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.
6 cylinder performance. Easy top operation. Styling is superb. Larger interior than competitors. Simple dash layout.
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.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.