Used 2002 BMW Z3
Pros & Cons
- Superb road manners, sexy shape, lots of standard high-tech goodies, brand cachet.
- Some cheap interior bits, roadsters have a plastic rear window, significantly less expensive two-seaters are out there.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Many are attracted to Z3s because of their undeniable sex appeal, brand cache and attainable price. But really, everybody who loves to drive loves the Z3.
The Z3, introduced in 1996, has seen unfaltering popularity with young and old alike even as the line has grown to include more models. It seems that wherever we take these cars, a crowd quickly forms to ask questions about performance and to drool over their lovely shapes.
The Z3 lineup consists of three sportsters: the base Z3 Roadster 2.5i, Z3 Coupe 3.0i and Z3 Roadster 3.0i. The Z3 Roadster has an upgraded 2.5-liter six-cylinder engine that now makes 184 horsepower while meeting low-emission-vehicle (LEV) standards. Z3s outfitted with larger 3.0-liter 225-horsepower six-cylinder engines are available as coupes or roadsters.
Z3 Roadsters feature L-shaped taillights with clear turn signal lenses, fully lined tops, and sculpted rear flanks. The capable sound system is actually audible at speed and clear instrument gauges, plus an analog clock, give the interior a classic look. However, some carefully chosen upgrades in interior plastics would go a long way toward improving the Z3's value equation. And what's with the plastic rear window on roadster models when a $12,000 cheaper MR2 provides glass and a defroster?
The 2.5i gets four-wheel disc brakes, a limited-slip differential and 16-inch V-rated performance tires as standard equipment, while the 3.0i cars have larger brakes and new 17-inch wheels this year. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual transmission is standard on all Z cars, but this year a five-speed Steptronic automatic, capable of being manually shifted, is optional. All Z3s have a leather-wrapped M-Technic sport steering wheel and standard Dynamic Stability Control, which senses when the car is veering from its intended path and selectively modulates engine torque and the antilock brakes to bring the car under control.
Driving BMW's Z3 cars is a phenomenal experience. Even the most basic Z3 Roadster, with its powerful inline six and ventilated front disc brakes, is a blast. Only at high speeds does the 2.5 feel winded, but opting for the larger displacement 3.0-liter six in the 3.0i Roadster solves that problem. And for those who must have a rigid structure and protection from the elements, the 3.0i Coupe is a hoot.
Slotted comfortably between the bargain Mazda Miata/Toyota MR2 and more expensive machines from Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, there is a Z3 to suit anybody's needs. Certainly the thrill of open-air motoring in a European two-seater is appealing to any baby boomer who owned a sporty little convertible while in college, but those seeking a scalpel-sharp roadster in this price range will want to check out Honda's ultra-capable S2000. The Z3 Coupe 3.0i makes sense for snowbelt dwellers who have greater storage needs and like a bit of "funk" with their "sport."
With superb steering and excellent brakes, any Z3 is fun to drive and own. Despite their prowess, however, pure performance freaks will want to step up to the M Coupe and M Roadster, which offer increased power and superior handling.
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Trending topics in reviews
- handling & steering
- driving experience
- fuel efficiency
- ride quality
- maintenance & parts
- sound system
- wheels & tires
- electrical system
- steering wheel
- reliability & manufacturing quality
Most helpful consumer reviews
this car is not for everybody it is a mean fast driving machine. the cockpit is cozy it is full with two people. it is geared for performance I dont sugest driving long distances. I have to get out to streach every hour or so. I raced a 94 corvete up a mountain and easly out handeled the vette. tight turns are a favorite you can throw it around and it keeps coming back for more. the DSC it a real life saver it only comes into play when I am driving at the edge I am scared to drive this car very fast without the DSC inguaged. if you want a fun driving machine I highly recomend this car. thanks for reading this rob
I've loaded mine up with the Dinan upgrades and it runs like a dream
This is my 3rd BMW (325 '96, 528i '99). It's a total blast to drive! I loved the 528i handling (which reviews made the best production sedan ever), but the Z3 must use some technology that flat-out reads my mind. I mean, the handling is just telepathic. I caught myself changing lane in for sure less than 0.1 second at 80 mph (typical on a non-jammed CA highway) by a slight movement of the steering wheel. This car means business. It goes where you want it to go, and DSC keeps the the oversteer in check (the Z3 *will* oversteer when pushed agressively with DSC disabled) It jas the looks, the handling, and the 'cachet', and IMHO, no other roadster (Z4 included) matches its sleek styling.
I really, I mean REALLY like htis car! It is a drivers machine. It does everything you ask of it and more. It's FAST (expecially after getting it chipped = then it's REALLY REEAALLLY fast) It corners like a dream. Gas mileage has been outstanding - on a recent trip to Las Vegas at an average speed of let's just say 90+ I got 24.5mpg. Contrary to the review above I think it is one of the greatest looking cars around. It has hints of some of the most classic sports cars of all time throughout its integrated styling scheme. As for comfort, I can drive the car comfortably longer than the capacity of my bladder and gas tank.
Features & Specs
|2.5i 2dr Roadster|
2.5L 6cyl 5M
|MPG||18 city / 25 hwy|
|184 hp @ 6000 rpm|
|3.0i 2dr Roadster|
3.0L 6cyl 5M
|MPG||19 city / 26 hwy|
|225 hp @ 5900 rpm|
Is the BMW Z3 a good car?
Is the BMW Z3 reliable?
Is the 2002 BMW Z3 a good car?
How much should I pay for a 2002 BMW Z3?
The least-expensive 2002 BMW Z3 is the 2002 BMW Z3 2.5i 2dr Roadster (2.5L 6cyl 5M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $31,300.
Other versions include:
- 2.5i 2dr Roadster (2.5L 6cyl 5M) which starts at $31,300
- 3.0i 2dr Roadster (3.0L 6cyl 5M) which starts at $37,900
What are the different models of BMW Z3?
More about the 2002 BMW Z3
Used 2002 BMW Z3 Overview
The Used 2002 BMW Z3 is offered in the following submodels: Z3 Hatchback, Z3 Convertible. Available styles include 2.5i 2dr Roadster (2.5L 6cyl 5M), 3.0i 2dr Roadster (3.0L 6cyl 5M), and 3.0i 2dr Hatchback (3.0L 6cyl 5M).
What do people think of the 2002 BMW Z3?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2002 BMW Z3 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2002 Z3 4.8 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2002 Z3.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2002 BMW Z3 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2002 Z3 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Which 2002 BMW Z3s are available in my area?
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Should I lease or buy a 2002 BMW Z3?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.
Check out BMW lease specials