11 min read
15 Dec

In the wind-in-my-hair world of sports cars, speed and reliability are two sides of the same coin, but only in the sense that both are equally important in creating a machine that can not only outrun the wind but also stand the test of time. Knowing that high performance and extreme reliability aren't typically found in the same room, we still dare welcome you to an adrenaline-fueled exploration of the most steadfast speedsters on the market right now. 

Picture this scene: the roar of the engine, the blur of the landscape, the surge of adrenaline as you feel the raw power of precision engineering propelling you forward. That's the thrill inherent in the world's fastest-accelerating sports cars. But this sensation isn't just about the rush of the 0 to 60. It's about the confidence that comes with knowing that this technologically advanced beast won't falter or fail when it's pushed to the limit. 

In this article, we dive into the realm of sports cars that blend breathtaking acceleration with impeccable reliability, providing not just a heart-pounding ride, but a dependable one. These automotive masterpieces refuse to compromise between exhilarating speed and rock-solid reliability. Below are ten reliable sports cars arranged from the slowest to the quickest accelerating models. 

See also: Ten Reasons Why The Mazda Miata Reigns Supreme As A Sports Car Legend 

10. 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club

  • Reliability Rating: 85/100 (CR)
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 5.4 Seconds
2022 Mazda MX-5.

The 2022 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a two-seater convertible sports car equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 gas engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. The Club trim includes performance-oriented features such as Bilstein dampers, a limited-slip differential, and Brembo brakes. 

Consumer Report’s prediction that the 2024 Miata will beat the reliability of the average new car is based on data from 2021 and 2022 models, as well as Mazda’s dependability performance index over the years. 

For 2022 MY, not only did the Miata earn an impressive score of 85 out of 100 for reliability but it also earned a perfect 5/5 score in four official road test parameters, including Acceleration, Transmission, Braking, and Emergency Handling. 

Plus, Miatas has ranked at the top of CR's list of the top ten most reliable cars since 2010, and it was the only sports car on the list for 2018 MY. 

Though Mazda offers it in three trim levels, we chose the Club mid-trim because it’s the quickest as well as the best value proposition, according to Consumer Reports. 2022 Miata Club owners appreciate the car’s fun-to-drive nature and responsive handling. Some owners have also praised the build quality and interior design. 

9. 2023 Honda Civic Type R

  • Reliability Rating: 80/100 (JD Power)
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 5.1 Seconds
2023 Honda Civic Type R.

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is a sporty hatchback with impressive performance and handling capabilities. It is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 engine with a maximum output of 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. 

The Civic Type R comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and front-wheel drive. In terms of design, the 2023 Civic Type R model cuts a recognizable profile with its signature rear wing. The exterior is characterized by aggressive styling cues and 19-inch matte black wheels.

Inside, the cabin flaunts red Alcantara seats, black leather inserts, and a honeycomb accent on the dash. Consumer advisory organizations such as JD Power generally refrain from rating performance variants like the Type R, but Euro NCAP awarded the hybrid model a shining 5-star rating while JD Power gave the standard Civic an 80 out of 100 predicted reliability score. 

Moreover, in the recent ALG annual residual value awards, the Civic nameplate outshone mainstream competitors to emerge as the no.1 in the compact car category. A car’s residual value is its estimated worth after a certain period, and we know that cars with higher reliability often have better residual values because they typically maintain their condition and appeal in the used car market. 

Over the years, the Type R Civic has been the poster child of affordable performance, free from recalls, and enjoys a widespread reputation for rugged dependability. It’s no wonder that Civic tops the list of cars most prone to theft globally

8. 2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition

  • Reliability Rating: 3.5/5 (US News)
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 5.0 Seconds
2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition.

The 2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition is a special edition variant of the Nissan 370Z sports car. It was introduced to commemorate the Z Car's 50th birthday and features a 3.7-liter V6 engine producing 332 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque. It was enough to propel the car from rest to 60 mph in 5 seconds, a treat that hasn't lost its thrill after all these years. 

The V6 holds hands with a six-speed manual transmission, but an optional seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters is also available. Nissan offered the Heritage Edition in two colors: Chicane Yellow and Magnetic Black.

It features unique exterior treatments, such as black outside mirrors, yellow accents on the exterior, and a high-performance clutch. 

The cabin flaunts yellow interior accents, such as yellow stitching on the seats, door panels, and steering wheel. It also features unique floor mats with the 50th Anniversary logo. 

Admittedly, the 2019 Nissan 370Z Heritage Edition’s reliability and owner satisfaction may vary. However, US News scored it an above-average 3.5 out of 5 for reliability, and the NHTSA has recorded zero recalls on the 2019 370Z, with just one complaint about the car. Comparatively, the Toyota Camry recorded 15 complaints for that model year. 

