BMW Z3 Roadster Review from Germany

2000 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i Roadster 3.0

Year of manufacture2000
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2004
Engine and transmission 3.0 Manual
Performance marks 8 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 5 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 8 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.5 / 10
Distance when acquired42000 kilometres
Most recent distance52000 kilometres


Not better, but cheaper than a Boxster S


Digital heating (ON/OFF) due to defective thermostat.

Some rattling (seats) and squeaking noise.

High oil consumption.

General Comments:

It took me nearly two weeks to familiarize with the handling, especially on driven-out autobahns.

Sometimes the steering wheel has its own ideas of where to go following wrinkles on the lane.

Brakes are said to be excellent, but during the 10000 km I own the car I just didn't need them. Road holding is that superior that at legal speeds you can drive most curves without braking.

To be honest, I bought the Z3 3.0 as a cheap alternative to a Boxster S. All in all it does the job very well. Engine is just marvelous. Much torque at low revs, much power at high revs, it turns nearly vibration-free up to the revs limiter. AND: It's not a gas guzzler.

Remarkable are the speeding capabilities. 200 km in one hour? No problem - if you choose Sunday morning and a German autobahn. At full throttle (240 kph, which may be regarded as too slow) the car handles like it's on rails. Bad luck that due to faulty design:

- The convertible top doesn't sustain that speed. The locking device may loosen and has to be re-torqued. There are reasons to buy a Porsche.

- The gear transmission ratio is very short. High speed means high revs. A way to pile the car.

- Aerodynamics are very poor. Be cautious at fast autobahn curves. There are still reasons to buy a Porsche.

All in all it's not perfect, but for sure a bargain compared to a Boxster S. And much more fun than hoped.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th January, 2004

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 1 review