Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

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Ci
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Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Ci » Sun 21 Nov, 2004 19:29

I have a neighbour who has some £8K to spend on a sports car. He is keen to buy an MX5 97/98. I suggested he also look at a Z3. Top Gear are not that keen nor is Which Car Guide. What do you guys think, could he buy a 2.3 with that money? And is the MX5 so much better? Subjective... :head:

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Post by crazyp » Sun 21 Nov, 2004 19:32

For that much money I'd go with an MX5 personally. I really like the way it handles and is a lot of fun. I eventually bought the Z3 3.0 because it is so much faster than an MX5 and had more in the way of comforts.

However, for that price I don't think you'd get that great and example of the Z3 whereas you could get a decent MX5. Advise him to go with the 1.8i versions - and make sure it's the "S" version that has the LSD.

(that's my opionion only - ymmv)

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Post by c_w » Sun 21 Nov, 2004 19:56

When you say "could he buy a 2.3 for that money?" do you mean a 2.8?

If a 2.8 then I would hope not, but only because I have one :lol: though I do think I've seen some early 2.8s for around £9000 but the prices vary quite a lot, much more than other cars in that an R-Plate can vary £3000 depending on the car itself, the time of year and the spec.

If he can only find a 1.9 at that money then the MX-5 looks the better choice in terms of the "driving experience", but maybe not the spec or perhaps the image. Both maybe hairdressery but the Z3 I think has a lot more on the MX-5 in terms of perceived value.

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I would...

Post by SLX 280 » Sun 21 Nov, 2004 20:08

Hello,

I've driven both and have owned both, for that money your looking at a 1.9 Z, which is fine but will NOT drive like and mx5. Ok it has the 'badge' and if thats important then thats fine. If its a 2.8 Z (and for 8K it would be high millage? it may sway the choice)

I would try to go for an MX5 1.8i, I've seen R reg ones for 6K and they generally are lowish millage, also you can fit a supercharger for 2K or for a lot less a CAI kit which gives 10+ bhp. The MX5 just Drives sooo much more like a sports car.


I had a 2.2 Z and reckon the MX5 would give it a good run (1.8) and certianly feels better on the bendy stuff...

What ever they decide roof down they will love either...


Scott

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had an mx5 once

Post by ajt » Mon 22 Nov, 2004 22:21

a 98 1.8is with 140bhp with the lsd, abs, electric windows, wind deflector etc, if i remember correctly.

thinking about it, it was probably the best car i've ever owned to drive on a twisty country lane. if the road was tight enough to keep the speed between say 20-50, then it was brilliant.
would steer, point and generally go exactly where you wanted.
basically a light simple, but very well executed small sports car. mine was a mkII, and it seemed like mazda had spent the previous 10 years fiddling about getting it just so. not spending big money on fancy interiors and big engines.
It was fun and totally reliable. not like all the scoffing colleagues at work who owned their constantly breaking MGF's, then crashed them.
I did buy it at the time because the only Z i could afford weighed about 300kg more, and had 10bhp less. not that makes it a bad thing. just not as nippy around the lanes, or fun on the wet roundabouts.

but once you try and use it regularly, and for longer trips its not the most practical convertible. the boot is about half the size of the Z, and 85mph was about 4 1/2k rpm on the motorway. and it didn't exactly eat up the miles. very loud and quite small inside on a long run. Anyone over 6ft really struggles, but you can just turn round and grab the roof and put it up in under 5 seconds. when it starts raining.

depends on what you want, if its only an occasional weekend toy when the sun is out, then an mx5 is as good as anything. if its used for a bit more than that, or they are not so short, i suspect Z might be better.

horses for courses, both great cars.
my 2p.

a.

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mx5 and z3

Post by Mike » Tue 23 Nov, 2004 22:47

Luckily, I have a 2.8 Z3 and my spouse a 1.6 MX-5 and both are great fun to drive. The Z3 has the power over the MX but the MX around the lanes on surrey brings lots of grins. Over longer journeys the Z3 is much more comfortable. As most say its horses for courses. If I has to choose between them, the Z would win but luckily i get to drive both! HAH!

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Post by GROMMIT » Wed 24 Nov, 2004 08:08

I've just purchased the 2.8 and I would be surprised if he would get anything decent for under 10,000. I was strongly advised against buying anything apart from the 2.8 or 3.0. I was told the smaller engines aren't capable of 'pulling the skin off a rice pudding'! Enough said?!

