Ride comfort; refinement and quiet with the top up; excellent performance from DCT gearbox; steering and handling; good cargo space for a roadster
The Z4 lineup carries into 2012 with a new entry-level model. The sDrive28i features a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine and a choice of 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic transmission.
The 2012 Z4 roadsters are a top choice among sports cars for long trips, as they have great ride quality along with excellent handling and poise. Seating is very comfortable, and BMW hasn't forgotten about details such as storage bins. The Z4 sDrive35i models, when equipped with the DCT gearbox, offer scorching performance without sacrificing smoothness or drivability. Among roadsters, the Z4 remains one of the most practical because of its all-season, well-insulated retractable hardtop and practical trunk space.
The Z4 is now offered in three different models: the Z4 sDrive28i, which comes with a 255-horsepower, 2.0L 4-cylinder engine; the Z4 sDrive35i, powered by a 300-hp, 3.0L turbocharged six; and the sDrive35is, which gets a high-performance 335-hp turbo six.
Each of these powertrains delivers satisfying performance with the standard 6-speed manual transmission--including a linkage that's still among the best in the business--but the 7-speed dual-clutch (DCT) gearbox in the sDrive35i is a significant step above the 6-speed automatic that's offered in the base model. The DCT shifts very quickly, matches revs for downshifts, and does a great job of maintaining a smooth flow of power. Acceleration from zero to 60 mph happens in just 5.0 seconds with the DCT, while top speed with the available Sport Package is 150 mph.
All three engines in the Z4 come with variable valve control and develop plenty of torque at low revs; but the turbocharged engine in the sDrive35i is surprisingly strong. Adaptive M Suspension, available on all three Z4s, enables the best of all worlds, with improved ride quality plus tight body control when needed. All Z4 models come with Driving Dynamics Control, which lets you choose between Normal, Sport, or Sport+ modes--each dialing in different settings for the stability control system, throttle response, transmission behavior and even steering. In Z4s equipped with the Adaptive M suspension, it controls firmness, too.
The Z4 doesn't make the safety sacrifices that many soft-top roadsters do; it has a stiff passenger cell and a full roster of airbags, including head and thorax bags that deploy from the seat backrests.
Comfort isn't usually expected in a roadster, but the Z4 has plenty of it. The 2-seater comes with firm, supportive seats and has a surprising amount of legroom. The available leather is treated with sub-reflective technology that helps keep the interior cool on a hot day. Wind buffeting is reasonable enough at highway speeds to maintain a conversation with the top down, and with the top up it's nearly as quiet inside as a true coupe. The 2-piece top, made of aluminum, opens or closes in just about 20 seconds. Trunk space becomes a bit smaller with the top down, but with it up the trunk has space for two golf bags, according to BMW.
Fourth-generation BMW's iDrive interface includes a vibrant new 8.8-inch wide-screen display, plus new menu structure, including helpful symbols, and the iDrive controller is now flanked with hot buttons for several common functions. Programmable buttons for radio stations, telephone numbers, or even navigation destinations are now included. The navigation system now includes an 80-GB hard drive, with 12 GB of music storage.
Vehicle Price: 49,545.00
*Estimated payments are for informational purposes only and don't account for acquisition fees, destination charges, tax, title, and other fees and incentives or represent a financing offer or guarantee of credit from the seller.
Equipment that may affect values (standard equipment is pre-selected):
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