I can’t think of anywhere in the world where Italian cars are counted among the most reliable.
But they sure are beautiful.
What if you don’t care about their reputation and you just want an Italian car. But you don’t want to go broke owning one?
The good news is that even though Italian cars have the disappointing distinction for being notoriously unreliable. There are a few gems to be counted among Italian branded automobiles.
They’re not just fast, great-looking machines they’re also a lot more reliable than they’re given credit for. Here’s a list of the most reliable Italian cars.
1. Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio
While its not a car you’re going to want to hang onto for up to 40,000 miles, according to a survey by WhatCar the Alfa Romeo Guilia Quadrifoglio is one of the more reliable cars to own brand new… within the first three years that is.
It competes against cars like the BMW M3 and Mercedes Benz AMG C-Class.
The reason you buy a Guilia Quadrifoglio is for the twin turbo 2.9-liter V6 that makes a whopping 505 horsepower. It comes with an eight-speed ZF automatic for running through shifts.
The standard seats are highly supportive and offer plenty of adjustments.
Just know that the fit and finish have always been a point of contention for Alfa Romeos and the Guilia Quadrifoglio doesn’t break from that tradition.
Additionally, the schizophrenic electrical systems make BMW’s electricals seem competent.
2. Alfa Romeo Giulia Brera Prodrive
Even though the name suggests otherwise, the Alfa Romeo Giulia Brera Prodrive isn’t as engaging to drive as the Quadrifoglio.
Performance wise, however, it’s along the same lines as the BMW 330i. So, its still a performer that comes with either front wheel drive or optional four-wheel drive with the higher engine displacement.
Since the car was only produced from 2006 to 2010, an area you’ll want to pay attention to when buying used is the suspension which will likely need an upgrade once it comes into your possession.
The Brera Prodrive vaunts a 2.2 or 3.2-liter V6 the latter of which makes 256 HP. It comes with a six-speed manual gear box but can also be had with an optional Q-Tronic with smaller 2.2-liter power plant.
3. Fiat 500
The Cinquecento is the first Fiat in America since the company left our shores back in 1984. Following the company’s business venture with Chrysler it made its appearance in showrooms beginning in 2012.
The American version is nearly identical to the one Europe. What’s going to impact a Fiat 500’s reliability like any car is the owner’s ability to keep up with scheduled maintenance.
With that said, you’ll enjoy a more reliable 500 if its brand new.
Motivating this little car is a 1.4-liter SOHC four-cylinder making just 101 horsepower. There is an optional automatic.
But Italian cars are driver’s cars. I recommend six-speed manual transmission. If you don’t know how to drive a manual, learn. You won’t be disappointed.
4. Fiat Panda
Although WhatCar gives the Fiat Panda mixed reliability scores. It’s nevertheless one of the more reliable Fiats you can buy.
The Panda has been around since 1980 – It’s a fun little car to tool around in small city streets.
And it competes favorably against other city cars like the Volkswagen Up, Hyundai i10, Kia Picanto, Suzuki Ignis, Dacia Sandero and smaller SUVs like the Toyota Aygo X.
Endorsing the argument of its reliability is the fact that Italians specifically have been buying the car in large numbers.
It’s one of the country’s bestselling cars. The latest models have only one engine option: a 1.0-liter three cylinder that makes 69 HP.
It replaces the 0.8-liter two-cylinder TwinAir and 1.3-liter diesel options.
5. Ferrari California
Produced from 2008 to 2017 the California is one of the most reliable Ferraris you can buy.
Owners on sites like Cars.com give it plenty of laudatory adjectives to describe their user experience. And from their adulations it would seem that the Ferrari California is an easy Ferrari to live with.
It sports a high level of all-around usefulness down to its folding hardtop. Except, no cupholders?
Not only is it the first Ferrari with a folding hard top. It’s the first Ferrari with a V8 engine placed in front of the driver and passenger.
It produces 453 horsepower that gets sent to the rear wheels. And it has a dual-clutch automated-manual transmission.
6. Ferrari 458 Italia
As if the F430 wasn’t good enough, Ferrari replaced it with 458 Italia. Instantly, it was praised for being one of the best Ferraris ever made.
