1997 BMW Z3 Roadster from North America


Best car for maintenance and fun that I ever had


I cracked the wheel bearing.

General Comments:

The Z3 manual 5 speed is very quick and handles excellently. I love this car and wish it had two more seats for the children.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd June, 2004

1997 BMW Z3 Roadster 1.9 from UK and Ireland


Built on a Friday afternoon!


Air bag light - 1st week of ownership.

Windscreen cracked down the middle - 2nd week.

Air bag light - 2 months.

Fuel sender broke - 26,000.

Seat belt wiring - 28,000.

2 new back tyres - 28,500.

ABS relay - 32,000.

Dashboard lights out - 31,000.

Steering wheel alignment - 31,500.

Radio display out - 39,000.

Back lights out - 39,000.

Siren on the alarm were faulty - 39,000.

General Comments:

This was my dream car when I bought it, however as you can see from the above - nearly every month I have spent some time in the BMW showroom. It has got beyond a joke. I bought the car 2nd hand FSH 1 owner etc. The car is great and I wish I could paint a different picture but I can't, the car is the worst for reliability ever - every time I turn the car on I dread what will happen next. From what I know of other Z3 drivers, they never have this problem.

Buy one for the sake of saying you've owned it. Otherwise stay well away.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 27th April, 2001

5th Apr 2003, 08:40

Two comments: You mentioned that others owners do not seem to have these problems, yet you are saying to still stay away from purchasing one. Every manufacture has some lemons especially in the initial stages of production. So to all potential buyers - go ahead they ARE reliable. I do not want to use this comment as a personal assault on you, but you gave the performance with the 1.9 auto as being a 10.

The performance of 0-60 in 9.4 seconds is very marginal at best.

27th May 2011, 12:51

All those things are little tiny issues... any car will need new tires, any car is going to need an alignment... An airbag light is a quick fix with a diagnostic hookup... you should be happy that there was no transmission or engine failure... I think you should own a bicycle if you don't want to deal with getting new tires after almost 40000 miles...

1997 BMW Z3 Roadster 1.9 from Thailand


Good value for money



General Comments:

The Z3 is generally a good car. But the ride and handling are not as good as its looks.

The engine is weedy, and sounds like that too.

Moreover, the interior plastics are of somewhat low quality.

But it's a problem-free car. No special attention is needed after 3 years. Cool, huh?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th November, 2000

14th Jan 2003, 08:14

The 2.8 z3 is very fast and has a superb engine. The 1.9 is a waste of time, but the 2.8 has a 0 to 60 time of 7 seconds, which is not bad at all.

The 3.0 is even faster!!!

Never mind the M models.

1997 BMW Z3 Roadster 2.8 from UK and Ireland


When I first picked up the car it was raining, by the time I got the damned thing back home the inside was soaking wet, this was due to a faulty hood clip, not pulling down the hood tight enough.

1 week later the main gasket on the underside of the engine holding the oil in went, (keep in mind the car is only 3 years old), BMW fixed this quickly without any fuss.

My main worry was the exhaust splitting under the heat of the engine, the main part of the front section overheated and split, a common problem on the 2.8, the engine gives off too much heat and the exhaust cannot cope with the pressure and heat and so gives way.

General Comments:

The car was supposed to me for my wife as it is more suited to a lady, it is definitely a ladies car looks wise.

Standard wheels look positively awful, power is really nothing special, 0-60 in around 7 seconds. Handles quite well with traction control on, and believe me it needs it, take the Z3 anywhere with it off and the first corner you take at more than 10mph, you will know about it!.

The engine note is very quiet which was yet another disappointment, my car is a 2.8 litre with the exhaust note of a 1.1 Nova, hardly the aggressive pitch you would expect from a "performance car".

I was very disappointed with the problems I have had so far and will probably sell it in a year or so and get a Saab Turbo convertible.

If I can give anyone out there any advice at all it is this.............


This car is a SHEEP in WOLF's clothing.

Looks = Yes

Performance = No

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 5th February, 2000

5th Jun 2003, 07:10

It sounds like you are describing my 2.8 Z3. I had to get rid of mine as I was sick of the problems. I lost so much money, but am glad to get rid of such a poor car.

It really let me down and stopped me ever buying a BMW again. SORRY!!

15th Jun 2005, 04:27

Sound like you guys got unlucky. My 2.8 is fantastic. Great engine and when you work in the automotive industry you learn to know what a good engine is.

Suggestion - if you want fast accelaration, you should have bought a Turbo in the first place.