I'm a "girl"...and I absolutely love the Z3 3.0 roadster. It handles better than my 1994 Mercedes SL500 and has more "zip" as well. Perhaps a "guy" would like an Audi better, but I don't like the looks at all. Someone else commented that there was not enough trunk space to take this car to the grocery store. I've done it and it holds a week's worth of groceries just fine in the trunk alone. The steptronic transmission was a pure joy in mountain driving. My next car will be a BMW.
The BMW Z3 is a dog ugly car with a price tag that can only be justified when it is in the BMW showroom. (take it out of the showroom, and see what it's worth 2 years later!)
It'll be one of those cars that BMW will hope to forget in the future. Or will they? You couldn't exactly say a BMW has cutting edge styling. Imagine where they would be without AUDI to copy from...
I own a BMW Z3 and it handles and drives like a dream. I drive my cars hard and to the limit and I can honestly say that the Z3 is a true sports car and a head turner. I will always buy a BMW and am looking forward to upgrading to a M3 in 2004, the most powerful 6 cylinder naturally aspirated engine. For all you Audi and Mercedes fans, just look at the Formula 1 season this year, BMW POWER is right behind Ferrari!!!
I don't think anyone doubts BMW's engineering ability, but the Z3 is not an example of it. It's a purely marketing driven product, designed to appeal to those who want to boast that they own "a BMW sports car". The Z3 uses the suspension from the standard (not M) E30 3 series which dates back to the early eighties, and was only average then. The rest of the underpinnings are very much "budget" oriented too. Despite this, it still commands typically inflated BMW screen prices, and the upshot is, in smaller engined trim at least, it's just not as good to drive as any of its two seater rivals. An MX-5 is more involving and capable (if slower), an MR2 is more exciting, and a Honda S2000 blows it away. Fitted with the 321bhp 3.2 litre M Power six (the best engine in the world IMHO) the Z3 becomes a seriously exciting performance car, but that engine is so awe inspiring, it could make a milk float exciting if someone took the time to fit it to one.
I'm sure many people are happy with their Z3's, but if you really seriously crave excitement, you can do so much better. I looked long and hard at the Z3, S2000 and others, and ended up with a second hand TVR Chimaera. I saved a packet, and I finish every fast drive with a cheshire cat grin and a pulse rate of 150! Now THAT'S what a real sports car should do for you!
Hmmmm well I drove and was driven (insanely) by my fiance's uncle in a 2.8 Z3 recently. All I can say is WOW the power and pull of the engine is incredible, the ASC is a godsend as we were in the wet and the rear end refused to come out until we switched it off! The car is fairly well built just felt a bit fragile inside? This is an R reg by the way and he got it for 10K which is a bargain if you ask me. Roll on the summer :)
I have owned a Z3 for a year. It's the imported 2.8 1997 model with flared arches and the decent front spoiler. I saved and struggled to buy it and that makes it all the sweeter to drive. I'm not up on technical bits and bobs, but the car is fast and capable, a great head turner on a nice day (especially living in a small Welsh Valley town) and my girlfriend thinks it is just fantastic. Mazdas and MGs just don't make it in my book (and the roofs usually leak). My advice: listen not to the so called 'experts', buy the car you like, look after it as well as you can and wave to every other Z3 driver you meet!
I recently had a 2.8 Z3 for 5 months. I have sold it now and lost 3000 pounds? why did I sell it?
It was a low mileage 1998 model and had some good points.
Good, very good brakes. Very fast, but BUT the handling was very poor and not sports car like at all. The roof leaked a lot and filled the boot with water. The back end clonked and sounded worn out. Surely it couldn't have been!!It is the first BMW I have owned and I am now 32 years old.
It will also be the last as it truly is the worst car I have ever had for handling and quality. I have just bought a new Toyota Celica which I know many will laugh at and say that it is inferior. It is certainly better in every way. The handling is better, the interior quality is better
(with no leaks) and it is far more fun to own. The brakes may not be quite as good, but everything else is far superior.
I am saddened to say that the Z3 was awful. I hoped the BMW would be all I expected, but it was not.
I can't believe it's taken several years to pick a bone with one of the points of this article. Glad I looked in. If you had merely pulled over to get the stone out of your brakes you would have saved your expensive brake disc, and not held your mistake (yes, your mistake) against BMW. It's happened in a few of my cars over the years, and I've never had to replace any partsover it.
Just bought a 2001 Z3 3.0i. Will be writing a review in a few months after I get a feel for it.
I have a 98 Z3 and drive it every sunny day of spring, summer and fall. It is a great car to drive. Great feel, super exhaust note, awesome brakes, sharp handling and looks sporty. What's not to love, especially with a proven drivetrain.