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Post by TonyCal » Wed 24 Nov, 2004 16:29

I was going to make a coment about the last post but decided not to on the grounds i would have to edit it before Giles saw it :D :D

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Post by Andre_z_3000 » Thu 25 Nov, 2004 03:39

*SLAP* Come to your senses man! Get the Z.
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Post by spokey » Thu 25 Nov, 2004 06:38

paulderrick wrote:I've just purchased the 2.8 and I would be surprised if he would get anything decent for under 10,000. I was strongly advised against buying anything apart from the 2.8 or 3.0. I was told the smaller engines aren't capable of 'pulling the skin off a rice pudding'! Enough said?!
All I can say to that is "bullsh1t". Some of the most spirited drivers I've ever seen have 2.2s, 2.0s and to be honest the most spirited of them all has a 1.9 Auto (he knows who he is! :D ) and on a twisty bit of road he was holding his own with Charlotte and a bunch of Porkas.

It's not how big it is, it's what you do with it that counts. :twisted:
Last edited by spokey on Thu 25 Nov, 2004 12:39, edited 1 time in total.
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MX5 v Z3 2.2

Post by Ci » Thu 25 Nov, 2004 09:37

Thanks guys for all your comments about the MX5 v Z3 2.2 (for neighbour, will pass on to him). My thoughts? The 1.9 is a bit slow around bends (indeed my B was more nimble and the boot was bigger). However, the Zed is more comfortable than the MX5 and on the big roads she goes (shame about the points) hence I'm itching to go faster. Ci 8-)

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Post by nero » Thu 25 Nov, 2004 10:30

paulderrick wrote:... aren't capable of 'pulling the skin off a rice pudding'!
You must have some tough rice puddings where you come from. :D

On the twisties, the smaller engined cars are more than capable. :D
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Post by Kenny » Thu 25 Nov, 2004 13:28

Having had 2 mx5's and a 2.2 sport...the mx5 is shall we say nimbler but hell it's pretty basic inside with cheap materials used.. 1.8is certainly would really struggle to keep up with my 2.2 sport which was a flyer...also the engine sounds as if it's about to explode @ the top end...nasty compared to the sweet 6..

now have the 3.0 sport which I cannot fault...cant wait for the spring!!!!!

no competition but you pay for what you get. Cant imagine picking up a decent 2.8 for 8 grand

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Post by RobBruce » Thu 25 Nov, 2004 22:37

I'll chuck my 10p's worth in too...........

First Z3 I drove was a 1.9. Bloody loved it. Had the benefit of being able to drive it really hard without being (TOO MUCH) in licence losing land.

Haven't driven an MX5, but have been in a couple. I personally don't think it's as well made or equipped.

I'd be going for the Z3. Classier motor overall. And to paraphrase Spokey, there's been a few 'smaller engined' Z3's on some fast cruises and, other than the occasional overtake, they keep up just fine.

Stick an aftermarket exhaust on a 1.9 and no-one would ever know ;-)


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Post by Bloke » Sat 27 Nov, 2004 11:04

I would like to reiterate what Rob and Nero said,


I never have much trouble keeping up on the cruises and I "only" have a 2.0ltr :lol: :lol: :lol:


And I used to have an MX-5 before the Z,one of the last pop up headlamp versions, I did like it, nothing went wrong with it in the year I had it, which given the problems Ive had with the Beemer seems like a blessing, fast, nimble, cheap to run, but to be honest, in my opinion it seemed like a toy car in comparison to the Z. Its a great car and would reccommend it, but its not as complete a car as the Z is!! But of course we are all sort of biased over here!! :lol: :lol:


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Passed on comments to neighbour, so where to look etc?

Post by Ci » Sat 27 Nov, 2004 18:24

Thanks guys. I have passed on your comments to neighbour who is now interested... SO where does a busy Doc start looking for a Z3, say with £8K in pocket, in SE England. The dealers I have looked at down here in SW London don't seem to advertise old Z3s any longer. Is there a dealer in SE who still sells these older cars? Or should he go on to a website, or Loot or something? Course he has to try em to compare with the Mazda. Would he be able to get a 2.2i for that money? I don't reckon so.
PS passed a gold newish MX5 this morning, it left me cold - no soul :?

