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5 Surprisingly Reliable Italian Sports Cars (5 Cheap JDM Sports Cars We’d Love to Own)

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Generally, sports car Automakers sacrifice reliability and practicality in favor of aesthetics and performance. Low production numbers and sports car prices mean it’s not the best option for everyday commuters. Sports cars are designed for occasional driving, and are prone to breaking down easily when in use for some time, resulting in high maintenance and repair costs for their owners. Over the years, Italian-made sports cars have had a reputation for being some of the most unreliable cars in the world. Not only are they expensive to buy, but they also cost a lot more to repair compared to sports cars from other markets.

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On the other hand, Japan produces some of the most popular cars. Enthusiasts love their simple designs, reliability, practicality and, above all, their budget-friendly prices. While JDM sports cars are not as powerful as Italian cars, their tuning capabilities make them highly desirable and sought after by gearheads. Although Italian sports cars are known for their unreliability, only a few manufacturers in the country have been able to build powerful and reliable cars. Here are 5 surprisingly reliable Italian sports cars and 5 cheap JDM alternatives that we like.


10 Trusted Italian: Ferrari 328

Ferrari is known for producing some of the most elegant sports cars in the world. Besides, their cars offer sparkling performance and driving experience. However, the reliability of the car has long threatened the brand’s reputation.

The Ferrari 328 was an exception; Even today, Ferrari fans consider it one of the most reliable cars of the galloping horse. It was an evolution of the 1975 308 that featured a simpler design and devoid of complex electronic magic. And unlike most Ferraris, its engine can be serviced without towing, thus reducing maintenance costs.


9 Cheap JDM: Subaru WRX STi

The WRX STI is inspired by the WRC racing cars from Subaru. So it is tuned to deliver maximum performance. Well, the powerful turbocharged four-cylinder engine and harsh suspension can amaze car enthusiasts, but the powerful symmetrical all-wheel drive system and manual transmission are two striking distinguishing features of this sports sedan.

On top of that, AWD is meant to handle all road conditions and take you where other sports cars can only dream of. While the STI has limited cargo space, its hustle and bustle wow engine enthusiasts. The car also inherits Subaru’s ethos of solid, reliable cars—the 2020 model earned a trusted rating of 77/100 on JD Power.


8 Trusted Italian: 2011 Lamborghini Gallardo

Modern Lamborghini cars have made a name for being reliable ever since the Volkswagen Group took over – one Lambo has been reported to have clocked more than 250,000 miles. Not surprisingly, the Gallardo shares an identical powertrain and platform with the first-generation Audi R8.

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Since the car debuted in 2003, owners have been satisfied with the reliability of the car. Annual maintenance costs have been reported at around $2,000, which is impressive for a supercar. The Gallardo’s 552-hp 5.2-liter V10 shows the Italian automaker hasn’t skimped on performance for reliability.


7 Cheap JDM: 2005 Nissan 350Z

The Nissan 350Z remains a great choice for anyone in the market for a reliable vehicle. It is one of the best JDM cars. Also known as the Fairlady Z (Z33), it offers great performance and great comfort at a budget-friendly price. Equipped with a 3.5-liter V6 with 300 horsepower, the 350Z is well-equipped to outperform most sports cars from other markets.

The 350Z’s popularity has grown exponentially for its tuning capabilities, proving it’s a modern-day wanderer. The Nismo tops the model with improved performance, featuring horsepower and suspension.

6 Trusted Italian: Ferrari 360 Modena

The Ferrari 360 Modena is the first truly modern Ferrari. It debuted in 1999 and became the first Ferrari to feature an aluminum body. It features a leather interior, power windows, air conditioning and power windows to enhance your driving experience. Built to be a fairly good everyday driver’s car, the 360’s reliability is proven.

Owners report great durability in the 360 ​​when properly cared for. However, the Ferrari 360 equipped with the F1-derived paddle transmission was prone to vibration, dropouts, and unreliability. To avoid recurring maintenance costs, a manual transmission is the option you want.


5 Cheap JDM: Mazda Miata MX-5

Since its introduction in 1989, this humble car has become one of the most popular sports cars in the world. The fourth-generation two-seat convertible, introduced for the 2016 model year, is among the best small sports cars you can buy. And the MX-5 turned out to be very reliable. A survey conducted in 2019 revealed that 2.1% of Miatas sold in 2019 clocked 200,000 miles or more.

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Sure, the car is a little weak, with the stock engine producing 181 horsepower, but engine tuning and installing performance parts is common among many MX-5 owners. Mazda used a minimalist design by keeping things low and using an interior. What you get is an exceptional driving experience.


4 Trusted Italian: Lamborghini Huracan

As mentioned earlier, supercars underestimate usability, practicality for performance, handling and appearance. The Huracan, of course, is striking, but it is the reliability of the car that distinguishes it from other Italian supercars. It adopted the similar, no-problem V10 engine that served the Gallardo for 10 years.

The electric architecture is borrowed from the already proven Volkswagen Group but wears the Lamborghini brand. In the reliability rating conducted by USwitch, The Huracán has emerged as the top 25 supercar. Made of aluminum and carbon fiber, the bodywork is not only state-of-the-art but sturdy. It boasts no recalls in the Huracan production track – a “bulletproof” supercar!


3 Cheap JDM: Toyota GT86

GT86 is another contender for one of the best Japanese sports cars that you can get on a realistic budget. Developed in tandem with the Subaru BRZ, the two platforms share two identical platforms, including a 2.0-liter, 200-horsepower “Boxer” four-cylinder engine.

It succeeded the legendary AE86, keeping the car’s excitement, poise and feedback. With a wide range of tuning guides available, the GT86’s potential can be unleashed on other sports cars’ endurance. In addition to its striking modern design, the GT86 offers excellent control and weight distribution.


2 Trusted Italian: Ferrari F430

Just like other supercars bred in Italy, Ferraris have a reputation for being temperamental. Its build quality has improved immeasurably over the past decade, as evidenced by the F430, the successor to Ferrari’s most famous unit, the iconic 360 Modena.

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The car was a feat, boasting a 4.3-liter V8 with 483 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. With all this power, the Italian manufacturer was able to make it reliable. Most impressive was the car’s acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds.


1 Cheap JDM: Honda Civic Type RHonda-Civic_Type_R-2015 White - Front Corner

The insane, rocket-like design of the Type R receives divided opinion among its fans, but one thing is for sure, the car is a rocket. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine in the 10th generation FK8 generates 316 horsepower on tap. It’s not only faster than the Honda Civic; It boasts of being one of the fastest compact sports cars around the Nürburgring.

The Civic Type R is a reasonably sized hatchback with no compromises – built for performance and everyday practicality, featuring rear seats and ample storage space. This affordable sports car follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, which was renowned for safety and reliability.

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