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BMW Z3 which one?

The Right Car for Me | TrueDelta


I am shopping for a small covertable.I like the BMW Z3. I would like to hear from owners concerning their experience.

Priorities: Reliability & durability / Powertrain performance / Materials & workmanship

Preferred Bodystyle(s): Convertible

Car Needs: Fun toy

Primary Driver(s): Senior driver / Tall driver

Need minimum of 2 seats

Will consider both new and used cars
Maximum mileage: 90000
Maximum age: 19 years

Maximum price: US $ 10000

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Response from mkaresh

6:04 pm June 28, 2016

To ask owners about their experiences, post this in the "ask an owner" section. It might help to have specific questions.


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Response from dfj240

6:32 pm June 30, 2016

I agree that this is a bit vague. I will, nonetheless, take a stab at offering some guidance. I have a lot of experience in the small coupe/convertible world. I also have some good experience with the Z3. I would suggest first off that you avoid the 1.9 liter engine. In fact, I'd avoid the 4 cylinder in general. It is not a particularly excellent engine. It will offer slightly better economy than the larger 6 cylinder, but it just doesn't have the performance that you would hope for out of a small coupe/convertible. When driving it, it feels as though the engine is going to give you more any second now, and it just never does. The 6 cylinder, on the other hand, is a very balanced and capable engine. It also gets nearly the same fuel economy in the real world as the 4 cylinder, because it does not take as much throttle input to get you up to speed or to keep you there. The car also feels more rigid, and more at home with the 6 cylinder. The weight balance in cornering feels more even, and it is just less prone to disruption based on throttle or steering input in cornering. Part of that may also be due to the 6 cylinder having better and beefier suspension underneath which helps keeps body roll in check quite a bit more, but the engine, I think, certainly plays it's part.

Overall, the Z3 is a fine coupe, if a bit on the expensive side to maintain.

I have driven several, worked on even more, and have even had the chance to blast one around a race track for a couple laps. They're definitely fun to drive. That being said, I'm not sure that I'd buy one myself, and would instead opt for Porsche Boxster S. My personal preference derives from the type of driver that I am though. I prefer the lower, better handling, slightly meaner behavior of the Boxster. The Z3 is just a little softer, not quite as grippy, and overall less aggressive. In that sense though, the Z3 makes for a wonderful car for a weekend ride through the sun, and it cannot be left out that the Z3 when paired with the 3.0 or 3.2 liter has one of the best shifting transmissions of all time. It is unbelievably buttery smooth. That engine also makes some excellent noises when it's poked with your right foot too, especially if you open up the breathing a little bit with an upgraded and less restrictive intake. Hopefully that can help guide you a little bit, but as Michael pointed out, check the Ask an Owner section, and pry for some specifics on how the car is based on the needs and wants that you have for what you're looking for. That's a good place to get the answers to your questions about the Z3 in particular.



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Porsche Boxster
Honda S2000

Response from Member4049

1:55 pm July 1, 2016

A Porsche Boxster is a better choice . There are active Porsche Clubs everywhere . They go on drives , have monthly dinners , have ( winery ) tours , all good fun for you and the wife . Belonging to PCA you find the cheap garages that maintain the club members cars inexpensively . Plus a boxster is the most fun car to drive at legal speeds . The mid engine and big tires make them Very twisty road friendly . These are great for running around town because you can U-Turn them and easy to park . Or take a long trip due to TWO trunks . Good ones are readily available with due diligence . The boxster way outsold the Z 3 for good reason .


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Porsche Boxster
Mazda MX-5 Miata

Response from NormT

9:34 am July 21, 2017

At around $10,000, 2-seat convertible look at Solstice or Sky.


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Pontiac Solstice
Saturn SKY
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