BMW Z3 2.8 Reviews

Click here if this is your business
★★★★☆
4.0 / 5
88% of users recommend this
Click here if this is your business
  • Performance

  • Practicality

  • Reliability

  • Value For Money

? Ask our helpful community of experts about this product or company
BMW Z3 2.8 - Ask a question now

Media Gallery for BMW Z3 2.8

BMW Z3 2.8
BMW Z3 2.8

Refine your search

  • Average Rating Over Time
  • Within the last month ***** (From 0 reviews)
  • Within the last 6 months *** (From 0 reviews)
  • Within the last 12 months * (From 0 reviews)

Latest Reviews

★★★★☆

“Excellent Value Classic”

written by on 21/06/2013

OK - the Z3 may not be to everyone's taste. The styling you either like or don't. Personally I think its superb and represents exactly what a muscular 2 seated sports car should be. It is not over endowed with electrical controls or saloon type refinement. It feels a little raw and needs to be driven. I believe it is all the better for it. It handles well, goes well, sounds beautiful, is well built and cheap to run due to its reliability and build quality. The engine is a peach that miles does not appear to tarnish. The car always feels strong. If I was to pick a fault it would be the gearbox. It is not smooth by modern standards, but perfectly functional. 1st to 2nd gear tends to induce a "clunk" in many 2.8 examples, including mine but after much research have found this can be massively improved by fitting a clutch stop bolt that basically eliminates the spare space the clutch pedal travels between the disengagement point and the floor (£10 fix). If you are thinking of buying - do it! The enhancements that I have found are very worthwhile are: 1) Engine brace. - Handling improves massively. Tracking much reduced 2) 18 inch wheels. Look great and strangely the ride improves 3) K & N intake kit. Pickup better and smoother 4) Clutch stop bolt 5) Get the gearbox and transmission oils changed every 50,000 miles. Whoever at BMW decided they didn't need changing was wrong. Big difference to gearbox smoothness after these are changed. 6) Quality short weighted gear change top These improvements are all straightforward and in no way adulterate the essence of the car. Its just a lot better!

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 2 0
★★★★★

“Superb for the money. Don't buy that MX5, buy this!”

written by lightning on 23/08/2011

The Z3 is almost a "classic" now, and prices have dropped to under five thousand pounds even for the 2.8/3 litre versions. It's a great car, but go for the larger engine as the smaller engine is a bit slow, plus the larger engined versions have wider rear arches which look better. Remarkably the 2.8 will achieve 30mpg in town driving, if driven with a degree of care. Insurance is also cheaper as it can be insured as a "classic" but do check the premium before you buy one....this is no MX5. Performance wise the 2.8 will wipe the floor with most other 2 seaters like the MX5, leaving them rasping weakly from the exhaust. The 2.8 (and even better, the 3.0) pulls like a train and sounds lovely. Fault wise there is one issue, the diff mount can fracture and pull away from the boot floor in the larger engine versions. This needs to be checked before you buy. Mine was fine but if it does fail it can be an expensive repair. In conclusion, before you plump for that MX5 check out the Z3 2.8....you will not be disappointed.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 2 0
★★★★☆

“OK so one week is not long to judge any car, but 500...”

written by on 09/06/2010

OK so one week is not long to judge any car, but 500 miles of pure enjoyment is enough to make me reach for my keypad. The power generated in 5th gear is outstanding. The sexy looks of the 2.8 with wide rear arches attract attention. Fuel economy shouldn't be a major concern as this is a car to enjoy and not feel guilty about. Full service history is recommended for any potential buyer. Driving hard can cause a little "wobble" so I'm considering a front strut bar. Never driven a Z3 before purchase which may be a good or bad thing but I have now realised just what I've been missing all these years. The BMW Z3 2.8 is pure FUNtastic. Treat yourself.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
★★☆☆☆

“I decided to take my mid-life crisis a little early...”