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Re: Passed on comments to neighbour, so where to look etc?

Post by OliZ » Sun 28 Nov, 2004 20:42

Ci wrote:SO where does a busy Doc start looking for a Z3
Not being from England but... I'd start looking around on websites. You can even find used ones on BMW's own website. Or look at national auto traders. That was how I found my last two Zs. Both were advertised by official BMW dealers on an independent website.
Ci wrote:PS passed a gold newish MX5 this morning, it left me cold - no soul :?
Then it definitely was driven by the wrong girl :wink:
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by mvslaney » Fri 12 Dec, 2014 13:39

I have had a mk 2.5 1.6 2001 reg mx5 and have now have an arctic silver/black leather z3 2.8. My thoughts:-

The mx5 was fun and handled well but the 1.6 engine was inadequate for a sports car. Also the car started to rust in the usual areas, wheel arches, sills, etc. Rust like this on a modern car is unacceptable.

The Z3 offers a different driving experience. It is a heavier more spacious and powerful car. The plus points are that it is better equipped and the quality of the materials are in a different league and a wonderful engine. Being 6'4" I fit much better in the Z3, the MX5 was cramped. On the downside, the MX5 is much lighter, better handling and less prone to tramlining and scuttle shake.

I have also tried a boxter 986 2.7 model. Ths handled better than the Z3 with an addictive soudtrack but the running costs can be huge.

I was lucky to find the Z3, it is in showroom condition with just 36,000 on the clock (dry miles). I bought it privately off its original owner. A keeper for sure! :)

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by therealdb1 » Fri 12 Dec, 2014 22:35

How times change! £8k for a 4 pot although I suspect the OP has been there and done that by now as the Z's generally appear to change hands several times in 10 years!

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Gazza » Sat 13 Dec, 2014 12:59

Wow !!!! deep thread retrieval
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Mike123 » Sat 13 Dec, 2014 16:13

MX5s and Boxsters are for polishers. :roll:

Z3s, particularly Z3Ms, are for drivers. :twisted:

£8k gets a decent Z3M.

If you're a driver,there's no choice. If you're a polisher, tough decision.


....well, you asked for my views!

:wink:

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by motco » Sat 13 Dec, 2014 16:37

Don't overlook the Honda S2000. Only two negatives: not as well equipped as a Z3, and has a rust tendency on the rear wheel arches. However, that engine! 9,000rpm and it sings like a soprano! The handling is really sharp, and it goes like stink (240bhp). Insurance is steepish, though. My BMW Indie tells me there's never been a blown-up S2000 in his knowledge. Watch the engine oil level and change it at recommended mileages and it's ll be fine. In my family we have a very late Z3 2.2 Sport, an S2000 (53 reg), and a Z4M Coupé (2006). All have their charms and benefits but none is inferior to a MX5 of similar value. Oh and there's the Westfield but that's as much like a car as it's like a motorbike in many ways so doesn't compare at all.

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by gas guzzler » Sat 13 Dec, 2014 17:57

Well over the years I've had 6 mx5s including one I put 3.5 V8 in and they are fantastic little cars, great to drive and very much a fun car, but and it's a big but, I prefer my Z3 2.8. Maybe not as quick round corners but the power delivery is so much better and goes on giving, the mx5 always ran out of grunt I was always looking for another gear (hence the reason of the V8). Some people like revving the nuts off a 4 pot, I don't. MK1 and MK2 MX5 nice looking, mk3 not so good in my opinion.
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Dino D » Sat 13 Dec, 2014 19:21

@gas guzzler:
You can't just mention a V8 Mx5 and leave it at that, pics and videos mandatory!
A v8 in a z3 would be my ideal...any plans?

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Davejue1 » Sat 13 Dec, 2014 19:23

A work friend has an 1997 MX5. We swap stories when we've had days out with forum meets etc and he runs it as his main car and says he loves it. The downside for him is rust, it's a constant job keeping it at bay. I have no rust issues with my 1998 Zed whatsoever. That has to be the single biggest factor when comparing these cars, especially if your a long term owner. :)
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Rafolian » Sat 13 Dec, 2014 19:51

I have had my '98 2.8 for two and a half years now and it's still mint, tight as a drum and drives like new.
Before I had a '95 MX5 1.8 for a year, great wee car, but not in the same league as the Z and big rust issues starting at rear arches. Before that had a 944 S2 Porsche for 5 years. 3 litre 4 pot, 211 BHP, better handling and more economical than the Z but didn't have that sweet straight six soundtrack! For me the pick of the bunch is the Z!!!

