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Whether intended in the design or not, coupe cars make a bold statement with attractive streamlined styling and high-performance power. Often, these cars are striving to achieve the very best, whether that’s the best driving experience, the most fun handling, or the highest levels of luxury. The classiest coupes are such cars, and whether they succeed or fail in their aims, they do so with impeccable, head turning looks. 

 WHAT IS A COUPE? 

The term coupe, from the French translation for ‘cut,’ was first used to describe a type of horse-drawn coach used in the eighteenth century, with a shortened passenger compartment to make it easier to climb aboard. Today, it refers to a design of cars that are incredibly stylish and very classy, oozing endless appeal with a fixed-roof and a sloping, ‘cut down rear roofline. Typically, coupes are also defined by: 

  • Having two or three doors  
  • A shorter wheel base 
  • Light curb weight 
  • Sporty styling 
  • Longer doors 
  • Two small rear seats 

But like many car types in the motoring world, there is really no strict single definition and there are always examples to the contrary, like the four-door coupeNaturally, auto manufacturers like to play with designs and complicate things like terminology. Go with the sloping roofline and the suave sporty styling and we reckon you’ll be able to spot a coupe from a sedan no problem. Search used coupes https://www.motors.co.uk/used-cars/bodystyle/coupe/ 

THE TOP 10 CLASSIEST COUPES 

The classiest coupes strike a fine balance between performance and practicality, but then go all out on style. And as one of the most visually appealing car types, you can rest assured that there are numerous different looks available from the wild and sporty, to the sophisticated and dignified – there’s always a coupe to suit your bearing. Please, read on to see what we’ve chosen as our top 10 classiest coupes. 

1. BMW 2 SERIES

The BMW 2 Series coupe is a lovely looking streamlined car, with sleek lines and a suave body shape. The two-door car doesn’t feel showy either, unlike other coupes. It has a reserved, sophisticated, and dignified sense of styling and that’s why it’s number one on our classiest coupes list.

Although all-wheel drive is available, most models are rear wheel drive, which will delight sporting purists with an engaging and fun driving experience. Inside, the cabin is finished with high-quality materials for an upmarket, premium feel too.

When it comes to engines, the 2 Series has a wide selection available, from the frugal (with impressively low running costs), to the high performance (with sports car number crunching power).

Best features:

  • Sophisticated and stylish 
  • Lots of fun to drive 
  • Premium cabin 

Prices from £6,700

2. PORSCHE 718 CAYMAN

If you want a car that’s more of a head turner than the BMW 2 Series, then the Porsche 718 Cayman is a coupe that fits the bill. The small, two-seater sports car is a dream to look at, with truly iconic styling. It also offers an incredibly fun driving experience with sublime handling and extraordinary performance.

Then again, it is a Porsche so many motorists would say that’s to be expected. Surprisingly, however, the Cayman is also rather reasonable to run, with good miles per gallon for this type of car.

It’s also one of the more affordable vehicles in the Porsche line-up. In contrast to the exterior, the interior of the cabin is paired back, putting the focus solely on the road, which is where you want it in a car like this. 

Best features:

  • Iconic styling 
  • Lots of fun to drive 
  • Sublime handling 

Prices from £2,250

3. AUDI TT

Instantly recognisable, the Audi TT is a very beautiful car that has the marque’s signature of quality on the outside and in.

Whilst the exterior enjoys an iconic design, the cabin is laced with premium materials and finished with a keen eye for detail. The superb build results in a reliable car that just so happens to be a lot of fun to drive too.

Although the TT is billed as a 2+2 car, it’s best to consider it as a two-seater, as the rear is not very practical even for children.

However, people tend not to buy coupes expecting a lot of space and (despite the lack of it in the back seats) the TT is still surprisingly well suited to everyday use with frugal running costs and a large 305-litre boot. 

Best features:

  • Iconic looks 
  • High-quality cabin 
  • Lots of fun to drive

Prices from £1,000 

4. JAGUAR F-TYPE

The stunning Jaguar F-Type coupe is a svelte sports car with streamlined lines in all the right places. It projects a sophisticated and handsome image, behind which lies a pretty powerful beast, albeit one bedecked in layers of Jaguar luxury. 

It also enjoys a good selection of punchy, turbocharged engines to choose from too, allowing you add to its animalistic side. Naturally, the high-performance car is a lot of fun to drive with precise handling and a comfortable cabin, which is beautifully laid out.

Whilst the F-type is a strictly two-seater affair, it does offer a sizeable 310-litre boot adding to its practicality. However, when you see the F-type in profile and catch the noise from the twin exhaust pipes, we think any questions of practicality will be dwarfed by the passionate, upmarket design.  

Best features:

  • Sophisticated, upmarket styling 
  • Lots of fun to drive 
  • Beautifully laid out cabin 

Prices from £40,000

5. FORD MUSTANG

Turning heads with a smile wherever it goes, the iconic Ford Mustang combines modern styling with a hint of the traditional, the silhouette of the original Mustang still evident in the car’s profile. Air vents on the bonnet and flared front wheel arches help deflect air flow, but also add extra desirability to its present day sporty looks. 

