While America is known for its powerful muscle cars and pickups, Europe has produced some truly impressive luxury. sports cars over the years, models that have allowed brands such as Porsche and Ferrari to become pure status symbols. With high power, brilliant handling and exquisite styling, most European sports cars can fetch quite a bit of money on the used market, but there are also plenty that have been left behind and are very undesirable.
The sports cars on this list all suffer from major flaws that buyers should be aware of, and their prices reflect that. Whether it’s their underpowered engines, poor build quality, or awful looks, the cars on this list aren’t even worth the peanuts they’re sold for. Not every European sports car can achieve the success that so many others have achieved, and these cars are living proof of that.
9 1984 Maserati Biturbo ($10,000)
The Maserati Biturbo was launched in 1981 and many consider it a complete flop. Designed as a sports car suitable for everyday use, but it did not succeed at all because it failed among enthusiasts. The car was the first production model to be offered with a twin-turbo setup, but that didn’t save it.
The build quality was poor and the engine was simply underpowered compared to competing cars like the BMW M3 E30. For these reasons, the car is very cheap these days, costing around $10,000 in great condition. Enthusiasts choose not to buy one despite it being so cheap.
8 1979 Jaguar XJ-S ($10,400)
The Jaguar XJ-S wasn’t as bad as many enthusiasts claim, as it had a luxurious feel and there was plenty of space. The six-cylinder model was also excellent, and many enthusiasts loved it. However, the same cannot be said for the V12 version.
The V12 engine is notorious for being unreliable and many owners frequently had to have the engine repaired, which was very expensive. These days, the V12 model XJ-S costs around $10,400, which is a pittance for a V12-powered car, but it’s not worth it due to the quality of the engine.
seven 1975 Triumph TR7 ($3,900)
The Triumph TR7 is loved by many enthusiasts, but still not worth buying due to its horrible build quality and performance. Although an interesting car overall, the TR7 was a total disappointment and many enthusiasts were left disappointed when it was released.
Specific issues related to fit and finish, wide gaps between panels and some cars were not finished when delivered. Due to strikes at the time, some cars were not made at all. The styling isn’t for everyone either, and many were quite shocked by its appearance when the TR7 was first launched. Its cheap price of around $8,000 is easily understandable when you look at all the issues the TR7 has, and it’s not worth buying now either.
6 1998 BMW Z3 1.9 ($9,800)
The BMW Z3 has spent its life being compared to the Mazda Miata, and it just doesn’t measure up. The BMW featured multiple engines, and the 1.9 engine was the smallest of them all. This model was mediocre compared to the 2.8-liter engined model, and it was also very slow. The 122mph top speed is pathetic compared to the 2.8-liter model which went 140mph at top speed.
Buyers benefit more from buying the 2.8 or even 3.0 models, and they offer great power compared to this poor rendering. For this reason, the Z3 1.9 is highly undesirable among enthusiasts, and it now costs around $9,800 and if an enthusiast wants one, they might as well get a model with power.
5 2000 Audi TT 8N ($7,300)
Launched in 1998, the Audi TT was unchanged from the concept. It had been so well received by enthusiasts that very little had been done for the car by the time it was released. It was a great sports car for style lovers, but there were serious issues when the car was driven at high speeds.
The car became unstable at high speeds and that meant that on the highways it was very dangerous. Fortunately, Audi took over the car and added a small spoiler. However, the original model remains undesirable and even though it costs around $7,300, it is not worth it due to its dangerousness.
4 1975 MG Midget MkIV ($5,300)
The last installment of the MG Midget was launched in 1975. The MkIV was very desirable, especially in US models due to its rubber crash bumpers which ruined the svelte styling. This included a power reduction to 55.5 bhp and a low speed of 80 mph at top speed.
Due to issues with British Leyland, the build quality of the MG Midget was sometimes shaky and the car fell short. Also, the MkIV has gotten pretty rusty now, which makes it all the less desirable. The car costs around $5,300 which is cheap but the reason why most enthusiasts should stay away from the car unless they are willing to put in the work to update it.
3 2000 Mercedes SLK 230 ($8,700)
The Mercedes SLK was released in 1996. The 2.3 liter model was the poorest in the range, bringing only 194 hp compared to the 320 models which brought over 200 hp. The SLK’s handling was brilliant, but as expected in a Mercedes of that era, it fell victim to rust.
The Mercedes SLK 230 was built at a time when Mercedes’ build quality was poor, which made the cars less desirable over time. Also, there are a lot of problems with electric gremlins, with biodegradable looms breaking down. Costing around $8,700 these days, the SLK 230 isn’t worth spending the money on and buyers can get a better, more up-to-date Mercedes.
2 1976 Lancia Scorpio ($12,200)
The Lancia Scorpion is the convertible option of the Beta Montecarlo. It was released in 1974, but the US received it in 1976. The cars were severely underpowered, with smaller 1.7 liter twin cam engines. The car came with a small 81 bhp which was downsized from the 120 bhp Montecarlo.
Also, there were problems with the brakes of the car and to fix this problem Lancia had to make many changes which later made the car boring to drive. With its low power and boring feel, the Lancia Scorpion isn’t worth buying; and while the price tag of around $12,200 might seem cheap, the Scorpion isn’t worth much.
1 1972 Fiat X1/9 1300 ($8,500)
Launched in 1972, the Fiat X1/9 is known for its brilliant handling and cool 70s looks. succeeded much more than its competitor, the Triumph TR7.
However, the car is rusting horribly these days, especially on the arches including the A-pillar and engine cover to the boot. Thanks to these issues, the X1.9 is very cheap, costing around $8,500. The car may be stylish, but it’s riddled with issues now, and those issues make it a bad buy.