10 Car Brands That Build The Most Reliable Sports Cars

10 Car Brands That Build The Most Reliable Sports Cars

For most gearheads, tinkering and fettling a beloved project is all part of the fun and a key part to sports car ownership, but not everyone is mechanically gifted, or perhaps do not have the spare time to allocate into repairs and rebuilds. For those, a weekend car needs to be trustworthy and dependable – not always easy traits to find when shopping for something sporty, especially if your budget restricts you to used cars.


Fortunately, a few brands stand out as being reliable and economical to maintain, with servicing and repair bills coming out no more than a standard boring commuter car – perfect! This list takes a look at some of the favorites; some will be expected and others may surprise you – so if you’re after something easy to enjoy on the back roads, this list is a great place to start.

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10 Ariel

Ariel Atom
Ariel Motor Company

It’s not often you can include a small British sports car brand in a top 10 list of reliable brands, but we can all be thankful that Somerset-based Ariel have decided to buck the trend. So, what are they doing differently from the rest?

Saying that Ariel keeps things simple, is an understatement. Without body panels, everything mechanical is exposed and therefore much easier to work on, with unrivaled access to suspension, steering, and brake components. The heart of the Ariel is what’s mainly of interest here though, as Ariel use Honda Type R engines, which are more than powerful enough for these lightweight road legal track toys, and incredibly reliable with cheap servicing and maintenance costs; a match made in heaven!

Related: Why The Ariel Nomad Is One Of The Most Fun Cars Money Can Buy

9 Audi

Dolphin gray Audi TT RS
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Perhaps a more obvious choice than the Ariel, Audi are a brand synonymous with reliability and dependability. Despite their main focus being luxury daily cars for comfortable commuting and long-distance travel, Audi have delivered on more than a few occasions with some seriously impressive sports cars.

The Audi TT was first introduced in late 1998, and since day one has been not just a focussed drivers’ car with exciting handling and great powertrain options, but also a reliable option in the sports car bracket. If buying used, there’s a great choice available, from 1.8-liter naturally aspirated roadsters to turbocharged RS autobahn-stormers.

8 BMW

Blue BMW Z4 M Coupe parked
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BMW has a great reputation among car lovers as excellent sports car manufacturers. They even pitch their products as the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ – a slogan they coined in the 1970s, and have been staying true to ever since.

At the core of their sports car range is the long-running BMW Z4, of which the latest iteration has zero safety recalls issued by the NHTSA and is offered new with a four year, 50,000 mile manufacturers’ warranty – this should be more than enough to put anyone’s concerns to rest, if looking for a new or nearly new sports car they can depend on.

7 Caterham

Green Caterham Seven parked
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Time for another unusual offering from Britain, with a visit to the back-to-basics brand of Caterham. This small firm offers complete kits to build yourself, alongside manufacturer assembled sports cars that hark back to the famous Lotus Seven of Colin Chapman fame.

Beautiful in its simplicity, the Caterham truly proves that less is more; the entry level 170 utilizes a turbocharged 660cc Suzuki engine which develops a humble 84 hp and is capable of going from 0 to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. By using simple, modern engines along with a minimalist approach elsewhere, this all helps to keep maintenance costs down and should prove reliable for many years if basic servicing is adhered to.

6 Mazda

White Mazda Miata parked
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The Mazda Miata is one of the longest running (and cheapest!) sports cars, and certainly the most successful, with over one million examples being sold worldwide since the original debut in 1989. A lightweight chassis with nimble handling has confirmed its legendary status within the sports car sector, and what’s more, the latest iteration is every bit as fantastic as the original.

Coupling famous Japanese reliability with simplistic styling, based upon the diminutive Lotus Elan of the 1960s, it’s no wonder the Miata has been a massive hit with sports car enthusiasts around the globe. If it’s a reliable, affordable and enjoyable sports car you’re after, you really cannot go wrong with this little Mazda; one million + customers can’t all be wrong!

Related: This Mazda ‘Suicide’ MX3 Is The Strangest Twin-Turbo V12 On YouTube

5 Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes SL-Class Front Quarter Steel Gray Metallic
Mercedes-Benz

Luxury automotive brand Mercedes have forever been associated with sports cars, and are not only to thank for developing the original supercar, but have also achieved some incredible motorsport successes over the years. All this knowledge has been put to great use, as Mercedes have developed some pretty fantastic sports cars in recent years, such as the gorgeous AMG GT or simply dangerous SLK55.

While they may take more maintenance than simpler and cheaper brands, Mercedes sports cars should prove pretty bulletproof in the long run, providing you do keep on top of the strict maintenance schedules.

4 MG

Green and yellow MGC Sebring
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This one may come as a surprise to some, especially to anyone who’s actually owned an MG in the past, but there is method in the madness here. While a classic MG may not be the most reliable and sensible choice for a daily driving sports car, it may just be the most approachable choice for someone who desires a classic sports car.

With a vast availability of parts, global club support and plenty of affordable models, a classic MG is the perfect choice for someone looking to maintain their own sports car and will certainly prove more than reliable if you keep on top of it. Plus, pretty much anything can be fixed at the side of the road with a basic motorists’ tool kit.

Related: Richard Hammond’s MG MGB Racing Debut Doesn’t Go According To Plan

3 Porsche

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS Front Three Quarters
Porsche

Similar to Mercedes, Porsche is another luxury brand whose models certainly require a closer attention to maintenance and regular spending, but should prove reliable and dependable, particularly if you go for a newer model, as the older cars do have their issues, such as very costly ‘bore scoring’.

Porsche, however, are keen to attract new customers by putting their money where their mouth is and defending reliability claims, with a manufacturers’ 4-year warranty, a 2-year warranty on all Porsche parts fitted and a 12-year corrosion warranty. All this goes a long way to demonstrate that a new Porsche sports car is almost definitely a safe and reliable bet, even if it does cost significantly more than other options in the sector.

2 Subaru

Silver Subaru BRZ driving
Subaru

Previous generation Impreza, Legacy and Forester owners will likely question this choice, as these older models are littered with more common issues and reliability problems than you could think of, however, the BRZ is an entry-level modern sports coupe that’s trying its hardest to turn this image around.

The 2012 model features a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that develops 200 hp and is capable of 0 to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds, with a top speed of 143 mph. On top of this, Subaru have clearly been hard at work developing the BRZ as it scores incredibly high on consumer ratings, with nothing but praise to be heard regards its ongoing reliability.

1 Toyota

Toyota GR Supra
Toyota

The GT86 is a modern icon, and a truly accessible sports car. Built on the same platform as the BRZ discussed above, it’s already clear why Toyota have been included in this list.

In addition to the revered GT86, the GR Supra has received rave reviews since it’s initial launch with only 9.6% of customers reporting an issue within the first year, and placing fifth in CarBuyer‘s standings out of 29 manufacturers in 2021. Not only is it a seriously reliable car, it’s incredibly capable at the sports car part too, with a twin-scroll turbocharged V6 developing 382 hp and all this for under $60,000 – is this the most complete sports car offering available new in 2023?

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