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Lexybhoy » Sun 14 Dec, 2014 09:52

Rafolian wrote:I have had my '98 2.8 for two and a half years now and it's still mint, tight as a drum and drives like new.
Before I had a '95 MX5 1.8 for a year, great wee car, but not in the same league as the Z and big rust issues starting at rear arches. Before that had a 944 S2 Porsche for 5 years. 3 litre 4 pot, 211 BHP, better handling and more economical than the Z but didn't have that sweet straight six soundtrack! For me the pick of the bunch is the Z!!!
I keep hearing about the "soundtrack" of the straight six, I have the 2.8 but with a quad exhaust. I can't hear the bloody engine over the burbble never mind the exhaust note under load ! Am I missing out ? I have the same engine in a 728i sport, but never push it like I do the Z3.

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by lightning » Sun 14 Dec, 2014 15:30

I have a Z3 3.0 and my friend has a late model MX5.

The Z3 will of course wipe the floor with the MX5 in acceleration. Driving the Mazda l just felt it was a little lacklustre and dumbed down.
Sure the handling was ultimately good, but then again my Z3 has the M Sport package which includes "lowered uprated suspension" so there was not much in it tbh.

Both cars feel equally well made. But l would expect a good Z3 3.0 to hold its' value, where the MX5 will lose money.

And £8,000 should buy any Z3 in mint condition apart from the M.

In fact come round with that money and you can drive away my near concours show winning 2002 Topaz Blue Z3 M Sport with only 56,000 miles on the clock, matching hard top, cream leather seats, aircon, four new tyres, full history and not a single stone chip on the front etc

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by gas guzzler » Sun 14 Dec, 2014 17:09

Dino D wrote:@gas guzzler:
You can't just mention a V8 Mx5 and leave it at that, pics and videos mandatory!
A v8 in a z3 would be my ideal...any plans?
Always happy to oblige, unfortunately no longer have the car as sold it earlier this. No plans to do any more transplants, to much hard work and at the moment trying to do a rolling resto on my Scimitar
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Vic-Z3 » Sun 14 Dec, 2014 20:25

What about the Honda S2000 .................. Just a thought.
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by motco » Mon 15 Dec, 2014 06:27

Vic-Z3 wrote:What about the Honda S2000 .................. Just a thought.

Err... a bit further up the page... :?

:)

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Rafolian » Mon 15 Dec, 2014 08:16

In the USA where the MX5 is known as the Miata, V8 conversions are very common.
Apparently the 5 litre Ford Mustang unit drops in relatively easily and use a t'bird rear end and all without ruining the handling (albeit with modified suspension)!

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by deni2s » Mon 15 Dec, 2014 08:42

Another benefit for USA owners of mx5 is possibility to use it as donor for bauer catfish kit car which looks awesome (but isn't road legal).

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Mike Fishwick » Mon 15 Dec, 2014 10:08

For £8k you can buy a really good Z3 of any size engine, but beware of the older MX-5, as they are now starting to suffer from terminal rusting inside the chassis rails below the engine, even on really well-cared for cars. The MX-5 Club forum is full of horror stories.

While the MX-5 feels a little more responsive at low speeds, its limits are lower than those of the Z3, as is its overall quality. How many 1997 MX-5s do you see around?
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by lightning » Mon 15 Dec, 2014 18:28

I just realised the OP started this thread in 2004 lol

No wonder he has gone quiet! I wonder what his friend bought in the end? The OP "Ci" is still active on this forum.....maybe he could let us know, if he remembers.

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by mvslaney » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 08:27

Time has moved on, how does the Z3 stand by comparrison to the latest generation MX5s?

