The 9 Most Reliable Sports Cars to Buy in 2021

The 9 Most Reliable Sports Cars to Buy in 2021
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Are you in the market for a ride that’s fun, flirty, sporty and speedy but won’t leave you stranded on the side of the road? Most every automaker around the globe has toyed with developing a sports car or two, if not more, to add to its portfolio. 

Needless to say, some do it better than others. 

Choosing a sports car can bring such a rush of excitement, and it’s all too easy to get caught up in the car’s overall look, feel and total curb appeal. So much, in fact, that the vehicle’s reliability often winds up taking a back seat – or a spot in the trunk altogether – on the list of selling points to consider.

Also not to be forgotten is the fact that savings just as quick as your favorite sports car are to be had simply by opting for a used model instead of a new one. You can buy any of Shift’s diverse inventory of used cars directly online from the comfort of your home and know it has no hidden issues, thanks to Shift’s 150-point inspection. And you know you’re getting a fair, up-front price from the start, too.

We’ve done the homework for you to curate the following list of nine of the most reliable sports cars on the market today.

Audi S5

Audi S5

The Audi A5 boasts various engine options, all of which are eager and playful, as well as a smooth and well-tuned ride and one of the finest interiors in the luxury small vehicle class. The A5 offers three body types, and be it the sportback, coupe or convertible, the engine never fails to impress and AWD comes standard across the board. The A5 also gets good fuel economy – 19-24 mpg in the city and 26-32 mpg on the freeway – and it rides smoothly even on less-than-perfect roads, too. And with a total horsepower of up to 349, all in all, simply put it's a fun car to drive. With an MSRP of $42,000-$61,000, new A5 models are priced a bit higher than other competitors in its class. But with an average price of between $30,000 and $40,000, used models equate to major savings.

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Audi S5

The Audi A5 boasts various engine options, all of which are eager and playful, as well as a smooth and well-tuned ride and one of the finest interiors in the luxury small vehicle class. The A5 offers three body types, and be it the sportback, coupe or convertible, the engine never fails to impress and AWD comes standard across the board. The A5 also gets good fuel economy – 19-24 mpg in the city and 26-32 mpg on the freeway – and it rides smoothly even on less-than-perfect roads, too. And with a total horsepower of up to 349, all in all, simply put it's a fun car to drive. With an MSRP of $42,000-$61,000, new A5 models are priced a bit higher than other competitors in its class. But with an average price of between $30,000 and $40,000, used models equate to major savings.

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BMW Z4

BMW Z4

A definite list-topper when it comes to reliable sports cars, the BMW Z4 is a sleek convertible that's perfect for trips that don't involve more than one additional passenger on a regular basis. That's because the backseat is a step above being non-existent; according to BMW it's only there to keep insurance rates significantly lower on this monstrously motored sports car that probably would have otherwise been designed as a two-seater. The base sDrive30i model of the 2021 BMW Z4 costs $49,700, making it one of the most affordable premium sports cars on the market. The price jumps to $63,700 when you upgrade the zippier Z4 sDrive M40i edition. Depending on the model year and trim, however, used Z4s – priced at $20,000-$30,000 – offer major savings.

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BMW Z4

A definite list-topper when it comes to reliable sports cars, the BMW Z4 is a sleek convertible that's perfect for trips that don't involve more than one additional passenger on a regular basis. That's because the backseat is a step above being non-existent; according to BMW it's only there to keep insurance rates significantly lower on this monstrously motored sports car that probably would have otherwise been designed as a two-seater. The base sDrive30i model of the 2021 BMW Z4 costs $49,700, making it one of the most affordable premium sports cars on the market. The price jumps to $63,700 when you upgrade the zippier Z4 sDrive M40i edition. Depending on the model year and trim, however, used Z4s – priced at $20,000-$30,000 – offer major savings.

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Chevrolet Camaro

Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is a classic American sports car that performs admirably and comes with a variety of options under the hood. Be it the base model's 275-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine or the ferocious 650-horsepower supercharged V8 in the ZL1 variant, Chevrolet has assured that there's a Camaro for everyone. The Camaro's lower price tag is one of its primary advantages over the other vehicles in its class. New base model Camaros cost as little as $25,000, although can run up to $63,000 for the feisty ZL1, and are available as either a hardtop or convertible with seating for four in both. Used Camaros, depending on the trim, deliver savings as massive as their horsepower, costing in general around half the price of new versions.

