Reliable and Affordable Used Sports Cars
Timothy Boyer's picture

Consumer Reports Reliable Used Sports Cars for Under $25,000

Reliable coupes, sedans, and roadsters that are good choices for drivers looking for a little fun on the road without breaking the bank.
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Avoiding a Used Sports Car Summer Bummer

Earlier we talked about how that you will want to know which “Buy This, Not That” small convertible sports car summer cruisers come recommended by mechanics so that you can have some summer fun and avoid a summer disaster.

Today with the theme of summer fun continuing, the good folks at Consumer Reports recently released their latest list of coupes, sedans, and roadsters that are not only reliable…but affordable as well.

Using road-test and survey data from their Annual Auto Surveys answered by sports car enthusiasts who own sports car, CR analysts were able to crunch the numbers toward predicted vehicle reliability among those cars that were proven top-performing models.

And that’s not all. The vehicles were then divided into three budget categories so as to offer something for everyone whether looking for a European sports sedan or coupe, a hard-core muscle car, or a small and nimble roadster that makes driving more than fun---but an experience!

Related article: SUVs, Sedans, and Sports Cars That Made Consumer Reports Best New Car Deals List

Since They Are Used and Sports Cars…

However, since they are used…and sports cars, you can expect that they have likely been ridden rough. That said, in the recommendations below are included reported trouble spots and at least one customer testimony of a related trouble spot problem they experienced with each model.

It is highly recommended that a good and thorough pre-inspection of any used sports car is made before buying and to enlist the help of a Consumer Reports membership for greater in-depth details about each model. The cost of a membership is negligible to the potential savings when shopping for a new or used car.

RECOMMENDED USED SPORTS CAR IN THE $10K-$15K RANGE

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price Range: $13,625 - $17,700
Owner Reported MPG: 27 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Car owner complaint: "I like this vehicle well enough to not sell it, but probably wouldn't buy it again. I have owned it for 6.5 years and I bet this thing has squeaked and rattled for more than 5 of them. Mechanics were constantly tightening things with the roof and the roof latch has been replaced multiple times, which I was told was a common problem for this vehicle."

2013 Scion FR-S
Price Range: $14,025 - $14,700
Owner Reported MPG: 29 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Car owner complaint: "I was driving down the highway at 70 mph and the engine stalled, I had to navigate to shoulder which was dangerous with no power. Towed it to Toyota dealer and they said 3rd rod in the piston blew and blew metal throughout engine causing it to fail and engine could not be repaired."

2013 Subaru BRZ
Price Range: $15,100 - $15,600
Owner Reported MPG: 27 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Car owner complaint: "Camshaft bearing and seal needed replacement ~4 shop days of work under warranty. Cause oil to leak onto exhaust down pipe passenger side. Detected by smell and smoke, then visual inspection"

RECOMMENDED USED SPORTS CAR IN THE $15K-$20K RANGE

2015 Audi A5
Price Range: $17,700 - $24,875
Owner Reported MPG: 24 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

Car owner complaint: "Dealer service failed to fully fill transmission fluid, trans overheated and factory rep sail it needed new transmission"

2014 Ford Mustang
Price Range: $14,175 - $36,700
Owner Reported MPG: 21 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Car owner complaint: "Grinding-differential replaced Luckily had dealer warranty because while it was under 60K on miles it was one month over 5-year mark"

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price Range: $17,600 - $20,350
Owner Reported MPG: 32 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Car owner complaint: "Air conditioning went out three times; once under warranty and the other two immediately out of warranty. I was very dissatisfied that having bought the car new it was not handled under warranty completely."

RECOMMENDED USED SPORTS CAR IN THE $20K-$25K RANGE

2016 BMW 2 Series
Price Range: $18,275 - $29,450
Owner Reported MPG: 25 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system.

Car owner complaint: "The electronic sensor that controls the spark plug firing failed and had to be replaced. Fairly minor problem but difficult to diagnose and was very inconvenient because the car had to be transported to the dealer twice"

2016 BMW 4 Series
Price Range: $20,850 - $29,000
Owner Reported MPG: 23 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

Car owner complaint: "The trunk cover was misaligned, resulting in a gap between the cover and the body, which allowed water to leak into the trunk during heavy rains. Certain electrical components are housed in a well in the bottom of the trunk, and the water collected in the well, flooding and ruining those components"

2017 Chevrolet Camaro
Price Range: $20,000 - $48,650
Owner Reported MPG: 23 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Car owner complaint: "Related to slipping gears Sometimes it slips between low gears; sometimes it clunks"

2019 Honda Civic
Price Range: $20,825 - $38,350
Owner Reported MPG: 32 mpg

Reported trouble spots: Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Car owner complaint: "About two weeks after purchasing the car, the A/C would only blow hot air. I took it in and was told that the car had arrived from the dealership low on Freon. I was told there were not leaks. About two weeks later, the same thing occurred, along with a grinding noise. I took it in and was told there was actually a leak. They kept the car overnight and fixed the issue. It has been fine since."

And finally…

For additional articles about Consumer Reports recommended used cars, here's one titled "Consumer Reports Used Car Pick Finds From $40,000 to $7,000."

COMING UP NEXT: Used Cars with Serious Transmission Problems to Watch Out For

Timothy Boyer is a Torque News automotive reporter based in Cincinnati. Experienced with early car restorations, he regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications for improved performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily new and used vehicle news.

Image Source: Pixabay


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