Pitch it down a twisty road and the 2023 BMW Z4 convertible will make even novice drivers giggle. Two smooth-running turbocharged engines are offered—a 255-hp four and a 382-hp turbo-six—and the larger engine is ferocious. While the Z4’s handling isn’t as crisp as the mechanically-similar Toyota Supra coupe’s—the two share their engines and chassis—or rivals’ such as the Porsche 718 Boxster and Cayman, the Z4’s ride comfort and posh cabin make it easy to enjoy. Having the soft top folded gives you a free-feeling driving experience, but with the top in place, the Z4’s cabin is hushed enough to be comfortable for a long highway drive. All models come with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive, so if you’re looking for a manual transmission or all-wheel drive, the Z4 may not be for you.
What’s New for 2023?
BMW has made the M Sport package standard on the four-cylinder sDrive30i model for 2023. The performance-enhancing package includes an M Sport suspension for better handling and it dials up the car’s appearance inside and out with an aerodynamic body kit and M Sport steering wheel. A new 19-inch wheel design is available that sports a matte black finish with a diamond-polished edge. The new wheels look sharp when paired with the newly optional M Shadowline lighting package, which adds black inserts in the Z4’s headlamp assemblies. Three new colors are also available: Thundernight Metallic, Portimao Blue Metallic, and Skyscraper Grey Metallic. We had hoped that a six-speed manual would be added to the lineup since the Z4’s twin, the Toyota Supra, received such an option this year, but the BMW continues to be automatic-only.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
Every 2023 Z4 has an eight-speed automatic transmission with sport and manual modes. Paddle shifters mounted to the steering wheel are also standard. The BMW Z4 is not available with a traditional manual transmission, but the eight-speed is one of the best automatics around with sharp responses, snappy shifts, and smooth operation. The sDrive30i is powered by the brand’s excellent turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes plenty of torque and 255 horsepower. In our testing, this model accelerated to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. That’s peppy, but still a bit slower than a 718 Boxster. For more grunt, the M40i model gets a 382-hp turbocharged inline-six. It’s incredibly smooth and refined, and it turns up the juice considerably with a zero-to-60-mph time of just 3.8 seconds.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A large 10.3-inch touchscreen is standard along with navigation and complimentary Apple CarPlay integration; Android Auto capability is not available. The latest iteration of BMW’s iDrive system is easy to use, with sharp graphics. The system can also be controlled intuitively with a knob and buttons on the Z4’s console or with voice commands. A USB port and Bluetooth streaming audio are also standard, although you have to pay extra for SiriusXM satellite radio.