Used 1997 BMW Z3 Convertible Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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1997 Bmw Z3 - Consumer Reviews

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Looking for fun & fuel savings??
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Frank Armstrong
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW Z3 Convertible 2.8 2dr Convertible


Review

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.


Favorite Features

6 cylinder performance. Easy top operation. Styling is superb. Larger interior than competitors. Simple dash layout.


Suggested Improvements

Tighter seat tracks. Radio and speaker upgrade is almost a must. Better convertible top rear window design, glass would have been perfect, but it is too late for that.


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52 Cars Later
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Joey Martin
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW Z3 Convertible 2.8 2dr Convertible


Review

I am sorry I have not bought at least 5 Z3s. Of the 52 cars I have owned in my life this is my favorite. When the car first came out a friend let me drive his 1.9 around Elkhart Lake and it was a ball, albeit under powered for that track. Then I bought the regulatory Boxster then an SL 500 plus others. At last I found a pristine 1997 2.8. Wow, this car is so well balanced that it makes even an old timer like me look good in the twisties. The 2.8 engine is wonderful. Lots of torque and smooth. Yes, I know the M; to me the M has so much power for the chassis that it is, Corvette like. I will keep my 97 for a very long time even if I find a perfect 2002. Enjoy!


Favorite Features

Handling, 2.8 engine.


Suggested Improvements

The rear window.


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Beautiful, but full of bugs
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By metralla
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW Z3 Convertible 2.8 2dr Convertible


Review

I bought my Z3 used with 86,000 miles showing. It has many of the typical flaws of this car. Sagging glove box, sliding seats, leaky top, seriously crappy sound system, and cracks forming in the rear subframe. It will be worth the price of admission once all the gremlins are finally taken care of.


Favorite Features

Exterior looks.


Suggested Improvements

Lets work on that quality BMW!


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Understated
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Longshot
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW Z3 Convertible 2.8 2dr Convertible


Review

The "value" of this car is understated in many ways. It is so much fun to drive, and quite comfortable for an average size person. On many occasions I have driven 800 miles in a day quite comfortably. It continues to be reliable, and as it ages, the exceptional and unique design endures. I believe the 97 2.8 will become a collector vehicle.


Favorite Features

The seat heaters are perfect for driving in cool fall or spring weather with the top down. I drive it year-round in CO and utilize the quick operation of the top from my driver position to pop it up or down as the weather dictates. The seat heaters keep us comfortable while enjoying the fresh air.


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BMW Z3 2.8 - one of the best roadsters
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Rob P
on

Vehicle

1997 BMW Z3 Convertible 2.8 2dr Convertible


Review

I bought the '97 Z3 2.8L with the M body style, wide tail and tires, the first year of this style. I think this body is a classic. The Z4 is a bit crisp for me. I have owned my car for 10 years and have had no problems other than a minor driver's seat rail play (seat slid back/forth) which I got fixed under warranty. In 2000, I compared this vs. my neighbor's Porsche 2.5L boxster he wanted to sell me and this vintage of the two cars didn't render a big difference. I felt the BMW 2.8 had more power than the Boxster and handled as well when I pushed both on a very windy back road. There is a huge difference between the 4 cyl and 6 cyl BMW. Once I drove the 2.8L, I said no to the 4 cyl.


Favorite Features

Straight 6cyl power, handling, interior style with red extended leather on the doors and dash, wood steering wheel/shifter/console, exterior styling with curves and wide tail. The lines on this body are a classic. Harmon-Kardon premium audio is excellent and a must. Also 17" 5 spoke wheels.


Suggested Improvements

Rear part of center console (storage and cup holders) are cheap looking and feel. Need better design on lids, hinges, and materials. Glass rear window rather than plastic. Next model year had lined roof which is quieter.


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