 drives like it. From the line, there’s a touch of lag from both powertrains. Setup launch control though and they’ll rip off the line like semi-pro drag racers. Shifts are quick and accurate thanks to the spectacular eight-speed ZF automatic. It’s reliable enough that you could almost be convinced that it’s a dual-clutch.
Push the Z4 into the corners hard and it responds better than you’d expected for a car that weighs more than 3,500-pounds with both seats occupied. No, it’s not as sharp as the Porsche 718 Boxster, but considering that its motor is in the front, that was going to be a struggle regardless. What the Z4 does provide is eight or nine-tenths of that handling ability while being nicer inside and being less expensive. If there’s anything to complain about, it has to be a lack of top-end power from the four-cylinder engine. The turbo is just too small to keep feeding air anywhere near the redline.
It’s hard to beat the 2022 BMW Z4 when it comes to fuel economy. The 2.0-liter engine gets a combined 28 mpg rating from the EPA. While the more powerful M40i drops to 25 mpg combined, it’s still capable of 29 mpg on the highway when driven gently. That’s outstanding in its class on both fronts.
The 2022 BMW Z4 feels like perhaps the most well-rounded convertible of this size on the market right now. It’s small, but makes outstanding use of the space it does have. The cargo area is limited to just 10 cubic feet, but that’s more than large enough for a weekend away with a passenger. The cargo space isn’t negatively affected by the fast-folding top either. That top is pretty special too because when it’s up, the inside of the Z4 sounds a lot more like a hard-topped coupe than it actually is.
In addition, it’s spacious inside the Z4 so much so that even I, a 6’6 person, could fit without contortion. Then there’s the way the interior feels to the touch and to the eye. It’s extremely well done. Panel gaps are uniform and tight. The finish is fantastic throughout and doesn’t feel cheap anywhere. Switches and knobs are where you expect them to be and they’re easy to adapt to. Bravo BMW.
It’s tough to find a problem with any part of the technology in the 2022 BMW Z4. The infotainment system certainly isn’t an issue. It’s intuitive and pretty easy to get used to even if you’re not familiar with iDrive. It’s also quick and Android, as well as Apple integration, make it that much easier. We also love the heads-up display available on the six-cylinder Z4. It’s bright and very useful.
The 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system that’s available as an extra option is worth going for. In such a small space you’d be worried it would be overpowering, but it’s amazing even at low volume. It provides a rich and full soundscape with beautiful detail and tone. If we had to complain about something it would be the lack of charging options. There’s only a single USB port, so we’re not sure why they nixed the wireless charging pad from last year.
The 2022 BMW Z4 comes with quite a number of available safety features, but only forward collision mitigation is standard. Adaptive cruise and blind-spot monitoring are available. The NHTSA has not evaluated the Z4 and neither has the IIHS.
The base 2022 BMW Z4 sDrive 30i features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 255 horsepower and 294 lb-ft of torque. It also gets 18-inch wheels, automatic wipers, push-button start, LED headlights, faux-leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, and auto-dimming mirrors. Every Z4 comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission, a 10.25-inch infotainment system with Android and Apple connectivity, forward collision mitigation, and navigation. 30i buyers can add a few packages to their car if they so choose.
The Driver Assistance package adds parking sensors, blind-spot monitoring, and lane-departure warning. A Convenience package includes keyless entry and lumbar adjustments. A Premium package includes the Convenience package and also adds remote start, ambient lighting, adaptive LED headlights, heated seats, and an automated parking assist system.
An M-Sport package includes an aerodynamic body kit, bigger brakes, adaptive suspension and a more sport-tuned rear differential. The Dynamic Handling Package tacks on a full suite of premium features to the 30i including the M-Sport package, heated seats, remote start, 19-inch wheels, leather upholstery, and adaptive cruise control.
The Z4 sDrive M40i comes with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that makes 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. It also gets keyless entry, heated seats, lumbar adjustment, and a heated steering wheel.
The M40i can add the M-Sport package, the Driver Assistance Package, and an exclusive package called the Premium package. It includes remote start, ambient lighting, automated parking assist, adaptive headlights, and a heads-up display.
BMW offers a fantastic warranty for new-car buyers that features a 4-year or 50,000-mile limited warranty. It also provides a powertrain warranty covering the same time and mileage. The first 3 years or 36,000 miles also see the 2022 BMW Z4 getting complimentary maintenance.
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It’s very hard to beat the 2022 BMW Z4 in this space if you’re planning to spend this kind of money. The only real competition might be its hard-top cousin, the Toyota Supra. Either way, the Z4 offers drop-top driving thrills with some of the best tech, the best driving dynamics, and the best quality in the business.