German sports car brands are renowned for being among the best in their category. With many top-name brands originating from the country such as Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Audi to name a few, enthusiasts often seek to own a car under the German brand umbrella.
The majority of these cars from these brands appeal to sports carfanatics, as there is no shortage of options to choose from that provide speed as well as comfort. German engineering is arguably the best there is when it comes to cars, and owners can be comforted by the probability that their cars will be around for a while, making used cars still a fantastic option to buy.
While still great, nothing is immune to faults. We can point out a few cars that buyers and enthusiasts may regret buying. With issues such as poor paint jobs and overheating engines, factors that seem contradictory to the craftsmanship German cars are well respected for, can be found if you look hard enough.
10 2012 Porsche Panamera
Under the well-respected Porsche brand, the Panamera model received a variation of reviews in regard to its reliability. Issues surrounding the auxiliary coolant pump in this Panamera have led to reports of the engine overheating, which can eventually damage the engine. More than likely stemming from this issue concerns spread around the car’s air conditioning system which had a possibility of short-circuiting, posing the risk of a fire. This problem was predominantly reported in models produced in 2012 so be sure to avoid this year if you are in the market for a Porsche Panamera.
9 2000 Audi TT
A fan favorite for many car enthusiasts, the Audi TT typically embodies most of what we expect in a good sports car. However, a few years after its initial release, the 2000 TT was subject to 5 recalls. One issue concerning the handling of the vehicle and reports of its tendency to understeer. A far more significant issue was the defective sprockets within the water pump. This defect can cause a multitude of issues such as coolant leaks, engine stalls, or a complete engine failure. To enjoy all the TT can offer, it may be worth spending a few extra bucks to secure a newer model.
8 1999 BMW Z3
Undermined by its superior, the Z4, the reasons to purchase a BMW Z3 seem to be few and far between. With questions surrounding the integrity of the roof and its inclination to leak, a rainy day fills owners with a sense of impending doom. Compared to its counterparts, the 1.9-liter model is considerably slow and many would question the need to own such a car with so many better alternatives on the market. The BMW Z4 was all we hoped the Z3 to be, and it was not long until it was discontinued, with production for the Z3 only between the years 1996 to 2002. Luckily, BMW has made updates and improvements to their Z Series, so these are not problems you should encounter with modern models.
7 2022 Mercedes AMG GT
An absolutely captivating car with many enthusiasts anticipating its arrival, the Mercedes AMG GT was the true pinnacle of German sports cars and engineering. With such a hefty price tag you would expect this car to be symbolic of perfection, right? Recalls concerning safety were issued for 2022 as well as models from 2018, concerning issues with the wiring within the electrical system and controversy around faulty seatbelts. For a vehicle priced that substantially you would expect Mercedes to pull out all the stops in preventing such issues, yet this shows that highly regarded vehicles are by no means exempt from the faults we see in cars half their price.
6 2008 – 2012 Volkswagen Golf GTI
The convenience and affordability of the Golf GTI make it a popular choice among enthusiasts however, the model had a string of problems that might make buyers second guess their purchase. Models between 2008 and 2012 were plagued with issues and were known for a flawed chain tensioner design which can lead to engine misfires and ultimately a car that just does not run very well. Although on the cheaper side of cars on this list, buyers should hope their car stands the test of time irrespective of the cost. With German car brands prized for a reputation of reliability and quality, Volkswagen may have missed the mark here.
5 2017 Porsche 718 Boxster
The performance capabilities of the Porsche 718 Boxster cannot be denied, with two turbo-four engines this car is a beast on the road. However, the German sports car brand Porsche did not appear to be too concerned with the quality of materials when manufacturing this model.
Complaints of poor paint quality deemed not coherent enough leave car owners disappointed as this car can cost a small fortune. Furthermore, issues with the windshield were documented and in the instance of a crash, there is the potential for the windshield to detach.
4 2015 Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe
The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe lacks the wow factor we expect in terms of its uniqueness with its glaring similarities to the E-Class Coupe. With 9 recalls before its discontinuation in 2021, issues regarding the incorrectly sized brake components contributed to the demise of the S-Class Coupe. With Mercedes-Benz no longer seeing the value of continuing production on this particular model, buyers may follow suit in no longer seeing the value of their purchase.
3 Audi S4
The integration of plastic in the timing chain guides and tensioners made the older models of the Audi S4 an instant regret for buyers as the car would experience issues of the engine shaking fresh off the line. Models produced within the last decade have received complaints of warped brakes requiring replacement earlier in occurrence than expected. Already a car that will have higher maintenance costs, this does not seem like a wise choice for enthusiasts who are not fond of continuous maintenance expenses.
2 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
Although pleasing to the eye, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe has more than a handful of problems that go beyond its exterior shell. With a staggering number of recalls from issues with the powered steering technology to problems with the car’s spoilers, attempting to secure this car without any issues may not be a risk worth taking. With a V6 engine that can produce a ton of horsepower, the E-Class has the potential to be one day be a decent sports car, however, the focus on aesthetics and innovation has compromised the key elements we want and need in a great sports car.
1 2010 E60 BMW M5
Possibly the least reliable of the bunch, the BMW M5 maintenance costs are too much to bear for many. A true gas-guzzler, the amount of fuel this car consumes is unjustifiable and the frequent need for oil changes might just be the cherry on top. Although the performance of this car is impressive with the engine’s ability to produce 507 horsepower powered by its V10 engine, it would not be considered a fair trade-off by a long shot in the eyes of many enthusiasts.