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Z Series (Z3, Z4, Z8) General discussion and technical help for all year Z series cars.

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Old 06-12-2006, 02:53 PM   #1
St_G

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Year Model or Miles...which matters more?

I'm looking at buying a Z3 and my budget won't allow me to buy something that is both one of the last ones made AND low mileage. It looks like I can get either a 97-98ish model with 30-40K on it or a 99-00 model with about 50-60K...

I don't have a strong preference for one backend style over the other, nor am I especially troubled by the lack of roll bars on the '97s...so it really comes down to reliability and lifespan. I'm buying this as a car to keep until I'm very old, so at some point I'm certianly going to have to put more money into revamping it, but I'd like that time to be as far off as possible. On average, and from your experience, which is likely to give me a longer (mostly) trouble-free life? The newr car that's been ridden hard(er) or the older one that's only been driven a few thousand miles per year?
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Old 06-12-2006, 02:57 PM   #2
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good question. i would go with one that is slightly older, and less used.

but in either case, you really have to see how well the car was maintained by the previous owner. . .
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Old 06-12-2006, 04:48 PM   #3
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I would also go with the one that is slightly older, especially since you're only talking 2 or 3 years, I think mileage is more important. But since either way you go, you're getting a used one, the most important thing aside from those is how the well the car was taken care of. Good luck with the search!
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Old 06-12-2006, 05:07 PM   #4
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If you can afford it go for the newer one. If it has seriously high milage take a second look.
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Old 06-12-2006, 08:53 PM   #5
St_G

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Well, I woldn't have to be looking at SERIOUSLY high mileage unless I was determined to get an 01 or 02. Those year models in my price range tend to have 100K on them. That's too much for me. 60K is my limit, as I tend to drive about 10K per year and I'd like four years before I top 100K.

Given, those parameters, my options seem to be as I stated them above: 99ish with 60K or 97ish with 30K...

Now, I'm familiar with the differences between the years -- engine offerings, roll bars, rear fascia, steering wheel... -- but none of that is of much importance to me. What would be your specific concerns with a car a couple of years older, but with half as many miles?

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Originally Posted by DEATH2000
If you can afford it go for the newer one. If it has seriously high milage take a second look.
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Old 08-14-2006, 07:41 AM   #6
nomy2757

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Go for the newer model. Doest matter if it has high mileage as long as it has been maintained properly.
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:37 PM   #7
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I went down this road recently.

I decided that, for my use, I'd get as much fun out of a Z3 as a Z4 and at a much lower cost. And, I liked the looks of the Z3 over the 4.

I talked to people who own or had owned Z3s and pretty much got a "thumbs up" that it was a good car to own.

My criteria were: 6cyl, roll bars, red, one owner, reasonable mileage; not from the snowbelt. After looking at a few, I decided that the 2000 year model would be my floor because of the improved top, altough it was power operated which I had hoped to avoid for simplicity sake.

I tracked Z3s on Autotrader for over a month and I subscribed to Carfax reports. While Carfax isn't bulletproof, it sure helps eliminate a lot of undesirable cars.

I evaluated 107 Z3s. I called about several but actively pursued onlly the one that I purchased. The car had been on Autotrader for over a month with only one crappy picture and brief (and erroneous) description. The owner said that I was the only person who called. It had 49K milesand met my criteria. I had a friend who lived 50 miles from the car go and evaluate it against a two page check list of items that I gave him to look at. He gave me the go-ahead and I made the deal and had the car delivered by the seller to my friend's house where we picked it up. I've been very happy with my Z-3. My only regret is that I waited so long to get off my motorbike and into a Z3.

/Emil
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Old 08-17-2006, 03:54 PM   #8
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wat i would do is find the one that u like more(dont take year vs mileage into consideration), like the one with the nicer engine, and if they are boht exactly the same, just year vs mileage, i would buy them cheaper one, you see, if you were planning to sell this car down the road, what i would do is buy the newer one and not drive it as much, but since your not planning on selling it, who cares? u can buy the old one, the only thing that means is that its cheaper
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