The "value" of this car is understated in many ways. It is so much fun to drive, and quite comfortable for an average size person. On many occasions I have driven 800 miles in a day quite comfortably. It continues to be reliable, and as it ages, the exceptional and unique design endures. I believe the 97 2.8 will become a collector vehicle.
The seat heaters are perfect for driving in cool fall or spring weather with the top down. I drive it year-round in CO and utilize the quick operation of the top from my driver position to pop it up or down as the weather dictates. The seat heaters keep us comfortable while enjoying the fresh air.
I bought the '97 Z3 2.8L with the M body style, wide tail and tires, the first year of this style. I think this body is a classic. The Z4 is a bit crisp for me. I have owned my car for 10 years and have had no problems other than a minor driver's seat rail play (seat slid back/forth) which I got fixed under warranty. In 2000, I compared this vs. my neighbor's Porsche 2.5L boxster he wanted to sell me and this vintage of the two cars didn't render a big difference. I felt the BMW 2.8 had more power than the Boxster and handled as well when I pushed both on a very windy back road. There is a huge difference between the 4 cyl and 6 cyl BMW. Once I drove the 2.8L, I said no to the 4 cyl.
Straight 6cyl power, handling, interior style with red extended leather on the doors and dash, wood steering wheel/shifter/console, exterior styling with curves and wide tail. The lines on this body are a classic. Harmon-Kardon premium audio is excellent and a must. Also 17" 5 spoke wheels.
Rear part of center console (storage and cup holders) are cheap looking and feel. Need better design on lids, hinges, and materials. Glass rear window rather than plastic. Next model year had lined roof which is quieter.
This car is absolutely a joy to drive. It has almost zero body lean in high speed turns and the automated traction control keeps the tires sticking to the road. Its got that solid and sophisticated german road feel... like drinking a fine wine or smoking a good cigar. The sport seats are comfortable, and provide just enough room for me (6 feet tall). Being a 2.8 and weighing 2,600 pounds, its got alot of jump from the get go, and mine came with a custom exaust that puts me up to speed a little bit faster. The controls are pretty obvious and close to hand. While limited in cargo space, if you're shopping for a z3, that isnt the main concern. Awesome
speed, power seats, convertable top, 6 speaker audio, sport seats
More trunk space (by raising the lid so my suitcase would fit in), needed to have stock front side CD player rather than changer in back, and it runs through gas tanks quickly... either put in a bigger gas tank or make it more fuel efficient. otherwise, its pure joy
This is truly one of the most fun cars to drive. Excellent acceleration. You definitely need manual transmission for the true driving experience.Is there road noise? yes! That is what makes this car fun. Not only do you feel the road but you hear it as well. You have to drive one to know what I mean. Step on the gas and feel the rear end squat and the front end raise!!!!!!!!!!!!
Acceleration, Exterior styling, cockpit like feel, handling in the corners outstanding, engine "growl"
Power top, Get rid of the plastic window, dual exhaust