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Z3 or Miata?

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    Z3 or Miata?

    Which is easier to maintain: Z3 or Miata?

    My wife mentioned that she'd love to have an NA Miata for her non-family car. I've never turned a wrench on one, but they seem cheap and easy. On the other hand, Z3s were BMW's answer to the Miata, and I wouldn't mind keeping the garage mostly German.

    So, given that I'm looking at ease and cost of maintenance and not tracking the thing myself, which one would you go with?
    Z3 with 4 cyl.
    Z3 with 6 cyl.
    NA Miata
    1987 325e Commuter Project Blog

    1967 1600 Project Blog:

    Z3 with 6 cylinder. You'll actually want to drive it.

    Just kidding Miata's are a lot of fun too.

    But seriously. BMW.
    Current: 99 M3
    Past: 84 325e, 84 528e


      stay the hell away from the m52tub......good lord what a mess of a motor.

      Rebellion Forge Custom Fabrication

      1988 325is - TrackRat in progress

      Instagram @rebellionforge


        I picked up an '01 z3 3.0. (M54B30) Its a blast. Just stay away from the leopard print interiors and the 1.8 4 banger. They are too slow. The 3.0 is basically a first gen S52 Z3 M Roadster with dual vanos, only a little less power and more affordable maintenance.

        Plus the z3 has very similar suspension to the e30!

        Last edited by downforce22; 06-05-2015, 11:46 AM.
        318iS Track Rat :nice:
        '86 325iX 3.1 Stroker Turbo '86 S38B36 325

        No one makes this car anymore. The government won't allow them, normal people won't buy them. So it's up to us: the freaks, the weirdos, the informed. To buy them, to appreciate them, and most importantly, to drive them.


          hair dressers car, is still still hair dressers car

          Poll fail for lack of Rob option

          Originally posted by Fusion
          If a car is the epitome of freedom, than an electric car is house arrest with your wife titty fucking your next door neighbor.
          The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money. -Alexis de Tocqueville

          The Desire to Save Humanity is Always a False Front for the Urge to Rule it- H. L. Mencken

          Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants.
          William Pitt-


            Miatas are more reliable and are way more fun to drive. Z3's drive like any other BMW and will have the same typical oil leak/cooling system/vanos problems.

            Drive both and it won't even be a decision.


              Miata have a shittier interior, so if you are accustomed to BMW interior, miata will look like crap. However miata is more fun to drive.
              IG: @Baye30



                whichever cleaner and better priced one you find in your area. a Z3 is the better brother of a miata.


                  miata's are probably a cheaper car to buy and maintain. a z3 in good condition will hold its value a hell of a lot better than a regular e36. i disagree that z3's drive like other bmw's of its era. i think they drive more like a 2 seat e30 with a modern engine. this goes without saying, but avoid the automatics at all cost.

                  i, personally, am not a fan of the mazda. i think it looks like a girl car. when i see a guy driving one, i always find myself wondering about his orientation. just sayin'.
                  Gigitty Gigitty!!!!

                  88 cabrio becoming alpina b6 3.5s transplanted s62
                  92 Mtech 2 cabrio alpinweiss 770 code
                  88 325ix coupe manual lachsilber/cardinal
                  88 325ix coupe manual diamondschwartz/natur
                  87 e30 m3 for parts lachsilber/cardinal(serial number 7)
                  12 135i M sport cabrio grey/black


                    Bias aside, the Miata is a fun car to drive and would be a little lighter on the wallet too.


                      I almost bought a Miata before I got my E30. Would still love to have one. Z3 isn't really anything special IMO.
                      2000 A4 1.8TQ | 1988 325is | 1976 280Z | 1953 CJ3B


                        I'll sell you my miata for 2k with the wheels and rust package. Its cheap enough that by the time it rusts completely out you will have made your decision on which car you want long term.

                        Jokes aside, I've had the car listed on craigslist for over a month now, and I haven't been able to sell it due to a combination of some people being deterred by the rust, and others who really want to buy it but I just flake out.

                        Its my red headed step child. I feed it enough to live and take it out for a beating every few weeks. Guess where my vote went.
                        No E30 Club
                        Originally posted by MrBurgundy
                        Anyways, mustangs are gay and mini vans are faster than your car, you just have to deal with that.


                          Get an NB Miata and put some roundels and Z3 fenders on the side. Best of both worlds!

                          But honestly, get a Miata. As much as I love the Z3, the Miata is undoubtedly the more fun car. The dynamics and balance are almost unrivaled for a cheap 2 seater sports car.
                          "Leafeon" '92 Lagunengrun 325i Vert (Daily Driver/Project)
                          The stickers make it go faster. :nice:


                            Originally posted by IronFreak View Post
                            stay the hell away from the m52tub......good lord what a mess of a motor.
                            What makes you say this? I had a M52tub25 Z3 and loved it. Also the M52tu is 93% the same as a M54. All it needs is a little intake manifold swap and its a great little motor.

                            Anyways I'm biased but I LOVE my little z3, that being said its a little to similar to the e30. A 5 lug swapped e30 with a s52 or M54 is just a practical Z3. I've always heard good things about Miatas and I remember going to the local races at summit point and half the fields would be those little roller skates.

                            I much prefer the Z3 interior over the Mazdas. Actually IMO the z3 has the best looking interior period. I also think the Zed's looks are 1,000,000,000,000 times better than the Miatas. But with this all being said I've heard the Mazdas are cheaper and easier to work on. So I vote Miata for a track car, and a Z3 for a nice little side car that you occasionally track.
                            My Garage
                            2001 Z3 2.5i Steel Gray/Black (Lexi)
                            1988 325ix Diamond Schwartz/Black (Izzy)
                            1989 325i Cirrus Blue/Houndstooth (Stitch)

                            Instagram: Stone.Hopkins


                              I can not own/drive a miata because i am 6'3 and i am looking over the top of the windshield to drive.
                              Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.

                              garage queen 91 bmw 325is / 1972 Chevy El Camino 355 sbc 450hp