1997 BMW Z3 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

1997 BMW Z3 Convertible

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
BMW Z3 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.9 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 138 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 1997 BMW Z3

  • Info is not yet available.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    It has an easy to use top and is very fun to drive, with a well-balanced chassis and outstanding brakes.

  • Cons

    The engine is a bit weak, as are the stereo speakers.

  • What's New for 1997

    BMW makes its 190-horsepower six-cylinder engine available in the Z3 2.8.

Full 1997 BMW Z3 Review

What's New for 1997

BMW makes its 190-horsepower six-cylinder engine available in the Z3 2.8.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Wow what a car

by on
Vehicle: 1997 BMW Z3 2.8 2dr Convertible

Truly my favorite sports car!! I have owned many including Corvettes, Trans Ams, Z28s, Mustangs, and MG Midgets, but this one takes the cake. Although I still own a 1970 Corvette (rarely driven these days), I still lust for the fun per mile that my Z3 delivered. My wife and I were looking for a sports car for my fortieth birthday back in 2005 and stumbled onto this Atlanta Blue 2.8 5 speed with tan interior. One test drive and the rest is history! The performance, economy, power, looks, and driving pleasure makes this my most fun since my old MGs (when they were running properly). I owned this car for five flawless years and drove the he'll out of it.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Oldie but fricken goodie

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Vehicle: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 2dr Convertible

The 1997 Z3 1.9L straight-4 is really a unique find, at a great price. I would not pay more than $8,000 for one with around 80,000 miles on it, which is the car I got for myself. Incredible value for a truly zippy and economical car! Lots of fun to drive, and a real head turner for those of us who are into that type of thing. Dark green with tan interior and top is the way to go. Engine without a drop of any fluid on it. Very tight gearbox for a manual transmission, will get you up to 40 miles per hour as quickly as need be. Perfect commuter car!!!

Still turning heads after 14

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Vehicle: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 2dr Convertible

Great car. Plenty of zip for a 1.9 l. It begs for acceleration into curves. Very tight build. Low slung. Handles curves with vim and vigor. Fun car to drive, especially on country roads. Never had a BMW but now, the ultimate driving machine motto takes on real meaning.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A classic in all respects

by on
Vehicle: 1997 BMW Z3 2.8 2dr Convertible

While in college in the late 1960's, I owned an Austin Healey 100-4. The Z-3 I purchased in 1997 had all the elements that I loved about the Austin Healey. The 6 cylinder in a must for the Z-3 and frankly the only color to consider if you are an aficionado is the dark green with tan interior and top. Any one who reports that there is insufficient power or that the top is too hard to put up is not a roadster devotee. Boys, step aside and let the real men tell you what constitutes a genuine sports car. Thank you BMW for bringing back a car that is in the lineage of the Austin Healey, Morgan and MG.

I love my z3

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Vehicle: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9 2dr Convertible

I have wanted this car since I saw it in GoldenEye and the deal I got was just too good to pass up. It had only 29,000 mi on it when I bought it and everything in all the reviews that drivers had issues with had already been fixed (her father owned a BMW dealership) so it was perfect. I am 5'2" so it fits me to a T and I just drove 400 mi this weekend and was totally comfortable. Every day I drive it someone comments on what a beautiful car it is and I agree. It is not for everyone, larger drivers will not be comfortable, but they can buy any other car. It runs like a dream and is very reliable, most parts that I have had to replace were the originals. I intend to keep it forever.

Looking for fun & fuel

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Vehicle: 1997 BMW Z3 2.8 2dr Convertible

After gas went sky high in mid-2008, I started looking for a commuter car, but also wanted fun. After some research, I decided on a Z-3, and looked on Auto Trader and E-Bay for a good one. I was fortunate to find a 1997 with the 2.8 six cylinder, five speed and only 42,000 miles. After nearly a year, I can tell you this was a great choice. Plenty of performance and drop top fun, plus a solid 26.8 mpg. I bet the 4 cyl are even better mileage, but the 6 is awesome. These cars have some quirks, like a sloppy seat track that allows you to slip forward and back on braking, but overall the car is a great value. Unfortunately, you aren't likely to find a good one at the Edmunds price.

Talk About The 1997 Z3

1997 BMW Z3 Discussions See all Started By

I'm considering purchasing a used BMW Z3 (1997-1999). I test drove a 2.5L 1998 Z3 and liked the ride and handling very much. What kind of repair and maintenance costs is the Z3 known for? Are parts f...

But I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree concerning bimmer.org. I first started following that board back in 1997 when I purchased my Z3. (It started out as solely a Z3 board, then gradually...

Same goes to the Z3 vs Z4. My wife came this close to buying a Z3 in 1996 when the only engine back then was the 1.9. I didn't quite like the design and with such a weak engine it was easy to walk a...

Gas Mileage


  • 20
  • cty
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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