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.
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.
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
I bought this car, because of it's looks and the price was fantastic!!! I love this car but, let me prequalify, my issues should be more with the previous owner than the manufacturer. The side window gaskets leak something terrible! So much so that the driver's side floor board is soft and spongy. The person that had changed their oil had left the small oil filter gasket in the filter housing on several occasions which resulted in the rings wearing out with time and crumbling into small bits all through the system and developing in a nasty oil leak and cost over $600.00 to fix. The hoses pop off for no apparent reason but, these do not detract from this beautiful car, in my opinion.