This paper characterizes the bidirectional feature of the transformer-based quasi-Z-source inverter (trans-qZSI) obtained by adding a controllable power device to the input of the circuit. Different arising operation modes and states are analysed and an AC small signal model is proposed accordingly. A controller was designed using the proposed model, and an experimental validation platform was implemented. After the computational and experimental model validation, it was analysed how and when bidirectional Z topology benefits from bidirectional feature, apart from obvious inverse power conversion operation. Robustness increase and fault tolerance of the bidirectional trans-qZSI topology were characterized and validated experimentally for different current demand decrease case studies: when an open circuit is produced in one output phase or when the current demand decreases due to normal operation requirements. The paper characterizes and demonstrates, computationally and experimentally, that it is the bidirectional feature that provides the system with the robustness needed to protect against these kind of failures or operation modes. Not having the additional IGBT could cause the system to enter the discontinuous conduction mode (DCM) zone and destabilize the system¿s currents and voltages. In that case the voltage is not able to follow the control reference, which could ultimately lead to the destruction of the components.