1997 BMW Z3 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

1997 BMW Z3 Convertible

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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.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (20 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Cruisin with my z

by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW Z3

I love my Z a Jet black on black. I bought this with 100k miles on it, this is one great car. Great looking car and still runs excellent!!! I have no problems with the top because this year it was manual. BMW is the ultimate driving machine. Just cruisin with it... California way

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great value

by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW Z3

After having a Porsche Boxter (loved it), I tried a Mazda Miata and was disappointed. When the opportunity to purchase the Z3 came along I grabbed it. It has been a wonderful car and predictably reliable. The rear alignment has been problematic but besides that a great car.

Amazing 2 seat convertible

by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW Z3

I've had my Z for about a month now and have had nothing but pure joy. Styling is amazing. So sleek and smooth. No doubt it has aged perfectly and will continue to age much better than the the Z4. People will ask what year it it is and I tell them to guess. Their average guess is 2002 lol. Lots of people complain about performance, but luckily mine came with a supercharger made specifically for the 96' Z3 and boosted the power to 225hp. Yup that's right horsepower more than the 6 cylinder. Handling is perfect, you can go around a curve at 50 miles an hour when it suggests 35 with ease and comfort. All in all a great car that will age perfectly and last forever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Fun, fun, fun

by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW Z3

The four cylinder Z3's may not have the oomph of the later six cylinder models, but it is fast enough to get one a speeding ticket! On the other hand, I believe the handling is lighter and better balanced without the extra weight of the six cylinder in the front. The four cylinder wants premium gas, but gas mileage is great! And, yes, people do stop and ask about the car or look as we drive by. The BMW dealers are expensive for service and/or repairs. But dropping the top on a sunny day and cruising the back roads makes it worth while!

A really fun car

by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW Z3

Now about to turn 9 years old, my Z-3 is just as much fun to drive as when new. I still get "thumbs up" and compliments from strangers (aged from teen to senior) on my "ride." It is a bit underpowered which shows climbing some of our rather steep hills or in the mountains, but that is minor compared to the superbly balanced handling - lost in the front-heavy 6's in my opinion. The interior has a few cheesy touches - especially the center console which would embarrass a Yugo - but is roomy and comfortable. Plus it has a real trunk with room for a week's groceries or a week's worth of luggage (softsided).

Great car for a short

by on
Vehicle: 1996 BMW Z3

The car is excillent for getting noticed and for the looks.However, when things mechanically go wrong, it seems like anything less then $500 isn't in the question.The trunk does leak, Engine rattles like no other, and the ride isn't very smooth at all for being a BMW. Trust me when i say you feel EVERY bump or rock in the road.Other then that its a very fun car and its great to be noticed in!

Full 1997 BMW Z3 Review

What's New for 1997

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

Talk About The 1997 Z3

Gas Mileage


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