2000 BMW Z3 Roadster 3.0i Roadster 3.0


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