These Sports Cars Were Incredibly Unreliable… But Still Highly Desirable

These cars are definitely not known for their reliability, but they look and sound so good, and the performance is top-notch, so we still want them!

Some of the stuff we don’t necessarily prioritize when we purchase a sports car are the mundane things, like reliability and maintenance costs.

Sports cars are not usually practical at all, they are often too small to carry any people around, and too low to go anywhere other than perfect tarmac, although there are exceptions to this rule, such as the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo or Subaru Impreza WRX. Having said that, we still want the car to actually go, especially on the few occasions we are able to get out and drive the thing! Even with these low expectations, some cars will still manage to disappoint, that doesn’t mean we don’t want them.

10 BMW E36 M3

Via BMW Blog

It has built up quite a reputation for itself, now almost infamous for being owned by people who are not shy to drive their cars near the limit.


Driving a performance car the way nature intended is great, but it will ruin the otherwise reliable inline 6. There will also come a time these drivers run out of talent, leaving it to a budget body shop to repair what is often structural damage.

9 Maserati Biturbo

Maserati BiTurbo for sale
Classic Driver

Right from the moment it was launched, this was something of a disappointment. It was supposed to be the Maserati for the people, spoiler alert; it was not.

Maserati Biturbo
Via: Maserati

Sadly, it ended up just being an overpriced lemon. Costs were cut by using inferior materials, sacrificing build quality, encouraging the classic rust problem almost all old Italian cars share. Yet somehow, we still want one, especially now that they are so cheap.

8 Lancia Beta Coupe/Montecarlo


Fans of the Lancia brand (that’s us, we are huge fans of Lancia automobiles) will claim it is an easy enough fix, but welding a frame is quite simply not easy, it is complicated and needs to be done by professionals.

lancia beta monte carlo

These cars should be approached with caution. Lancia’s were never really made well, and they return to the earth faster than anything, but they are still gorgeous cars.

Related: 10 Italian Cars That Are Stunningly Gorgeous… But Notoriously Unreliable

7 Alfa Romeo GTV6


These were some of the last cars actually made by Alfa Romeo before Fiat took over, and they are better cars than most people give them credit for.

The Alfa Romeo nameplate can’t be associated with “reliability,” but getting one that has been loved will give you a lot of joy (it might still inexplicably leave you walking on a dark road in the middle of the night somewhere).

6 Lotus Esprit Turbo

Lotus Esprit Turbo on the highway

Although the first generation got everyone’s attention when it took Bond underwater, the second generation Esprit is more infamous for its reliability concerns.

Lotus Esprit Turbo

Finding one that has either been looked after or has had all the necessary mechanical work sorted out can be worth it, a bit of a gamble, but still well worth it.

Related: Here’s Why The Lotus Carlton Was The Ultimate Sleeper

5 Alfa Romeo 4C

Alfa Romeo 4C on the highway

While you are on the road it will produce more smiles than any other car, but it won’t be on the road very often or for very long.

Alfa Romeo 4C
Via Supercars Net

You will have to decide for yourself it is worth it, but these cars evoke more emotion than any inanimate object should, so it might well bring out your irrational side.

4 Maserati Ghibli

2020 Maserati Ghibli parked
Car and Driver

The Ghibli’s beauty, both inside and out can’t quite ever compensate for its shocking reliability.

Blue Maserati Ghibli rear

It seems they are determined to unlearn all the good things Ferrari (its stablemate) has learned over the years when it comes to producing a reliable performance car.

Related: Maserati MC20 Is Festival Automobile International’s “Most Beautiful Supercar Of The Year 2021”

3 Mazda RX7

Mazda RX7 Drift
via Pinterest

The Wankel motor may have met an untimely end in the final year of the disastrously unreliable RX8.


Reliability was also always a concern for any RX7 though, where apex seals consistently failed, but the fact that the production run lasted as long as it did is a testament to its desirability.

2 Maserati GranTurismo

Maserati GranTurismo parked outside

This is a brand that had a wonderful name once upon a time, but in the past few decades, they have not coated themselves in glory when it comes to reliability.

Maserati GranTurismo Interior

If you count the 4C (which they produce) they have 4 cars on this list, so it goes to show they are no less desirable. They shouldn’t be though, this particular car will lose all its coolant at once and which will lead to overheating, then catastrophic engine failure shortly thereafter.

1 BMW E60 M5


The E60 M5 has quite possibly the worst reputation out of any modern sports saloon for poor reliability and running costs. Its V10 was named engine of the year back in a time before climate change became as prominent as it is today, but that achievement never lasted in anyone’s memory.

It is now widely accepted as one of the least reliable cars BMW has ever made (that’s saying something) thanks to an infamous rod bearing issue. It still sounds amazing and will leave quite a few supercars in its dust.

Next: 2020 BMW M5 Review: The Quintessential Super Sedan Is Better Than Ever

These Cars Were Everywhere In The 90s… But You Never See One Now

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