BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

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Agon
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BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Agon » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:04 pm

This is such a fun and informative site. Thank you for being a great community.

I am currently looking to add a BMW Z3 or Z4 to our stable of cars. (Ha-ha...) I currently drive a 2011 Honda Civic and my wife drives a 2013 Honda CRV. I'm just looking to add a fun convertible sports car to the mix. I figured it would be a reward for years of hard work and saving like crazy. Here is the issue I am having. No reputable dealership carries the model years I'm looking for, (2000-2005) due to age of vehicle I assume. On craiglist.org everyone that is selling has priced the cars well above Kelly Blue Book usually by anywhere between $2-5k.

2 questions-
1.) Do any bogleheads own a Z3/Z4 and if so do you like it?
2.) Would you ever pay more than blue book for a car?

Thank you for your help in advance.

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FraggleRock
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Re: BMW Z3

Post by FraggleRock » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:12 pm

We owned a 2000 BMW Z3 for 10 years. Bought it new and put 19K on it.
A really fun car. In clement weather.
A really impractical car. In inclement weather. In Winter.
It was my wife's (I am 43 and need to salve my mid-life crisis feelings) car.
It was a lot more maintenance-free than my 1968 MGB-GT. A lot more; LOL.

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Hyperborea
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Hyperborea » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:23 pm

Agon wrote: 2 questions-
1.) Do any bogleheads own a Z3/Z4 and if so do you like it?
Never owned one but considered the coupes a couple of time for auto-crossing. So, no real comments on ownership.
Agon wrote:2.) Would you ever pay more than blue book for a car?
Blue book is somebody's interpretation of certain data about the price of cars. It isn't necessarily reality. Certain factors can make the prices off. Low volume sellers, cars that don't pass through dealer hands often, cars popular for auto-crossing/racing/hot-rodding can have their prices climb up beyond KBB. Some metro areas prices are also not well represented by KBB.

Craigslist is what people are asking for their car but it is no indication of what people are getting. Some people are not realistic particularly with specialty vehicles. If you think the price is high there is no harm in offering less but don't do it over email/phone in advance. Go look at the car and check it out first before making an offer. You'll get a better understanding of that particular car and you will likely get a better reception for your offer in person. If you don't know cars well then take along a car knowledgable friend and/or have it inspected by somebody who knows the particular model well. There should be BMW or German car specialty shops in your area.

You might want to consider looking in a wider range from your home too. If you are in a metro area then look out in a range just about as far as you are willing to drive. You can often get a better price a bit further out from the metro areas. When I bought an '87 Porsche in the late '90s I was willing to go out about 2 hours drive. I took my time about it and viewed quite a number of cars. My wife and I made an outing of those trips. We would go out and eat lunch and look at the car and sometimes visit an attraction on the trip. It was some nice time together. I saw a number of cars over a few months before I finally bought one.

Edited to clarify my buying process.
Last edited by Hyperborea on Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Gill
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Gill » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:28 pm

We had a 2002 - 3 liter Z3 for five years or so. It was a fun car to drive, quite impractical and with a few maintenance problems. It's really a toy and you should be able to find a Z3 at a reasonable price.
Gill

TareNeko
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by TareNeko » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:36 pm

I had E85 Z4 Roadster and E86 Z4 M Coupe. Both great cars. That being said, I'd get the new Mazda Miata.

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Svensk Anga
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Svensk Anga » Wed Jul 26, 2017 5:39 pm

Give some serious consideration to the Mazda Miata. You should find plenty available and so can optimize the mileage versus cost equation. You might be giving up a little bit in top end performance, but that is worth practically nothing on public roads. The prestige factor may be lower but that counts for little with me. Miata is still plenty fun to drive.

A lot of these little convertible sports cars are third cars in the household and so get little use only in fair weather and are often pristine. Sellers seek a price reflecting that. Miata is more likely to be a daily driver and priced accordingly and there are a lot more of them out there to choose from. Mine has been trouble-free at 80,000 miles and 15 years.

I so wanted an MGB or TR6 back when my license was new. Miata scratched that itch and bypassed the famous British sports car idiosyncrasies.

You could also look at Honda S2000, but given that production did not last long, it will be a tougher shopping task. I test-drove one when introduced and it was a step up from the Miata in power at least. Also was $10K more - not worth it.

My understanding is that insurers will be kinder to you if your convertible has a back seat. Think Mustang or similar.