While the 370Z lost scores in convenience parameters such as outdated cabin and tech, uncomfortable seats, and short feature lists, it scored high points in performance-oriented ambits, including the robust engine, thrilling handling, and standard rearview mirror. 

See also: The Porsche Mission X: A Spectacular Reinterpretation Of A Lightweight Electric Hypercar 

7. 2020 Lexus RC F with Performance Package

  • Reliability Rating: Unspecified
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 4.2 Seconds
2020 Lexus RC F with Performance Package.

The 2020 Lexus RC F is a powerful and stylish coupe equipped with a 5.0-liter naturally aspirated V8 engine producing an impressive 472 horsepower and 395 lb-ft of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. 

The RC already has a sports car genome, which comes more pronounced with the F variant, recognized by the aggressive bumpers and fenders, extra vents flanking the front wheels, restyled headlights, larger air intakes, stacked tailpipes, and other F performance-oriented updates, such as weight-saving carbon fiber hood and rear spoiler and special 19-inch forged alloy wheels. 

The F in its name salutes the Fuji Speedway in Japan, where professional drivers spent hundreds of hours testing the car. 

Then comes the optional Performance Package that adds various enhancements to the RC F, including a carbon fiber front spoiler, rocker panel splitters, diffusers, and speed-activated wing. The package also features an upgraded suspension and Brembo brake system. 

The RC F's powerful engine and performance upgrades allow it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in approximately 4.2 seconds. The car offers sharp and responsive handling thanks to its adaptive suspension and limited-slip differential. 

JD Power has not rated the 2020 Lexus RC F, but considering that WhatCar scored the IS 4-door sibling an outstanding 97% in cumulative reliability over the years, we’re inclined to JD Power’s consistent ranking of the Lexus brand as the highest in vehicle dependability, with nine top rankings in the last ten years. 

More so, the 2020 RC has zero NHTSA recalls, and this MY brought a sportier chassis and suspension calibration. As a luxury sports car, it may cost more for repairs and maintenance compared to regular sports cars, but Lexus generally commands an average annual repair costs below the industry average for its class

6. 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse

  • Reliability Rating: Unspecified
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 4.1 Seconds
2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse.

Are you looking for the world’s most reliable sports car money can buy right now? You've found your quest in the 2024 Ford Mustang Coupe, according to an iSeeCars study. 

The Dark Horse is the top-performance trim level of the 2024 Mustang, offering a more extreme, track-focused version of the Mustang GT. It features a 500-horsepower engine and comes with the Dark Horse Handling Package, which includes stiffer springs, low-profile competition tires, and bigger sway bars. 

The Dark Horse offers impressive capability and a more aggressive look compared to the standard Mustang models. 

As of now, there is no publicly available predicted reliability rating specifically for the 2024 Ford Mustang Dark Horse, but Consumer Reports notes that the 2024 Mustang will have “about average reliability when compared to the average new car,” including regular, non-performance models. US News already ranked it no.3 out of 7 in the sports car category. 

5. 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0

  • Reliability Rating: 3.4/5 (CR)
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 3.8 Seconds
2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0.

Photo credit: Dietmar Rabich via Wikimedia

The 2021 Toyota GR Supra shares its chassis and powertrain with the BMW Z4 but rocks unique styling and tuning. The 3.0 variant of the 2021 GR Supra uses a 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-six engine that produces 382 horsepower and 368 lb-ft of torque. It comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. 

While JD Power predicted a “Fair” reliability rating of 61 out of 100 for the 2021 GR Supra, the car earned a rating of 3.4 out of 5 based on actual owner reviews. While some owners have praised its performance and styling, others are turned off by the car not being a "real" Toyota Supra since it shares components with BMW. 

Ultimately, opinions on the Supra’s reliability vary among owners, but the 2021 model is on this list because it’s the quickest Supra money can buy, capable of bolting from rest to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds. Overall, the 2021 Toyota GR Supra 3.0 offers a combination of power, handling, and style. 

See also: Shifting Into High Gear: The Top 11 Fastest Manual Transmission Cars For Unparalleled Speed And Control 

4. 2019 Acura NSX

  • Reliability Rating: 3/5 (US News)
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 3.0 Seconds
2019 Acura NSX.

The 2019 Acura NSX is a high-performance sports car that offers a combination of power, technology, and hybrid efficiency. It has an eye-catching design and delivers exhilarating acceleration and cornering capabilities. 

The NSX get motivation from a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine and three electric motors, providing a total system output of 573 horsepower. It features all-wheel drive and a nine-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Some have reported clocking 2 milliseconds less than the claimed 3.0-second acceleration time. 

In terms of reliability, the 2019 Acura NSX inspires confidence thanks to Honda’s reputation and the NSX’s high-quality materials and advanced engineering. 

