The 2023 BMW Z4 Deserves a Better Facelift Than This

It doesn’t even get iDrive 8.

byNico DeMattia|
BMW News photo


BMW just gave its smallest, least popular sports car a mid-cycle facelift. However, the 2023 BMW Z4 only features a subtle update as Bavarian roadster very likely enters its twilight years.

Up front, BMW refreshed the Z4's front fascia, giving it some ever-so-slightly updated front air intakes, optional "Shadowline" dark trim headlights, and new grille inserts featuring a new hexagonal pattern that looks better than the odd silver dots that filled the pre-facelift version's grille. That's really it for the exterior, though.

The entry-level BMW Z4 sDrive30i model now gets the M Sport package as standard, encompassing an M Sport steering wheel, M Sport pedals, M Sport seats, and a dashboard made of SensaTec—that's BMW-speak for fake leather. Otherwise, the cockpit of the Z4 is unchanged. It doesn't even get the new iDrive 8 infotainment system that every other new Bimmer has.

There are some new colors and options, though. Portimao Blue, Skyscraper Gray, and the excellent Thundernight purple from the 2 Series are now available. Also new is an optional 19-inch, V-spoke wheel design finished in jet black with a diamond polished edge, wrapped in 255-section tires up front and 275-section tires out back.

Powertrains, however, remain the same. This means a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque for the Z4 sDrive30i whereas the more expensive Z4 M40i gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six with 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. Both engines are paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission sending power the rear wheels only.

The facelifted 2023 BMW Z4 launches in November with starting prices of $53,795 for the sDrive30i and $66,295 for the M40i.

The little sports car experiment between BMW and Toyota—which gave us the Z4 and Supra, respectively—has been an interesting one. But, according to a rumor that surfaced earlier this year, the BMW part of that equation will be discontinued in 2025. While the Z4 sold well enough for the premium roadster segment, it's a dying breed that automakers are shifting away from.

It's a shame the BMW Z4 is getting so little love for its last rodeo. While never as good of a driver's car as the Porsche Boxster, the Z4 remains one of BMW's best-driving products and a surprisingly fun little roadster. That's especially true in the case of the M40i version, which has more than enough power to easily light up its rear tires. But living in a shrinking segment means the Z4 only gets a small update for its final few years.

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