Used BMW Z3 1997 - 2003 reliability

Category: Sports car

Buy the BMW Z3 for its looks and the badge on the bonnet, but not for its ability.

BMW Z3 (97 - 03)
  • BMW Z3 (97 - 03)
  • BMW Z3 (97 - 03)
Used BMW Z3 1997 - 2003 review
Star rating

What should I look for in a used BMW Z3 sports?

There are a few important areas to check on any car: driving hard over speed bumps can damage the fuel tank, which is expensive to replace; the soft-top will need renewing if it's torn or mildewed – replacing one costs well into four figures, although going to a hood specialist should save plenty compared to main-dealer prices; hard tops, if fitted, sometimes leak; and, damage to seats is also expensive to fix.

Some 1.9-litre engines fitted to 1990s car suffered premature engine wear. Most will have had their engines fixed or replaced, but watch for excess exhaust smoke on any test drive, which will signal if there's a problem.

The dash indicator showing when the next service is due can be reset easily, so ask to see bills for recent work, rather than trusting what you see. Rust is also possible on earliest cars, so check the rear wheelarches and sills for bubbling.

What are the most common problems with a used BMW Z3 sports?

Is a used BMW Z3 sports reliable?