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Mike Fishwick » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 08:34

That is not a valid comparison - a new MX-5 to a 13 year old Z3! Perhaps the real comparison would be between an MX-5 and a Z3 of the same age - say 1998 - which would be to the benefit of the Z3 I think.
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by wizard4 » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 13:30

I have owned Mazda's for many years, from the Montrose to all types of 626, and the 323, I haven't drove or been in, the MX5, but I had a choice of buying either the MX5 or the Z3 1.9, being on a very low budget, both were the same price £1,700, in the local rag. I opted for the Z3, yeah its got high mileage 130,000, its got an issue with the soft top, and I had to replace the exhaust system, with after market unit, but its fine. It drives really well and its surprising how many people admire the car, I just love its design, mine is basic no heated seats, but hey ho it does what it says on the tin. As for performance, its no slouch, we have an incredibly long steep hill here, in fact when the railway line was still in use they had to use two locos to get up the hill, so my wee beastie, hammers up the hill with no problems in fact I can accelerate up it in 5th gear. Ok there are cars on the road that would leave it standing, but so what you can only go as fast as the speed limit, and if the car makes you smile every time you drive it, that's cool. So personally, I would with respect to Mazda MX5 owners, still go for the Z3, but as previously stated its horses for courses, and personal choice.
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by lightning » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 15:27

What l like about my Z3 is the engine. For the price of a ten year old MX5 l have a car of similar type, and similar build quality, that has 231bhp and will get to 60 from a standing start in under six seconds.

Plus l know that l won't lose any money on it, where the MX5 good though it is will never appreciate in value.

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by mvslaney » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 17:33

For me its all about styling. Few can argue that the MX5 lacks the kudos of the beautifully designed and appointed Z3 particularly the 'wide ass' version. Rarity and scarcity is now the realm of the larger I-6 models and this will continue to rise whereas the MX5 is ubiquitous and mass produced.

I had a look at a few MX5s around my locality today and rust is the common factor even the underside of some of the mk3 models looks like they have been pulled out of the sea. This is unusual for a modern car.

In the ideal world, we may desire the handling, liveliness and balance of the MX5 coupled with the design prowess, longevity and corrosion resistance of the Z3. Now that would be a sports car!? In the meantime I am left scratching my chin trying to think of some handling improvements to bring my Z3 somehere close - now where can I get hold of a decent strut brace?

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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Del » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 17:47

Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons, when the Z3 was first launched the styling was seen by many as a disappointment, whereas the early MX5 (believed to echo the Lotus Elan) was very popular. I think the Z3 styling has improved with age.

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Davejue1
Joined: Sun 22 Sep, 2013 08:25
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  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Mansfield

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Davejue1 » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 18:12

Del wrote:Just to put the cat amongst the pigeons, when the Z3 was first launched the styling was seen by many as a disappointment, whereas the early MX5 (believed to echo the Lotus Elan) was very popular. I think the Z3 styling has improved with age.
The Chinese fella that designed the Z3 was slated for his work. I think it stands out with the best of them. As I said higher up the thread for me the main worry with the mazda is rust. If you want the car to be with you long term the Zed is the answer IMHO. :)
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mvslaney
Joined: Sun 02 Nov, 2014 09:24
Posts: 10

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by mvslaney » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 18:29

Can perhaps be likened to those cheap plastic toys from the far East which dropped to bits quickly compared to my good old Tonka digger which is still alive despite having taken a beating during my formative years!

Style is subjective! Now what was that about the handling........?

bertiejaffa
Joined: Fri 26 Jul, 2013 10:28
Posts: 1715

  M roadster S50
Location: Manchester

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by bertiejaffa » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 19:38

Interestingly the z3 (at least the M version) was compared on top gear to a TVR... No mx5 in sight...
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Del
Joined: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 18:35
Posts: 2115

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Del » Tue 16 Dec, 2014 21:03

This will make you laugh (or cry with anger) the OP on this 2010 Pistonheads thread was considering a 1997 1.8 MX5 against a 2001 BMW Z3 3.0. He appears to have struggled with the decision and many contributors came down in favour of the MX5 :shock: I think BMW got something wrong with their marketing/PR when they launched the Z3.
http://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topi ... 3%3F&mid=0

mvslaney
Joined: Sun 02 Nov, 2014 09:24
Posts: 10

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by mvslaney » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 08:44

Wow this is turning into an interesting and historical debate. So it would appear that opinions are generally in favour of the MX5. Come on chaps we need to put up a much stronger case for the Z3!!