written by nousernamesarefree on 15/05/2010

I decided to take my mid-life crisis a little early and so 2 weeks ago I bought a 1998 (12 year old) BMW Z3 2.8. My car has 100k, Full BMW Service History and is in excellent general and mechanical condition. The car looks amazing and has the usual BMW build quality but I have also found a lot about the Z3 2.3 that has disappointed me. From my experience of owning 50 other cars over the last 20 years, the handling of the Z3 2.8 is poor on every day use. Scuttle shake becomes more (not less) annoying with time. The car does not feel anywhere near as stuck to the road as my old 1.6 Mazda MX-5. All the weight is at the front (due to the heavy Straight 6 engine) and the car is too light at the rear. I find the seating position uncomfortably, although to be fair, my car has electric seats and the only fault with the car is that the up/down movement is jammed, a little higher than I would like! The worse thing about the Z3 2.8 is probably how heavy the clutch and accelerator both are, and the clunky, notchy gear change (have driven 3 others before mine, all with identical gear change). Performance is torquey but not as good as I expected. I think the 2.8 BMW unit is quiet de-tuned to only put out 193hp by today's standards. The car does not feel as fast and has nowhere near the mid-range pick up as my VW Bora TDi 130. The Z3 2.8 is great in 5th gear; it will continue pulling rapidly from 60-110mph. But through gears 1-4 it disappoints a little; all the power is over 5000rpm so not exactly usable in everyday use, unless you rev the heck out of it in every gear! It has refinement and looks the part. It is a LOT nicer to drive with the electric hood down (which works great). With the hood up, visibility is poor (again compared to MX-5) and the cockpit just doesn't feel as nice a place to be. The engine does sound very, very nice indeed. I jsut wish I got a bit more of a feeling of my back being pushed into my seat. I get this from the Bora - maybe I am just spoiled by super-torquey diesels! The 2.8 is not exactly slow but it doesn't feel as quick as it should in my view. I had this engine in a 5-series BMW, mated to a steptronic automatic gearbox and that car actually felt faster. Some people love their Z3 2.8 but for me the love affair has been short lived and I am thinking about selling it for a E39 BMW 540i steptronic. The Z3 2.8 is not by any means a bad car, but I heavily recommend driving one before you commit to buying, as they really not to everyone's taste in terms of the driving experience.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Nousernamesarefree's Response to nousernamesarefree's Review

Written on: 07/06/2010

FOLLOW UP BY REVIEWER:
<br/>
<br/>Ok, so it's now some weeks since I wrote my (quite critical) review of the BMW Z3 2.8 Roadster, and overall, my views of this car have changed. I've realised that handling is goog (or should I say interesting!) on this car once you get to know the car better. I've also appreciated that refinement and reliability are real stron points of the Z3 2.8 that should have been better reflected in my review. To be honest, one day I changed my seating position and at last found one I was really happy with; from that day I just fell back in love with the Z3 and have enjoyed it ever since. The engine is super smooth and makes a grat noise, although I do think it could have more power and torque for it's capacity. I'm thinking about getting it remapped. Overall though, I do love the Z3; it's not an every day car but it's great for having a romp about in. I've certainly changed my mind about selling it, and now intend to keep it for the long term!

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's reply to Nousernamesarefree's Comment