My brother wanted one when it was introduced in 2009. With an unparalleled driving experience, even though the 458 Italia was replaced after production ended in 2015, it’s still an exciting car to look at let alone drive.
Snug inside the modular aluminum alloy chassis is a naturally aspirated 4.5-liter V8 making 578 horsepower. Mated to it is a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.
To help the 458 Italia maintain its reliability Ferrari offers a no cost 7-year routine maintenance program on 2012 models and up. It covers routine services like oil changes, fluids, filters and other maintenance basics.
7. Ferrari 360 Modena
It seems like anyone that’s had a chance to live with the Ferrari 360 Modena has found it to be a reliable car.
Fresh off the heals of the chronically unreliable 355, the 360 Modena was a completely different car with an overall look that helped bring Ferrari into the modern era.
It was the first Ferrari to feature a unibody made entirely of aluminum. It also featured a four-wheel independent unequal length wishbone suspension monitored by its Continuous Damper Control system for great handling.
The 3.6-liter naturally aspirated V8 makes 400 horsepower. You can get one in a gated six-speed manual or an electro-hydraulic F1 six speed transmission.
I would go with gated manual as the F1 transmission garnered many complaints.
8. Maserati GranTurismo
The original GranTurisom?
Not so reliable.
But things changed once Ferrari took over. True to the Italian heritage of automobile design, the Maserati GranTurisom is a car that invokes a lot of emotion and that’s before you slip it in gear.
But be forewarned this is not the car you choose because you’re looking for good fuel economy. It’s a gorgeous 2+2 GT that’s thrilling to drive.
The Pininfarina-designed coupe uses a shortened version of the Quattraporte chassis along with Ferrari’s 4.2-liter V8 producing 454 HP. Power is sent to the rear-wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.
Inside is an 8.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. While the Sport trim level offers plenty of driving enjoyment.
The MC trim level offers sharper driving characteristics.
9. Maserati Quattroporte
Again, we are talking Italian cars and this list is for someone that understands what they’re getting into when they choose an Italian nameplate.
If you think you’ll pick up one of these cars and have it run as trouble-free as a Toyota Camry, you’ll be sorely disappointed. With that said, the Maserati Quattraporte features a great build-quality.
And what helps its reliability rating is that it features proven components, like an eight-speed ZF transmission. The unique aspect of the Quattraoporte is that unlike most cars on this list.
It offers enough seating to rival the BMW 7-Series, Mercedes S-Class and Audi A8 but with way more power and panache.
10. Lamborghini Gallardo
Lamborghinis haven’t always been associated with reliability. That is of course until after the company’s partnership with Audi gave it some German practicality.
This is my favorite Lambo of all time and one that I’m working on acquiring.
Lamborghini Gallardos have a high customer satisfaction. It seems that anyone who’s owned one has nothing but praises as far as reliability goes.
A testament to their reliability is that these are one of the first supercars I’ve ever heard of being good daily drivers. The Gallardo also gets the distinction of being the Raging Bull’s first baby Lambo.
But instead of a V12, you get a V10 with horsepower figures and a drivetrain that rivals the Ferrari 360 Modena.
11. Lamborghini Huracan
Like a new Michael Jackson video in the 80s and 90s, the announcement of a new Lamborghini is cause for excitement.
And of course since the Gallardo garnered special attention as Lamborghini’s bestselling car of all time. It was only natural that the follow up would receive special attention before its debut.
The Huracan is one of the most reliable Lamborghinis on the planet. Lamborghini took everything that made the Gallardo so successful and cranked it to eleven.
The Huracan got a 5.2-liter V10 making 601 HP. The manual along with the clunky E-Gear transmission was dropped for a new blistering fast dual-clutch number.
12. Lamborghini Urus
If that wasn’t enough Lamborghini also gets the distinction of being the first supercar name to produce an SUV with the not so successful LM002.
With just one recall and zero customer complaints, the Urus is the most reliable SUV Lamborghini has ever produced. Lightening quick and luxurious, the Urus is well built.
Under the hood is a twin turbo 4.0-liter V8 that makes an incredible 641 horsepower.
It also comes with an eight-speed automatic and full-time all-wheel drive. It can go from 0 to 60 in the same amount of time it takes any other Lamborghini. And you can take it off roading.
Inside you can’t mistake the Urus for anything but a Lamborghini.