Clown Commuter: 2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe

So you want an affordable, distinctive yet practical car for your daily commute? Yesterday I suggested there might be more fun to be had for less money than the Golf Harlequin. Well, here it is: the Z3 3.0i Coupe. While the ‘clownshoe’ isn’t quite as spacious as the Golf, it does add a dose of practicality to a fun-to-drive and very unusual package. But while the market focuses on the M products, the more rare to find Z3 3.0i is an affordable option that will help you stand apart from the crowd.

Produced in Spartanburg in February 2002, this Topaz Blue Metallic example has seen better days, it’s got quite a few miles, and it’s an automatic. But that means it’ll be about as cheap as a clownshoe comes. Is it worth the price of admission – or, at the very least, is it worth the savings over a M?

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe on eBay

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2003 BMW X5 3.0i 5-speed manual

I like things that are different, especially when it comes to cars. I think that’s why I’ve always been attracted to fast wagons. They’re an unusual choice in the States and I like feeling like I belong to a special club. Back in the early 2000s, the Germans were just starting to test the waters with SUVs. Little did they know that within a matter of years they would become their bread and butter. Wagons were slowly pushed out of the American market and those that stayed sold in very limited numbers until they were lifted and given body cladding. As a lover of long roofs I shouldn’t be a fan of vehicles like the X5 but of all the German SUVs, it has always been the one I had a soft spot for, even though BMW tried to coin the term “Sports Activity Vehicle” when it debuted. Perhaps it’s the fact that they offered it in oddball colors like this Grey-Green Metallic which screams Euro country cruiser or maybe it’s that they offered it with a 5-speed manual. The idea of a German SUV with a 3 pedals being sold in this country is laughable these days but from 2001 to 2006, it was no joke.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2003 BMW X5 3.0i on eBay

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2001 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe

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The Z3 Coupe is an oddball in the history of the BMW range. Sure, we’ve seen some intriguing cars like the M1 and Z1 come and go, but these vehicles had a definite purpose. While this car’s sibling, the M Coupe, is revered for its unabashed performance, the slightly softer Z3 Coupe seems like it would have limited appeal. Or would it? After taking a trip up north to see family over the Thanksgiving holiday, I was thankful for my R53 MINI Cooper S and it’s ability to hold a folding bicycle, multiple suitcases, grocery bags and sundry other things (with the rear seats folded flat, of course). While the cargo hold is a bit smaller in the Z3 Coupe, you still have more practicality than the Z3 Roadster offers, with unique styling to boot. This Z3 3.0i Coupe for sale in Florida has the desirable 5-speed manual gearbox and has covered under 70,000 miles.

Click for details: 2001 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe on eBay

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2006 BMW X5 3.0i

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It’s hard to believe, but the X5 has been with us for well over a decade now. It seems like yesterday that it was unveiled, shortly after Mercedes-Benz introduced it’s own mid-sized SUV, the ML. The car was a bit of a mash up from other BMWs and had a bit of Land Rover DNA in it. BMW’s brief ownership of the British off-road brand led to certain features like hill descent technology and a split tailgate. This SUV would also be one of the first BMWs to be manufactured in the new South Carolina manufacturing facility. This X5 3.0i for sale near Baltimore is from our reader Scott who is ready to move on to his next ride.

Click for more details: 2006 BMW X5 3.0i on eBay

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2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe

The BMW M Coupe has become the darling of the BMW modern classic set. This was a car designed with one purpose in mind: speed. Enthusiasts are all over these cars and prices have shot up accordingly. But for those who might want to spend a little less and could use something a bit more tame, there’s an option for you: the Z3 3.0i coupe. This was a fairly obscure offering in the US lineup, since this car wasn’t designed for outright speed but had the same two seat, hardtop layout as the mental M Coupe. This Z3 3.0i Coupe for sale in Portland, Oregon has under 80,000 miles on the clock and is equipped with the automatic gearbox.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2002 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe on eBay

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Party Like It’s 1989 Week: ’89 Opel Senator B CD 3.0i


Want something plush for highway cruising but not a particular fan of any of the American modern classics? Well, why not try on what GM’s Europe arm had on for size at the end of the 1980s, the Opel Senator. The Senator B was a long-wheelbase version of the Opel Omega, a car that would later go on to form the basis for the Cadillac Catera. The Senator was laid to rest after the 1993 model year, as Opel decided the new Omega would give the company enough range in the luxury segment. This Senator for sale in Northwest Germany is a top level CD model with the 3.0 liter inline-6.

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2001 BMW Z3 3.0i Coupe

We’ve featured a lot of M Coupes over the past few months and it’s clear that the market is steadily rising for these beastly little rockets. But seldom seen is the variant with the less powerful engine, the Z3 Coupe. It may not have the sharper edges of its M sibling, but it still included a 3.0 liter inline six and good reflexes. Being a dark horse often translates into good value. This Dakar Yellow Z3 Coupe for sale in New Jersey has the 5-speed manual gearbox and a good option seeking M Coupe fun but perhaps don’t need brute strength as a part of the equation.


Year: 2001
Model: Z3 3.0i Coupe
Engine: 3.0 liter inline six
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 75,056 miles
Price: $17,399

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 BMW 3.0i Coupe on eBay


2001 BMW Z3 3.0i


Price(s) does not include documentation, licensing, registration fees and taxes.

There is still plenty of tread left on the tires, practically BRAND NEW. The paint has a showroom shine. This vehicle was tastefully optioned. With just approx. 75K miles, this car is barely broken in-considering its production year. Mainly highway mileage. Very clean interior! This vehicle was owned by a non-smoker. Very smooth ride! All interior components are in excellent working order. Competitively priced for a car of this rarity.

-At 47k Pads and rotors replaced as scheduled.

-At 60k mile service performed on schedule, along with thermostat replacement,

-Tires just recently replaced and much much more, approx. $6,300 in service records and receipts available for this vehicle.

It was pampered and taken very good care of. You will NOT find this same car, 1 yr. of production only, in this rare color or in this condition. GOOD LUCK!!


The seller states that the Z3 Coupe was produced for only one year, but in fact, it was produced from 1999 through 2001. At first, the Coupe was available with the 2.8 liter inline six, followed on by the 3.0 liter one year later in Europe and in 2001 for the US market. The asking price seems to be a bit ahead of the curve. If the car had 50,000 miles or under, it would be a bit more palatable, but M Coupes with the S52 engine are not selling for much more. It’s nice, though, that service records are available, as the 70,000 to 100,000 mile range is when a lot of things can happen and when servicing is paramount. Regardless, this Z3 Coupe looks to be a fairly straight example of a seldom seen modern Bimmer. If this car could be had for somewhere around $13,000 to $15,000, it would be worth a second look.