Rondo
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Rondo » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:22 pm

Back in 2010/2011, I purchased a 2007 BMW Z4 roadster. It was a one owner car with about 29,000 miles on it. I kept about 6 years or so until last summer. It was a really fun car that I enjoyed and my wife also really liked it. I put about 3,000 or less miles on it per year and it despite the possible BMW horror stories you might hear, it wasn't very expensive to own/maintain. Until the end, nothing really broke on it. I had the oil changed/inspection done once a year which was under $100. I replaced 2 tires and a battery and the front brakes after a few years. The only problem that occurred at the end was some issue with the ABS where it started to show an error code. I believe it was one of the wheel spin sensors. Never had it fixed because...

I had been shopping around wanting something a little different and higher performance. Looked at M3's, Hellcats, 911's and a few others. I wound up getting a 2017 Grand Sport Corvette Convertible. Wow, what a totally different feel from the Z4! The Corvette feels like a really large car compared to the Z4 and the amount of power is incredible. It's far more than you can sanely use on the street/highway as it surpasses all speed limits really quickly. I was very comfortable tossing the Z4 around a little on back roads. I'm still getting used to and am far more cautious with the vette. The Z4 was actually hard to get it squirrelly unless you really pushed it. Even with the computer nannies on the vette, you can get into trouble if not careful. My wife is afraid to drive the vette. She doesn't like to ride in it that much either. She says it seems like a "mean" car with all the exhaust noise, etc. LOL!

So, overall I had a very positive experience with the Z4. A lot of people who don't know much about cars always thought it was a really expensive car.
For a bit of history... they do seem to depreciate quickly. When the original owner bought the Z4, it had a sticker of about 47K on it. When it was about 3 years old with 29,000 miles, I bought it from a Nissan dealer for $21,500. When I traded the car in to the Corvette dealer, it had about 42K miles on it and the issue with the ABS error. They gave me under $6K for the trade. If I fixed the ABS error (which I'm not sure how much that would have costed), I probably could have sold it for around $10K or a little more, but it didn't seem like it would be worth the hassle.

I hope this helps!

curmudgeon
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by curmudgeon » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:56 pm

Had a Z3 for a number of years. I preferred the styling and seating position vs the Z4, though the Z4 does have some of the details down better (top integration, for example). Really enjoyed the car, but hit a point where I was using it as a daily commuter in silicon valley traffic, and the heavy clutch got pretty tiresome (this was the 3.0 engine). I miss it, but not (yet) to the point that I've gone out to find another now that I've retired. The high torque in the 3.0 version was really nice for driving, and it would rev very nicely as well. Quite reliable for me, but tires were expensive.

Thesaints
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Thesaints » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:18 pm

Both fun cars.
Z3 pre-1999 have no electronic speed limiter. The 2.3 (which is a 2.5 engine) is a great buy if you can find one. Newer Z3 have better interior design.
The 1.8/1.9 is underpowered, I would not get one.

Z4 pre-restyling have bad rear visibility and they certainly don't have a look & feel as classy as the Z3.
Newer Z4 are da bomb and you stand a lot higher chances of finding one with low mileage, excellent conditions.

However, if you really want to reward yourself, get a Z8

CFIT
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by CFIT » Wed Jul 26, 2017 7:58 pm

We have a '98 Z3 2.8 that we bought used in 2000. It has been a solid car and is still my wife's daily driver. With the top down, I think that our Z3 offers everything you could ask for in a roadster. No major mechanical issues but the top needs to be replaced ($950). The car came with the optional hard top which is what we use most of the time.

The location of the interior rear view mirror blocks my vision at certain angles but this hasn't been much of a problem.

We autocrossed the Z3 as well as my '95 Porsche 911 cabriolet for several years. The Z3 was exciting but flexed quite a lot under hard cornering, especially compared to the Porsche. On the street, the Z3 is less serious and much more fun and flingable than the Porsche.

Good luck.

Doom&Gloom
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:01 pm

Never had a BMW--there are alternatives that are much better value imo. But I have had a convertible sports car as well as cars with T-tops and sunroofs. Convertibles are far more trouble than they are worth imo. If you are in Southern California, maybe that would be an exception. But almost anywhere else I would avoid convertibles like the plague.

