Consumer Reports Reliable Used Sports Cars Under $25,000

Avoid a used sports car in the summer

Previously we talked about you wanting to know which are the ‘Buy This, Not That’ small convertible sports car summer cruisers recommended by mechanics to help you have summer fun and avoid a summer disaster.

Today we continue with the topic of summer fun, the good people at consumer reports recently released its latest list of coupes, sedans and roadsters that are not only reliable… but affordable too.

Using road test and survey data from their annual car surveys of sports car enthusiasts who own sports cars, CR analysts were able to summarize numbers related to predicted vehicle reliability among the cars proven to be top-performing models.

And that’s not all. The vehicles were then divided into three budget categories to offer something for everyone, whether you’re looking for a European sports sedan or coupe, a hardcore muscle car or a small and nimble roadster that’s more than fun to drive – but an experience!

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

Since these are used and sports cars…

However, since these are used… and sports cars, you can assume they’ve probably been roughly driven. However, the recommendations below include reported trouble spots and at least one customer testimonial of a related trouble spot issue they have experienced with each model.

It is highly recommended before purchasing any used sports car to do a good and thorough pre-inspection and enlist the help of a used car consumer reports Membership for more in-depth details on each model. The cost of membership is negligible compared to the potential savings on a new or used vehicle purchase.

RECOMMENDED USED SPORTS CAR IN THE RANGE OF $10,000-15,000

2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price range: $13,625 – $17,700
Owner reported MPG: 27 mpg

Reported problem areas: squeaks, rattles, wind noise, loose or cracked gaskets and/or gaskets, air and water leaks.

Car Owner Complaint: “I like this vehicle enough not to sell it, but I probably wouldn’t buy it again. I’ve owned it for 6.5 years and I bet this thing has squeaked and rattled more than 5 of them. Mechanics have been The roof has been constantly tightened and the roof latch has been replaced several times which I am told was a common problem on this vehicle.

2013 Scion FR-S
Price range: $14,025 – $14,700
Owner reported MPG: 29 mpg

Reported problem areas: engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Complaint from the car owner: “I was driving down the freeway at 70mph and the engine died, I had to navigate onto the shoulder which was dangerous without power. I took it to the Toyota dealer and they said the 3rd rod burned out in the piston and metal burned out, the engine failed and the engine could not be repaired.”

2013 Subaru BRZ
Price range: $15,100 – $15,600
Owner reported MPG: 27 mpg

Reported problem areas: engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Complaint from the car owner: “Camshaft bearing and gasket needed replacing ~ 4 working days labor under warranty. Cause oil to leak onto the passenger side exhaust pipe. Detected by smell and smoke, then visual inspection.”

RECOMMENDED USED SPORTS CAR IN THE RANGE OF $15,000-$20,000

2015 Audi A5
Price range: $17,700 – $24,875
Owner reported MPG: 24 mpg

Reported problem areas: conversion or replacement of gearboxes, torque converters, clutch changes.

Complaint from the car owner: “Dealer service could not fill transmission oil completely, transmission overheated and factory rep sailed, it needed a new transmission”

2014 Ford Mustang
Price range: $14,175 – $36,700
Owner reported MPG: 21 mpg

Reported trouble spots: driveshaft or axle, constant velocity joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, drive train vibration, traction control, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), electrical malfunction.

Car Owner Complaint: “Replaced slip differential. Luckily I had dealer warranty because although it was under 60,000 miles it was a month over the 5 year mark.”

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Price range: $17,600 – $20,350
Owner reported MPG: 32 mpg

Reported trouble spots: blower motor (fan), air conditioning compressor, condenser, evaporator, heating system, climate control, refrigerant leak, power failure.

Complaint from the car owner: “Air conditioning failed three times, one under warranty and the other two immediately out of warranty. I was very unhappy that the car was not fully processed under warranty after buying it new.”

RECOMMENDED USED SPORTS CAR IN THE RANGE OF $20,000-25,000

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.

Complaint from the car owner: “The electronic sensor that controls the ignition of the spark plug failed and had to be replaced. Pretty minor problem, but difficult to diagnose and very inconvenient as the car had to be transported to the dealership twice.”

2016 BMW 4 Series
Price range: $20,850 – $29,000
Owner reported MPG: 23 mpg

Reported problem areas: squeaks, rattles, wind noise, loose or cracked gaskets and/or gaskets, air and water leaks.

Complaint from the car owner: “The trunk cover was misaligned, resulting in a gap between the cover and the bodywork, allowing water to enter the trunk in heavy rain. Certain electrical components are housed in a duct in the floor of the trunk, and the water pooled in the well, flooding and ruining these components.”

2017 Chevy Camaro
Price range: $20,000 – $48,650
Owner reported MPG: 23 mpg

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

Complaint from car owner: “Related to slipping gears. Sometimes it slips between low gears, sometimes it rattles”

2019 Honda Civic
Price range: $20,825 – $38,350
Owner reported MPG: 32 mpg

Reported trouble spots: blower motor (fan), air conditioning compressor, condenser, evaporator, heating system, climate control, refrigerant leak, power failure.

Complaint from the car owner: “About two weeks after buying the car, the air conditioner only blew hot air. I picked them up and learned that the car had arrived from the dealer with low freon. I was told there were no leaks. About two weeks later the same thing happened, along with a grinding noise. I picked it up and was told there was indeed a leak. They left the car overnight and fixed the problem. Everything has been fine since then.”

And finally…

For additional articles on used cars recommended by Consumer Reports, here’s one titled “Consumer Reports Used Car Pick Finds From $40,000 to $7,000.”

IN CONNECTION: Used cars with serious transmission problems to watch out for

Timothy Boyer is a Cincinnati-based automotive reporter at Torque News. He is experienced in early car restorations and regularly restores older vehicles with engine modifications to increase performance. Follow Tim on Twitter at @TimBoyerWrites for daily updated new and used car news.

Image source: Pixabay


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