Update: Seems i am still working on it. Serviced the drive shaft and now the engine mounts are due. After this, i need to fix the interior. Using regular fuel now. Other than the slight knocking, car seems to run fine. Now i have to keep it for few more years since i did all the work and not worth selling
Original: Bought a used one 3 years back with 112K. Most of the parts which last a longer than a VW or a Honda, this car needs replacement. I started from the struts, shocks, brakes, complete rear suspension overhaul (bushings, links etc), all fluids, then the DME (engine computer) and then the whole cooling system replacement. Replaced most of the parts and since the steering is not rock solid as the VW that i have with 118K. Also it whines (differential / central bearing) which is really annoying. Spend almost 5K on repair while doing my self and still not done. Except engine and transmission, everything else needs replacement at 100K. Now the car is reliable and can drive, but not silent (the stupid whine of some bearing) and the loose steering. City mpg is like 20+ with premium (with regular also it is same). AC barely cools in Texas summer. 2.5L I 6 engine produces 170hp with 181ft torque which is same as I4 engine of a VW turbo. Big engine, not that fast / high in specs.
It sounds nice, looks cool. That's all. If you know how to fix cars, this car is for you. It can last like 300k. Engine (except the VANOS seals and VCG), has been rock solid. Also the transmission. Just like all the BMW's, anything else is not reliable. It is a fun car (not so much for 0-60).
Bought the car after servicing it for a client for ten yrs. What a great,great car. Reliable,fun,light,
I did pop for a Shark Injector plug in performance module. It was WELL worth the money.
The M52TU benefited well from the upgrades.
In short,fun and rewarding to drive and own.
I wrote an earlier review of the Z3 and mistyped V6 when I knew the 2.5 L engine in the 2.3 model is an inline 6. Anyway, have now put on around 80k miles and this car still drives like new. Just as tight, no rattles or body noises. Great car.
Acceleration, exterior body styling. I like the size of the Z3 more than the Z4.
As a 'mid-life' crisis car, this vehicle stands out. People acost me everywhere with a 'nice car'. In spite of all that, it's simply a wonderful drive. Find a nice uncrowded country road on a nice day, put the top down and turn up the stereo. This will validate everything about getting it. I've had mine since 2002 (it's 2010 now), and I have no thought of selling it. Stay on top of maintenance (BMW service is expensive), in order to minimize theses costs and maximize utility and fun.
exterior design, performance and handling. This car is a blast to drive.
Glass rear window - plastic is hard to see through. Stereo could be better - will probably fix that soon.
I have enjoyed my Z for a number of years. I love the performance and how it hugs the road. My only complaint would be the heater knob. The wire that adjusts the heat has broke 3 times and is not cheap to fix. Other than this I have not had any problems. I thought about upgrading to a Z4 but I just love the style and reliability of my Z. Great investment! Sweet ride!