Sports cars on the other hand ...

munemaker
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by munemaker » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:03 pm

This doesn't really address OP's question, but did you consider a Mazda Miata. It would probably be more reliable and economical.

krannerd
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by krannerd » Wed Jul 26, 2017 8:19 pm

I had a 2004 Z4 3.0 for 6 years. It was a complete blast to drive and was generally trouble free. This car was therapy for me to drive to/from work. Living in AZ, the top was down at least 1 way to/from the office for 9 months out of the year.

My wife did not like it as it sat too low for her and she wouldn't drive a manual transmission car.

Some overlooked plusses:
--The trunk was HUGE for a car that size. I could get a 60 quart cooler in the back...or my mother in law's 1970's era suitcases.
--The top was very well done with a glass rear window and could go up / down in about 15 seconds (maybe that's common now...but was an upgrade from the Z3 with plastic rear window)
--The 3.0 was more than enough power to have fun and not so much that I was going to get in trouble (too much)

The issues:
--Some of the plastic trim didn't do very well in the AZ sun
--The battery did not tolerate long periods without driving (I got a battery tender)
--The runflat tires stink and there is no spare (Got fix-a-flat and a pump...and put better tires on it)
--The cupholders are really difficult to deal with
--The rims had some tight spaces and were a pain to clean properly
--The ride was firm enough that I did not want to take it on long road trips


I would definitely buy it again and am considering trying to find an M version so I can have my midlife crisis all over again.

alfaspider
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by alfaspider » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:36 pm

There is a reason why car guys like to say "the answer is always Miata." Boxter is also worth looking at provided you can have one that has had the IMS issue addressed. Nothing wrong with the Z cars, but most find them less fun than the other two cars mentioned and less reliable to boot.

Best bet for cars that have an enthusiast following is to look for cars for sale within the local club for that make/model or the Internet forums for the same. Much more likely to get a clean example of an older sports car that way compared to a used car lot.

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whodidntante
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:27 pm

I don't understand the recommendations for a Miata. The OP is asking for a beer and you are offering him a Diet Coke.

Incendiary
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Incendiary » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:00 pm

BMW guy here.

That said...

Miata
Is
Always
The
Answer.

bogglizer
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by bogglizer » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:01 pm

Z3 is my wife's mid-life crisis car. Had a 2000 Z3 3.8(?) that I liked, but seemed a little over powered. Got hit by a truck and got a 2001 Z3 2.8 with the insurance check. Liked this engine size better. Still driving it.

The rear end of the Z4 looks stupid.

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Chan_va
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Chan_va » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:06 pm

Owned a 1999 Z3 3.0 for 7 years. Looks good, but expensive to maintain. Terrible chassis balance and prone to nasty snap oversteer.

As with any "what car to buy" question, the right answer always is - a Miata.

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whodidntante
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by whodidntante » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:16 pm

Apparently I stepped in a meme. :D

curmudgeon
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by curmudgeon » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:53 am

CFIT wrote:We have a '98 Z3 2.8 that we bought used in 2000. It has been a solid car and is still my wife's daily driver. With the top down, I think that our Z3 offers everything you could ask for in a roadster. No major mechanical issues but the top needs to be replaced ($950). The car came with the optional hard top which is what we use most of the time.

The location of the interior rear view mirror blocks my vision at certain angles but this hasn't been much of a problem.
There is (was?) an aftermarket mirror mount available for Z3 which would let you mount a more normal double-swivel mirror to let you adjust the mirror up out of prime sightline for taller drivers. The only nuisance is that for some Z3 models the factory mirror contains the antenna for the remote unlock, which makes swapping out more of a chore.

MotoTrojan
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by MotoTrojan » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:04 am

Didn't read every post in depth, but no mention of "sub" so.... Do some research on the Z3 subframe. I bought a 1998 M Roadster (Z3 with E36 M3 powerplant, E36/E30 M3 suspension F/R) a while back, and after some aggressive driving, managed to be the latest victim to this flaw. $5K repair later I regretted buying an older German car.

Fun car though. If you can find a lower mileage Z4, it will be an overall better car IMHO; more modern/robust. The Z4M is awesome, as is the 335i version.

4nwestsaylng
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by 4nwestsaylng » Thu Jul 27, 2017 1:50 am

Consider some alternatives: 1990-2000 500 SL Mercedes: an engineering marvel with both removable hardtop and power soft-top, heavy and safe. This is a roadster with more torque than many Porsches.They run in the $6-8k, but were originally close to $100K. Often low miles, and if you get it checked over by a Mercedes mechanic may be a great value.

