Anyone got an automatic Z3?

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swabyk
Joined: Mon 18 Jul, 2016 18:38
Posts: 88

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by swabyk » Thu 09 Nov, 2017 23:40

I’m considering buying an auto Z3 and wondered if anyone can tell me what they’re like in comparison to the manual? There’s surprisingly little info in terms of reviews of autos on t’internet!!

I read many years back that an auto 1.9 was a bad choice as it lacked power even compared to the manual 1.9, is there a better engine for the automatic? Is the 2.2 or 2.8 that much better or is it just the auto Z3s in general that aren’t as good?

If anyone can give their view I’d appreciate it, would like the easier driving of an auto but not if it sacrifices performance and fun.

Thanks
Ken

Tilly
Joined: Wed 26 May, 2004 20:45
Posts: 417

  M roadster S50
Location: Sussex

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by Tilly » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 11:38

We have a 1.9 Auto and an M and we have owned both for almost 20 years. In today's driving conditions the auto can easily keep up with the Roadster. In fact on many occasions the auto is an easier drive. Acceleration is adequate, kick down is rapid and the suspension is far more compliant. In traffic there is no contest the auto wins outright. If you like cruising with the roof down then we usually take the auto. If I could only have one then although a difficult decision I would probably keep the 1.9 auto for all of the above reasons plus the reduced cost of running. I would though miss the occasional short blast in the Roadster. You read all these road tests, underpowered, unresponsive suspension, vague steering but BMW sold a lot and most owners still get a thrill out of driving them irrespective of engine size and transmission type. My recommendation is try one and if it ticks your boxes buy it and enjoy.

z3ddie
Joined: Sun 27 Apr, 2008 15:29
Posts: 82

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Chinnor

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by z3ddie » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 13:01

I have a rare (so I am told) 1999 2.8 Auto which I have had nearly 18 years now and I love it - you have a sports switch on it so when you need an extra bit of kick it delivers and then some! It really is a pleasure to drive and due to an old rugby injury on my left ankle I find manuals painful to drive and spent and age sourcing this one. It is the roadster version and it hacks around the country lanes no problem and if you like the thrill of getting its bum out you can also turn off the ASC. As an add on I also have a hard top for it which puts a bit of extra weight on it so to me it's like having 2 completely different toys to play with - like the previous reply said, have a try!

DC
Joined: Tue 15 Sep, 2009 18:31
Posts: 562

  Z3 roadster 1.9
Location: Inverness-shire

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by DC » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 13:54

I have a 1.9 Auto and find it perfectly adequate, I would entirely agree with Tilly's comments having owned and enjoyed mine for around 9 years.
Having said that however if "adequate" is not what you are wanting, maybe look for a 2.8 or 3 litre, both of which I think will have a Steptronic box (which I had in my 1998 five series) and which I think you may get more fun out of :) .
Dave.
Dave. 1998 Arctic Silver Z3 M44 1.9 Automatic

swabyk
Joined: Mon 18 Jul, 2016 18:38
Posts: 88

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by swabyk » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 16:13

Thanks all, appreciate the comments and feedback

Paulro
Joined: Wed 07 Dec, 2016 18:47
Posts: 14

  blank

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by Paulro » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 20:09

I have a 3L auto and have recently sold a 2.8 manual.

Both engines are very flexible and both cars a real pleasure to drive.

The 3l engine is terrific and combines with the auto box beautifully. Out of the two cars I'd choose this car.

I'm getting on a bit so the cruising ability suits me whereas 20 or 30 years ago I'm sure I'd have preferred the manual.

The auto though is no slouch. Kick down or sports mode makes me smile. I mainly use it in Portugal with the roof down with the sun shining.

Pick the right 1.9 and I'm sure you'll have lots of fun. Do a bit of research, try them and I don't think you'll regret it. They are very good cars.

alec.m
Joined: Tue 05 Oct, 2010 20:01
Posts: 535

  Z3 roadster 2.8
Location: Lymington

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by alec.m » Fri 10 Nov, 2017 23:13

Like Paulro I moved from a manual 2.8 to an auto 3.0 about 2 years ago and love it. The steptronic auto box coupled to a 3.0 engine is a perfect combination in my opinion. Autos aren`t everyone's cup of tea and I`d advise a test drive before committing to one.

