BMW Z4 Years To Avoid [List Of The Worst Models]

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The Z4 model has been available since 2002 and has lived through more than three generations.

It is good-looking, agile, and has been a key part of many collectors’ garages for several years.

All things considered, it’s completely understandable if you’d like to have a BMW Z4. But, some models have more errors than others.

As such, if you must buy this car, there are a few years that you might want to avoid.

Here Are The BMW Z4 Years To Avoid

Wondering which BMW Z4 years are the worst models? Read my guide to find out

The Z4 model has offered efficient performance consistently from its first release.

However, you might observe some minor issues with a few Z4 models, especially those that came out in the car’s earlier years.

1. 2003 BMW Z4

The 2003 BMW Z4 was one of the first models to come into production. Soon after its debut, the car garnered roughly 445 NHTSA complaints.

One of the issues received by the NHTSA includes problems related to its steering, cooling setups, and fuel.

The Z4 is also one of the oldest BMW models on the market. Thus, there were some wear-and-tear and mileage issues as well.

Due to its age, it might not be able to survive very long, making these issues the worst Z4 model to purchase.

2. 2005 BMW Z4

The BMW Z4 2005 model has 200 NHTSA complaints.

This vehicle manufacturer worked to improve the issues associated with the 2004 model mentioned earlier. However, the 2005 model had its own issues.

Among the major issues which disturbed several customers was the issue with the steering, which sticks during the summer season.

This car model was also vulnerable to electrical errors.

3. 2007 BMW Z4

BMW Z4 2007 model was reported with 43 NHTSA complaints. However, the biggest issue with this car model is the steering problem.

It was reported that the car drifted while steering and had issues with the electrical power-assist system.

Moreover, in 2017, over 700,000 cars melted their PCV valve, making them susceptible to fire.

The other complaint linked with this 2007 model is that the car is costly and requires a high maintenance budget.

4. 2008 BMW Z4

BMW Z4 2008 was the last car of the first generation of this model. The speed and power were appreciated.

However, this model didn’t offer a good sendoff because it had overheating issues, and the car was recalled two times.

Reviewers also complained that the style was outdated and the two-seater car didn’t offer as much room as they would’ve liked.

5. 2011 BMW Z4

This vehicle is one from the second-generation BMW models.

Therefore, because the automaker corrected the errors associated with the first generation, this car model had fewer complaints.

However, there is still an error that might make you avoid the 2011 Z4. BMW Z4 2011 model got registered with 35 NHTSA complaints.

Among the issues associated with the model includes problems with the brake, wheels, and engine.

However, the issues with wheels and hub aren’t as costly or dangerous, but they’re frustrating to deal with and normally occur after covering around 37,405 miles.

Moreover, the issue with the service brake is very dangerous, and it’s costly to fix. If not fixed immediately and properly, it can lead to a crash.

NHTSA received several complaints concerning the Z4 2011 model and was subjected to four different recalls. These recalls happened back in 2013, and they affected over 500,000 cars.

The issue was linked with electrical power plus stalling. This is a dangerous problem as it increases the probability of a crash if your vehicle stalls unexpectedly.

Another recall happened back in 2017 which affected more than 700,000 motors. The recall was all about short-circuiting and the PCV heater.

This increased the probability of having a spontaneous fire to the motor even when switched off. After the recall, the manufacturer fixed all the issues in all 2011 Z4 vehicles.

6. 2020 BMW Z4

BMW Z4 2020 model is a third-generation vehicle of the Z4 series.

Unfortunately, despite being a new model vehicle added to the Z4 series, it still has issues that make it unsuitable for purchase.

Among the major reasons to avoid this Z4 model is its hefty price range. Other vehicles offer the best performance at a lower or similar price.

This Z4 2020 vehicle has received seven NHTSA complaints and three recalls.

The issues were with the steering, brakes, engine, body/paint, and suspension. Few other vehicles had minor issues.

One recall in 2019 occurred to more than 250,000 vehicles, and this recall was due to a lack of image from their backup camera.

As a result, there was an increase in the risk of having a crash.

Other Issues With Most BMW Z4 Year Vehicles

As explained above, even dependable sports cars like BMW Z4 may have damaged or worn-out components, influencing their drivability.

Some of the major faults associated with Z4 models throughout the years include the following.

1. Faulty Airbags

Even when parked and its engine switched off, some of the 2005 Z4s airbags deploy randomly. In other cases, the airbags fail to guard the passenger when an accident happens.

While the former is more annoying than life threatening, the second problem is truly something to worry about.

This is because nobody wants to be caught without protection in the middle of a car crash as your life largely depends on luck and functional safety measures.

2. Roof Issues

Several owners of the Z4 models complain about their vehicles having defective roof mechanisms and rust.

Other owners replaced them numerous times, but the issue remained the same. Even if this isn’t a severe mechanical problem, having a rusty roof on a BMW Z4 is annoying.

However, one can avoid this issue by wiping it after a few weeks, parking it in a garage, or covering it.

Another major problem that individuals encounter with the Z4 model concerns its convertible top.

This convertible top gets stuck occasionally to both closed and open. Although both issues are frustrating, getting stuck when an opening is a bigger issue than when closing.

However, you can fix the mechanism on your own, but in other cases, you will be required to take the car to the mechanic to repair the issue.

Although this isn’t a serious safety problem, it annoys the owners.

3. Faulty Cooling System

Since you may have engine coolant leak experienced from the expansion tank, the engines for 2003-2005 plus 2008 Z4 model overheats.

4. Break Line Problem

Another predominant Z4 problem is corrosion and rust at the braking lines.

The process of fixing this problem is very costly because of the complication of removing and changing brake lines.

Which Z4 Models Are Safe To Purchase?

Now that you know which BMW Z4 years you should avoid, we can look at which Z4 years you can purchase, either new, used, or pre-owned.

1. 2006 BMW Z4

Z4 2006 is one of the greatest models since it’s unquestionably beautiful and powerful. This vehicle is fairly priced, and it’s enjoyable to drive.

Moreover, it also has a standard suspension for an improved ride plus comfort, new wheels, improved braking functions for enhanced stability, control system improvement, and a bigger final-drive ratio for enhanced acceleration this year.

2. 2010 BMW Z4

This thrilling sports vehicle has a fantastic folding roof.

This BMW Z4 model debuted in 2009 and carried to 2010 is more conservative than the previous models. Its roofing is low and long with the sizes of a classic roadster’s small deck.

Are BMW Z4 Years Worth it?

Yes, they are worth looking at, and you can actually get a great option in the market. You can also get a used Z4 on the market, and improve it to be a future classic.

Although you should avoid several years of the Z4 as listed above, many BMW Z4 models are still reliable.

Just be sure that you change all the spark plugs, the fluids, the filters, and other parts.

Remember that repairing this car is pricey. Thus, you should prioritize preventative maintenance to have the best ownership experience.


When you need to purchase the BMW Z4 series, it’s good to stay away from this year’s model because of the issues with reliability and safety, which are costly to fix.

Also, the first generation Z4 models are very unpredictable, so it’s best to avoid those too.

Though the vehicles from every generation have issues, if you must buy a used BMW Z4 series, it would be a great idea to stick to models of the third generation since they are more reliable.