Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

UK forum for general and technical discussion about the Z3 roadster

Moderator: Gazza

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Steve66
Joined: Sun 11 Oct, 2020 13:42
Posts: 6

  Z3 2.2 sport auto

Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Steve66 »

Hi all,

New to the group and looking to buy a Z3

My main problem is which model to go for. 2.2, 2.8 or 3.0 I definitely want 6 cylinder

my daily driver is an auto so should I go for the auto Z3?

Guessing this question will have some mixed opinions - Is the 2.2 auto any good as it is an old design auto box? There’s a few of these about and good prices

I would really like the 3.0 auto but not many about and again I am unsure on the auto box

I am also thinking registered before 1st March 2001 for cheaper tax

I haven’t driven either manual or auto Z3 yet but did have a Z4 auto sdrive a few years back and it was good

Due to covid restrictions looking at buying without viewing In person just by FaceTime and using a courier so any help appreciated as I will not have driven the car until after I have purchased it

Looking forward to your views

Cheers
Steve

Warrior
Joined: Tue 11 May, 2010 10:02
Posts: 446

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Warrior »

I'm not the most qualified person to advise on this as my 3.0i Z3 is the first automatic i've owned in over 45 years of driving.
However....
I must confess that when I first bought her I did wonder if a manual would give a better driving experience but as time went on realised that most of the time i'd be stuck in nose to tail traffic or pottering around country lanes - where my focus was more about watching out for potholes and just enjoying the roof down.

The Steptronic Auto, which allows you to slip her into a manual type mode is great but across the week i'm driving a manual box van, manual box wife's car so it's a bit of a learning curve every time I take the Zed out. I tend not to use the Steptronic unless I know the road and want to put her through her paces.

I see you have an automatic daily driver so much of the above won't affect you.


There's an old thread here on the BMW Owners Forum that might be of interest. (Mods please remove if not allowed?)
https://www.bmwccgbforum.co.uk/steptron ... c9425.html

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Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 20:58
Posts: 9511

  M roadster S54
Location: Romford Essex

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Gazza »

Firstly, welcome to the Forum.

I’ve driven a 2.2 auto and it’s fine, personally I prefer a manual Zed.

If buying the car ‘blind’ you really need to speak with the seller on the phone, ask lots of questions re condition, service, new parts fitted etc.

Good luck with the hunt.
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"

Z3 S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Z4M Coupe
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Steve66
Joined: Sun 11 Oct, 2020 13:42
Posts: 6

  Z3 2.2 sport auto

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Steve66 »

Thanks both,
Good to hear positive about 2.2auto as I am currently considering one that has come up for sale
Still would like a 3.0 if funds would stretch

Does high mileage have more impact on auto or manual?
How long generally does a clutch last?

Thanks

Warrior
Joined: Tue 11 May, 2010 10:02
Posts: 446

  Z3 roadster 3.0i

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Warrior »


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Gazza
Site Admin
Joined: Tue 04 Oct, 2005 20:58
Posts: 9511

  M roadster S54
Location: Romford Essex

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Gazza »

I’ve added 43000 miles to my manual Zed and there isn’t a difference from the day I bought it.
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"

Z3 S54 M roadster Image, BMW Z1, BMW M3 CSL, Z4M Coupe
ImageImage

Bertie
Joined: Sun 06 Oct, 2019 03:46
Posts: 46

  Z3 roadster 3.0i
Location: Montreal Canada

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Bertie »

For what it's worth : My 2001 Z3 3,0i manual has just past 200,000 km . I have all the service records from new , it as never had a replacement clutch or gear box. I have just changed the gear box and differential oils and its running like a charm .
This car seems to be built like a brick outhouse
Cheers
Bertie

LaRy
Joined: Mon 12 Nov, 2018 17:47
Posts: 74

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by LaRy »

Hi, I've been owning a Z3 automatic now for 9 years. It's a 2.8 l. I love it and have never regret that I bought an auto. The 6 cylinder engine is strong with good torque, a must for automatic. It is working smooth and nice, definitely smother than the new dual clutch gearboxes.
If you buy one, an expert told me that you must change oil. Old oil is killing the BMW autos. It is slightly complicated, so it i not really any do it yourself job.
But the feeling is amazing. You press the pedal to the bottom, the engine reeves to more than 6000 rpm and keeps there, while the nice auto makes the Z3 accelerate continously in speed like, an airplane taking off. No feeling of gearshift! You also have a sport position, making it very rapid. If I remember correct, the last gear will come at something like 150 km/h.
Acceleration to 50 km/h is faster than manual, 0-100 difference 0.3 sec, but at 0-150 km/h the difference is 2,5 sec.

Steve66
Joined: Sun 11 Oct, 2020 13:42
Posts: 6

  Z3 2.2 sport auto

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Steve66 »

Thanks for the replies they have helped me chose and i have decided to go auto

LaRy
Joined: Mon 12 Nov, 2018 17:47
Posts: 74

  Z3 roadster 2.8

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by LaRy »

I don't know if this has to do with different forces or vibrations from the auto box, but I have had some broken weld spots in the sub frame fastening. In any case, good to check those weld spots under the carpet in the trunk. In my case, no deformation, replacement of the broken spotwelds by M8 bolts solved the problem

Steve66
Joined: Sun 11 Oct, 2020 13:42
Posts: 6

  Z3 2.2 sport auto

Re: Manual or Automatic? Looking at entry into Z3 ownership

Post by Steve66 »

Purchased a 2.2 auto in the end
I will be posting a few questions over the weeks as the car needs a bit of work
Thanks

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