By Peter Perrotta
The roadster has long captured the imagination of the motoring public for decades. Who hasn’t dreamed about putting the soft top down on a fancy two-seater and heading out on the highway on a sun lit day with no particular place to go.
These days there aren’t all that many models left that fit the bill of the traditional roadster, but there are still enough to have some fun with.
I recently had the pleasure of getting behind the wheel of the 2023 BMW Z4 M40i for one week to get that roadster feel back into my bones.
This week’s On The Road takes a look at that Z4 as well as the 2024 Subaru Impreza, a four-door compact sedan.
2023 BMW Z4 M40i
This two seat, soft top, rear wheel drive convertible is simply a dream to drive.
Equipped with an in-line, twin turbo straight six (3.0) that puts out 382 horses, you get a lot of bang for your buck when you slide into this cockpit.
While this roadster looks small from the outside, it affords quite a bit of head and leg room once you pour yourself into the front seat.
It’s comfortable and has real good sight lines. It’s a very easy sports car to drive aggressively and still feel comfortable in.
On top of all that, its sculpted, ultra-modern sports car look makes it a real head turner as well.
The Z4 comes in two versions, neither of which offer up a manual shift option.
There is the four-cylinder 30i drive (base price $53,795) and the six-cylinder M40i that starts at $66,295.
The bottom-line sticker price on my tester came in at $76,570.
The added options included: $3,600 for Frozen Gray metallic paint; $1,500 for a red leather interior; $1,350 for the premium package and $950 for the Shadowline Package.
Overall, this car is smooth, yet powerful and graceful and athletic at the same time. You can drive this vehicle fast and still feel in total command.
Despite, its seemingly pricey sticker price, you do get a lot for your money in this Z4.
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) fuel consumption ratings come in at 26 miles per gallon (mpg) overall – 31 mpg on the highway and 23 mpg in city driving.
The EPA estimates that the Z4 six cylinder uses 3.8 gallons of gas per every 100 miles you drive it. The annual estimated fuel cost is $2,100.
This Z4 model has not been crash tested by the government yet. On a scale of 1 to 10, overall, I would have to rate this vehicle a solid 8.5 (on a good day even a 9.0).
The folks at Car and Driver were impressed enough with the Z4 that they gave is an overall score of 9.0 out of 10.
“Punchy turbocharged engines, quiet cruising with the top up, sweet sun-drenched driving with the top down,” wrote the editors at Car and Driver.
I would certainly have to agree.
2024 Subaru Impreza RS
While not nearly as sexy and sporty as the Z4 the Subaru Impreza RS is a bit of a very pleasant surprise package once you get into it and drive it.
This compact sedan is affordably priced and offers a lot of bang for your buck if you are just looking for a good solid car that’s also exciting to drive.
This vehicle comes standard with all wheel drive and comes with a new sportier look inside and out for 2024. The rally inspired RS trim level – which is what I tested – offers up an even sportier version exterior trim with a 182 horsepower 2.5 liter flat four engine.
The Impreza is offered up in three trim levels: the base (starting at $24,085); the sport ($26,085) and the RS at $28,975.
The bottom-line sticker price of my tester came in at $31,045.
Overall, I would have to rate this Impreza a solid 8 out of a possible 10.
This vehicle is affordable, fuel efficient (29 mpg EPA) and fun to drive as well. So, it checks all the right boxes when considering a compact sedan.
Competing with the Impreza in this segment would be the Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and VW Jetta.
I think the Impreza holds up well when comparing it with any of those other leading models in this segment.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears every other week. He can be contacted at email@example.com.
On The Road is sponsored by Capital Motor Cars of Springfield N.J., the leasing new car leasing agent in the tri-state area.