Most Reliable Sports Cars

By Suzanne Kane

Sometimes you just want to have fun – and when you’re looking for the most reliable sports cars, you don’t have to go too far. We’ve narrowed down some of the best values in the field.

Our sources for this information include Kiplinger’s Best Used Cars 2011, Edmund’s 2010 Used Car Best Bets, Consumer Reports Best and Worst Used Cars and J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles.

  • 2003-2008, 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata – All three publications agree that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is an excellent choice

    among the most reliable sports cars. Edmunds highlights the 2003 to 2008 model years and is literally effusive about the compact sports car’s responsive steering, “exuberant” engine and quick-shifting manual transmission. “Great reliability, frugal fuel usage and plenty of aftermarket accessories” are other reasons Edmunds recommends Mazda MX-5 Miata. Kiplinger, on the other hand, hails the 2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Sport as one of its Best Used Cars 2011. The third-generation roadster is powered by a 167-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission and gets 28 mpg highway fuel economy. As CR editors comment, “Plus, zoom-zoom driving dynamics are baked in.” Consumer Reports recommends looking for MX-5 Miatas after the 2006 model year. That’s when anti-lock brakes (ABS) became standard. CR editors remark: “The Miata is affordable and fun to drive.”

  • Acura RSX – Consumer Reports also recommends the Acura RSX as another good choice for most reliable sports cars, saying “it’s a sportier alternative” to the MX-5 Miata (and Lexus SC). No specific year is mentioned, but the range of model years tested includes 2001-2010.
  • Lexus SC – One more Consumer Reports recommendation in the sports car category is the Lexus SC coupe. CR says, “The Lexus SC is a top-down cruiser with the added comfort of a folding hard-top roof.” Again, no specific model year for the Lexus SC is mentioned, but the model year range of vehicle tested is 2001-2010.
  • 2008 Ford Mustang – J.D. Power and Associates ranks the 2008 Ford Mustang as one of its 2011 Most Dependable Vehicles,

    the highest-ranked midsize sporty category. In its ratings, the 2008 Ford Mustang received a five-star rating in overall dependability, body and interior dependability, and feature and accessory dependability, and three stars in powertrain dependability. All Mustangs have 2+2 seating, with V6 and V8 versions offered.  For 2008, two new Shelby models joined Mustang’s lineup: the Shelby GT500KR coupe (boasting 540 horsepower) and the Shelby GT convertible (319 horsepower). Consumer Reports also mentioned the Ford Mustang in its Best and Worst Used Cars (as one of the other good sporty choices).

Other choices in the Consumer Reports list of best vehicles (most reliable) include the Honda S2000, Toyota Camry Solara, Honda Civic Si, BMW Z3, Z4, Toyota Celica, Porsche Boxster, Scion tC, Volvo C70 and Mercedes-Benz SLK.