2. Porsche Carerra hardtop or convertible ten years old,

3. Lexus LS430 retractible hardtop ten years old.

These are all very expensive cars initially, that have depreciated, great values.Usually they had regular maintenance, were not commuter cars, and have low miles. I would consider any of these if they have less than 125K original miles. Always have a good mechanical check by someone who knows the issues with the models.

Or for something very different, consider a restored De Tomaso Pantera.

Swansea
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Swansea » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:18 am

Check out the models for sale in Roundel, the BMW club magazine https://www.bmwcca.org
I have not owned either a Z3 nor a Z4, but I would suspect they are lousy in snow. My 328i got stuck in the snow going up a slight hill, all the other cars went by me, save for a Z3 stuck behind me.

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:30 am

I've driven the Miata. I've owned and currently own a BMW. Trust me, you want a BMW. Nobody ever says "wow, nice Miata!" :D

alfaspider
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:38 am

Iliketoridemybike wrote:I've driven the Miata. I've owned and currently own a BMW. Trust me, you want a BMW. Nobody ever says "wow, nice Miata!" :D
Which Miata have you driven? There's a big difference between a 1.6NA and a Mazdaspeed Miata (for example). I've driven both, and I would take the Miata over the z3 10/10 times. Plenty of people said "wow, nice Miata" about my Mazdaspeed Miata.

Ultimately, it boils down to how you want to drive the car. The BMW is heavier and softer- better for cruising but breaks down when really driven in anger (unless modified from stock form). An M roadster is a different kettle of fish though. The Miata will embarrass many cars with triple the horsepower in an autocross or on the track.
Last edited by alfaspider on Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:45 am, edited 2 times in total.

alfaspider
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:39 am

Swansea wrote:Check out the models for sale in Roundel, the BMW club magazine https://www.bmwcca.org
I have not owned either a Z3 nor a Z4, but I would suspect they are lousy in snow. My 328i got stuck in the snow going up a slight hill, all the other cars went by me, save for a Z3 stuck behind me.
Snow performance is 90% tires. Throw a set of snow tires and the Z3 will be fine.

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topper1296
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by topper1296 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:39 am

Part of me would love to own a sports car, however I'm 6'5. I sat in a Porsche 911 once and it is physically impossible for me to drive it.

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:42 am

alfaspider wrote:
Iliketoridemybike wrote:I've driven the Miata. I've owned and currently own a BMW. Trust me, you want a BMW. Nobody ever says "wow, nice Miata!" :D
Which Miata have you driven? There's a big difference between a 1.6NA and a Mazdaspeed Miata (for example). I've driven both, and I would take the Miata over the z3 10/10 times. Plenty of people said "wow, nice Miata" about my Mazdaspeed Miata.
They are just trying to make you feel good about your decision. :twisted: :sharebeer

sjt
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by sjt » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:43 am

alfaspider wrote: Plenty of people said "wow, nice Miata" about my... Miata.
This was my experience as well. OP: If you want a great roadster that is fun to drive and easy on the wallet, go with the Miata. If you want a car to drive to the club and impress your golf buddies, go for the BMW badge.

alfaspider
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:47 am

Iliketoridemybike wrote:
alfaspider wrote:
Iliketoridemybike wrote:I've driven the Miata. I've owned and currently own a BMW. Trust me, you want a BMW. Nobody ever says "wow, nice Miata!" :D
Which Miata have you driven? There's a big difference between a 1.6NA and a Mazdaspeed Miata (for example). I've driven both, and I would take the Miata over the z3 10/10 times. Plenty of people said "wow, nice Miata" about my Mazdaspeed Miata.
They are just trying to make you feel good about your decision. :twisted: :sharebeer
Whether they were or not, I don't have the Miata anymore but I miss it :? Currently drive a much faster car that is also much less fun (a WRX STI). But sometimes, you have to make sacrifices when you have kids :sharebeer

Iliketoridemybike
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Iliketoridemybike » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:53 am

I love how the Miata crowd has taken over a BMW thread. I wonder why? :twisted: :D

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jabberwockOG
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:54 am

Make sure you test drive lots of 2 door convertibles before you decide and also decide if you want mostly a cruiser or a serious sports car - its tough to find a car that fills both roles. Having owned a couple of small sporty convertibles in the past including a 2010 hardtop convertible miata, we now have an older Lexus SC430 convertible. Purchased used in mint condition with super low miles. The SC is a luxurious top down super comfortable cruiser but not a car you want to throw around corners with gusto, kind of the opposite of the sporty very fun but cramped and noisy miata. The SC430 gets almost too much attention when we are out in it, we get lots of positive comments, but at the same time it was named the worst sports car (too heavy, not sporty enough, etc) by the guys on Top Gear.

