Are Italian Cars Reliable? Myths Debunked!

Italy is known for a lot of things. The country was the epicenter of the great ancient Rome. It has introduced the world to exotic dishes like Pizzas and Pasta. But more importantly, it is known for its luxury and insanely expensive cars.

People tend to misinterpret facts about things that are not very common. Most Italian cars are mighty expensive and out of purchasing power. So, there are a lot of myths about them. Let’s try and find out the truth about these myths and know Italian cars in greater detail.

Are Italian Cars Reliable?

Italian cars aren’t best known for their reliability. The ratio of defects per 100 vehicles for Italian cars is pretty low at 125. This is well below the industrial average of 150 problems per 100 vehicles. Every second Italian car has some issues with suspension or general steering.

So, the reliability of Italian cars has become a subjective matter. With their bad repute preceding their name, people find it hard to trust Italian cars. Let us give you all the relevant facts and figures about Italian cars. Then you can decide on their reliability for yourself.

Also read: Why is Alfa Romeo so Unreliable? (+ Reliable Models)

What Italian Cars are There?

Following are the top 5 Italian car brands:

  • Ferrari
  • Lamborghini
  • Maserati
  • Fiat
  • Alfa Romeo

Ferrari: Ferrari is known for the production of supercars and exotic sports cars worldwide. It started its production in 1939.

Most Famous Cars: 250 GTO, 125 S, 488 GTB, F 50

Lamborghini: Lamborghini has sold just over 7,000 units globally. But there is no match to the immense popularity this car has gained over the last century.

Most Famous Cars: Miura, Espada, Urraco, Jalpa

Maserati: Maserati isn’t a car brand it has evolved into something bigger than that. Maserati has become a symbol of Italian excellence in the automotive industry.

Most Famous Cars: 3500 GT, 5000 GT, Tipo 151

Fiat: These are probably the most affordable cars to come out of Italy. It is one of the few car brands formed in the 19th century.

Most Famous Cars: Adventura, Punto Evo, Urban Cross

Alfa Romeo: Alfa Romeo is known to produce executive and business segment cars. The Alfa Romeo cars are super-fast and they’ve won more races than any other car brand.

Most Famous Cars: 2000 Sportiva, Bimotore, 1600 Duetto Spider

Also read: What’s the Cheapest Ferrari to Maintain? (+Costs)

How Many Miles Can You Expect from Italian Cars?

The Italian cars don’t last very long. You would be lucky if your Italian car crosses 100,000 miles. Otherwise, most Italian cars will be totaled before reaching the milestone of 100,000 miles. The highest recorded mileage of a Ferrari is 96,057 miles. The record belongs to a 1985 Ferrari 308.

Do Italian Cars Break Down Often?

The Italian cars have a reputation of breaking down a lot. Most of these cars are high maintenance and demand more care. The most common issues faced by Italian car owners were related to suspension, exhaust, overheating, and dead battery.

Suspension Issues: The suspension of Italian cars are very problematic. Rattling and clinking sounds from their engines are very common. The sad part is that its repair can go quite heavy on your pocket. The maintenance cost of suspension-related issues is between $1000 to $5000.

Exhaust Issues: Many owners of Italian cars have reported broken mufflers or general exhaust-related issues. They may cost you up to $300.

Trending Video: How to Easily Bring Back to Life any Old Car Battery and Save Tons of Money (click to watch)

Overheating of Engine: This issue with Italian cars is pretty messed up. It can cost you between $500 to $1500, depending upon the severity of the problem.

Are Italian Cars Expensive to Fix?

Yes, Italian supercars and normal cars, in general, are very expensive to fix. Most of the mechanics are generally hesitant about repairing an Italian car. These exotic cars have twisted systems that are very hard to comprehend. A mechanic would charge up to $100 an hour for repair.

Is it Hard to Find Replacement Parts for Italian Cars?

Usually, it is hard to find a replacement part for Italian cars. Due to the smaller number of Italian cars sold worldwide, the companies tend to have a lesser number of service centers. Italian spare parts are hard to come by even on online stores. You would not find a lot of listings for Italian car spare parts.

Also read: How Much Does it Cost to Own a Lamborghini (a Year)

Is the Quality of Elements in Italian Cars Good?

The quality of elements used in the interior of Italian cars is good. Other than that, the build quality of Italian cars is extremely poor in general. They have a really bad reputation. Italian cars don’t hold off in tropical climates due to the use of substandard elements in their construction.

Is the Performance of Italian Cars Good?

Like other expensive cars, Italian cars also boast of having high-performing engines. This is true as Italian car brands have produced some of the best-performing cars in the world. Following are some of those:

  • Lamborghini Murcielago-6.5-liter V12 engine with output 572 hp
  • Bugatti EB110-3.5 L Bugatti quad-turbocharged V12 with 553 hp
  • Ferrari F12 TdF-770-horsepower naturally aspirated V-12

Are Italian Cars Safe?

The Italian cars are equipped with all the necessary safety features but they are practical of no use. The Italian cars have a bad name when it comes to safety. Though these cars performed well in crash testing in the past. But recent testing has shown that Italian cars are worryingly unsafe for on-road driving.

