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2013 BMW Z4

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2013 BMW Z4 Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.5

The Z4 is BMW's version of the classic roadster. That is, its engine is in front, its drive wheels are in the rear, and its seats are limited to just you and perhaps one lucky passenger. Yet the Z4 is still a BMW through and through, which means you get not only an athletic drive experience, but the luxurious accommodations you'd expect from this German automaker. You can also make the argument that having a Z4 is like getting two cars in one. It's an open-air roadster, of course, and thanks to its standard retractable hardtop, the Z4 is also a sleek coupe. Like other BMWs, the Z4 is offered with a variety of engine choices and options that are only limited by the size of your checkbook.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a roadster that's thrilling to drive and offers the security and sleek lines of a coupe with the roof raised, the Z4 with its BMW road-going dynamics and standard retractable hardtop make a tempting choice. That it is rated up to 34 mpg on the highway doesn't hurt, either.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The slightly shorter Mercedes-Benz SLK Roadster has a starting price of more than $4,000 less than that of the Z4, and can also be had with more power in AMG form with a V8 engine. Those seeking more passenger room and practicality, meanwhile, may want to look at convertible versions of the BMW 1 or 3 Series, or the Audi A5 Cabriolet.

What's New for 2013

After last year's introduction of a powerful yet fuel-efficient 4-cylinder turbocharged engine in base models, the Z4 carries over unchanged for 2013 ahead of a mild refresh planned for the 2014 model year Z4.

Driving the Z4

Driving Impressions No matter the road or even the driving condition, the 2013 BMW Z4 feels like a true reinvention of the classic sports car. What you might...

give up in everyday practicality – or the limits of what you can store in the Z4's trunk – you gain in driving satisfaction. Even in base form with a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, the Z4 is plenty fast with a 0-60 mph time of about 5.5 seconds. Stepping up to the 6-cylinder models only quickens this car's acceleration times and, consequently, one's pulse. No matter your engine or transmission choice, the Z4 is an exceptionally satisfying car to pilot with excellent braking and steering feel. That it can transform from a sleek and cozy coupe to a wind-in-the-hair chariot in 20 seconds feels like icing on the cake.

FOLDING HARDTOP
What's better than having an open-air convertible for sunny days? Having a buttoned-down coupe for the rainy ones. With the Z4's power folding hardtop, you essentially get two cars in one that's ready for any condition and climate.

TURBOCHARGED FOUR
The engine in base Z4 models certainly doesn't feel "base." With 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, there's plenty of scoot in the sDrive28i trim. The smaller engine also results in fuel economy above 30-mpg in highway driving.

2013 BMW Z4 Details
Interior

The bane of some roadsters is that while their headroom is measured in miles, the rest of the cabin's dimensions are not so fortunate. Driver and passenger are treated better in the Z4's cockpit, which feels more open and accessible. Base models are dressed in leatherette, while upper trims come standard with the real thing. Storage space behind the seats is a convenient spot for a purse or small bag. With a pass-through slot from the trunk compartment, you can bring your big club to the driving range. If there's one misstep, it's the fighter stick transmission in automatic-transmission models that can be confounding at first.

Exterior

The Z4 is defined by a long hood, muscular rear fenders, and BMW's signature "twin kidney" grille up front. While just about every convertible looks good with the top down, the Z4 is one of the few whose aesthetics are equally as impressive top-up. Credit this to the Z4's retracting hardtop. When in the roof position, the Z4 passes as a voluptuous little coupe. Aside from nomenclature markings and the placement of the twin exhaust tips, the three trims are distinguished by slightly different front fascias highlighted by a polished grille in 6-cylinder models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even a base Z4, dubbed the sDrive28i, comes well-equipped. Among the standard features are 8-way power seats, bright xenon headlights, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. One particularly cool – and important – safety feature are adaptive brake lights that emit a larger, brighter light the harder you press the brake pedal. The aim is to give a stronger visual cue to drivers behind you who may not realize you're braking hard. On the audio front, there is an AM/FM/CD/HD Radio with auxiliary input and iPod adapter. Top-line models receive premium audio system as standard, along with leather, a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and 18-inch wheels. All 2013 Z4 models have BMW Ultimate Service that includes complimentary maintenance for 4 years/50,000 miles and roadside assistance for 4 years/unlimited miles.