Mike Fishwick
Joined: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 11:27
Posts: 1991

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Daglan, France

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Mike Fishwick » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 10:46

The MX-5 will always feel lighter and more communicative to drive when compared to any 6-cylinder Z3, due to the engine being lighter and mounted behind the axle line, and having narrower rims. A proper comparison would be between a 1.9 Z3 and an MX-5 of the same age - and I know which I would prefer, particularly as structural rust is now becoming a real problem on the MX-5.

The biggest problem with a Z3 is really down to image - when the Z3 was launched BMW seemed to be very lukewarm about it, and made the mistake of first launching the 1.8 litre model in the US market, so it became known as a 'Boulevard Sports Car'. They should have launched the 1.9 first, as a direct shot at the MX-5, but perhaps they thought that a BMW badge would attract MX-5 fanciers. Likewise, they should have sponsored a 1.9 Z3 production race series, perhaps also open to the MX-5. Also, lots of media hacks love to criticise any BMW on any pretext, the usual jibe at the Z3 being that its rear end is too firmly planted on the road, and does not perform tricks such as power slides at the drop of a hat - which means it is just what is really needed in a road car.

In terms of styling, the Z3 has aged far less than the original MX-5 - Joshi Nakamura did a fine job - he is American I think, working for BMW's west coast styling studio. Thank your god that Chris Bangle never got his hands on it!

There is not an answer to this question, except that the Z3 is better made, better equipped, and has more grip. Who cares if people prefer an MX-5 - that is their choice - and after 15 years I remain pleased with my choice - that is what it is all about.
Last edited by Mike Fishwick on Wed 17 Dec, 2014 13:58, edited 1 time in total.
A Z3 is not just for Christmas - it's for life!

Mike Fishwick
Joined: Fri 19 Jun, 2009 11:27
Posts: 1991

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Daglan, France

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Mike Fishwick » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 13:37

The Boxster looks good, and - so we are told by media hacks and some owners - has a 'sublime' chassis, but it has its own problems. Engine work is from underneath, so replacing a drive belt, water pump, or thermostat is not an easy job. Spares are not cheap, either, and most things are peculiar to the Boxster - you cannot go into a breaker and get bits for a Boxster as we can with E36 parts.

In its original 2.5 litre form (in other words the currently cheaper ones) it is gutless, having to be revved to the red line in order to - just - have a slight edge (about half a second) on a single-VANOS 2.8 Z3. Even Autocar (famed Z3 haters) had to admit that top gear 50-70 mph took 10.7 secs for the Boxster and 8.8 for the Z3. This type of edge was repeated over any speed range, 80-100 mph taking 13.4 secs for the Boxster, and 9.9 for the Z3 - which places the Z3 about 300 feet further up the road! Even the later 3 litre Boxster S is only on a par with a 2.8, and can be eaten by a 3 litre Z3.

Equipment levels are better for the Z3, with its leather interior, power hood, trip computer and traction control all being expensive extras on the Boxster. Even a centre console for the radio was an extra on the Porsche - and it looked like something bought in Halfords! The only really good bit of a Boxster is the instrument binnacle, which still shows BMW how to do it. They have always fitted their expensive cars with instruments which look as if they had been stolen from a Ford Transit, and the current cars do not even have a temperature gauge . . .

As for the Honda S2000 - it is a rich kid's plaything, with expensive spares and few sources of them too. If you like rowing a car along on the gearlever then maybe it offers something in terms of fantasy, but it is not a good all-rounder like the Z3. I would think that the lack of use most of them receive will hold off terminal rust for the moment, but like any Japanese car it would drop to bits after a few salt-laden UK winters. All this means that it will probably become a future classic!

In terms of used cars, the Z3 still gets my vote!

Someone is probably now going to tell us how wonderful the MGF is . . .
A Z3 is not just for Christmas - it's for life!

Del
Joined: Sat 19 Nov, 2011 18:35
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  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Del » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 15:30

Mike Fishwick wrote:Someone is probably now going to tell us how wonderful the MGF is . . .
I don't think so, in the few years since I've had my Z3, a friend of mine has had two head gaskets replaced on his MG! :shock:

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Southernboy
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  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Johannesburg

Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Southernboy » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 17:27

IMHO the MX5 looks suitable for a race of small people which many Japanese and women are. (not a racist or sexist comment). Any self respecting western male wouldn't be seen in an MX5. If ever there was a sports car which deserved the "hairdresser" label, the MX5 is it.
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