One of the great things about being a car enthusiast is having the ability to recognize a car for being a good or terrible buy. But that can also be the curse of this enthusiast life as well. This job requires us to look at cars all day, and because this is Jalopnik, we also continue to look at them after hours. It also means we’re constantly tempted by purchasing cars we know better than to buy—the allure of a cheap fun or cheap performance car can be just too strong to ignore.
Take this 2008 Maserati Quattroporte with 59,000 miles listed for just $13,950. Brand new, these things loaded could easily surpass six figures. Today’s Dollar Tree price is tempting, especially as this is an Italian luxury sport sedan with a 4.2-liter Ferrari-sourced V8 producing 396 horsepower under the hood. But numerous things can and will go wrong with this gen of Quattroporte. Scouring the owner forums will tell you all you need to know: Don’t do it. One Maserati forum member summed up a used Quattroporte best:
Lol these cars are absolutely not reliable. They are gorgeous and powerful and exotic head turning machines but they are NOT reliable. The list of usual suspect problems is exhaustive. Window regulators, trunk latch, variators ($$$), clutch (pre 07), batteries, Check engine lights galore like a Xmas tree. Typically the engines and transmission (zf) are fairly bulletproof but everything else that can go wrong will. That list also includes control arm, sway bar bushing wear at alarming rates as well as tires. You buy this car because you love them and “need “ one. If you want reliability go buy Japanese. This car is like a hot girlfriend that cheats on you all the time hahaha
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Of course, this is a Maserati, and repairs aren’t cheap, like the clutch which can run nearly $3,000 to $4,000 to replace.
I’ve shown you one of the cars I’m sure would ruin me. Now’s your chance to show me yours. Dig into those listings and find the cars that haunt your dreams, your bookmarks and your bank accounts—or the ones your spouse would definitely kill you over if they come home to a surprise in the garage.