This was my first BRAND NEW Sports Car. She had only 3 miles on her when I drove it out of the dealership. It will be nearly 10 years together now and soon we will part ways! My only favorite times driving this car was on the weekends with the top down! Only because I had more room in the cock pit! It took about FIVE years and thousands of dollars for me to break in this car and keep out of the service department. Two AC compressors, CAMS, Radiator and more.
The classic design of the long hood in front of me and wide front wheel expansion. (this is what sold this car!)
The rear of this car was a mistake even with the 2000 model. Another 5" on the rear would have made this a gorgeous design! Interior appointments are cheap plastic, crack and break. Hard to clean behind seats when they don't fold forward. They lock making detailing impossible in this car.
In my driving life I have owned a Karmann Ghia, Triumph Spitfire, Miata & Porsche 911T, just to name the top ones. Before buying this 7yr old Z3 with only 29k miles by the prior 2 owners, I loved the Porsche the best. Now after driving the Z3 from SC to NM, then up to Portland, down the curvy coast hwy (it really loves curves!) to San Francisco and finally back to SC, I am completely pleased with the handling, comfort, performance (133 mph in the desert!) and reliability. For the maintenance, you really need to find an independent BMW mechanic to keep the oil change costs down (the dealers are a little expensive). Replace the radiator before 100k, the plastic tanks split!
The beautiful curvaceous, sensuous styling. For DIY'ers the simple maintenance. Solid build. "Smooth as glass." Touring ride. Strong, smooth six cylinder engine.
Figure some way to install a glass window in the convertible top. Warn owners to put a Battery Maintainer on for periods when the Z3 is parked for more than a week.
I purchased my Z3 last year and have loved driving it. The power is just right and the look is sweet. I have had no problems and the dealer takes great care of me. I thought it would cost more to own this car but it is about the same if you add up all the oil changes on a regular car. BMW does whatever it takes to make their owners happy. It has been a pleasure owning this car.
The handling is my favorite feature. It takes corners better than my Nissan and has less problems (smile).
Not thrilled with the back window design (plastic) for this year.
Front brake pads @75000 miles, at 55000 the water pump went out, dealer fixed it w/o charge. Regular oil changes when the red light comes on, other than that, this has been a reliable, fun to drive car. My wife drives almost daily and only takes my Volvo when it is snowing. Does do better in the show with all season tires and we prefer the all season to performance tires since it goes every day.
Fun to drive, at age 62 we both feel young when behind the wheel.