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Chevrolet Camaro

The Chevrolet Camaro is a classic American sports car that performs admirably and comes with a variety of options under the hood. Be it the base model's 275-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine or the ferocious 650-horsepower supercharged V8 in the ZL1 variant, Chevrolet has assured that there's a Camaro for everyone. The Camaro's lower price tag is one of its primary advantages over the other vehicles in its class. New base model Camaros cost as little as $25,000, although can run up to $63,000 for the feisty ZL1, and are available as either a hardtop or convertible with seating for four in both. Used Camaros, depending on the trim, deliver savings as massive as their horsepower, costing in general around half the price of new versions.

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Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette

The Corvette has come a long way since the very first of Chevrolet's two-seater muscle cars rolled off the assembly line in 1953, when it was little more than a limited-production model with 150 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 11 seconds. With the addition of a V-8 engine in 1955, that time was reduced to 8.7 seconds. Generally speaking, in the decades that followed, each new model year clocked a new record, which finally culminated with the release of the 2020 mid-engine Stingray Z51 that flies to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Getting behind the wheel of such a legend comes at a cost, however. New Corvettes start at just under $60,000 and their price tags can soar up to near $70,000. Big savings are to be had by buying a used model, which can be found for as little as $46,000 for the 1LT edition.

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Chevrolet Corvette

The Corvette has come a long way since the very first of Chevrolet's two-seater muscle cars rolled off the assembly line in 1953, when it was little more than a limited-production model with 150 horsepower and a 0-60 mph time of 11 seconds. With the addition of a V-8 engine in 1955, that time was reduced to 8.7 seconds. Generally speaking, in the decades that followed, each new model year clocked a new record, which finally culminated with the release of the 2020 mid-engine Stingray Z51 that flies to 60 mph in just 2.8 seconds. Getting behind the wheel of such a legend comes at a cost, however. New Corvettes start at just under $60,000 and their price tags can soar up to near $70,000. Big savings are to be had by buying a used model, which can be found for as little as $46,000 for the 1LT edition.

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Dodge Challenger

Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger is more than just your typical muscle car with a surplus of power stuffed under the hood. It actually makes for a surprisingly comfortable ride, too. While it's no secret that most sports cars are built with backseats that are tiny if not nonexistent altogether, the Dodge Challenger boasts a surprisingly big cabin that can easily fits up to five passengers as well as a sizable trunk, too. Available on the Challenger these days are a grand total of five engine options, each of which is rather impressive when it comes to total pickup and power. Standard models have 305-horsepower V-6 engines, while the top-tier trim bears a supercharged V-8 that puts out an insanely rowdy 797 horsepower. If that peppy V-6 surprisingly sounds like too much of a drag, you'll definitely want to opt for the V-8. The base price of a new Challenger starts at $29,000, but depending on the engine option it can cost up to more than $40,000. Used Challengers, however, can be scored for as little as $17,000.

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Dodge Challenger

The Dodge Challenger is more than just your typical muscle car with a surplus of power stuffed under the hood. It actually makes for a surprisingly comfortable ride, too. While it's no secret that most sports cars are built with backseats that are tiny if not nonexistent altogether, the Dodge Challenger boasts a surprisingly big cabin that can easily fits up to five passengers as well as a sizable trunk, too. Available on the Challenger these days are a grand total of five engine options, each of which is rather impressive when it comes to total pickup and power. Standard models have 305-horsepower V-6 engines, while the top-tier trim bears a supercharged V-8 that puts out an insanely rowdy 797 horsepower. If that peppy V-6 surprisingly sounds like too much of a drag, you'll definitely want to opt for the V-8. The base price of a new Challenger starts at $29,000, but depending on the engine option it can cost up to more than $40,000. Used Challengers, however, can be scored for as little as $17,000.

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Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is hands down an American racing legend and also one of the most popular vehicles around the world. More than 10 million Mustangs have been sold globally since Ford first released its pony car classic nearly 60 years ago. With the exception of the less speedy but more gas-friendly four-cylinder EcoBoost models, most Mustangs these days come with 5.0-liter V-8 engines that produce 460 horsepower and propel the car from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. The base model of the new 2021 EcoBoost costs $27,155, while the other more playful trims with faster engines start at $36,000. Used Mustangs with 5.0 V-8 engines, on the other hand, tend to be in the low $20,000s, specifically GT versions manufactured between 2011 and 2015.