Fiat 500 scored 66% & 49% for adult and child occupant protection respectively during Euro NCAP safety testing. The fancy high-end safety features of expensive Italian cars are known to betray during the hour of need. Hence, people avoid buying them.

Do Italian Cars Rust Easily?

The Italian cars were mostly junk in the past but newer models are better in this regard. They’re coated with extra protective layers, which enable them to resist rusting. In the past, Italian cars were made out of cheaper steel imported from the former USSR.

But as soon as they realized that quality of cars was declining due to this. Then Italian automakers turned to more sophisticated building materials.

Also read: 10 Car Brands that Rust the Most (Don’t Buy Them)

Do Italian Cars Depreciate Fast?

If there is one thing common in all expensive cars, it is that they depreciate very fast. Your super expensive Italian car will lose more than 60% of its value within the first five years of operation.

Are Italian Cars Expensive to Maintain?

Italian cars are mighty expensive to maintain. The maintenance of an exotic car like Lamborghini or Ferrari can cost around $20,000. Even the maintenance of budget cars like Fiat can cost more than usual. The average cost of maintaining a Fiat can come to around $850. This is extremely high if you compare it to a Japanese or Korean car, which costs less than $400 often.

Each visit of a Ferrari to the service center will cost you a cheque for $1,000. The oil change of a Lamborghini can cost you around $2,000. These numbers are adequate to estimate the maintenance cost of Italian cars.

Are Italian Cars Expensive to Insure?

Insurance of the Italian car is an extremely costly affair. Insurance companies can assume right away that if you can purchase a car for more than 250,000 dollars then you can pay $20,000 in insurance cost per annum as well. Yes, you read that correctly, you can buy a good Toyota Yaris or Honda Civic for the insurance price of an Italian supercar.

It has nothing to do with government policies. The insurance rules in Italy are quite favorable. The cost of insuring a cheaper car in Italy is below $600. This is less than the average rates in the EU and America. So, the insane insurance rates of Italian cars have just to do with their high prices.

Are Italian Cars Overpriced?

Many people will argue that Italian cars are overpriced. This is true to some extent.

You have to pay quarter-million dollars just to see your car in a scrapyard after 80,000 miles or so. It is all about the value of money. If you compare the Italian cars with hefty price tags to the American or German cars of a similar segment, you’d know what I’m saying.

What are the Most Reliable Italian Cars?

Unfortunately, there aren’t many reliable Italian cars but if I have to choose, my top 3 picks will be:

  • Lamborghini Huracan EVO
  • Alfa Romeo Giulia
  • Fiat 124

Lamborghini Huracan EVO: It is a high-speed supercar that comes with a 5.2-liter V10 engine. It carries a hefty price tag of $217,819.

Alfa Romeo Giulia: It is one of the few affordable Italian cars on the market and that is primarily why it is on our list. This popular car comes with a 2-liter I4 turbocharged engine. The most popular trim of Giulia is priced at $46,585.

Which Italian Cars Should You Avoid?

If it were up to us, we’d suggest you avoid buying any Italian cars at all. But Lamborghini Espada, Alfa Romeo Arna, and Fiat Ritmo are some of the worst Italian cars ever made.

Alfa Romeo Arna: This car had the looks and reputation for being a decent car. But it was an altogether failure for Alfa Romeo.

Fiat 500: The car became an utter disaster for Fiat. People hated it due to its overheating and suspension issues.

Also read: Do Alfa Romeos Hold Value? (1-12 Years Depreciation)

What are the Best Alternatives to Italian Cars?

To substitute your exotic Italian car, you would need an equally extravagant vehicle. Probably the best alternative for your Italian car would be a French one. France also has a reputation for building high-end luxurious cars.

If you’re looking for an equivalent of Italian car then you might consider buying the following:

  • Bugatti EB110
  • Venturi America EV
  • Peugeot RCZ

Italian cars come at a price so most people cannot afford these. Majority of the people make comments and opinions which aren’t based on the first-hand experience. Hence, I would like to clear some popular myths about Italian cars.

Do Italian Cars Have Transmission Problems?

The P-R-N-L-D is a universal order in automatic cars throughout the world. But Italians were probably too bored with it, so they thought of reorganizing this pattern. These changed patterns are a mystery to most users due to which they are highly unsatisfied with Italian cars.

Do Italian Cars Have Limited Visibility?

Italian automakers have taken the liberty to redesign their cars. In this attempt to give a distinct appearance to their cars, they often end up with horrible designs. A major drawback of these designs is the limited visibility of the driver. Henceforth, the unsafe on-road driving of Italian cars.

Are Italian Cars Ugly?

Unique would be the right word to describe the exterior features of Italian cars. Their designs are peculiar, sometimes people like these and sometimes they don’t. But overall the looks of Italian cars are exquisite and pristine.

Do Italian Cars Have Shady Suspension?

Yes, almost every second Italian car has to deal with suspension-related issues once in its life span. Strange noises from the suspension of Italian cars are way too common. Many people have reported shaky and wobbly steering of Italian cars as well.

Do Italian Cars Have Fires?

Lamborghini had to issue a recall of its Aventador supercar over the risks that a fuel system fault could lead to fires. A safety analysis conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concluded that Lamborghinis are prone to get on fire if their fuel tank was full.