Objectively speaking, which would you get? I could get a used '97 Z3 with new COE, so I have 9+ years of good driving left, for $80k or so.
Alternatively, I could get a new MX5 Roadster Coupe with retractable hardtop for $105k from a PI.
Both 2-seater topless sex-on-wheels (do you like Jap porn or ang moh old-skool porn?). Both would be 1.9L auto. Both have their own cult following, for various reasons.
Soooo ... Is $25k more worth it for the new car smell? On top of that I get PARF rebate, can export in next few years if needed, has newer technology (basics like, say, multi function steering wheel all add up), less worry about maintenance since I'm first owner and it's new.
Or ... I could have a Z3. And $25k more. I'm not rich so $25k would make a big difference, but I'm not sure the savings wouldn't be negated due to added maintenance costs, increased COE car road tax (50% more per year after 14th year), higher loan premium for old car (if needed, still doing my maths).
Objectively speaking, does it make sense to plump for the Z3? Heeeelp!
the new mx5 would have better resale value i think.
also, depending on the condition of the car, i suspect the 25k you save on the Z3 can be spent real quickly on a new gearbox, engine overhaul, new tires, new roof hydraulics, cooling system overhaul, new suspension, new paintwork, engine and transmission mounts, new electronics etc etc.
AND.. the old Z3 has plastic rear windows right? you'll probably need to replace those too.
If you are comparing a '97 BMW Z3 vs a new MX-5, then i say go for the new MX-5.
Imho, i'm amazed there is even a '97 Z3 still on the market, these cars should have been exported long ago!
But if you are considering between a '03 or '04 BMW Z4, then its a whole different ballgame, i'd say definitely go for the Z4, i've driven both cars, the Z4 is an awesome drive and beats the pants off the MX-5.
I think you should drive them back to back and see which you prefer. The Z3 looks nice but basically has an E30 rear suspension. I liked the E30, but some think they are tricky on the limit. Agree with above comments that any savings could evaporate if stuff needs fixing. MX-5 could also be easier to onsell when the time comes. Fewer people like old cars -- sad but true.
Well... the used Z3 comes with new tires, new suspension, new rear window. Gearbox and engine seem okay but it's true, you never do know with used old cars. Another thing is, the loan premium for old cars, as I've been quoted, is minimum 4.75% for max 5 years, which is quite a turn off, it adds up to a lot over a short period of time.
What I really do need to do, as foxfrc5 has suggested, is to test drive an MX5. I'm sure it'll have the upper hand in terms of creature comforts, but I need to compare how they ride for myself.
HOWEVER that BLOODY Regan FRICKIN Lee has made that very hard to do.
The Z3's cache and (this is subjective) winning looks still have it ahead by a whisker though.