By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 1/2/2013
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.
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.Favorite Features
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.
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.