New For 2013

The Z4 gets additional standard equipment for 2013. All models now have power seats and dual-zone automatic A/C. The 35i gets sport seats. The 35is adds BMW Assist and a premium audio system.

Overview

The Z4 roadster was the first BMW to drop its in-line six-cylinder engine for a four-cylinder turbo, spurred by a quest for better fuel economy. It’s a big deal for BMW, a car company that has made its name with straight-six engines. The fact that the new 2.0-liter four is a good engine makes this change a bit easier to swallow. With it, the 28i is able to race to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds (with the eight-speed automatic). The automatic is a no-charge option over the six-speed manual, which has fluid shift action through its long throws. This engine doesn’t just make the numbers, it makes the right noises, with a sharp bark overlaid with the whoosh of its turbocharger. Still, we’re glad a straight six remains available. The 35i gets a 300-hp turbo version and a choice of a stick shift or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. The racier 35is is an M Roadster in all but name. Its turbo six bumps the output to 335 hp and comes only with the dual-clutch transmission. However, many of the 35is goodies—the Adaptive M suspension with driver-selectable modes, the eighteen-inch wheels, the aero body kit, and the sport seats—are available on the two other models. Unfortunately, one thing the switch to a four-cylinder engine has not done is make the Z4 any more affordable.

Safety

Front and side air bags, ABS, traction and stability control, a tire-pressure monitor, and adaptive xenon headlamps are standard. BMW Assist with automated crash response is optional.

You’ll like:

  • Classic roadster proportions
  • All three versions are quick
  • Nice interior

You won’t like:

  • Small trunk, even smaller with top down
  • No manual for the 35is

Key Competitors For The 2013 BMW Z4

  • Audi TT
  • Mercedes-Benz SLK
  • Nissan 370Z
  • Porsche Boxster

Sum Up

The classic roadster, as interpreted by BMW.

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