Every car enthusiast dreams of having their own sports car added to their collection. Whether new or used, this is always not a major concern. In fact, buying a new or used car depends on the strength of your wallet or your budget. Other people tend to turn to Japanese imports which are affordable and reliable, as well.
Consequently, most people normally opt for used cars when it comes to acquiring a sports car. However, considering their age, one needs to pause for a second thought before making any big decision. The main concern here is the number of repairs that these cars require before they get back on shape. Though every car needs repair from time to time, used sports or supercars may regularly demand repairs.
Despite the beauty of these machines, a new sports car is always outside most people's budget. Hence, most of these performance cars enthusiasts turn to a rather convenient way which is to acquire second-hand or used cars. While these cars are not made to last long, this makes them a gamble in terms of maintenance cost.
Even with that said, some people keep buying these cars. In this article, we're going to look at some of the sports cars that people keep buying despite their bad condition.
24 Toyota Celica GT-S
Toyota is a strong car brand and the reliability of their cars is undeniable. However, these facts are not in any way proof that the brand is faultless. The Celica GT-S model, for instance, is an eighth generation sports car has failed in the area of acceleration.
The 2000/01 Toyota model is not only hesitant in acceleration but also a little sluggish.
Though not a major problem, this annoyance is of concern to most Celica GT-S owners. A sports car that drags in acceleration is not something you would fancy. While plenty of mods might be magical cures, the problems will eventually haunt your dreams.
23 Pontiac Solstice
It is surprising that people still spend their hard earned money acquiring the 2006 and 2007 Pontiac Solstice. The model was among the 2014 GM recall list that was made due to complaints about the faulty ignition system. Subsequently, the faults in the ignition problem often led to issues in the electric components of the car or worse, failure of airbags. With that knowledge, why would anyone spend a penny on such a car? The design of the Pontiac Solstice is still attractive but before making a purchase, one should confirm if these defects have been rectified.
22 Ferrari F355
If there is a car that most sports car enthusiasts wish to have, Ferrari fits the bill. The Ferrari F355 would be a great disappointment in this case. It is probably very enticing due to its significantly low price but on the other hand, it's an old model. The model was developed in the mid-1990s and can, therefore, be difficult to maintain in this modern day.
It's prone to valve guide failure, exhaust manifold failure, and requires a regular belt change.
On average, a Ferrari F355 can cost $50,000 in maintenance. The F430 and 360 are more reliable and better options for anyone looking to acquire a Ferrari.
21 Maserati Ghibli
Italian cars' build, as well as reliability, is not what most buyers would look out for. Rather, anyone looking to have these cars would probably be because of their fantastic engines and beauty. Subsequently, the poor build quality and some mechanical issues of the Maserati Ghibli are somewhat alarming. Its market price is also overrated given that it borrows some of its switches from cheaper models. For a second-hand buyer, it would be more expensive especially if the previous owner cared less about maintenance.
20 996-Generation Porsche 911
The IMS, Immediate Shaft bearing is the most recorded defect of the 996-Generation Porsche 911 model. The problem is also common among other models with the M96 engine, such as Caymans and Boxsters.
The IMS problem is a manufacturing defect and a critical design flaw that could lead to engine breakdown with the only options being a rebuild or an engine swap.
Porsche engines can cost a fortune needless to say which makes buying this car a great risk. While this is the most affordable Porsche out there may be the reason why most people find it attractive, it is a disaster waiting to happen.
19 Mitsubishi Eclipse Automatic
The major problem with this car is similar to that of many others: the automatic transmission. Model year 2001 seems to be the most affected by this problem. Specifically, the wave cushion in the transmission is the problem, with reports that it often fails which causes overall transmission failure. Additionally, the broken pieces seem to find their way into the pump gears through the filter. Hence, this stops the pump gear as well as all other gears. If you think that must happen after very long mileage, then you are wrong because it happens even in low mileage. Therefore, before acquiring this third generation car, it would be wise to ask if it has suffered from such problems in the past.