alfaspider
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by alfaspider » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:03 am

Iliketoridemybike wrote:I love how the Miata crowd has taken over a BMW thread. I wonder why? :twisted: :D
I thought it was a convertible sports car thread... I like BMWs- but their forte is sports sedans/coupes rather than sports cars. Hard to beat an M3 for a fast daily driver. But BMW has always treated the Z cars as afterthoughts, with a mish-mash of different generation parts thrown at them.
Last edited by alfaspider on Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am, edited 2 times in total.

bloom2708
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:04 am

Expand your Craigslist region window. eBay and have it shipped to you. eBay and one way fly out and drive it back.

This one has a "rebuilt" title, but it is in my area. I also use Cars.com or carsforsale.com and do a 250 or 500 mile circle.

https://grandforks.craigslist.org/cto/d ... 19449.html

Lots of Z3 in the bigger market of Mpls.

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/search/cto?query=z3

Looks like a fun car. Good luck!
"We are here not to please but to provoke thoughtfulness" Unknown Boglehead

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midareff
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by midareff » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:07 am

Incendiary wrote:BMW guy here.

That said...

Miata
Is
Always
The
Answer.

Right up until you drive a Boxster. :oops:

Incendiary
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Incendiary » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:12 am

midareff wrote:
Incendiary wrote:BMW guy here.

That said...

Miata
Is
Always
The
Answer.

Right up until you drive a Boxster. :oops:
I drove that and a 911. For pure sports car thrills, Miata beat them both hands down.

Jack FFR1846
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:19 am

topper1296 wrote:Part of me would love to own a sports car, however I'm 6'5. I sat in a Porsche 911 once and it is physically impossible for me to drive it.
You should look at used Lotus Elises. I bought mine from a friend who is 6' 6". He previously had an M Roadster and went from the Elise to a Miata.

I'll be another to say that the answer is "Miata". I'm in a track club that used to be called "Corvettes of Massachusetts" (COM). It's kiddingly now called "Club of Miatas". Because on weekends, more miatas are out there racing than any other car. There's a HUGE support structure. Want to put a 2nd gen 1.8L into an NA? Easy and been done a million times. Cheap suspension? Throw in Mazdaspeed shocks/springs in it. Want to up the performance and get a LSD rear end? Just look for the 12 of them for sale within 20 miles.

I will say that I do like the Z3/M Roadster. I've driven every variation (I used to instruct track/autocross for BMW CCA). I considered buying a 1.8 and loved it on a test drive (I don't need 1,000 hp....I've owned MGBs, Midgets, Alfa Spiders so don't need to lean on horsepower). But any BMW is going to cost more to maintain than a Miata. You can honestly use a new (or any) Miata as a daily driver. It would be reliable, has decent space (remember I come from owning a Midget and a Lotus Elise) and is a great, easy car to drive.

That's why the answer is always Miata.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

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midareff
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by midareff » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:21 am

Incendiary wrote:
midareff wrote:
Incendiary wrote:BMW guy here.

That said...

Miata
Is
Always
The
Answer.

Right up until you drive a Boxster. :oops:
I drove that and a 911. For pure sports car thrills, Miata beat them both hands down.
While sporty thrills are one consideration there is comfort, convenience, ride, interior noise, fit, materials and finish, and the Miata is not on top of any of those ... nor is it more prestigious, which does count too. Have driven Miata's (and M3, Z4, C63S, S3, S4 and in my youth Sprites, Midgets, Triumphs of all flavors and an Elan) and owned two Boxsters.

Incendiary
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Incendiary » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:27 am

I don't disagree on that point!

For pure sporting intentions, Miata > Boxster > 911, IMO. Refinement is another matter, but that usually is inversely proportional to sporty feel.

Similarly, I've heard Corvette > M3.

Keep in mind this is coming from a big German car fan. Gotta give credit where it's due, though.

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midareff
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by midareff » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:36 am

Incendiary wrote:I don't disagree on that point!

For pure sporting intentions, Miata > Boxster > 911, IMO. Refinement is another matter, but that usually is inversely proportional to sporty feel.