Written on: 16/11/2020

It's a decade later and I'll be surprised if you still have your Z3. Having owned the 2.5, 2.8, and the 3.0, I can't help but suspect that something's amiss. You first mentioned that "... a lot about the Z3 2.3 that has disappointed me." And indeed the traits that you described matched those of a Z3 2.3, which in fact have a 2.5 liter engine! The weight distribution of a 2.8 is 51F/49R, and in no way is "All the weight is at the front." A comment about "how heavy the clutch and accelerator both are" leads me to wonder whether you need a new clutch kit, as none of my three Z3 clutches were notably heavier than my NA MX5, worth writing about; they're all light weights. And I would check the gas pedal and linkage for age, mine were not at all heavy or provided resistance. In any case, your following remarks concur with my experience with the 2.5; and do not apply to the 2.8/3.0 performance. You said it "is torquey but not as good as I expected," " all the power is over 5000rpm, so not exactly usable in everyday use," "jsut wish I got a bit more of a feeling of my back being pushed into my seat." Yep that describes the 2.3/2.5L. The 2.8L is torquey at 203 ft/lbs (USA) at 3,500 rpm, with tons of everyday use midrange torque and acceleration, and will push you firmly into your seat back! Still, a Turbo Diesel is known for torque, so apples to oranges comparo. But the Z3 2.8/3.0 have more torque than our MX5's, a BRZ, or my 2.7L Boxster! The Z3 is not a dragster, but it is fast on mountain two lane roads. I started driving when British roadsters were still on the roads. The Z3 is the only car I've driven that reproduced that experience for me. No, not my MX5, which yes, is perfectly balanced and very planted and neutral in the turns; but doesn't feel like a Triumph, maybe a little like an MG. Your Z3 may have needed a tune-up, or Catalytic replaced, and the poor handling maybe due to suspension bushings. OK, enough, Whew!

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
Read 2 Comments
★☆☆☆☆

“i have 19cc version its very nice fast enough in these...”

written by on 14/05/2010

i have 19cc version its very nice fast enough in these days with all cameras
comfortable easy to get in out for the older person.nice driving position
boot bigger than mx5 my car is in very good condition for 12 years old.surprised hood does not unzip like mx5?like the radio players cassettes and cds i have really thought long hard for some thing i dont like and only thing i can say is parts and accessorios.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 0 0
★★★★★

“have just had z3 about year,had triumph...”

written by frances1314 on 04/05/2010

have just had z3 about year,had triumph stag,tr6,wonted somthing newer thot z3 had wee drive that was me smitted,good fun second car,dont like boot tho

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Guest's Response to frances1314's Review

Written on: 26/05/2011

Is this English? As it is, it's semi-literate drivel.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 0 0
Read 1 Comment
★★★★★

“great enginge well built car”

written by on 13/04/2010

great enginge well built car

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 0 0
★★★★★

“The Z3 appealed to me since it has all the attributes...”

written by on 12/12/2009

The Z3 appealed to me since it has all the attributes of a classic convertible from the 60's and 70's. It looks so cool & really do feel like James Bond when I am driving it!

It's not a techno convertible like the ones from this century and this is why I like it so much. The interior is stylish and the leather power seats extremely comfortable even on long journeys. The fabric top also gives it that period look and its also powered - going down in less than 10 seconds.

The automatic gearbox is very smooth with changes sensed but not jumpy. Fuel consumption is good and servicing is easy as its based on the 3 series with easily available parts.

I previously had a yellow SLK230 and although it was fun (especially the folding metal roof) it had innumerable rattles that irritated the life out of me. And since I already have a Benz sedan the BMW appealed even more. The sound of the 2.8 in-line 6 is an astounding smooth roar compared to the SLK.

It is surely to become a classic car in the future and one to hold on forever.

Downside? Nothing!

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's Comment

Written on: 16/11/2020

Appreciate the comparison to the SLK230

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 0 0
Read 1 Comment
★★★★★

“Having owned a 1998 Z3 2.8 for a lttle over a year I...”

written by on 09/10/2008

Having owned a 1998 Z3 2.8 for a lttle over a year I have now experienced what its like to go through all the seasons with the roadster.

This car did have a bit of bad press. The complaint was the handling. It is true that there is a little body roll when driving hard but its nots a super car that will stay flat through corners. If you want that then you will lose comfort. Having taken the car out on track and pushing it to its limits it really is a drivers car. It is very "chuckable" through corners. Turn in and reduction of scuttle shake as suffered by all convertables is aided by fitting a strut brace. a butt strut and maybe even a body brace can be fitted but for everyday a front strut brace will do nicely. People complain of the car stepping out...well it is a light, rear wheel drive car with pleanty of torque thanks to the M52 6 Cylinder engine. drive sensible and its a dream yet push it hard and it will perorm like a rear wheel drive well powered car. Anyone that complains of handling with this car i'm sorry to say simply thinks they are a good driver but infact they actually are not. Its a real car with no fangled computer gadgets that flash lights on your dash and sort the car out for you...like a nanny car.

