The 2013 BMW Z4 continues its leading role as BMW's premium 2-seat roadster. With two new retractable hardtops in either Black or Titan Silver, the 2013 Z4 adds to the refinement you'd expect from the popular BMW drop-top.
On the outside, the long, classic hood, smooth character lines along the side and short rear deck have been the basic Z4 wardrobe since it replaced the Z3 in 2002. For the 2013 model year, the trim lineup includes the sDrive 28i, 35i and 35is.
Inside, all trims have standard premium leather seats that are adequate for most driving styles, but if you are planning on any aggressive cornering, check out the optional M sport seats. Also, no matter the trim, the gauges are easy to read, with white numbers during the day and an orange glow at night.
The 28i has climate controls that will take some effort to figure out, mainly because most BMWs now have automatic climate control. The optional iDrive infotainment interface makes your every wish its command and is a great feature.
Finally, the power convertible top is a no-muss-or-fuss affair that folds up or down in a snap.
Three different engines can power the 2013 Z4, and not one is an underperformer. The base engine, which is found in the sDrive 28i, is a turbocharged 2-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces a modest 240 horsepower. With the turbo, though, the 28i feels more powerful than it's rated.
The other two engines, which are found in the 35i and 35is, are both 3-liter inline-6 twin turbocharged engines but have different power ratings. The 35i comes with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, while the 35is has 335 hp and up to a maximum of 369 lb-ft of torque.
All i models come standard with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the 35is has a 7-speed dual-clutch automated manual. An 8-speed automatic is optional in the 28i, while a 7-speed double clutch transmission (DCT) for ultra-quick shifts is available in the 35i. No matter which engine or transmission combination you choose, all power goes to the rear wheels.
The only downside for enthusiasts with the Z4 might be the electric power steering setup. Although the Z4 has capable handling, the steering might feel a little numb and not as connected as a conventional system.
Fuel economy ranges from a best of 22 miles per gallon city/34 mpg highway with the inline-4 to a low of 17 mpg city/24 mpg hwy with the inline-6.
The BMW Z4 has a wide sticker range, from $47,350 for the sDrive 28i to $64,200 for the sDrive 35is. Each Z4 carries a 4-year/50,000-mile powertrain warranty.
Competition for the Z4 includes the Porsche Boxster, which will win the pure sports car comparison hands down. There is also the Chevy Corvette, which is in the same price range but brings much more power and visual punch.
Overall, enthusiasts and consumers like the 2013 BMW Z4 a lot and would be happy even in the base sDrive 28i with some of the M sport-oriented extras. But if having the biggest and baddest Z4 is what you're after, the 335-hp sDrive 35is will make you a very happy motorist.