2013 BMW Z4

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2013 BMW Z4 Review

Note: This review was created when the 2013 BMW Z4 was new.

While it lacks the strong engines and handling capability found in some rivals, reviewers say the 2013 BMW Z4 is a refined and luxurious retractable-hardtop roadster that is generally fun to drive.

Pros & Cons

  • Good overall performance
  • Respectable fuel economy from four-cylinder model
  • Option packages run up price quickly
  • Noisy cabin with top up

Research & Ratings

Currently, the BMW Z4 has a score of 8.0 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 40 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.1
Interior: 7.8
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 BMW Z4 Overview

It isn’t as powerful as a Chevrolet Corvette or as athletic as a Porsche Boxster, but test drivers say the 2013 Z4 offers plenty of power and composed handling that make it an entertaining car to drive. Some auto critics actually recommend choosing the base four-cylinder version, as they say it has ample power, and its lighter weight makes it feel more agile than six-cylinder models. The BMW Z4 gets good fuel economy for the class, at an EPA-estimated 22/34 mpg city/highway for four-cylinder models. Reviewers are also pleased with the available transmissions, saying that the manual shifts precisely, and that the optional dual-clutch unit is very good. Generally, while reviewers think that it doesn’t quite live up to the Porsche Boxster driving experience, the Z4 nonetheless is an entertaining and capable sports car.

Test drivers are impressed by the 2013 BMW Z4’s cabin. They report that it is surprisingly roomy for a two-seat roadster, and also crafted with high-quality materials that give it an upscale feel. Like most hardtop convertibles, lowering the top reduces trunk space, but even with the top lowered, there is still room for a small suitcase in the trunk. The Z4 comes standard with features like satellite and HD Radio, leatherette seats and Bluetooth. Heated, power-adjustable leather sport seats are optional, as are features like an upgraded stereo and navigation.

  • "In total, the 2013 BMW Z4 is easy to love. While not possessing the perfectly balanced nature of the 2013 Porsche Boxster or the peerless refinement of the 2013 Mercedes-Benz SLK, the Z4 manages to strike a middle ground between the two." -- Edmunds
  • "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." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While the Z4 sDrive 28i (yes, that is a mouthful) is a fun car to drive, it's not an all-out sports car." -- AutoWeek (2012)
  • "Z4 is a capable 2-seat sports car for enthusiasts. Sweet turbocharged 6-cylinder engines, a classy interior, and a rewarding driving experience are among the Z4's compelling traits." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Other Sports Cars to Consider

The Porsche Boxster is often lauded by reviewers as one of the best all-around sports cars for its strong engines and nimble, balanced handling. Like the Z4, the Boxster is a two-seat roadster, but it comes with a soft top as opposed to a retractable hardtop.

The Chevrolet Corvette convertible’s starting price is a bit more than the Z4’s, but it comes standard with a 430-horsepower V8, and reviewers consider the Corvette one of the highest-value sports cars on the market. If you don’t mind a car that’s a little bigger than the Z4, the Corvette is worth a look.

Compare the Z4, Boxster and Corvette »

Details: 2013 BMW Z4

The 2013 BMW Z4 is a rear-wheel drive, two-seat roadster with a power-retractable hardtop. Three models are offered and differ largely on engine size and performance capabilities: sDrive28i, sDrive35i and sport-tuned sDrive35is. Numerous features and option packages are available on the Z4. The Z4 was last fully redesigned for the 2009 model year, so this review uses applicable research and reviews from 2009 to present.

See the full 2013 BMW Z4 specs »


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