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

UK forum for general and technical discussion about the Z3 roadster

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

Post by gas guzzler » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 17:57

Not wishing to upset anyone but when the Z3 first came out it was by all accounts aimed at the American market and the 1.8 didn't exactly set the world on fire in fact people were expecting more from 'The ultimate driving machine', where as the mx5 not only looked like a British sports car it had for want of a better word 'verve'. It doesn't take much to knock a reputation of a car so the damage was done. How many people called the mx5 a 'hair dressers car', it wasn't until people actually got in and drove one they realised what a good car it was, you don't sell over 900,000 cars without something being right. I never thought I'd buy a BMW Z3 but once I'd driven one I was hooked.
Just a few points people have bought up, the handling on my mx5's was better than the Z3 and as to rust the English 5s do rust but the Eunos keep a lot better, I had two which were over 22 years old and showed very little sign of rust.
My Z3 is a brilliant car, it is well built, has ample power for my needs, comfortable, has been very reliable and amazingly very economical to run, and one big advantage it has over the 5 is there isn't one parked in every other road you go down. In fact went on ebay the other day and there were only three 2.8s for sale.
Wouldn't life be boring if we all liked the same car.
Andy

1999 Z3 2.8 RED
1999 Z3 2.8 SILVER

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

Post by mvslaney » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 22:09

So perhaps the case for the Z3 over the MX5 is its quality and longevity with that relative ease of maintenance that comes with good golid German engineering. The prosecution has always centered around lack of driving feel, poor handling, scuttle shake, tramlining and soforth. The car is certainly not a favourite of Jeremy Clarkson! The top Gear team have alway sung the praises for the MX5 and the abovementioned Boxter but our car has been slated. Are they right or missing the point?

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

Post by Bowler » Wed 17 Dec, 2014 23:00

The Z3 was never a new car i dreamed of, but as a second car in its, and my maturing years it certainly hits the spot for me. Nothing better for stress relieve than putting the top down, no matter what the weather and hitting the open road, should be on prescription.
In love with driving again (its the Z effect)

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

Post by geminimustang » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 15:05

I like the look of the mazda but i've recently spoken to two guys who test drove a couple with a view to purchase.Both came away stating the cabin was far too compact.One guy 6'1",the other around 5'9".Internet threw up similar comments so i'd suggest you need to sit in one before adding it to your wish list.A guy in our road has just bought a white mx-5 with a hard top and it looks amazingly good.

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

Post by deni2s » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 15:20

mvslaney wrote:The car is certainly not a favourite of Jeremy Clarkson! The top Gear team have alway sung the praises for the MX5 and the abovementioned Boxter but our car has been slated. Are they right or missing the point?
Top gears best handling car - z3m: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6q5SVHpN_CU

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

Post by Del » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 19:39

Porsche, BMW, Mazda or S2000, they're all rubbish. What you want is one of these :D

Image

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

Post by TR4man » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 19:55

Now that's nice.

Do they have a reputation for leaking hoods?

I wonder what sort of MPG I could expect?

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Davejue1
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Davejue1 » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 20:57

TR4man wrote:Now that's nice.

Do they have a reputation for leaking hoods?

I wonder what sort of MPG I could expect?
There terrible. 10 to the gallon and leak like a siv! :D
Image

"Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional!"

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

Post by mvslaney » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 22:12

Now where had we got to with this thread and is the collective view that it is better to own and drive a Z3 rather that the much praised MX5. What swung that decision to buy the Zed. Is it image and pride in our manhood when we secretly desire the communicative driving prowess of the 5 much praised by that chap Clerkson!?

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

Post by Bowler » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 23:50

Thing its more about investing our hard earned into something that gives enourmous pleasure that will last and may as a bonus increase in value
In love with driving again (its the Z effect)

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

Post by Rafolian » Fri 19 Dec, 2014 07:42

WTF is a siv?

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

Post by Robert T » Fri 19 Dec, 2014 22:54

Rafolian wrote:WTF is a siv?
An illiterate sieve :wink:

Cheers R.
Arctic Silver '99 Z3 1.9 & Black '59 Frogeye 1275cc
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madleemark
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by madleemark » Sun 28 Dec, 2014 23:30

wow, all this fuss over two similar cars, both fun to drive, and easy to run, lots of rubbish thrown at the z3, yet people love them, mx5 is a rust bucket etc, just go buy either and enjoy it for what it is, simples!

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

Post by Vic-Z3 » Tue 30 Dec, 2014 21:34

All two seater soft top sports cars are perceived as being owned by hair dressers.
----------------- BMW Z3 Das Beste Auto -----------------

Mein altes Auto riecht nach Nudeln, hat dieses Auto eine Wurst Geruch.