Similarly, I've heard Corvette > M3.

Keep in mind this is coming from a big German car fan. Gotta give credit where it's due, though.
Agree that all flavors are out there. Drove a friend's 427 Vette back in the 70's and which way it was headed was directly related to what you were doing with the gas pedal. Fun to take around the block but would not want to own one. Not to hijack the thread but I've been out test driving sports sedans since my ride will be 5 this December and I'll be 70, so it's B-Day present time. Looked at the Alfa Guilia Quad, Audi S3 and S4, M3 sedan and MB C63S. Not interested in Infinity, Lexus or the Caddy.

takeshi
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by takeshi » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:39 am

Agon wrote:Do any bogleheads own a Z3/Z4 and if so do you like it?
I don't own one but we rented a Z4 for a road trip. It was a fine roadster. Whether or not it's a good fit depends on where you're coming from an what you're specifically expecting. As a prior S2000 and current Boxster owner it doesn't handle anywhere near as well. Trunk space was also severely limited with the top down but the Z4 we rented was a retractable hardtop. Not sure if the softtop differs. However, the S2000 and the Boxster had much more trunk space.

If you're looking for more of a touring (casually cruising around) car the Z4 could be a good fit. We weren't going spirited driving on our road trip so the Z4 worked out well for us. No idea on actual reliability but BMW isn't generally well regarded in this area. If reliability is a priority I'd suggest a Miata. I would suggest the S2000 for reliability as well but from I recall it has typically been selling for more than book.
Agon wrote:On craiglist.org everyone that is selling has priced the cars well above Kelly Blue Book usually by anywhere between $2-5k.
The books are just guides. Individual markets can vary from the books and even from each other.
Agon wrote:Would you ever pay more than blue book for a car?
Probably not at this point but ever is a long time. If I had the means to get a car that was going over book that I really wanted I might. That said, I may be the wrong person to ask. You need to purchase based on your budget, priorities, preferences, etc.
whodidntante wrote:I don't understand the recommendations for a Miata. The OP is asking for a beer and you are offering him a Diet Coke.
A lot of people tend to underestimate the Miata and dismiss it as a hairdresser's car. My S2000 did perform better than Miata on the track and felt better but the Miata is still a good contender for a fun convertible which is what the OP is looking for.
midareff wrote:Right up until you drive a Boxster. :oops:
However, you'll facepalm with the Boxster once you start paying for maintenance and so on. I love our Boxster but it is more expensive to own. Buying one is just the beginning of the expenses. And despite how much better the Boxster is overall, I do miss my S2000.

Agon
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Agon » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:54 am

Another post that did not disappoint. I thank you all for your help. You have all given me a lot to think about. I am planning on using quite a bit of the information from above. Have a great weekend.

SRenaeP
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by SRenaeP » Thu Jul 27, 2017 10:07 am

krannerd wrote:I had a 2004 Z4 3.0 for 6 years. It was a complete blast to drive and was generally trouble free. This car was therapy for me to drive to/from work. Living in AZ, the top was down at least 1 way to/from the office for 9 months out of the year.

My wife did not like it as it sat too low for her and she wouldn't drive a manual transmission car.

Some overlooked plusses:
--The trunk was HUGE for a car that size. I could get a 60 quart cooler in the back...or my mother in law's 1970's era suitcases.
--The top was very well done with a glass rear window and could go up / down in about 15 seconds (maybe that's common now...but was an upgrade from the Z3 with plastic rear window)
--The 3.0 was more than enough power to have fun and not so much that I was going to get in trouble (too much)

The issues:
--Some of the plastic trim didn't do very well in the AZ sun
--The battery did not tolerate long periods without driving (I got a battery tender)
--The runflat tires stink and there is no spare (Got fix-a-flat and a pump...and put better tires on it)
--The cupholders are really difficult to deal with
--The rims had some tight spaces and were a pain to clean properly
--The ride was firm enough that I did not want to take it on long road trips

I would definitely buy it again and am considering trying to find an M version so I can have my midlife crisis all over again.
I have the same car (purchased certified pre-owned in 2007) and use it as my daily driver. I would echo the comments here. I've bought two or three cupholders as well as a roundel. These days I prefer to drive DH's small SUV for road trips.

Now that it's 13 years old, I've started to experience some minor annoyances:
pretty much everything made of rubber is starting to crack/fail - gaskets, seal around the windshield, etc.
the latch on the storage area has failed so I don't keep anything in there that I need unfettered access to
the CD player still works but the CD will not longer eject
a cable or something broke in the navi unit so it no longer goes up/down and I have it shimmed to stay up.

