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Comparing Convertibles: Mazda MX-5 vs. BMW Z4

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The Mazda MX-5 and the BMW Z4 are two popular convertible sports cars that offer exhilarating driving experiences. Both models have their own unique features and characteristics that make them stand out in the market. In this article, we will compare the Mazda MX-5 and the BMW Z4 in terms of performance, design, technology, safety, and price. By examining these key factors, we can determine which convertible is the better choice for car enthusiasts.


When it comes to performance, the Mazda MX-5 and the BMW Z4 offer different driving experiences. The Mazda MX-5 is known for its nimble handling and precise steering, making it a joy to drive on winding roads. It is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 181 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. The MX-5 comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, but a six-speed automatic transmission is also available.

On the other hand, the BMW Z4 is a more powerful and performance-oriented convertible. It is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. The Z4 comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, providing smooth and quick gear shifts. Additionally, the Z4 is available with a more powerful 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that produces 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque.

In terms of acceleration, the BMW Z4 outperforms the Mazda MX-5. The Z4 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.2 seconds with the base engine, while the MX-5 takes around 6.5 seconds to reach the same speed. The more powerful six-cylinder engine in the Z4 reduces the acceleration time to an impressive 3.9 seconds.

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Both the Mazda MX-5 and the BMW Z4 have sleek and stylish designs that turn heads on the road. The MX-5 features a classic roadster design with a low-slung body, short overhangs, and a long hood. Its compact size and lightweight construction contribute to its agile handling and responsive performance. The MX-5 also offers a retractable soft top that can be easily operated with one hand, allowing for open-air driving in seconds.

On the other hand, the BMW Z4 has a more modern and aggressive design. It features a bold front grille, muscular fenders, and a sculpted rear end. The Z4 also comes with a power-folding hardtop that provides better insulation and security compared to a soft top. The hardtop can be raised or lowered in just a few seconds, allowing for a seamless transition between coupe and convertible modes.

Both convertibles offer a range of exterior color options and customizable features to suit individual preferences. The MX-5 is available in colors like Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Machine Gray Metallic, and Arctic White, while the Z4 offers colors like Alpine White, Misano Blue Metallic, and Black Sapphire Metallic.


When it comes to technology, the BMW Z4 offers more advanced features compared to the Mazda MX-5. The Z4 comes with a standard 10.25-inch touchscreen display that integrates the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. The system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing users to seamlessly connect their smartphones and access their favorite apps and features.

In addition to the touchscreen display, the Z4 also features a digital instrument cluster that provides important driving information in a clear and intuitive manner. The cluster can be customized to display different layouts and information, such as navigation directions, vehicle speed, and engine performance.

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The Mazda MX-5, on the other hand, offers a more simplistic approach to technology. It comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display that supports Mazda’s infotainment system. While the system is user-friendly and responsive, it lacks the advanced features and connectivity options found in the Z4.


Both the Mazda MX-5 and the BMW Z4 prioritize safety and come equipped with a range of safety features. The MX-5 comes with standard safety features such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning. It also offers an available i-Activsense package that includes features like adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and lane-keeping assist.

The BMW Z4, on the other hand, offers a more comprehensive suite of safety features. It comes with standard features such as forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and pedestrian detection. The Z4 also offers optional features like adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, lane departure warning, and a surround-view camera system.

Both convertibles have received favorable safety ratings from independent testing organizations. The MX-5 has been awarded the highest rating of “Good” in all crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The Z4 has also received top ratings from the IIHS, including a “Good” rating in all crash tests and a “Superior” rating for its front crash prevention system.


When it comes to price, the Mazda MX-5 is significantly more affordable compared to the BMW Z4. The MX-5 has a starting price of around $26,000, making it one of the most affordable convertibles on the market. The price increases with higher trim levels and optional features, but even the top-of-the-line MX-5 RF Grand Touring model is priced below $35,000.

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On the other hand, the BMW Z4 is a more expensive option. It has a starting price of around $50,000, which is almost double the price of the MX-5. The price can increase significantly with optional features and higher trim levels, with the top-of-the-line Z4 M40i model priced above $65,000.

While the BMW Z4 offers more power and advanced features, the Mazda MX-5 provides a more affordable and accessible option for car enthusiasts who prioritize driving pleasure and value for money.


In conclusion, the Mazda MX-5 and the BMW Z4 are two impressive convertibles that offer unique driving experiences. The MX-5 excels in terms of nimble handling, affordability, and simplicity, making it a great choice for enthusiasts who prioritize driving pleasure. On the other hand, the Z4 offers more power, advanced technology, and a luxurious driving experience, but at a higher price point.

Ultimately, the choice between the Mazda MX-5 and the BMW Z4 depends on individual preferences and priorities. Car enthusiasts who value performance and affordability may find the MX-5 to be the better option, while those who prioritize power and advanced features may prefer the Z4. Regardless of the choice, both convertibles offer an exhilarating driving experience that is sure to bring joy to their owners.

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