Sports cars are loved for their unique styling, performance, character, and legacy. They are precision-engineered cars that demand high-dollar investment and maintenance. Because of this, practical considerations are required to validate their costly nature, and reliability is one of them. Sports cars‘ reliability varies as some can easily drain your wallet even under regular maintenance. On the other hand, we have bulletproof sports cars that will run forever and won’t require much maintenance besides the manufacturer’s recommended amount.
Gone are the days when enthusiasts accepted below-average reliability as part of enjoying the thrill of driving a sports car. Today, buyers expect their two-door sports car to be as reliable as the Toyota Camry. As a result, manufacturers are aiming to produce dependable vehicles without compromising performance. That said, another crop of modern cars still breaks down frequently, being afflicted by many mechanical problems. To help gearheads out, we’ve listed 5 modern sports cars that rarely break down and 5 that we wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot pole.
10 Never Break Down: BMW Z4
Since the Z4 burst onto the scene, the two-seater sports car has gained a significant cult-like following. And like the new-age Supra, the current Z4 is a product of the joint effort between Toyota and the German automaker, which makes it more admirable.
The Z4 is loved for its confident handling and the powerful turbocharged engine. The peppy 2.0-liter four-cylinder variant produces 225hp, while the 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine produces 382hp. Above all, the Z4 is one of the most reliable sports cars, free from major technical problems. According to Car Complaints, not a single Z4 owner logged any complaints since the 2008 model year.
9 Wouldn’t Touch: Fiat Abarth 124 Spider
Fiat Abarth 124 Spider is a performance version of the 124 Spider, based on the MX-5 Miata. However, the present model has a host of different styling cues as it pays homage to the original 124 Spider. The engine is also different as the Fiat utilizes a slightly powerful 1.4-liter turbocharged engine that produces 168hp and 184lb-ft of torque.
Unlike the Mazda MX-5, the Abarth 124 Spider has also proved to be quite unreliable. Most units are prone to electrical problems, bodywork damage, and engine woes. While the service costs are kept low, the bills rack up after several years of ownership.
8 Never Break Down: Toyota Supra
The Supra offers nearly everything you’d want in a luxury sports car – agile handling, potent engine, robust build quality, driver-focused interior, well-weighted steering, name it. However, it doesn’t take long to find BMW’s internals stuffed under the hood of the Supra.
Indeed, the Supra features mechanicals from the German automaker, but its reliability is thoroughly Toyota-like. The Supra’s service record is as impressive as you’d expect from a Camry. Most owners claim that with regular oil and filter changes, the Supra is free from any unscheduled maintenance services at the dealer.
7 Wouldn’t Touch: Porsche 718 Cayman
The 718 Cayman offers an exciting driving demeanor thanks to the expertly tuned suspension. Again, buyers can choose between the horizontally opposed four or the powerful six-cylinder engine. The latter sings a siren’s songs that many would be forgiven for testing its limits.
When it comes to reliability, the Porsche 718 Cayman falls short. In a reliability survey by What Car in 2021, the 718 Cayman finished 25th in a pool of 30 brands. Major problems associated with the car include transmission issues, a leaking rear main seal, and a faulty A/C compressor.
6 Never Break Down: Subaru BRZ
While Subaru is popular for its all-wheel-drive crossovers, it also has a knack for making sporty cars like the BRZ coupe that rival the SUV mold. Produced under the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S nameplate, the BRZ boasts a vibrant following, loved for its affordability and slick handling.
Besides the potent 2.4-liter flat-four engine that produces 228hp, the BRZ is pretty damn reliable. Cars from the 2017 model year onwards are considered problem free. The 2017 BRZ was rated the second most reliable car by Consumer Reports. And according to Car Complaints, only two complaints were dropped by BRZ owners in the past five years.
5 Wouldn’t Touch: Maserati GranTurismo
Maserati is known for producing luxurious high-performance cars. But luxury and performance aside, Maserati cars are prone to mechanical problems like most Italian cars. A good example is the Maserati GranTurismo, ranked the third least reliable supercar in 2021 by USwitch.
Part of the problems include a melting interior, faulty axle and suspension, failed A/C compressor, and clutch problems. Many owners also complain of the high repair cost, longer repair time, and scarcity of spare parts. Altogether, these factors bring down Maserati’s dependability reputation.
4 Never Break Down: Audi TT
Since the Audi TT was introduced in 1998, it gets more and more appealing with each generation. You could argue the third generation is the greatest as it combines all elements from the previous two generations, featuring sporty looks and a thrilling driving experience.
Following Audi’s track record of building quality cars, the Audi TT is also reliable as it was ranked one of the longest-lasting cars by iSeeCars, beating the likes of BMW M5, Ford Mustang, Dodge Charger, and surprisingly, even the Miata MX-5. The current generation has zero logged complaints on Car Complaints, and the 2021 model earned a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5 on J.D. Power.
3 Wouldn’t Touch: Mercedes-Benz AMG GT
The Mercedes-AMG GT was introduced in 2014, produced as a roadster or coupe. And like the SLS AMG, the car is built entirely by Mercedes-AMG. While it’s still an amazing car, it performs underwhelmingly regarding reliability.
This is largely due to the number of complaints and recalls. During its production from 2015 to 2021, the Mercedes-Benz AMG GT was recalled 18 times. Most recalls were related to electrical problems, driveshaft failures, seatbelts, airbags, and wheel speed sensors.
2 Never Break Down: Mazda MX-5 Miata
In a world of high-performance sports cars, the MX-5 proves that you don’t need to go faster to have a great time. Since its introduction in 1989, it remains a go-to choice for many gearheads who fancy a pure and engaging driving experience. Stuffed under the hood, the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine produces 181hp and 151lb-ft of torque.
Many manufacturers have tried replicating the car’s continuous success, but they’ve all failed. While it isn’t one of the most powerful sports cars you can get, one of the key factors to its success is the car’s affordability, handling, and unmatched reliability.
1 Wouldn’t Touch: Aston Martin DBS
Aston Martin is one of the world’s best prestigious brands, popular for exclusive supercars with striking designs and exorbitant price tags. You’d expect the cars to be dependable parallel to their cost, but it’s not always the case.
The Aston Martin DBS experienced several problems and was recalled due to faulty parts like the accelerator pedal, suspension control arm, electrical system, and powertrain. The DBS is impressive, but we’d steer clear of it because of the expensive running costs and repairs.