BMW Z4 vs. Toyota Supra

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - September 18, 2019

The year 2020 is an important one for Toyota and sports car fans alike, as it marks the return of the iconic Supra nameplate. Last offered in the U.S. in 1998, the Toyota Supra is the brand's halo sports car, offering a capable six-cylinder engine, athletic handling, and great bang for your buck. There’s another part of that equation, though, and it’s the heavy helping hand that BMW offered Toyota to bring the Supra back.

At the same time as the release of the Supra, BMW came out with the Z4. It too is a performance-oriented machine, but it offers a more luxurious cabin and more options to choose from. The BMW Z4 also made a return after a hiatus, though BMW’s roadster only took three years off.

The Z4 and the Supra share a lot of components, like a chassis, a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, and an eight-speed automatic transmission, but there are a few crucial differences that may have you leaning toward one option.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Z4 & Supra »

What the Supra Gets Right

While both the BMW Z4 and the Toyota Supra can be fitted with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine, Toyota’s sports car has it as standard, while it’s available on a high-performance trim with the BMW. The Supra is only available with the 3.0-liter engine, which produces 335 horsepower. The standard engine in the Z4 is a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder that makes 255 hp.

Two-door sports cars aren’t usually known for being value options, but the Supra gets you more for your money. Pricing for the base Supra starts at $50,945 including destination, while the Z4 costs $50,695. Sure, the BMW is cheaper, but the extra power you get in the Supra for only an extra $250 makes it the better choice for consumers that want performance on a budget.

Another crucial difference that isn’t necessarily an advantage or a disadvantage is that the Supra is only offered as a two-door hardtop. While some like to enjoy the benefits of a convertible year-round, there’s no denying that living with a hardtop coupe is easier.

What the Z4 Gets Right

Toyota only offers the Supra with one powertrain, but the BMW Z4 is available in two, giving you more options to choose from. If the base turbocharged four-cylinder doesn’t do it for you, BMW also offers the Z4 in a high-performance M40i trim that comes with a similar engine to the Supra. In the Z4, though, the turbocharged inline-six produces 382 hp. With the more powerful engine, the Z4 can sprint to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds. The same run in the Supra takes 4.1 seconds.

The Supra and the Z4 might share the same interior design, but BMW’s packed its option with better features. A 10.25-inch screen in the instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch infotainment display, Apple CarPlay, and navigation are standard with the Z4. The Supra comes with an 8.8-inch LCD display in the instrument cluster and a more modest 6.5-inch display, but loses out on the Z4’s other features on the base trim.

BMW is only offering the Z4 in a convertible body style. While not an advantage or a disadvantage, it’s a difference from the Supra, which is only available as a hardtop coupe.

Convertible or Coupe?

There are a lot of similarities between the Toyota Supra and the BMW Z4. Obvious differences include body style, entry-level performance, and standard features. If performance out of the gate is what you’re after, then the Supra shines. If you’re willing to spend more money on more performance and are looking for that open-top feel, only the Z4 will do.

Our Verdict: Toyota Supra

For the majority of consumers, the more powerful Toyota Supra is the better fit. Its hardtop roof makes it easier to live with, while getting a BMW Z4 with similar performance is almost an extra $14,000. Unless you want to feel the wind in your hair, the Supra is the better option of the two.

Take a closer look at the BMW Z4 »

Take a closer look at the Toyota Supra »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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