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

Post by madleemark » Wed 31 Dec, 2014 00:21

a lot of people knock soft top sportscars, but my guess is deep down they would like to have one, be it mx5 or z3, now then wheres the hairdressing school

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

Post by Smartbear » Wed 31 Dec, 2014 08:21

madleemark wrote:a lot of people knock soft top sportscars, but my guess is deep down they would like to have one, be it mx5 or z3, now then wheres the hairdressing school
yep, its normally jealousy from people that are forced to drive a ford focus etc

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

Post by motco » Wed 31 Dec, 2014 10:34

A close family member has a Honda S2000. This is an exciting car but not made to the same standard as my Z3 of the same age: no electric seats (movement or warming), a crude wire prop for the bonnet instead of gas struts to name but two absent items. There's other little things too but they escape my memory at the moment. None is really fatal, but it's surprising in a Japanese car. What it does have is 70bhp more from 200cc less, plus a 9k red line! You pays your money...

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

Post by Bowler » Wed 31 Dec, 2014 11:28

Not just me then gets a kick out of opening a bonnet with gas filled struts (always a sign of quality)
In love with driving again (its the Z effect)

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

Post by motco » Wed 31 Dec, 2014 15:03

Bowler wrote:Not just me then gets a kick out of opening a bonnet with gas filled struts (always a sign of quality)
No it's not just you. Sadly, though, it's not always a sign of quality. I had a company owned Leyland Princess 2200 HLS Auto from new in 1980 and that had gas struts on the bonnet. The 'R' reg (1976) HL model I had before that was bad, but the later one was the worst new car I have ever had any experience of.

Believe me, nobody could accuse British Leyland in the seventies/eighties of anything approaching quality! :head:

Actually, the bonnet was opened so often that I am surprised the struts didn't wear out! :bawl:

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

Post by lightning » Wed 31 Dec, 2014 22:30

lt was such a shame.

The Princess was a great design, particularly the later "Ambassador" version which had a tailgate. But it was so badly put together that any innovation was completely wasted.

Like the Rover 3500 SD1, it had the potential to be a world beater. My dad had a 3500 SD1 and it was so badly made that he eventually sent it back.

He replaced it with one of the first Japanese cars to appear in the UK, a Toyota Corolla. Friends and workmates laughed, until he'd done 10,000 miles in the thing without a single fault. Despite being l recall only 1200cc it would wipe the floor with most common cars off the line, as many a sales rep discovered.

Nobody knew what it was and he was often stopped by people who wanted to ask about it. It even had a push button radio as standard!

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

Post by motco » Thu 01 Jan, 2015 09:37

I was given a budget of £3600 I seem to recall, and chose the Princess because it was the only car in that price bracket that was wide enough to have a baby seat and a carry-cot body side-by-side on the back seat. The other choice was a Lancia Beta but as that didn't have kiddie-proof rear doors I chose the Princess, luckily. The Lancia was fun to drive but they all fell apart with rust inside a couple of years - some even had engines dropping down in the engine bay when mounts rusted off! My 1976 HL Princess was almost tolerable; it 'only' suffered collapsed Hydra-Gas suspension and a failed Metalastik bush on a rear trailing arm. I bought it off the company after four years at book value: 13/6d as I recall! (Well, £300 actually). You're right when you say it was a great design badly executed. That sums up so many BL cars of the day as well. With no exaggeration at all, from the day it was delivered to the day I abandoned it on the hard shoulder of the M40 three years later, there was never a single day when that damned 1980 HLS Princess (in a fetching shade of turd brown) didn't have a fault. My life is too short to elaborate but believe me when I say that Henly's in Colindale, Finchley, and High Wycombe had a Central School of Incompetence from which all the members of the service staff, managers down to fitters, graduated with Honours! :head:

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

Post by Kiboko » Thu 01 Jan, 2015 14:56

I have a 2.0 litre Z3 automatic which I put away for the winter, and my wife has been nagging me to buy an MX5 with folding hard-top so I can do away with my two cars and just have the one, which can then stay out all year. So I test drove a new MX5. It was only the 1.8 unfortunately, they didn't have a 2.0 litre car for me to drive, but the sales rep. assured me the 2.0 litre would have more poke. The sitting position/comfort factor was perfect, (I'm 6' tall), - can't understand why people complain the Mazda's cramped, (unless they happen to be 6'6"). Driveability was ace, road-holding and grip brilliant. Loved the electric folding top, - main selling factor for me.

BUTTTT!!!!! Power was lack lustre and the SOUND of that engine! It could have been an old Ford escort. The sound of my straight six is MUSIC to my ears,.... and the SMOOTHNESS .... !

I also sat in a new Z4 at the BMW showroom. I felt swamped in it, excessive space all round, could barely reach over to the passenger side, the dash was intrusive and I couldn't raise the seat up quite high enough to have an unimpeded view through the windscreen. Didn't get to drive it but merely sitting in it was enough to put me off and I wouldn't be paying the extra few grand to get one rather than an MX5. The MX5 would have won that round!

In the event, I happened across a 2.2 litre manual Z3 with extremely low mileage, - couldn't resist it so now I have TWO Z3's, a summer one and a winter one, and NO MX5!