Fuel consumption is relevant to how you drive...just remember its a 2.8 straight six motor...its not going to sip fuel and pull great MPG....you want performance then you pay a little with economy.

Being the M52 engine from BMW it is a very strong motor. My car has single vanos but after 1998/99 they were replaced with the M52TU engine with dual vanos. this gave a little more grunt bottom end but not hell of a lot.

Maintenence is fairly easy. pick up a well maintained example with a good service history and you will really get a good vehicle for the money. Keep the car serviced as according to the onboard computer and the car is faultless. Like any car they are common things that can crop up but all are fairy inexpensive.

The alternatives to this model is the MX5 or the MG TF. Drive them all and you will pick the BMW everytime. The MX5 has sharper handling but not the grunt and the pleasure factor when driving. The MG is basicly a convertable metro. They are renound for be very flakey in build quality, engines are simply poor and basicly its a rover...enough said.

You might say that I'm biased but after experience in the motor trade and trying many vehicles out, of all of my cars I have owned...the BMW Z3 2.8 is the most rewarding.

You cant really compare this car to modern day vehicles as there is more technology and developments in newer cars.....the s2000 as an example. a cracking car.

If your in the market for a fun, powerful, prestige(ish) brand of sport roadster then do try the Z3, now very cheap, affordable roof down fun. If your in doubt try one ot let someone that has one take you out and show you what the car can do.....you will want one.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's Comment

Written on: 16/11/2020

Great review! I've had three and agree. The MX5 has 50/50 balance and not enough power to scare you in the corners. The Z3 has 51F/499R balance and enough power to step out in the corners and raise your heart rate. They say the Miata is fun, I say the Z3 is exciting; take your pick.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
Read 1 Comment
★★★★★

“After adding a front strut brace, the car handles very...”

written by on 09/04/2008

After adding a front strut brace, the car handles very neutral. It is just a joy to drive.. the strut brace .. Only about $150, the car is priceless.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
★★★★★

“Great car for good money”

written by on 12/02/2008

Great car for good money

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 0 0
★★★★★

“It's a great car. I would recommend the 2.8 (or 3.0)...”

written by HyperMatrix on 13/10/2007

It's a great car. I would recommend the 2.8 (or 3.0) model, however, as this car is HEAVY. It is the same weight as a mustang. It's not that bad on gas. With my combined Aggressive City/Highway driving, I get 220 Miles on 11 gallons, which for such a respectable sports car is actually quite good. :)

The only thing you 'may' be disappointed with is not going for the higher 2.8 or 3.0 model. Other than that, this car is Golden. Make sure you get the Hard Top as it looks surprisingly nice. And winter tires, if you plan on doing winter driving...this is just basic rear-wheel drive winter information. :P

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's Response to HyperMatrix's Review

Written on: 16/11/2020

Thanks for the review. Had each of the three I6 engines and you're right, the 2.8/3.0 are a better stronger choice than the 1.9 and 2.5. The 1998-2003 Mustang V6 weighed 3,064 lbs with a 15.84 lbs/HP ratio. The 1998 Z3 2.8 weighed 2,998 lbs with a 15.4 lbs/HP ratio. So you were right, BUT!, the Z3 feels, fits, and handles better and is more fun IMO on twisty two lane mountain roads. Totally different experience.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
Read 1 Comment
★★★★★

“Owning a Z3 is truly amazing. It's a head turner every...”

written by roberp on 01/01/2007

Owning a Z3 is truly amazing. It's a head turner every time. I am 28 years of age and have been very fortunate in owning a z3 (007 replica model - 1.9) for approx 1 year and 2 months until I crashed the car which is now a complete right off. I have been extremely devastated ever since. I have viewed other cars such as the Mazda MX-5 and the Mercedes SLK however, the Z3 continues to haunt me. I have now gone for another Z3 mainly because I am absolutely obsessed about the car in general; the performance of the car is fantastic. I'm not too bothered whether it's a 4 or 6 cylinder. This car gives one an amazing driving experience every time you get into it. If you can afford a Z3 I would suggest that your New Years resolution be to px your present car for the amazing z3.

