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Charlotte Bustle - Z3 for life... (archive)

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Posted by Greg Hudson (Melbourne Australia) on September 29, 1998 at 17:41:32:

I am thinking of buying this car and either a 1996 or 1997 model. I of course know nothing about cars but not sure how the smaller engine is for repairs than the bigger engine. I read your problem notices, did not seem to major just annoying. I want to buy a car that will last 250,000 miles. I am wondering if this car seems like a good idea for long term.

G'Day Charlotte.
If you plan on keeping the car for 250,000 miles I would suggest you buy a NEW one. If you buy USED, then you don't know how it was looked after in its early life (which is most important for longevity). My baby for example had her oil changed 3 times before 5000 miles came up (the more often you change the oil, the longer the engine will last).

As for repair costs - the 4 cyl 'would' be cheaper to maintain & repair, as there is virtually no difference in the amount of revs between it, and say the 2.8 liter engine at any given speed. (Generally larger engines use less levs than smaller ones, therefore last longer) however with BMW's this is not the case... both engines cruise at about 3000 revs for 70mph which means they wear out at nearly the same rate.

If you are talking REALLY long term - say 20 or 30 years, then yes, the Z3 is likely to be a wise investment. Initially prices will drop drop drop, but then after a while (maybe 15 years) prices will start climbing again. Here in Australia for example, and old BMW 2002 which used to cost around $2500 new, is now selling at anything from $5000 to $20000 depending on condition. The ones in original (almost showroom) condition fetch the high prices. Keep your car spick 'n span, and this is what you can look forward to in the year 2020.

Regards, Greg.

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