The 2013 BMW Z4 lands in an odd middle ground in the U.S. performance-car market. With the base 28i starting at under $50,000, even with an option or two, it's an impressive, well-finished, and actually somewhat luxurious sports car for the money. On the other hand, a loaded 35is can total well over $70k—which well exceeds the normal top end for an Audi TT or even a Mercedes-Benz SLK.
There are a lot of tempting options on the Z4, though; navigation, dynamic cruise control, park assist, and automatic high-beam headlights are some of the possibilities, and the interior can be optioned with a wide range of finishes and materials.
All said, it's the Z4's folding hardtop that might be its best feature; it can raise or lower in 20 seconds with a console switch, and it quickly transforms from an open-top roadster to a cozy coupe. The automatic dual-zone climate control smartly functions differently depending on whether or not the top is down.
The cabin of the Z4 includes a decent list of standard features such as adaptive xenon headlights, cruise control, heated mirrors, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and a sound system with an iPod/USB port, aux-in port, and HD radio. For 2013, the base Z4 28i gains several new standard features, including power front seats (with driver-side memory), dual-zone automatic air conditioning, a universal garage-door opener, and ambient lighting.
Tick the right option boxes, and you'll have a high-tech touring machine. BMW Apps (for full smartphone integration), BMW Assist telematics, and a full-featured navigation system are all on offer, and the nav system includes iDrive, in its much-improved and streamlined fourth-generation form, plus an 80-GB hard drive system with 15 GB set aside for personal music storage.
Available interior appearance, materials, and color customization is also extensive.