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

Post by Wavesong » Thu 01 Jan, 2015 21:46

In August 2014, I bought an MX5 Sport VT. It was an utter disaster, noisy, cramped, rotten (as it turned out), poor mpg, poor build quality and materials and was lucky to bail out of owning it for not too much loss. However, with the top down blasting round the lanes, it was truly excellent and I therefore had a love/hate relationship with it. After just three months rust started bubbling through and it became apparent that all was not well. I now have my beloved Z and only wish I had stuck to the Z plan in the first place. However, had I not had the MX5 disaster, I would not fully appreciate the Z.

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

Post by markrnorton » Tue 10 Feb, 2015 22:07

I have had several Z3's and boxster's , and now on another 911
The boxster is a far better car than the z3 (sorry to say), it's balance , power delivery and poise blows a z3 away and makes it feel antiquated
Still modifying

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

Post by Rafolian » Wed 11 Feb, 2015 08:02

WTF has a Boxster got to do with a debate om z3's and mx5's?
Apart from anything else the Boxster cost half as much again as most Z3's when new and twice the MX5!

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

Post by markrnorton » Wed 11 Feb, 2015 15:11

Rafolian wrote:WTF has a Boxster got to do with a debate om z3's and mx5's?
Apart from anything else the Boxster cost half as much again as most Z3's when new and twice the MX5!
I think if you read the whole thread you'll find out
Still modifying

Vince70
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by Vince70 » Thu 12 Mar, 2015 23:55

If you can't decide which car to buy there's always this monstrosity.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mazda-mx5-1-6 ... 7675.l2557

peter2b
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Re: Mazda MX5 OR BMW Z3? Your views guys...

Post by peter2b » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 09:53

swmbo has a Merc C 250AMG but on seeing how my z3 is comming on ,been hidden in my shed while i rebuild it ,she wants it ,says it's a lady's car
I don't agree
peter2b

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

Post by lmrdave » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 10:50

A BMW Z3 forum is not somewhere you are likely to get an unbiased view on Z3 vs MX5!

I see the MX5 getting bashed on here and perhaps more so on .org site, which I see as rather childish and myopic. I own a 2.8 Z3 and a mk1 MX5 1.6, a side from having 4 wheels, 2 seats and soft tops they are very different cars.

For a pure drivers car the MX5 wins hands down, no contest. Not surprising at all, that's what the MX5 was designed for.

Build quality, I don't think there is much in it, in fact I'd say the MX5 has given me less grief than the Z3.

Speed, looks, sound and cruising comfort the Z3 comes out on top. Which what the Z3 (non M) was designed for.

I love both cars. Choosing between a MX5 and Z3 is not the question, what you want out of your new car and what you are willing to sacrifice for it is.
1998 Z3 2.8 Arctic Silver
1991 Mazda MX5
1987 Nissan Silvia

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

Post by Ontiken » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 16:17

Hi all,
Tend to agree there,they have different qualities.I had an MX5 Mk2 1.8,fitted a Sportex back box and it drove and sounded Fab!!Hairdresser's car - pound for pound or even compared to almost anything the most fun you can have on four wheels! Just a simple no power steering ,narrow wheels , adequate power motor for squirting round country lanes.BUT,a rust bucket and you don't want to drive on motorways in one.
My Z3 2.8 is a much better made quality car(they did cost more).It doesn't handle the same,but is much more powerful and it is perfectly comfortable to drive long distances as well as having fun round the lanes.Also,as some one mentioned,everybody and his dog seems to have an MX5 these days,plus good,low mileage Zs seem to be appreciating in value.
So there it is.I like them both,they are just different cars and that's why we all like to natter away about cars.Last point,J. Clarkson talks 'boll...s' a lot of the time,especially about cars.Nevertheless,he's amusing and Top Gear would not be the same without him.
Ken.

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

Post by Beemer Man » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 16:18

Based on 10 year's ownership of our Mk 1 Mazda MX-5 1.8iS and 4 years with our Facelift 2.8 Z3, I would agree 100% with Imrdave's comments above. They are different cars. One is a true sports car, with go-kart handling, the other is a relaxing tourer by comparison (thanks to that torquey, great-sounding six-pot engine!).

Beemer Man.

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

Post by Dino D » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 17:51

The good thing about the Z is that you can improve it to your tastes.

The standard car is too laid back for me hence I have fully adjustable coilovers and stiffer bushes and a great sounding exhaust.

Now I have the handling I want with the engine I love.

With an MX5 you can do all of that but you still miss out in the 6cyl engine...

For me the BMW engine trumps the lightness of touch that the MX5 can have.

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

Post by Beemer Man » Fri 13 Mar, 2015 19:09

Agreed. The magnificent BMW 6-pot engine more than makes up for any differences in handling, and was the reason I bought the Z3. The MX-5 followed-on from six glorious years of E30 M3 ownership, but somehow it didn't bring the same smile to my face (although I have a happier wife!)

Beemer Man

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