You will NOT regret it!

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's Response to roberp's Review

Written on: 16/11/2020

Still have it?

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
Read 1 Comment
★★★★☆

“I have owned a 1999 T plate 2.8 litre BMW Z3 for one...”

written by Bill Mason on 12/07/2006

I have owned a 1999 T plate 2.8 litre BMW Z3 for one month. I have hunted high and low over two years for the right one, and finally settled on a straight six engined roadster in dark green with 34,000 miles on the clock.
I think it is the perfect second car - my family car is a Saab 93 2.0 Aero - and it cost £8700.00. It has the chrome pack with chrome door handles and windscreen pillar, and I have paid £1350.00 for BMW fitted roll bars.
I think it would be hard to beat this choice as a weekend "boy's toy" with a £10K budget.
The Saab is fitted with a Hirsch performance pack and does the 0 to 60 sprint in 6.9 seconds, but the little BMW beats it by about half a second.
Roof down the Z3 is a fine cruiser at 40 to 60 m.p.h., above 70 m.p.h. wind noise and buffeting becomes irritating. The exhaust note is wonderful, most modern cars (including my Saab Aero) have an insipid exhaust sound but the BMW's colourful mechanical growl is a wonderful ever present soundtrack to your motoring. You find yourself downshifting regularly just to trigger that sonic soaring sound. The power hood takes about 14 seconds up or down.
Brakes are strong and steering feel is solid and assured. The boot will take about 8 or 9 full shopping carrier bags, or a briefcase and gym/sports bag. With the roof and side windows down, driving the car is a quasi motorbiking experience. You feel connected with the elements and the sensation of speed is heightened because of the proximity of the driver to the road beneath.
You find yourself constantly glancing in the door mirrors at the squat haunches of the rear wheel arches behind you. Fuel economy is not great - with a 2.8 litre engine, and driving in a determined fashion, average mileage is about 23 to 25 m.p.g. The rear plastic window is the Achilles heel, there is always a big crease line about two thirds down and the material scuffs easily. This does not really hamper visibility, it merely detracts from the aesthetic appeal of the car in a small way.
A new plastic window costs £214.00 plus VAT and zips straight in. This is no hairdressers car. The only vehicles that best this motor are cars that do the 0 to 60 sprint in sub 6.5 seconds, i.e. seriously fast cars. Is it a girls car? It took me two years to commit to buying one, because of this gender based consideration, but a half hour test drive in the 2.8 litre had me reaching for my wallet. I have seen many men driving the Z3, and my Z3 attracts a heck of a lot more attention (of a positive sort) from lady motorists rather than male drivers. If you want a reliable and fun convertible 2nd car for £10K or less, hunt high and low for a 2.8 Z3. Forget the smaller 4 cylinder cars, the performance is poor and the exhaust note bland. MX5 or MGF? Sorry, but no, a sports car needs to look AND sound the part, and neither the MX5 nor MGF manage that.
I will own the Z3 for 3 years, and it will have 65,000 miles on the clock when I come to sell it. I will sell it in the Summer of 2009 as a low mileage 10 year old Z3, and get back all of the £10K I spent on the car including the price of the retro-fitted roll bars. If you choose well, you will have the same happy experience. I hope this review assists, I love my Z3, and you will too. William

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Django290's Response to Bill Mason's Review

Written on: 12/08/2008

I have owned my 1999 z3 2.8 for 4 months now and I agree with all your comments, a very rewarding car to drive and the more you get used to it the better it goes. I must remark on one point about the rear window, a friend of mine bought one from America for &pound;50 but fitting it is not just a zip in there is adhesive involved and a certain amount of body contortionism is required. As we are both over 65 we have put off the attempt to fit it!!! I think he may have it fitted proffesionally. If you look on google there are a number of firms that will supply and fit the window for around &pound;150.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's Response to Bill Mason's Review