Yet the Mustang still manages to retain its brawny muscle car image and brash personality as well, with soft echoes of the classic 1964 model – characteristics that made the car popular in the first place.

This retro modern appeal continues inside too, with a three-spoke steering wheel and dashboard reminiscent of the original. With a mighty V8 engine that sings, the Mustang offers extra servings of fun, trading a touch of finesse and precision for greater helpings of muscle and power, which is a perfect combination coupled with its strong looks.

Best features:

  • Striking and iconic 
  • Lots of fun to drive 
  • Retro modern appeal

Prices from £9,000

6. SUBARU BRZ

Very much a back to basics kind of coupe, the Subaru BRZ strips back the layers of luxury that other sports cars ramp up.

Why? Well, first to achieve a more affordable starting price compared to others in its segment, and, secondly, to put the focus firmly back on the road.

And here the Subaru BRZ shines, proving very engaging to drive and endless fun, with nippy handling and a low-slung, lightweight body. 

Thankfully, the back to basics vibe lays a gentle hand on the BRZ’s styling, which enjoys streamlined sporty angles, but with a soft approach for a dignified, pared back look. It’s very effective, creating an effortlessly attractive car without being showy. 

Best features:

  • Lots of fun to drive 
  • Affordable starting price 
  • Attractive styling  

Prices from £19,000 

7. MERCEDES-BENZ S-CLASS

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class Coupe is based on the saloon of the same name, continuing the incredibly high-standards of that class-leading executive car, but with two doors instead of four and reduced rear cabin space.

It also has a punchier driving experience and, with that sloping roofline, looks that are even more sophisticated and graceful. Inside, expect the expert finish and impeccable standards of the saloon, with the luxurious cabin covered in fine leather, alongside a choice of carbon fibre, metal, and wood trims.

The S-Class Coupe is also supremely comfortable in the front, with heated massage seats that are generously padded for the ultimate in relaxation. Whilst the rear seats are a cosy squeeze, as is often the case with coupes, the boot space is a very practical, and leading, 400 litres. 

In short, the S-Class is a very classy car. It also carries a high starting price, so to own one is to be a part of an elite Mercedes club.  

Best features:

  • Sophisticated and graceful 
  • Luxurious cabin 
  • Supremely comfortable 

Prices from £1,250 

8. TOYOTA GT86

Massively fun to drive, the Toyota GT86 sports car coupe enjoys a classic layout that sporting purists will love, with rear wheel drive and a front mounted engine coupled with a low centre of gravity and light body weight. It also enjoys a classic sports car profile and silhouette, with an aggressive front facia.

From the exterior styling to the expertly handling, the design is very much focused on maximising the driver’s experience and the fun that comes with it. And the GT86 succeeds. In fact, it’s one of the best driver’s cars on the market, which is an impressive feat to achieve considering the strong rivals in that category – a feat that is all the more impressive when you consider its rather affordable starting price. 

Plus, the GT86 is the sibling to the Subaru BRZ. The two cars are very similar, which is great news for those looking to buy a used model, as now you have two classy coupes to compare increasing the chances of finding a brilliant pre-owned deal. 

Best features:

  • Massively fun 
  • A true driver’s car 
  • Classic sporty design

Prices from £8,500 

9. NISSAN 370Z

With a retro muscular design that harks back to another age, the Nissan 370Z is a two-seater sports car with slick old-school style. It has a long bonnet giving rise to the windscreen and relatively small cockpit, then a rapidly sloping roofline which descends to brawny rear wheel arches, altogether forming one of the most charming and classy coupes of its kind.

The throwback sports car is also very quick and engaging to drive, but less in an effortlessly nimble way like the Toyota GT86 and more in a muscle car manner, which perfectly suits the car’s styling. It’s rugged and rough, but once you master it, it’s a very satisfying driving experience.

Compared to others on this list, the interior quality of the car feels its age and it is certainly a long stretch from leaders like the Audi TT. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with the car’s classic styling and affordable starting price, which can be lowered even further in the form of some excellent, low-cost pre-owned deals. 

Best features:

  • Retro muscular design 
  • Old-school charm  
  • Very quick and engaging 

Prices from £10,000 

10. BENTLEY CONTINENTAL GT

There are few cars as classy as the Bentley Continental GT coupe. There are also few cars with the kind of starting price the GT commands.

If you can afford it, then you can put the Bentley in first place and shuffle all the other cars down a notch, because what you get for the price is a truly luxurious and beautiful car. Or some would say, a work of art, one that hides some high-performance power underneath its dignified façade.

Inside, the refinement continues with an exquisite cabin finished with the highest quality materials.

To add to the car’s classy credentials, the Bentley Continental GT sets new standards in craftsmanship being built, the artists’ way, by hand.  

Best features:

  • Handcrafted, dignified styling 
  • Truly luxurious  
  • Exquisite cabin

Prices from £17,000 

Searching for a stylish coupe with plenty of class? We’ve got plenty to choose from at Motors.co.uk 

Find your next coupe
Back to articles February 5, 2021

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