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Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang is hands down an American racing legend and also one of the most popular vehicles around the world. More than 10 million Mustangs have been sold globally since Ford first released its pony car classic nearly 60 years ago. With the exception of the less speedy but more gas-friendly four-cylinder EcoBoost models, most Mustangs these days come with 5.0-liter V-8 engines that produce 460 horsepower and propel the car from zero to 60 mph in under four seconds. The base model of the new 2021 EcoBoost costs $27,155, while the other more playful trims with faster engines start at $36,000. Used Mustangs with 5.0 V-8 engines, on the other hand, tend to be in the low $20,000s, specifically GT versions manufactured between 2011 and 2015.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda Miata is nothing short of a legend as far as Japanese sports cars go. A legacy that's decades in the making, these days the two-seat roadster is considered one of the top choices in its class thanks to its tightly tuned handling, well-tailored interior and fun but not overly aggressive 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, which makes for a total of 181 horsepower. The convertible Miata starts at just under $27,000 when new, while the hardtop version costs $33,000. Used models are available for a fraction of the price of new versions, sometimes as little as $9,000.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda Miata is nothing short of a legend as far as Japanese sports cars go. A legacy that's decades in the making, these days the two-seat roadster is considered one of the top choices in its class thanks to its tightly tuned handling, well-tailored interior and fun but not overly aggressive 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, which makes for a total of 181 horsepower. The convertible Miata starts at just under $27,000 when new, while the hardtop version costs $33,000. Used models are available for a fraction of the price of new versions, sometimes as little as $9,000.

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Nissan 370Z

Nissan 370Z

Nissan's Z line, which first debuted in 1970 under the Datsun nameplate, has long been a favorite among sports car enthusiasts both in its homeland of Japan and around the world, too. With each generation of the Z line touting a different number, the 370Z is the sixth and most current in the family. In production since 2008, the 370Z is equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine and either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, enabling it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 or 4.7 seconds, accordingly. Base models of the 370Z go for about $31,000, although used models vary substantially depending on the model year. Early-model 370Zs are often priced in the low $20,000s, while more current used editions are typically priced in the mid-$20,000s.

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Nissan 370Z

Nissan's Z line, which first debuted in 1970 under the Datsun nameplate, has long been a favorite among sports car enthusiasts both in its homeland of Japan and around the world, too. With each generation of the Z line touting a different number, the 370Z is the sixth and most current in the family. In production since 2008, the 370Z is equipped with a 3.7-liter V-6 engine and either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, enabling it to sprint from 0 to 60 mph in 4.6 or 4.7 seconds, accordingly. Base models of the 370Z go for about $31,000, although used models vary substantially depending on the model year. Early-model 370Zs are often priced in the low $20,000s, while more current used editions are typically priced in the mid-$20,000s.

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Scion FR-S

Scion FR-S

In 2017, the Scion FR-S coupe – as well as all Scions for that matter – underwent a name change and adopted their parent company's name badge. Now known as the Toyota 86, used models of the FR-S cost around $20,000. Thanks to its sporty performance, luxurious cabin and excellent safety scores, the Scion FR-S – or the Toyota 86 – reigns at the head of its class of 2+2 sports cars. With its sharp driving aesthetics, polished engine, tight transmission and attractive interior, the two-door coupe makes quite the impressive impression from the get-go. When it comes to fuel economy, it's also fairly efficient for a sports car, allowing for 22-25 mpg in the city and 30-34 mpg on the freeway. New 86s retail for $27,000-$31,000, whereas used Scion FR-S models start at around $20,000.

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Scion FR-S

In 2017, the Scion FR-S coupe – as well as all Scions for that matter – underwent a name change and adopted their parent company's name badge. Now known as the Toyota 86, used models of the FR-S cost around $20,000. Thanks to its sporty performance, luxurious cabin and excellent safety scores, the Scion FR-S – or the Toyota 86 – reigns at the head of its class of 2+2 sports cars. With its sharp driving aesthetics, polished engine, tight transmission and attractive interior, the two-door coupe makes quite the impressive impression from the get-go. When it comes to fuel economy, it's also fairly efficient for a sports car, allowing for 22-25 mpg in the city and 30-34 mpg on the freeway. New 86s retail for $27,000-$31,000, whereas used Scion FR-S models start at around $20,000.

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Author
Shift Editorial Team