1996 BMW Z3 consumer reviews

$28,750 starting MSRP
side view of 1996 Z3 BMW
100% of drivers recommend this car
Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior design 4.1
  • Performance 4.4
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.8
  • Reliability 4.8
Explore the 1996 Z3 BMW
Shop the 1996 Z3 BMW
4.0

A true classic sports car

The car had great features for a sports car, good handling, and ride . Well appointed interior, but lacked the British real wood finishing on the dash

4.4

Great 23 yr old roadster, Know what you're buying.

Best bang for the buck - be ready to put some work & $ into it - suspension, exhaust, stereo etc. Mine now pushing @ 150 hp now. Opened up airbox and lost the cat. Put freeflow cat-back and new coil pack , plugs and wires. She handles great and runs strong. The old 1.9's are getting more respect these days and they are easy to work on to get right. This car turns heads and the guys running the big M's are always giving me crap but they can't lose me and most times I out-drive them anyway. Great sports car to run until you get something better or just to keep. I've had mine six years now and she runs and drives better than ever.

4.0

Z3 comes home

This is a fine example of the Roadsters produced just down the road in Spartanburg in the 90's, from where I retired after 22 years.

4.9

A great little roadster.

Handle very well on curvy roads. Great braking power. Very comfortable on long trip. You have to learn how to drive it. It is not a roadster for dummies. Great over all car.

4.4

One of the most reliable cars I've owned.

This car met all my needs and expectations. This has been a trouble free car for the past eleven years.

4.7

Drive anywhere with fun

Love it & sorry to sell but I don't get the chance to drive it as much as I want too. Pretty car & fun to drive. 25 mpg on the highway. Excellent mechanics & well taken care of.

4.7

Very Reliable car, drive effortlessly

This is a perfect 2nd car or Sunday special. California car, clean underneath, no rust or dings. Great for a College student.

4.7

Very reliable car.

This is one of the most pleasurable cars that I have owned. It has a very smooth ride and has been very reliable. The oil has been changed every six months. This is a very low maintenance car.

4.3

Z3 as a first car? Well yes, actually.

As our teen will be driving daily to school, we began our search for a commuter car. His criteria: manual transmission, convertible or removable top prefered (actually required by law here in Southern California, I think.) Our criteria included relatively good gas mileage and reasonabe maintenance and reliability. The initial list included Honda Del Sol, Miata, Toyota MR2 - usual suspects in the inexpensive fun runabout category. Z3 was not on the list until we caught a few salient facts: - most Del Sols are beaters, automatics or on salvage titles . High mileage examples still command premium prices despite this. - MR2s and Miatas command higher than expected prices even with >150K miles. - Z3s depreciate so lower-mileage cars are more affordable than higher-mileage versions of the competition, at least around here - Z3 1.9 has surprisingly good fuel economy (23-24 mpg around town, 33 highway for us) Plan on replacing suspension bushings - not a cheap proposition but every BMW more than 10 years old needs this at some point. The design of the suspension means worn bushings will contributed to wander, "rear steer" and tramlining on the freeway. Our pre-purchase inspection found this issue so we weren't surprised after the fact. We made this repair; it was expensive but it transformed the handling and the car is much safer for it. The 1.9 four is peppy, able to get out of its own way without having so much power as to scare the parents of a teen. I spoke to multiple BMW techs who indicate it is one of the most reliable powerplants BMW has made. The 5-speed smooth and the clutch light and positive. Our teen learned to drive the manual with only a couple of lessons. I drove both the 2.3 and 2.8 six cylinder variants before we purchased our Z3, and actually enjoyed the 1.9 more. It felt lighter and provided more responisive cornering without the 6's added mass over the front axle. The interior is cozy, not cramped, and even a 6'2" driver can find a comfortable driving position. There is a variety of options and trims available, too, so look around to find what you really like. The Z3 has good online forums and a strong enthusiast following, too, so maintenance tips and known pitfalls are well documented. Look for and read one of several "what to look for when buying a used Z3" documents and learn while you are searching. We've owned the car for almost a month and are, so far, very happy with our new commuter? Does the teen like it? Absolutely! The biggest problem is getting it away from mom and dad.

4.7

Love this car

Not what I expected IT WAS BETTER love this car good milage about 21 22 car get a lot of attention easy to get in and out of traffic