10 Super-Reliable And Affordable Sports Cars Every Gearhead Should Own

10 Super-Reliable And Affordable Sports Cars Every Gearhead Should Own

When asked to choose just one car to drive forever, most gearheads would choose a sports car. This is because sports cars represent the upper echelon of the auto industry — they have the best designs, most powerful engines, and are engineered to give gearheads the best possible driving experience.

RELATED: Here Are The Most Unreliable Sports Cars New For 2021

As such, most sports cars typically command the highest price tags, sometimes costing tens of millions of dollars. When they’re cheap, it’s usually not a good idea to buy them, since that could indicate that they’re unreliable or have other problems. However, on rare occasions, it’s possible to find a decent sports car that’s affordable and won’t force you to spend a fortune on repairs. Let’s explore ten of the most reliable sports cars you can buy for peanuts.

10 Chevrolet Corvette C4 – $6,500

Via CorvSport

The Chevy Corvette is undoubtedly one of the greatest American cars ever built, having been produced for almost seven decades. However, not every Corvette is great. In fact, the third-generation Corvette was terrible, largely thanks to the oil crisis and strict emission requirements of the ’70s.

1990 Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1
Via: WallpaperUP

So when Chevrolet announced that it was developing a new Corvette in the early ’80s, every gearhead was excited. Thankfully, the C4 Corvette didn’t disappoint as it had a sleek, aerodynamic design and 250 hp coming from its 5.7-liter V8.

9 Audi TT Mk1 – $7,300

2003 Audi TT Quattro Sports Car
Via: NetCarShow

In 1995, Audi impressed every gearhead at the Frankfurt Motor Show when it unveiled the TT. Three years later, the TT hit dealership floors, and it didn’t disappoint. Everyone loved its unusual design, power, and the fact that it was among the cheapest German sports cars available at the time. ​​​​​​​

via netcarshow

At the heart of the first-generation TT was a 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four engine, producing up to 222 hp. Buyers could also get a 3.2-liter VR6 with 247 hp on tap. Regardless of the engine choice, buyers got a reliable and fun little sports car. ​​​​​​​

8 Mitsubishi 3000GT – $8,600

Mitsubishi 3000GT - Front quarter
Via Mecum Auctions

Japanese automakers dominated the sports car market in the ’90s with their affordable yet powerful options. Toyota gave us the fourth-gen Supra, Nissan gave us the Skyline GT-R, Mazda gave us the MX-5 and RX-7, and Honda built the legendary NSX. Mitsubishi didn’t want to be left behind, so it developed the awesome 3000GT. ​​​​​​​

1994 Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4 on the road
Via smclassiccars.com

The 3000GT was nowhere near as popular as the Supra or GT-R, but it was a great car. It had a great design and lots of power coming from a 3.0-liter V6 engine. Like its Japanese competitors, the 3000GT was also praised for bulletproof reliability. ​​​​​​​

7 Honda S2000 – $17,300

Honda S2000 Featured Image
via Car Scoops

After proving that it could build a world-beating sports car with the fabled NSX, Honda was not satisfied. So in the late ’90s, Honda went to work and came up with yet another stunning classic – the S2000. ​​​​​​​

RELATED: 9 Greatest Honda Cars Ever Made (1 That Sucked)

Via: wsupercars

The S2000 immediately stole gearheads’ hearts with its eye-catching open-top sports car design and the fact that it was one of the few sports cars offering track-worthy performance and everyday usability. Powering the S2000 was one of the best naturally-aspirated engines ever — a super-reliable, high-revving 2.2-liter four-cylinder generating 237 hp. ​​​​​​​

6 Mercedes-Benz SL600(R129) – $13,100

Via CollectingCars

Introduced in the early ’90s, the SL600 R129 is a fantastic two-door grand tourer that’s widely considered to be way ahead of its time. The R129 was praised for its over-engineered nature and had multiple innovative technologies, including electronically controlled damping and seat-integrated seat belts. ​​​​​​​

The rear of a purple R129
Via carsandbids.com

Buyers could choose between several engine options, with the best being a 6.0-liter V12 with 389 hp on tap. Although it’s three decades old, the R129 is still one of the most reliable Mercedes-Benz models you can find. ​​​​​​​

5 Mazda MX-5 Miata NB – $7,800

Mazda MX-5 Miata NB
via openbay.com

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best-selling two-seat sports car for a reason — it’s stylish, reliable, affordable, and tons of fun to drive. The second-generation MX-5 debuted in 1997, and while it had similar proportions to its predecessor, it had an updated design that notably didn’t have pop-up headlights.

2001 Mazda MX-5
Via: Bring A Trailer

The second-generation Miata also got a few upgrades under the hood, allowing its 1.8-liter four-cylinder to produce 142 hp. ​​​​​​​

4 Toyota MR-2 MkII – $9,800

via superstreet

The second-generation MR-2 impressed everyone when it debuted in 1989. It had a new Ferrariesque design that earned it the nickname “Poor man’s Ferrari” and was about 400 lbs heavier than its predecessor to accommodate its more spacious and luxurious cabin. It also had a sturdier transaxle, a more durable suspension setup, and larger engine sizes. ​​​​​​​

Toyota MR-2 MkII
Via camposites.bigcartel.com

At the heart of the second-generation MR2 was a 2.0-liter turbocharged 3S-GTE engine generating 200 hp and an equal amount of torque. ​​​​​​​

3 Porsche 944 – $8,900

Via: Wsupercars.com

Porsche has a long list of cars to be proud of, but few of them are as successful as the 944 was. The 944 sold over 160,000 examples during its production run, making it one of the most popular Porsches ever built. ​​​​​​​

RELATED: 10 Porsches Only True Enthusiasts Have Heard Of

1987 Porsche 944 S Affordable German Sports Car
Via: BringaTrailer

The reason why the 944 was a success is simple – it had superb styling, Porsche’s advanced engineering, and a much lower price tag than the 911. The 944 was also a great driver’s car, thanks to its 2.5-liter four-cylinder producing 205 hp. ​​​​​​​

2 2004 Nissan 350Z – $11,800

orange 2004 NISSAN 350Z
Via Mecum

The 350Z needs no introduction, as it’s among the most recognizable Japanese cars of the last two decades. The 350Z has a significant cult following around the world thanks to its unique design, fantastic engine, and overall great character. ​​​​​​​

Nissan 350Z - Rear
Via Mecum Auctions

There’s a lot to love about the 2004 350Z. For one, it’s super reliable, and should any part break down, finding spare parts is quick and easy. The 350Z is also powerful, thanks to one of the best engines ever built – Toyota’s 3.5-liter VQ35DE V6, generating 287 hp and 274 lb-ft of torque. ​​​​​​​

1 2012 Toyota GT86 – $15,000

White 2012 Toyota GT86
Via Wikipedia

In 2012, Toyota collaborated with Subaru and developed the GT86 and its identical brother — the Subaru BRZ. Naturally, gearheads were excited to see the results of such a high-profile collaboration, and they were not disappointed. ​​​​​​​

Toyota GT86 driving on the road
Via speeddoctor.net

The GT86 was praised for its sporty looks, lightweight body, superb handling, and raw driving feel. Under the GT86’s hood was a naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine generating 200 hp — it doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than enough for such a light and affordable sports car.

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