1997 BMW Z3

  • 1997 BMW Z3 Base Roadster Convertible

    Base Roadster Convertible

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.8L I4
    • MSRP
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1997 BMW Z3 Review

A Euro-style roadster with pep.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 1997 BMW Z3 is an exciting ride that is high on the must-have list for driving enthusiasts. In fact, the Z3 is often sold out before the production runs have even started. The convertible top is easy to manage, the styling is exquisite, and it is well-known for its performance. For all the Z3 offers, it comes with a relatively low price tag and may be the best value in its class. Also featured in one of the ""James Bond"" movies, the Z3 is one of the most desired vehicles in recent decades and gives sports cars like Porsche Boxster or Mercedes-Benz SLK a run for their money.

The Range

Body Styles: convertible
Engines: 189-hp 2.8-liter V-6, 138-hp 1.9-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: BMW Z3 1.9, MMW Z3 2.8

What's New

BMW adds the 2.8 model for improved power in 1997. This model includes the 189-horsepower (hp), 2.8-liter engine found in other BMWs.


The exterior design is extremely stylish and attractive. Featuring a compact frame with an easy-to-use convertible top, the Z3 is a head-turner, measuring in at 158.5 inches in length with a curb weight of only 2,701 pounds. The 1997 BMW Z3 comes standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, which can be replaced with chrome wheels. A chrome trim package is also available for the exterior. There are ten color options for the 1997 BMW Z3.


The interior of the BMW Z3 is luxurious. This BMW comes standard with vinyl seating for easy cleanup, with optional leather seating. Interior features include power windows, locks, and seats, air-conditioning, cruise control, bucket seats, power front seats, power steering, a leather shift knob trim, leather steering wheel trim, intermittent windshield wipers, and an AM/FM/Cassette stereo system. Interior options include a compact disc changer, a trip computer, power heated mirrors, and heated seats. As expected, the interior is a bit small, with 37.6 inches of front headroom and 51.7 inches of front shoulder room.

Performance & Handling

Listening to complaints about a lack of power in the 1.9-liter, four-cylinder engines, BMW has added the 2.8-liter V-6 option for 1996. The smaller engine in the 1.9 lacks top speed, but handles extremely well regardless. The 2.8 engine gives the BMW Z3 the power it needs for swift acceleration and top speeds. Traction control is available as an option.


The 1997 BMW Z3 comes standard with a four-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for better stopping control. Passenger and driver side airbags and fog lights are also standard fare. For safer handling, the Z3 2.8 also comes with traction control, optional for the Z3 1.9.

EPA Fuel Economy

BMW Z3 1.9: 23/31 mpg city/highway
BMW Z3 2.8: 19/25 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Styling
  • Easy-to-use convertible top
  • Great brakes

You Won't Like

  • Weak engine
  • Stereo system isn't loud enough
  • Lack of crash testing

Sum Up

A Euro-style roadster with pep.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Porsche Boxster
  • Audi Cabriolet
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Mitsubishi Eclipse

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