Pretty looks and daily practicality.
Buying an Italian supercar is the dream of every young child with a Ferrari poster on their wall but with modern exotics commanding high six-figure price tags, it is becoming ever more difficult to imagine owning one in real life. A 2020 Ferrari F8 Tributo, for example, costs $276,550 before you add a single option. It comes with a 3.9-liter twin-turbocharged V8 producing 710 horsepower, making it one of the fastest supercars on the planet, but it does have a major flaw.
If you really stop to think about, the F8 Tributo is really just an updated 488 GTB which itself is an updated 458 Italia. It may not have as much power as its turbocharged successors, but used 458 values are pretty reasonable (relatively speaking), and now might be a good time to buy one.
The 458 Italia was the first modern Ferrari to be truly daily driver-friendly. Manual cars are an exception but all of the automatic Ferrari models prior to the 458 used clunky single-clutch paddle-shift transmissions that are slow by modern standards and tricky to maintain. When the 458 arrived sporting a dual-clutch transmission, it fixed many of Ferrari's drivability and reliability concerns. This was one of the first supercars you could truly drive every day to work without worrying about it catching fire or burning through clutches.
It also marks a major turning point in Ferrari design where the company moved away from flashy edges to embrace sumptuous curves. Because the 488 and F8 are both still based on the 458's basic architecture, the 458 has barely aged a day since exiting production in 2015.
When it was new, a base Ferrari 458 Italian commanded an MSRP of $239,340. With options, these cars could easily exceed the $300,000 mark. Five years on and used 458 prices have come down tremendously with the least expensive examples priced around $130,000. It's not exactly a Miata alternative but compared to its price when it was new, the 458 is now a bargain. 458 Spider models are a tad more expensive, with prices starting at around $150,000.
Due to its lack of turbocharging, the 458 can't keep up with the latest and greatest supercars. But it's not slow. Power still comes from a 4.5-liter V8 engine producing 562 horsepower and 398 lb-ft of torque sending power to the rear through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine hits a stratospheric 9,000-rpm redline on its way to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds and a 210 mph top speed. The Spider is 55 pounds heavier due to its retracting hardtop but manages to keep the same 0-60 time with a minor drop in top speed to 199 mph.
If you sat behind the wheel of the 488 GTB or even a brand-new F8 Tributo, you might wonder what Ferrari's interior designers have been doing for the past decade. The 458's interior still looks modern by Ferrari standards because the brand hasn't really moved on from this cabin design. With no manual transmission on offer, the center console houses only a few transmission controls while most of the main functions are controlled on the steering wheel. There isn't even a central infotainment screen, as all radio and car functions are handled in the gauge cluster.
Supercars have moved on quite a bit since its introduction in 2009, but the 458 doesn't appear to have aged much since it left production. With Ferrari sales soaring and prices continuing to inflate, new supercars are becoming increasingly out of reach of the average buyer. The 458 is the first modern Ferrari to put untrustworthy reliability in the past, meaning that buying a used one won't be a complete dice roll. If you are in the market for your first used supercar, the 458 Italia is a great place to begin.