BMW Z3 design is fast becoming a timeless classic

The BMW Z3 may not be the most exciting car to drive, but its styling is approaching classic status. Here’s the Used Car Expert’s buyers guide.

BMW’s Z3 is becoming a modern classic, just like the 007 films.

Why consider a BMW Z3?
First introduced to the world by a Mr J. Bond, nice to look at, but with not much going on underneath.  It’s an expensive and slow alternative to a Mazda MX-5.
It’s not enough fun to drive (mental Z3M aside), plus the boot and cabin are small. But the design is becoming a timeless classic.

Which BMW Z3 to buy?
As with all BMWs the engines are a stand out point. All are good – the 1.9 providing ample propulsion for this light, basic car.
The 3.0 engine is overkill for the slightly unruly chassis of the Z3. Unless you like to go sideways opt for the 1.9 or lovely sounding 2.2 straight six.

What price to pay for a BMW Z3?
Pay around £6000 for a 9-year-old 2.2 Z3 with 60,000 miles showing. You can get a 1.9 car with 100,000 miles on it for £3500 less.
Depreciation is now quite flat on these cars, but cars over 10 years old may drop heavily soon.

What faults do I need to check before buying?
Here is one of the faults recommends checking for before buying:
Leave the engine running with the bonnet open. Listen for a loud and distinct cracking noise at the top of the engine.
This noise means the exhaust manifold needs replacing. This is most likely on the 1.9-litre engine.
Negotiate a £550 discount or have the repair completed.

For a full report of common faults on the BMW Z3, visit

The Z3’s interior is basic, but functional and well made.