I'm the third - and likely last - owner of our Z3. Paid well under the $7,500 asking price (125k miles) when a BMW Dealer pre-sale inspection (do this!!) found $6k in bad rear trailing arms and old/cracked/leaking critical engine parts/seals. A good independent shop did it for $4k. Was it worth it? OHMYLORDYES! This is the Roadster my old Miata always wanted to be. Takes my breath away every time I open the garage, and again every time I open the throttle. The S52 engine is the best of the bunch. Just be prepared to pay a premium to fix all the nits that crop up. Resale values are rising for later models in good repair. If you find one under $10k this looker is definitely worth a 2nd look.
Oh my gosh, so very pretty. Helps you get over those times when this gal is high-maintenance.
A wonderful second car that loves good weather and decent roads. Have driven all manner of Porsches (911, 924, 928, 944), and none handled better. That said, BMWs are tight. This one will rattle your teeth over potholes.
Engine/Transmission - Dead stop in 2nd gear to 60 in well under 6 seconds, 80mph down the highway all day long, or rapid jaunts around the block for groceries. No better drivetrain around.
A favorite feature of many is the Z3 Coupe. If you find one, buy it. I would like to get a hard top if I could find one.
Read the message boards and you'll quickly discover:
- Interior materials are cr@p. Leather is thin and prone to cracking. Lots of breakable plastic parts and hoses that are costly to replace. Seat mounts come loose. Hard to believe this was a $40k car once.
- Engine pumps and parts are prone to cracks/leaks.
- Rear assembly is prone to separating from the body, a $3000-4000 repair.
- Buy winter tires on a 2nd set of 3-Series rims, or plan to park it when it snows. Bad in snow.
Before you buy, spend several weeks on BMW message boards educating yourself on Z3s. And spend $250 and have a reputable BMW mechanic do a complete pre-sale inspection. You could save thousands in the long run.
This is my forth BMW having owned a 320iS, a 528e, an M3 and now my beloved 2001 2.5 z3. I have also driven a Porsche 911 and a Corvette and this z3 is perhaps better than all the others combined. It certainly handles as good or better than any car I have ever driven. The looks are classic "old school" roadster and the BMW marque is well respected throughout the world. I would not hesitate to recommend the z3 to anyone looking to add fun to their driving experience. And finally it has been a huge hit with our two teenage daughters and of course their mother. The pick up driving son is not yet convinced it is a fit mode of transportation.
Everything, especially the color combo of Atlanta Blue and beige top and interior or as others call it the James Bond car!
Bought my Z3 in December 2009 - have owned it for 8 months. Love the styling, performance, ride & handling. Purchased extended warranty & glad I did. It has already paid for itself. Issue with emissions, front bushings & ball joints, motor mount replaced, 1 window lift, fan clutch, alt tensioner, & water pump. All this would have cost $4500 - only $500 with warr. Key remote has been flaky - will not fail when at dealership. Having said that - it always starts and I drive it every day on my 70 mile commute. Love the car, gets lots of comments - a real head turner. Getting close to 25 mpg with mostly highway driving, some local (80/20).
On board computer - mpg, miles to empty, ave speed & outside temp. Interior and exterior styling is excellent. AC works well even in Arizona heat.
Higher quality plastic for rear window (foggy/scratched and will not clean) or use glass. Larger trunk would be nice - golf clubs do not fit. Would like better sounding sound system. Muddy base. More sound amp power would help and improved speakers.
I bought my car in 2001 brand new! In 2009 some hater totaled it in the blink of an eye. I literally cried for 3 days. I didn't lease it I bought it as an investment. I had it 8 years and 3 of those years it was paid for. I loved driving my bimmer - we were one. Her turning ratio was fantastic, pickup speed fabulous and just and all around classy car.
leather seats, harmon kardon standard speaker system, unbelievable trunk space for such a small car, lots of room in console
The moon roof! Who designed this fantastic car and then gave it a moonroof that barely opens. Should have had a sun roof that could roll open up and roll back on a beautiful day. I was always afraid to put one in mine. That moon roof was so boring.
I bought my 2001 Z3 3.0 a month ago & have loved every minute of it. Very nice ride & comfort for a roadster. The I6 is very quick & responsive. Very tight and solid ride with no rattles. Averaging about 24 mpg mixed highway and city. Very quiet for a convertible. Top is very tight.
Analog gauges, classic design inside and out. Harmon Kardon stereo has excellent sound.
It would be nice to have more storage space - but what do you expect in a roadster!!