Optional Equipment

From a heated steering wheel to high-intensity headlight washers, upgrades are beyond plentiful for the 2013 Z4. Among the more popular ones that can be had in packages are navigation, 10-way power seats, and a premium sound system. For those who want to up the performance ante, the M Sport Package that's standard on sDrive35is models can be fitted on the two lower trims and includes an adaptive suspension, increased top-speed limiter, performance run-flat tires, and anthracite headliner. Keep in mind that option packages can easily add several thousand dollars to the Z4's price tag – choosing metallic paint alone adds over $500.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Z4 is available in three potencies. Choices are a 240-horsepower 4-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter 6-cylinder tuned to either 300 or 335 horsepower. All use BMW's TwinPower turbo technology and direct injection for immediate and gratifying throttle response. Transmission choices are a 6-speed manual, an 8-speed automatic, or a 7-speed double-clutch automatic, with the latter being the only option in top-end sDrive35is models. All Z4s are rear-wheel drive and use premium fuel.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Z4 sDrive28i)
240 horsepower @ 5,000 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/34 mpg (manual), 22/33 mpg (automatic)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (Z4 sDrive35i)
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,400-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26 mpg (manual), 17/24 mpg (automatic)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (Z4 sDrive35is)
335 horsepower @ 5,900 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/24 mpg (automatic)

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2013 BMW Z4 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 33 Ratings for the 2009 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.8/10

Excellent car!

By on Sunday, July 05, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Looks, hard top convertible, handling"

Cons: "Cup holder position (for those who use it)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought my Z435i bmer on December of 2010 with 5000 miles on it. It's got the sports package, navigation, and is blk on blk. I have it as a second car, not as a commuter. The car's only issue has been a small leak in one of the folding top joints, which was quickly and successfully repaired by the dealer back in 2012. It drives like new, and even after five years, people comment on it."

17 people out of 32 found this review helpful

What a sport car should be!

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "I truly enjoy driving this car."

Cons: "No complaints and no use for the cup holder!!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

Fresh from the dealership

"Since the mid-sixties I have owned several roasters up to the present including a 1997 Z3 5 speed soft top that ran trouble free all the years I drove it. In 2011 I traded it for a new BMW (E93) 335is coupe/convertible needing extra room for the wife and two Jack Russell Terriers. In the interim I missed having an open air roaster hence the Z4 35is factory direct in Glacier Silver that now has 2600 miles. The Z4 drives and handles superbly retaining all the qualities of an open air roaster. So if you’re not into stiff suspensions and road tire nose so common to roasters this is not the car for you. Don't get me wrong these are great cars, well built and my BMW dealer stands behind it. But it's still a roadster and not a car for those who are more interested in technology and ride comfort unwilling to compromise for the open road this vehicle excels at, it’s made to be driven. This is what a sports car should be."

6 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Fresh from the dealership

Fnastatic, beautiful , fun to drive

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "None. Limited trunk space but it's to be expected"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Most fun I've had with any car I've owned including a number of Porsches and BMW M3's. Hard top gives you great security unlike a soft-top convertible. The ability to adjust the driving dynamics means the car is a great highway cruiser and instantly switch to a very competent, fast sports car that will easily keep up with other high end sports cars. There are very few of these on the road so it gets a lot of looks. Lot of people give it a thumbs up or say that it's a great ride. Expensive when bought new but a great deal when purchased on a used basis. Life doesn't get any better than cruising thru Napa or Sonoma County on a warm day with the top down."

19 people out of 35 found this review helpful

Beautiful design and fun to drive

By on Saturday, April 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Beautiful design"

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought this new in 2009, have 42K miles and after six years there has been no problem. There was no issue with the fuel pump but had to be replaced because of the recall, as well as the battery cable. This is a conv so there will always be noisy in the cabin with the top up. Drive 95% of the time with the top down. Replace the run flat with Michelin PSS, this really changed how the car runs and handles for so much better. Highly recommended."

8 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Great Car, but BMW will not stand behind it

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Poor Quality

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great driving experience on good roads"

Cons: "Terrible build quality and BMW support"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I bought this car a few years back and put about 45,000 miles on it. This is a sports car. You feel every inch of the road and when the road is good, this is a great thing. When the roads are rough, this is a bad, very bad thing. The interior of the car is well laid out and comfortable, but I would not say it is luxurious. The seats are great for long drives and overall feel of the car is high end. The real issue with the car is that because it is a sports car, it gets banged around a great deal over rough roads. In the last year, one strut cracked, a wheel cracked, the top stopped working, the muffler started to rattle and the climate control began to buzz. This is all with less than 50k miles. It was monumental struggle to get BMW to cover the wheel (which had already been recalled in the UK)and strut under warranty and they flat out refused to cover the top, muffler and climate control saying they were all normal wear products. The convertible top? Anyway, sold it this week and bought a Mercedes SL550."

20 people out of 37 found this review helpful

The 2010 Z4 Sdrive35i is one to keep

By on Sunday, February 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Design, handling, it is a hard top convertible"

Cons: "Not very good on gas when driven aggressively"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased my '10 Z4 with 5K miles on in 2010; it has the sports package, leather, navigation, and 7speeds. I have it as a second vehicle. I love the way this car handles, its design is timeless, and after 5 years it turns heads. Not to mention that it is not a high volume seller, and so it is also rather exclusive. I have had a couple of minor issues with it: one of the headlights had to be replaced and the roof leaked once during a heavy storm. Both problems were quickly and successfully resolved by the dealer. I love convertibles, but hate the vulnerability and rather short life of the soft tops. Hard top mechanisms have proved to be reliable so far."

15 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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