18 Dodge Challenger
A new generation of the iconic Dodge Challenger was revealed in 2008. Alongside the packed-up power that came with this borderline supercar, it had a very noticeable look of a muscle car. Though most people loved the magic that led to huge sales, most of the initial owners never took good care of this cars. It is also important to note that this car never passed a standardized second-party reliability test. Hence, it goes without saying that acquiring this car can also mean acquiring some great unforeseeable maintenance costs.
17 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
Hyundais are generally good cars and their size compared to the market makes them ideal for most people. However, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe has been found to lack what most people would love about performance cars. Despite its potent engine as well as the elegance of its design, the reliability of this car is questionable. Also, its performance is somewhat below that of other Hyundais, especially the Genesis model. In fact, if it's that important for you to have a Hyundai, I'd recommend the Genesis Sedan.
16 Mini Cooper Roadster
If you look into this car, you will only be able to find it between model years 2012 and 2015. The fact that it didn't stay on the market for a long time, like most cars that aren't up to snuff, says a lot about it. First, this suggests that it would not be surprising if it was impossible to find in the used cars market, period. Second, there is more to it than meets the eye because its looks are a far cry from its performance. The car has a classic elegant look which makes it appear fun but its reliability factor is a messy story.
15 Mazda RX-8
In 2003, when this car was brought to the market, it saw the re-introduction of Mazda's signature rotary engine. Its 1.3 liters, backed up by 200 horsepower and a good design, is good enough to give any enthusiast more than just a smile on their faces.
But the RX-8 is a machine that excels when it comes to burning fuel and oil excessively.
Additionally, it requires a lot of attention in terms of maintenance to keep it in top performance shape. It has combustion problems which are an issue when starting up in cold conditions. The most affected are the 2004 and 2005 models, years to avoid as much as possible.
14 Chevrolet Corvette C6
The Chevrolet Corvette has always been on the frontline when it comes to sports cars for its brutal power and sharp looks. The C6 is, therefore, an undeniable must-have to most people for its excellent performance. To top it all up, it is an affordable car which makes it a very appealing used sports car. However, its main problem is with the interior design and the finish. While it is solid in performance, the engineers compromised comfort over safety by their desire to achieve stability.
13 Mercedes-Benz SL 600
The performance of the SL Mercedes-Benz brings a perfect match between performance and design. Despite up to a 500 horsepower engine in the machine, it is seen as a less reliable car than most of the sports cars on the market.
The SL 600 model is powered by a V12 engine whose maintenance costs are through the ceiling.
The V8 models are more common and less complicated when it comes to maintenance and would, therefore, be worth having compared to the non-AMG engines. It is a good car to drive regularly but as a sports car, this is a solid no.
12 Nissan 370Z
The Nissan 370Z, which succeeded the 350Z, is a disappointment for a later model. The major issue with the 370Z is faulty steering which sometimes locks and might leave you stranded or in an accident. Also, there are some issues with the ignition where the car might fail to start, another disappointment for a modern performance car. Though the company recalled most of the cars, some never made it and may still be on the market. It is, therefore, important to determine if the car you intend to purchase made it to the recall list. Otherwise, to be safe, go for model year 2012 or newer cars which are free from these defects.
11 Chrysler Sebring
The Chrysler Sebring, which was manufactured between 1995 and 2010, is a very attractive model. However, beyond the elegant looks and sleek design, there isn't much to enjoy from the car. The 2002 and 2003 model years are the most low-quality cars that the automakers produced for the market, the main problem being engine issues which make it a significant defect to overlook on a car that can also be costly. The main engine problems are attributed to oil sludge but remember, there are a number of other problems with this car, as well.
10 Lamborghini Gallardo
When the Lamborghini Gallardo made it to the market in 2003, most people thought that finally there was a modern supercar that they could afford.
This was also the first Lamborghini model to be supervised by Audi during development. Its appeal to the public was due to its excellent performance, sharp edges, and its aggressiveness.
Despite its sleek looks, the car is very affordable which makes this deal too good, and a good car enthusiast knows what that means. Most of all, the car is cramped, with poor visibility, and for people with large bodies, this is definitely a no-go zone.
