When this car first came out I was in grad school and was smitten by the styling. So once I graduated and got a job, I bought one!!! It's an awesome little roadster. It corners flat and with the 1.9 you don't have enough power to really make it loose it's composure. The 1.9 z3 has adequate power with the manual transmission and very good handling. I'd avoid the automatic b/c the engine does not provide enough torque. Having test drove a MR2 spider and a Miata, I prefer the Z3. It's better looking, better value and is extremely comfortable. Oh and my gas mileage has to be around 35mpg. I drove a 2.3 (slight improvement) and a 2.8 (seriously quick), but in the end preferred my 1.9
The styling still gets a lot of admiring looks even after all of these years. The car is well built and reliable. BMW does a great job with steering systems (it steers a lot like a 3) and it has a solid feel. Great mileage. It's a blast to drive and actually makes me look forward to go into work!
Better cup holders, the power tops all break (the 3 series as well!) and you don't really need them anyway. The interior is a little subpar for a Bimmer.
This is a keeper. It is fun to drive, has classic looks and seems to work most of the time. I have had to have a seatbelt replaced, replaced one sensor, and had recurrent problems with an annoying buzz in the bass speaker and have problems with one of the electric seat motors. The sound system is weak for a car this nice and the plastic window in the rag top is pretty cheap also. But overall it is a well built fun car. If you find one in good shape buy it and keep it.
Overall looks and fun to drive.
Sound system is weak. Harman Kardon really dropped the ball. And a redesign of the bass speaker would be good. The plastic window is annoying.
I had always wanted to own a Corvette, but when I reached the point where I had the cash to buy a sports car I opted for a BMW. My decision was driven by BMW's reputation for quality engineering and workmanship. Having owned a couple of BMW motorcycles and having ridden them from coast to coast and border to border more than once, I figured that a Z3 had to be a rugged machine if it was built like the motorcycles that roll out of the BMW factory. Driving a Z3 is just as much fun as riding a motorcycle and you get a lot more respect. BMW did a fantastic job of sculpting the sheet metal -- the car does attract attention where ever you drive it. I'll take my Z3 over a 'Vette any day.
Body styling. The very clean look of the installed convertible top cover.
Devise a better way to anchor the convertibe top cover. The ball and socket grips are hard to connect.