Written on: 16/11/2020

Good review, hope you kept it. I marvel at the whole "girl car" complex. I hope girls of all ages do like it, as passengers and drivers! But as a car guy that drives cars on nearby mountain area two lane roads: this is a car guys car! The straighter the roads, the more of a muscle car dragster you'll appreciate. The long high speed long sweeper curves out west are great on mid size do it all sports cars. But here on the eastern Smokie Mountains give me a smaller two seater. And although I have the Boxster!, and MX5, the Z3 is most likely to be here when the others have moved on.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 2 0
Read 2 Comments
★★★★★

“I just bought a '97 BMW Z3 with the 2.8. She had only...”

written by JoyToy2c on 07/01/2006

I just bought a '97 BMW Z3 with the 2.8. She had only 44k miles and I love her. Why didn't I get this two seater sooner? I could not imagine buying a Miata...or any other convertible especially after driving the Z3. I had even considered looking for a Mercedes SLK, but the BMW has much more power... and combined with exceptional steering and handling makes this car one to really consider buying. I give the BMW two thumbs up!

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's Response to JoyToy2c's Review

Written on: 16/11/2020

You're the third person to mention picking the Z3 over the SLK. l love hanging my elbow out with the window down. Only car I've been able to do that in since my Triumph GT6. Hope it was a good car for you!

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 0 0
Read 1 Comment
★★★★☆

“Looks and feels a far higher quality item than say a...”

written by robgee1964 on 26/07/2005

Looks and feels a far higher quality item than say a Mazda MX5 or MGF. Retro styling looks great.

Driving position is excellent, you feel part of the car, rather than merely sitting on top of it. All instruments and switchgear are easy to see and operate.
Performance is excellent, although the auto transmission kick down is a little savage, I found it preferable to downshift manually when overtaking. The auto transmissions sports mode is pretty much a complete waste of time, all it does is delay the upshifts, and holds onto 3rd gear until about 65-70mph. Also the transmission feels very "slurry" i.e. the torque converter stall speed seems rather high, which no doubt contributes to the appalling fuel consumption (22-23mpg average).
Engine is strong and quiet, but nowhere near as sweet at the earlier 12 valve straight 6 BMW units.
Actual cornerning grip is very good, but the chassis feels rather lifeless and unengaging. The back end is well controlled with the combination of limited slip diff and ASC+T traction control.
Boot space is utterly hopeless, even for this class of car, rendering the car a tad limited for weekends away etc... unless you really do go minimalist on the luggage. Space saver spare is a bad idea too.
Motorised hood works well, although is quite tight to get back on the header rail. Draughtproofing is good, and the only water leaks are a few minor drips round the front windows in real hard driving rain.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Acetag's Response to 203508_robgee1964's Review

Written on: 12/09/2008

I found this review helpful because...it made me make the right choice to get one.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
Read 1 Comment
★☆☆☆☆

“The handling on the BMW Z3 is dreadful for such a car....”

written by davsterravster1 on 15/06/2005

The handling on the BMW Z3 is dreadful for such a car. It is quick but you can not use the power due to the bad handling. I am very let down with this car. It has put me off buying BMW ever again. I have regularly had the scares of my life due to the back end of the car kicking out. It is no fun to drive!!