I have no plans to get rid of it anytime soon but originally intended to replace it with a newer model whenever the time came. However, with new additions to the extended family planned (nieces/nephews), I'm considering replacing it with a car with a backseat but have no idea what.

-Steph

harrington
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by harrington » Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:59 pm

Get a Miata......I had a 2011 Miata that I found back in 2015 with only 1,000 miles. I sold it after a year to buy a mint condition 78 MG Midget. You really can't beat a Miata for reliability and they are a blast to drive. I also owned a 2004 M3 Convertible and that was the end of BMW for me. Not that I had any issues but $2,000 for a tuneup, no thanks. I would never own a Bimmer that was out of warranty.

bigcmagor
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by bigcmagor » Thu Jul 27, 2017 7:10 pm

I bought a 2005 Z4 new for my wife after I caught her driving my Viper. We still have it and it's been a good experience, unlike her X5. It get's 3000 miles per year of summer use, a Mobil 1 oil change and back into the garage for six months. Plan to keep it forever and let the kids sell it as an antique.

jb1
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by jb1 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:16 pm

Would rather a 350z to be honest. A bit bias since I have a 2006. Nothing better than hearing that purrrrfect exhaust note with the windows down. On top of that the car is quick, has great handling and its cheaper than a bmw

dbphd
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by dbphd » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:36 pm

My current toy is a 2012 Carrera S cabriolet. For fun and reliability get a Miata; for even more fun but with higher maintenance costs get a 2000 Boxster S with manual tranny. If reliability is of no concern, a '64 Lotus Elan is a hard to beat for fun -- just make sure the rotoflexes have been changed to CV joints and that you carry a cell phone to call AAA. Do you really need the adoration of some kid who says nice car?

db
In sunny Santa Barbara

MoonOrb
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by MoonOrb » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:53 pm

When I was choosing between a Z3 and Z4 and did all the research, I found the answer was pretty obvious.

Reader, I bought a Miata.

Basically, my decision tree was like this:

Step 1: Do I want to spend a lesser amount of money, say, the amount I'd spend on a Z3?

Y: Buy a Miata
N: Go to Step 2

Step 2: Do I want to spend a greater amount of money, say, the amount I'd spend on a Z4?

Y: Buy a Porsche Boxster

Everything I read led me to believe there are two superior choices for people in the market for a BMW convertible: a Miata at the lower end and a Boxster at the higher end.

I've had a Miata for five years now. It's routine for people to comment favorably on it (which is kind of funny because it's, like, a Mazda, and not some fancy sports car). It drives great and the fun/$$$ ratio is super high. I don't think I'd get another 50% satisfaction out of paying an additional 50% for the car. If I wanted something better I'd skip the Z4 and buy a used Boxster.

My two cents.

finite_difference
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by finite_difference » Thu Jul 27, 2017 8:58 pm

jb1 wrote:Would rather a 350z to be honest. A bit bias since I have a 2006. Nothing better than hearing that purrrrfect exhaust note with the windows down. On top of that the car is quick, has great handling and its cheaper than a bmw
I came here to ask that, too. What about the Nissan 350Z? Or Infiniti G37/Q60?
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

Incendiary
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Re: BMW Z3 or Z4 or nothing at all?

Post by Incendiary » Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:26 pm

MoonOrb wrote:When I was choosing between a Z3 and Z4 and did all the research, I found the answer was pretty obvious.

Reader, I bought a Miata.

Basically, my decision tree was like this:

Step 1: Do I want to spend a lesser amount of money, say, the amount I'd spend on a Z3?

Y: Buy a Miata
N: Go to Step 2

Step 2: Do I want to spend a greater amount of money, say, the amount I'd spend on a Z4?

Y: Buy a Porsche Boxster

Everything I read led me to believe there are two superior choices for people in the market for a BMW convertible: a Miata at the lower end and a Boxster at the higher end.

I've had a Miata for five years now. It's routine for people to comment favorably on it (which is kind of funny because it's, like, a Mazda, and not some fancy sports car). It drives great and the fun/$$$ ratio is super high. I don't think I'd get another 50% satisfaction out of paying an additional 50% for the car. If I wanted something better I'd skip the Z4 and buy a used Boxster.

My two cents.
:sharebeer

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