Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

2003 - 2009, roadster, coupe, facelift
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stal023
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by stal023 » Mon May 03, 2021 6:49 pm

Looking at two Z4 3.0 and wanting opinions. If it were up to you, which would you go for and why? I like both colors so that isn't really a factor for me.

2003 - 98,00 miles - Bi-Xenon lights - Sports Package - Blue with black top
Cosmetic:
some rock chips on bumper, BMW badge chipping, back of passenger seat is falling off, owner says he will fix that
Airbag light is on but owner says they are fixing it
Brand new tires on the the back (front are Continental Control Contact Sport A/S), front they say are in great condition
No controls on steering wheel

Upgrades: BREMBO pads/rotors
LED interior lights
LED side markers
Muffler delete (factor exhaust is included in the sale)

Maintenance:
Coolant flush with blue coolant
replaced intake elbow
10K miles on transmission flush with redline
20K on new AC unit
20K on new valve cover

2007 3.0 - 103K miles - Sport package - Black with tan top (not a huge fan of the tan top but not a deal breaker for me)
Garage kept, 2 owners
Tire sensor is on
Tires brand new (Continental extreme contact)
New speakers
Steering wheel controls

This owner says they have not replaced anything on it and I have not seen a carfax to know the history. I've told both owners to show me a carfax.

The 2003 is about $500 more than the 2007. Seems like with the '03 I would need to replace the DISA valve right away and with the '07 it could eventually need to replace the water pump (which everyone says in a PITA to replace)

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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by Smartbear » Mon May 03, 2021 7:04 pm

Personally I’d go for the newer car, the n52 makes more power than the m54 along with better economy to sweeten the deal.
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by stal023 » Mon May 03, 2021 8:35 pm

I read folks saying parts were cheaper for the pre-facelift? Anyone have any experience with this? I worry about a vehicle at 100K having nothing replaced on it.

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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by Zulu4 » Mon May 03, 2021 8:53 pm

2007. Less chance of corrosion and wear. More power. Water pump - easy job.
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by buzyg » Mon May 03, 2021 10:50 pm

I would probably plump for the face lift car. But as always, buy on condition. If they are in similar condition then refer to my first comment. :)
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by ph001 » Mon May 03, 2021 11:22 pm

Definitely the N52. Where did you read the water pump was a pain to replace? It is on some of the other bmw range because of restricted access but it’s very simple on the z4. There is no difference in price of parts really... except that you’ll probably need more of them on the M54 due to age and less optimised design in some areas.

The tyre pressure light probably needs nothing more than a button press to reset it.... especially as it has new tyres just fitted.
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by maxman » Tue May 04, 2021 12:14 am

If the 2007 is in good condition.That’s the one to go for,cheaper and newer.
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by enuff_zed » Tue May 04, 2021 11:15 am

Unless it's for looks, in which case the 2003 wins. Just that much purer to the original design. Rear lights are much nicer looking, and it doesn't have the naff front fog lights.................. IMO. :wink:
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by Mr Tidy » Tue May 04, 2021 8:05 pm

I'd go for the later facelift car too.

The M54 is a great engine, but IMHO the N52 is even better!

But it might be worth trying to check the full spec of both. I don't know if it was the same in the US, but here in the UK a facelift Sport had the sought-after M-Sport seats as standard
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by stal023 » Wed May 05, 2021 2:33 am

Here is an update: I just got the carfax on the 2007 and the seller kept a few things to himself. Originally said it was a 2 owner car, it is actually 3 owners. Not a big deal. Shows it had minor damage to the front bumper. In the entire lifespan of this vehicle, the carfax only shows 2 oil changes and absolutely nothing has been replaced on it. The seller has had it for about 4 years and has only put on about 3K miles so they have not replaced anything. I know if you do the work yourself on a vehicle, it certainly doesn't show up on a carfax but my fear is it is sitting right at 103,000 miles, right when things tend to go out. Oh and now they are saying they won't go as low as they originally said on the price so these two cars would be the exact same price. I like the color combo better on the '03, it does have some upgrades such as the brakes, better headlights (Xenon Light), muffler delete (which I like but is cheap to have that done), has had some things replaced (according to the seller) but is 4 years older and has some minor cosmetic stuff.

I have not received the carfax on the '03 yet.

Thoughts on this?

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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by brillomaster » Wed May 05, 2021 10:12 am

they shouldnt be the same price - if the mileages are basically the same, then the older car should be a couple of grand cheaper - so either the older one is overpriced, or the newer one is underpriced.

in the UK at least, the 03 car would be about £3.5k, and the 07 car would probably be closer to £5k.

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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by kis » Wed May 05, 2021 2:48 pm

Not sure UK prices apply. Carfax sounds like a US thing.
I'd go on history and maintenance. If the car has been looked after then that's the car to buy. Booklet stamps, receipts, even down to checking tyre brands match across axles (if not all 4 corners).
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by TheDan » Wed May 05, 2021 3:28 pm

Agree with kis completely here ^

I would have originally said the facelift one looked better value as its newer has the N52 engine and is approximately the same price. However, based on the info you have given from the carfax I am not sure I would buy the N52 unless it was really underpriced. Wait and see what the 03 carfax says and then write a pros/cons list based history/maintenance/general care.

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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by enuff_zed » Wed May 05, 2021 3:55 pm

It is also well worth actually talking to the owners face to face, if you can.
You get an idea of their enthusiasm and knowledge which can go a long way to telling how a car has been looked after.
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Which would you buy, 2007 vs 2003

Post by stal023 » Wed May 05, 2021 6:04 pm

Yes, this is in the US.

Both cars are a good distance away so f2f is difficult until I am there.

Anyone have any tricks of tracking down previous owners to contact them to ask about history?

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