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Ashaw22's Response to davsterravster1's Review

Written on: 01/08/2005

May I suggest that your car is bent or you simply have no clue how to drive?
<br>I expect you have come from a front wheel drive Euro box that is made so your granny can go fast in it. The Z3 2.8 is a proper rear wheel drive sports car than demands respect. If you do know how to use its handling though, as I do, you can runs rings around most cars on the road. The fact that the rear end can be induced into an amount of over steer makes that car very fast indeed.
<br>I suggest you buy a Street Ka or something else that has all the character removed as to not upset the chronically inept.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's Response to davsterravster1's Review

Written on: 16/11/2020

Thanks for writing this review, I laughed out loud to the very end! I guess you and Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear are at complete odds as he said this was the best handling and most fun car the year he tested it! And disagreeing with Tiff Needell of The Fifth Gear and a race car driver when they compared top choices in each of four categories on a race track: Front engine front drive Renault, Front engine AWD WRX, Mid engine rear drive Lotus, and Front engine rear drive, the humble Z3. And they each chose the Z3 as best handling and most fun to drive. There's also a YT video of a late 90's Z3 passing one 911 after another on different race tracks. I would describe it's handling as spirited and exciting keeping me on my toes from time to time. But it is much easier to control at beyond the limits of traction than my Boxster. Even if the Boxster is better handling up to the limit. My fun Miata is boring by comparison, and I suggest you try one before giving up on RWD. But I suspect they other reply my be right in recommending a FWD, or maybe an AWD might be better for you. I have and enjoy all the above. But unless your car needs repairs (bushings, mounts, struts, etc.) it is a great handling car. Remember, the E36 and E46 received countless awards for best car, top ten, best handling and so on. And yet I would take my Z3 on a twisty two lane road over one of my E46's!

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Nousernamesarefree's Response to davsterravster1's Review

Written on: 15/05/2010

Ignore the idiot who says you're car is "bent" or you don't know how to drive it. You are quite right, the Z3 2.8 is a heavy car in every respect; heavy clutch, heavy accelerator, heavy (slow) gear change, and poor handling in day to day road use. The Centre of Gravity is way off. I have owned a Z3 2.8 for 2 weeks and although it's in mint condition with a full BMW service history I am selling it for the same reasons that you've pointed out. BMW build quality but not typical BMW driving experience.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

220475_Macwy's Response to davsterravster1's Review

Written on: 11/12/2005

I purchased a 1998 2.8 Z3 manual about 5 months ago. I have driven many cars over the years, and must admit, that yes, the back end does kick out. When buying the car I reminded myself that as with my previous car(Mercedes) this car is also REAR wheel drive. It kicks when i expect it to, it powers slides (road permitting), its a 200 Bhp rear wheel drive rocket, (in a straight line, fun in the wet).
<br>The engine sounds amazing ! and even at 135 its not too blustery, with the hood down, and deflectors in place. It is a fun car to drive, and always turns heads. LOVE IT.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 0 2
Read 4 Comments
★★★★★

“I picked up my 5 year old BMW Z3 2.8 about 3 months...”

written by ashaw22 on 07/06/2005

I picked up my 5 year old BMW Z3 2.8 about 3 months ago and wow what a car. I like this car because it is a car enthusiasts car. It hasn't had all it quirky bits removed by reams of focus groups & committee meetings. The looks are such that I think you either like them or loath them. I love them and with the larger 17" wheels fitted, there is no way this is any hair dressers car.
The engine is very strong and really comes alive over 4000Rpm pulling hard to just over 6000Rpm with a glorious sound that never fails to bring a smile. Below that the engine is very driveable making the car docile around town which makes it relaxing to drive. The throttle pedal however could do to be a little less stiff as you do seem to have to give it a fair shove to add any load.
Over all, the car is very comfortable with well sculptured seats (M sport interior fitted). The interior doesn't feel cramped and is fairly quiet with the hood up. One of the best views of the car also comes from the drivers seat. This comes as you look in the door mirror and see the fat rear wheel arch posing for you.
With the hood down, the cabin isn't very blustery if you have the wind deflector fitted. This device does look a bit like a pair of tights stretched over the rear roll hoops, but it sure is effective.
When driving on rough roads there are some rattles and shakes but then the suspension is pretty hard. Some people may dislike this but I think it adds to the sports car feel, rather that than soggy handling.
The handling is fairly neutral with some rear end play available via the throttle even with 245 tyres fitted. There is a small amount of under steer on initial turn in as there should be on any safe road car. If you turn a tad more aggressively with slightly more steering angle than required, the rear end moves out to set itself up to be driven around the remainder of the bend on the throttle while gradually winding off the steering ready to fire out the other side of the bend with full load applied. Just try not to grin too much in the process.
If you are thinking about buying one but haven't yet - do, you'll love it. If you have got one and don't like it, buy something else - like a Beetle convertible. These are for posing, not driving.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Davsterravster1's Response to ashaw22's Review