9 Golf GTI
Volkswagen is presumed to be the maker of very reliable vehicles in every class. However, the 2010 to 2013 MK6 Golf GTI has defied this presumption of overall reliability. It just sounds off that a company valuing reliability as a key selling point would have an unreliable model. However, for second-hand buyers, this problem is largely subject to the previous owners. If the owner of the car takes care of it, the car may not be too troublesome. It is also an affordable car among Volkswagen models and would be enticing to anyone on a budget.
8 Ford Pinto
The Pinto is a classic, but also the most infamous of the Ford brand of vehicles. It was made to meet the needs of the average man but in turn, was perhaps one of the most dangerous cars ever made.
The automakers wanted a car that weighed less and cost almost nothing, and they wanted it done fast.
Taking this into consideration, there is no way this was going to be a break-through in the automotive industry. Generally, the haste in which this car came up makes it among the least desirable cars one would ever want, you can only choose this car at your own risk.
7 Honda Prelude
Honda's fifth-generation Prelude is one to keep away from. It has some transmission problems which create chaos when shifting to the fifth gear.
One of the problems is that the automakers failed to make this transmission up to expectations.
On top of that, the car requires a handful of maintenance regularly. However, if you are looking to acquire a Honda Prelude, I would recommend the automatic transmission. Conversely, for an automatic car, a well-maintained example would mean fewer maintenance costs even though the acquisition cost may be slightly higher.
6 Mini Cooper Clubman 2014
Like any other Mini Cooper, the Clubman is an attractively designed sports car. However, most people don't find the looks of this Mini Cooper attractive enough to overcome the fact that it lacks reliability. It is not an ideal model for a second-hand car and for this reason, I would not advocate running to buy a second-hand one. Its performance levels make it a comfortable car to drive and its unique door style creates a stylish look, but all in all, this is a sports car to avoid at all costs.
5 Acura TL Automatic
Precisely, the overall quality of the Acura TL does not match its 4-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is deemed to fail at one point or the other and this can be after as little as 50 miles. The actual problem is due to transmission overheating that comes as a result of improper flow of fluid. Basically, the Acura TL in automatic can't be trusted to perform—especially in the long term. It is a disaster waiting to happen and would be better to avoid when you can. For anyone looking to have this car as an addition to their parking lot, it is advisable to avoid the 2003 model.
4 Dodge Charger
The most outstanding features of the Dodge Charger are its aggressive interior and exterior styling. Additionally, it has a strong handling that is complemented by a superb engine. It has attracted interest from supercar fans due to its safety ratings and all-wheel-drive capability. Its affordability can also not be overlooked which is a reason for most people to want to buy it. However, if you are looking for a reliable ride, this is not it. The Dodge Charger's reliability scores are way below average and make it a bad choice for a reliable sports car.
3 Lexus LFA
A lightweight V10 engine with over 500 horsepower sounds like it's enough to say this is a great car. Lexus is a strong brand and is known for its elegant class of vehicles which are typically equally great performers.
However, this car does come with its share of challenges.
Despite being a meticulously engineered car, it comes with serious defects. The standards of the LFA are way below that of any other car that Lexus makes, ranging from the transmission to the interior, and also the engine. The seats aren't any better and the comfort you get would equate to that of a desk chair.
2 Jaguar S-Type
The Jaguar S model dates back to the 2000s, when it was produced for a number of years before ultimately being replaced with the XF model. I haven't interacted much with Jaguar owners but out on the streets, Jaguar looks like a bully—though this car is probably not as good as it looks. The main problem with this model is in terms of reliability (even more so in the XF model, though). The problem is characterized by failures in window regulators to interior mishaps. It is only a good car from far but at a closer range, you wouldn't want to keep it.
1 Mini Cooper Countryman
The Mini Cooper Countryman is definitely a good car when it comes to the finer things in life like maneuvering through traffic. It is also a beautiful car to look at, which is why many people seem to love it.
However, for a sports car, it takes more than just looks to make it to the top of coveted buyer lists.
Reliability is a key factor of consideration, and one which this car seems to lack in a great way. It has transmission problems which seriously affect its reliability ratings. If you want to acquire a Mini Cooper, it is probably best to find another option.