Mr Silver
Joined: Wed 25 Feb, 2009 09:34
Posts: 360

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by Mr Silver » Mon 13 Nov, 2017 12:52

I have owned a 3.0L for the last ten years, purchased primarily due to a disability in my left leg. On the congested roads down here in the south east it is far more sensible than my manual Audi. Don't be led into the idea that auto means slow, the 3.0 auto will beat anything 'out of the gate' (with the possible exception of the odd AMG hereabouts!

The one down side with the RHD Z3 is the lack of an adequate foot rest so I constructed my own in alli sheet.

Regards.

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BonBon
Joined: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 21:10
Posts: 1174

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by BonBon » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 10:46

It depends what "fun" you are looking for.
Is it spirited driving or the thrill of of a rag top?
That should dictate your decision.
(Full disclosure - this week celebrated 10 years on my 1.9Auto)

Buzzy-Beans
Joined: Tue 14 Nov, 2017 15:01
Posts: 6

  BMW other

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by Buzzy-Beans » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 12:54

I haven't bought my Z3 yet as I am still compiling my required detail, data and information.

I have read somewhere about GM auto boxes fitted to some of the Z3's which were sealed for life and as such you couldn't change the ATF the result of which being that they have quite a short mileage/life. :?:

Is this the case and if so are they to be avoided and also which models were they fitted to. :?:

Many thanks

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BonBon
Joined: Tue 08 Jan, 2008 21:10
Posts: 1174

  Z3 roadster 1.9

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by BonBon » Thu 16 Nov, 2017 13:47

Wow - I did less due diligence before getting married (now happily for 35 years).
It is not recommended to change transmission fluid often - but it can be done (and the filter replaced)

deni2s
Joined: Mon 25 Mar, 2013 22:02
Posts: 747

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by deni2s » Sat 18 Nov, 2017 14:43

swabyk wrote:
Thu 09 Nov, 2017 23:40
If anyone can give their view I’d appreciate it, would like the easier driving of an auto but not if it sacrifices performance and fun.
It doesn't sacrifices performance and fun. I have both - manual and auto 2.8. Due to differencees diff ratio, auto accelerates and spins the wheels much faster than manual.

deni2s
Joined: Mon 25 Mar, 2013 22:02
Posts: 747

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by deni2s » Sat 18 Nov, 2017 14:48

Buzzy-Beans wrote:
Thu 16 Nov, 2017 12:54
I have read somewhere about GM auto boxes fitted to some of the Z3's which were sealed for life and as such you couldn't change the ATF the result of which being that they have quite a short mileage/life. :?:
Keep in mind that BMW didn't expected one model "life" to be longer than ~5-7 years at that time (now I think it is 2-3 years for current models). So better change ATF. AFAIK ZF auto boxes are more bulletproof than Getrag.

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Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 21:58
Posts: 9181

  M roadster S54
Location: East London/Essex

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by Gazza » Sat 18 Nov, 2017 23:21

I've driven a 2.2 M-sport auto and enjoyed it very much, especially the exhaust note :D

Also an E46 3.0 M-sport auto which is heavier than the Z3 and that went very well :D
Gazza

"Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car, oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car. Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall and torque is how far you take the wall with you"

S54 M roadster Image Mustang Fastback, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL.

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Brian4
Joined: Mon 19 Dec, 2011 19:02
Posts: 535

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Hinckley

Re: Anyone got an automatic Z3?

Post by Brian4 » Sun 19 Nov, 2017 20:35

Buzzy-Beans wrote:
Thu 16 Nov, 2017 12:54
I haven't bought my Z3 yet as I am still compiling my required detail, data and information.

I have read somewhere about GM auto boxes fitted to some of the Z3's which were sealed for life and as such you couldn't change the ATF the result of which being that they have quite a short mileage/life. :?:

Is this the case and if so are they to be avoided and also which models were they fitted to. :?:

Many thanks
The GM box as with all BMW autos are not sealed for life but are filled for life. The oil can be changed along with the filter.
The GM box was fitted to the facelift Z3's and is the steptronic box. It was also fitted to various other BMWs and then superceeded with the 6 speed auto GM box

GM 5L40-E transmission

some faults
https://axleaddict.com/auto-repair/The- ... n-Problems
Brian
3.0I Topaz Blue


2000 E36/7 Z3 3.0i
2016 F31 335d
2015 F21 118i

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