Written on: 06/09/2005

The Z3 is no drivers car. Look at all the bad reviews it has got. I have owned many rear drive cars and have had 3 BMW's. These were all superb, but it all went wrong with the Z3.
<br>Wait until the winter!!! That is when the real "FUN" starts. The car is strange to drive at the best of times but when its slippy just watch out! There is none of the usual BMW handling fun to be had here, just dengerous understeer in bucket loads. Then the back end will suddenly kick out even with the traction control on. I am going back to a 330i again. That makes the Z3 seem like a disaster, which it is. I suppose hairdressers never go quick enough to find out the bad handling traits that it has.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.

Papatorr's reply to Davsterravster1's Comment

Written on: 16/11/2020

I'm guessing you've had a lot of cars since 2005. After the E90 and F30 series with all their reliability issues I decided to stay with the E46 generation and our family has five total ( two 330xi, two 330cic, and one 330ci) so I know what you mean about their handling. We also have a Boxster and an NA MX5. But we're on our third Z3. The rear differential bushing takes a beating and wear prematurely under strain from driving a lot on twisty two lane roads. I suspect your car needed bushings replaced of which there are seven, two rear crossmember and one differential bushings, four up front. My 98 needed all of them replaced. I would pick my current '01 Z3 over one of our E46's on a narrow twisty mountain road, it's that good. I own eight driver's cars, and my Z3 is one of them. We own multiple non-driver's cars as well, so we're well acquainted with that experience as well.

Reply to this comment
If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
Read 2 Comments
★★★★★

“Bought my BMW Z3 2.8 sports car privately, had low...”

written by liamaustin on 15/11/2004

Bought my BMW Z3 2.8 sports car privately, had low mileage and 18" Breyton magic wheels, has turned out to be a very good buy (touch wood). the sound from the straight six is fantastic, the accelaration is almost untouchable from most sports cars of this price on the road today. I tavel from London to Carolisle and arrive as fresh as when I left, (As long as there is no long tail backs on the M6). This car definately brings a smile to your face every time you drive it.

Servicing costs from BMW are stupid, together with their per hour charge!

Fuel is very acceptable even when driving hard. feels very refined on motorway, almost better at high speeds. You do notice the noise from the hood but then you are driving a convertable!

Not a practical car for those looking to move anything bigger then a couple of overnight bags, does make the wife weep when she has to choose only her favourate 5 pairs of shoes for an overnight trip!

Touch wood again, this has been very reliable, Alarm has gone off a few times which is annoying, but that seems to have fixed itself.

I couldn't think of choosing another car, I spent 18 months finding the perfect car, I think I have found it! No other car provides this sort of entertainment, refinement and power!

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0
★★★★★

“In a nutshell, I have no complaints about this BMW Z3...”

written by Annabelle on 15/07/2004

In a nutshell, I have no complaints about this BMW Z3 2.8 Sports car so far. I was lucky to find the one I have now, low mileage, full BMW service history. Well worth there money in every respect with a style, that I think, will not go out of date for a long time. I was also quite suprised how low my insurance quote was being a 25 year old female. I recommend this car to anybody thinking about buying one.

If you are commenting on behalf of the company that has been reviewed, please consider upgrading to Official Business Response for higher impact replies.
Report this review
Was this review helpful? 1 0

Do you have a question about this product or company? Simply type it in the box below and one of our community will give you an answer

Our helpful community of likeminded people will be happy to answer any questions that you have.

Thanks for asking a question.

Once we've checked over your question we will put it live on the site and our strong community of experts will hopefully give you some great answers that you find useful.

We will email you when the question is on the site

overview