Tips, Tricks & Trends

Sports Cars People Keep the Longest

Vintage sports cars are the romantics of the open road — cruising along with the top down, the wind in your hair, and great tunes blaring. It’s the American Dream. But this particular American Dream is dying — sports cars have been losing ground to esthetically challenged SUVs and pickups for years now.

It doesn’t matter if the SUV is a horse-trailer hauling Suburban giant or a roller skate masquerading as a Chevrolet Trax, car buyers prefer those to the fun cars.

So since we’re not buying new sports cars anymore, which ones are owners keeping the longest? The answers might surprise you — both the models that hang around the longest and how much longer they’re in the garage. All of these sports cars have an original owner lifespan over fifteen years, according to iSeeCars.

Audi S4 And TT

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This is the hands-down winner — 8 out of 10 S4 owners keep the cars for more than 15 years. What’s surprising is that the S4 is a sedan, not a low-slung convertible.

It’s also getting harder to find for the U.S. market, as are several other high-end Audi models. Most of the S4 models are in the Quattro series, so that all-wheel drive capability contributes to the car’s longevity. 

The uber-sporty Audi TT hit the U.S. market in 2000 as a coupe. They brought out a convertible for 2001, and in 2008 the Quattro drivetrain was standard on all TTs. Owners keep these babies Right at 6% of TT owners have them still I the garage. 

Mazda MX-5 Miata

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The Miata comes in a close second to the S4 — around 7 out of 10 of drivers keep them longer than 15 years. One of the reasons is that Mazda’s super roadster has two things going for it–a relatively low price point, so more mid-range buyers can get into that market, and the reliability of a Mazda.

Through the years Mazda has kept the Miata fresh and relevant three generations later — when you see a Miata, you know exactly what it is. And the British racing green color is just spectacular.

Chevrolet Camaro and Corvette 

Chevrolet, like Audi, has two models in the top ten. The Camaro is a lot like the Miata in that it’s the lower price end of the sports car range. Reliability is a given, as is comparatively low maintenance. It’s the only muscle car that makes this list–Ford’s iconic Mustang did not.

The iconic Stingray is like football and Coke — it’s quintessential Americana. Like the classic Ford woody wagon, a Corvette is a Corvette no matter how many new generations Chevrolet introduces. And it’s still really, really fun to drive. 

BMW Z4 and M5

A black BMW Z4 on display
A BMW Z4 on display | National Motor Museum/Heritage Images via Getty Images

BMW is the ultimate for lots or car buffs, and the Z4 and M5 represent the best of the sporty cars in their lineup. The snazzy Z4 roadster boasts higher than average reliability and a ton of style.

Yes, the M5 is a sedan, but it’s a BMW — a soccer dad can drop the kids off and pretend they’re on the autobahn. Because even a dadmobile can be an aerodynamic beast on the highway. 

Porsche 911–Convertible and Coupe

Pick a Porsche, any Porsche — as long as it’s a 911. 911s are classics — they look amazing, will give you a great run for your money, and are notoriously expensive to maintain.

On the other hand, they’re German-engineered so the 911s are a lot more reliable than you’d think. With recommended maintenance, will last long enough to almost justify the expense. 

Which of these sports cars would you like to have in your garage?