Though not tested for safety and reliability by the NHTSA and IIHS, the 2019 NSX received a stellar average owner satisfaction rating of 5.0 out of 5, ultimately ranking it an impressive no.9 out of 30 luxury sports cars, according to Vehicle History

Owners praise the NSX for its performance, handling, and advanced technology features, while some others take offense with the limited storage space and relatively high price. 

3. 2019 Nissan GT-R Pure

  • Reliability Rating: Unspecified
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 2.9 Seconds
2019 Nissan GT-R Pure.

Photo credit: Crash71100 via Wikimedia

The 2019 Nissan GT-R is a high-performance sports car with a solid reputation for speed and power. Under the hood, it boasts a 3.8-liter twin-turbocharged V6 engine capable of producing a whopping 565 horsepower and 467 lb-ft of torque.

The Car Connection described it as “a racing video game for the road with twin-turbo power, immense grip, and everyday usability.” The engine is married to a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and all-wheel drive, contributing to its impressive performance. 

The GT-R Pure carries forward Nissan's distinctive and aggressive styling. The interior, while not overtly luxurious, is well-appointed with a variety of high-quality materials, a user-friendly infotainment system, and comfortable seating. 

Safety-wise, the 2019 GT-R Pure includes several standard features like a rearview camera (which the NHTSA said doesn’t work), and optional features like forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and front and rear parking sensors. 

After all these years, there still aren’t predicted reliability ratings for the 2019 GT-R, but it’s noteworthy that it has only one recall on its head about the said non-working backup camera. 

More so, the UK-based tuning workshop Litchfield Motors praised the GT-R as “without doubt the most reliable and sturdy performance car we have had the pleasure of working with.” 

While some owners have noted that the ride can be a bit harsh due to its performance-oriented suspension, and others have mentioned that it can be relatively expensive to maintain, given its high-performance parts, these points are not uncommon for high-performance sports cars.

See also: 11 Best-Handling Cheap Cars Under $15,000 

2. 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Convertible (Carbon Aero Package)

  • Reliability Rating: 93/100 (JD Power)
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 2.6 Seconds
2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Convertible (Carbon Aero Package).

For starters, US News rates this car an emphatic no.1 out of 17 in the luxury sports car category for 2023 MY. In fact, the only hangup USN has about this car is its supposedly relatively few driver-aid features. Besides that, every other parameter gets a glowing green check mark, including the acceleration and handling. 

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 70th Anniversary Convertible is a high-performance sports car that celebrates 70 years of the Corvette brand. The Carbon Aero Package brings aerodynamic enhancements for improved performance. 

The Z06 70th Anniversary Convertible features a mid-engine layout and is powered by a dual-overhead-cam, flat-plane-crank V8 engine that produces a massive 670 horsepower, making it the most powerful naturally aspirated V8 engine in the Corvette's history. 

The car’s blistering acceleration and exceptional handling promises an exhilarating driving experience. Notably, a JD Power reliability score of 91-100 is considered the Best, and the 2023 Chevrolet Corvette enjoys a JDP predicted reliability score of 93 out of 100. 

2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight

  • Reliability Rating: 80/100 (JD Power)
  • 0–60 Acceleration: 2.1 Seconds
2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight.

Photo credit: Gear Patrol

This was the first time in the 911’s history that Porsche would offer an exclusive lightweight package for the mighty Turbo S variant. One might even call the arrangement an outrageous frivolity, considering that speed-crazed gearheads had to pay an extra $10,000 in exchange for some swapped parts and deleted convenience features. 

Without further ado, the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight, equipped with the $10,340 Lightweight package, sheds 80 pounds compared to the standard model. Featuring fixed carbon-fiber bucket seats, deleted rear seats, and a PASM (Porsche Active Suspension Management) sport suspension, this Turbo S weighs in at 3,566 pounds. 

With all that weight off its shoulders, the Turbo S Lightweight showcased the agility of a rearing horse and the nimbleness of a peregrine falcon. Powered by a 640-hp twin-turbo 3.7-liter flat-six engine, it accelerates to 60 mph in 2.1 seconds and completes the quarter-mile in 9.9 seconds at 139 mph. 

Tagged at $215,190, the 2021 Porsche 911 Turbo S Lightweight offered hypercar performance at less than a fraction of the cost, blending everyday usability with extraordinary speed and handling. 

Regrettably, the standard 2021 Porsche 911 was recalled five times by the NHTSA owing to airbags, brakes, seat belts, seats, and suspension issues. Regardless, JD Power scored the car an impressive 80 out of 100 for quality and reliability. Generally, iSeeCars states that the Cayenne is the most reliable Porsche money can buy, while CoPilot believes Porsche cars excel at everything else except reliability. 

In any case, Consumer Reports insists the upcoming 2024 911 model will be more reliable than other new cars, a prediction based on the Porsche brand’s reputation and the previous MYs’ reliability.

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