The 2014 BMW Z4 should be in your shopping list if you’re in the market for a high-end roadster that features good handling, sophisticated styling and plenty of room in the cabin. It may not be neck and neck with the enthusiasts’ favorite, the Porsche Boxster, but the Z4 is a competitive vehicle in the segment.
NEW FOR 2014 Z4
- optional Hyper Orange Package and Technology Package
- slight exterior and interior revisions
- new headlight design
UNDER THE HOOD
The 2014 BMW Z4 sDrive28i has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. It comes standard with rear-wheel drive system which can work with either a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic. sDrive28i models with a manual gearbox also get automatic start-stop which optimizes efficiency.
TheZ4 sDrive35i is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that makes 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque. It can be equipped with either a 6-speed manual transmission or a 7-speed automated manual (DCT). The manual, though, does not go with auto start-stop function.
The sDrive35is has the most powerful engine in the lineup, a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 that puts out 335 horsepower and up to 369 pound-feet of torque. It only goes with the DCT.
Here are the fuel economy ratings from the EPA for the 2014 Z4:
|sDrive28i 4 cyl, manual||22 mpg||34 mpg||26 mpg|
|sDrive28i 4 cyl, automatic||22 mpg||33 mpg||26 mpg|
|sDrive35i 6 cyl, manual||19 mpg||26 mpg||21 mpg|
|sDrive35i 6 cyl, DCT||17 mpg||24 mpg||20 mpg|
|sDrive35is 6 cyl, DCT||17 mpg||24 mpg||20 mpg|
ON THE ROAD
The Z4 does not equal segment leaders like the Porsche Boxster but it is sharp in corners and provides passengers with comfortable and relaxed ride; thanks to driver-selectable modes and the available adaptive suspension. Overall, the Z4 gives a satisfying driving experience.
The four-cylinder under the hood of the 28i may not sound good but it produces a lot of torque and has the best fuel economy in the lineup. It also slightly handles better than the six-cylinder engines. If you’re looking for more speed, move up to the more powerful engines. They are indeed quicker, but some reviewers found the four-cylinder more fun to drive.
INSIDE THE 2014 Z4
With the Z4’s sumptuous interior, there’d be no doubt it is a high-end car. Materials are of high quality and the design is elegantly crafted. BMW offers several color combination choices for the Z4 so matcing it with your personality isn’t impossible.
But it’s not just the design that’s remarkable in the Z4. The luxury convertible is also one of the two-seaters in the market that provides plenty of room. Legroom is not a problem in this small convertible. And the trunk measures 8 cubic feet with the hardtop up.
The Z4 sDrive28i is standard with brake energy regeneration, auto stop-start function, driving dynamic control, 17-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, retractable hardtop, 8-way power seats, driver memory function, leatherette upholstery, brushed aluminum interior trim, keyless entry, automatic climate control, auto-dimming mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, through-loading system, multifunction leather-wrapped steering wheel, USB port, Bluetooth, dynamic cruise control, HD radio, adaptive brake lights.
The sDrive35i model gets 10-way power sport seats, sun-reflective leather upholstery, and 18-inch alloy wheels. The prestigious sDrive35is features aluminum carbon shadow interior trim, M badging, sport steering wheel, adaptive M suspension, and upgraded sound system.
Options include the Technology Package (has navigation system with real-time traffic information, smartphone integration, BMW Apps, and iDrive system), the Hyper Orange Package (includes anthracite headliner, leather/faux-suede upholstery, metal weave interior trim, and 10-way power seats), and the Cold Weather Package (features headlight washers and heated front seats and steering wheel).
Photo credit: bmwusa.com