Best coupe cars 2024

Practicality is probably a long way down your list of priorities if you're in the market for a new coupe. You want something that looks stylish, is great to drive and makes you feel good when you're behind the wheel.

Maybe you're enjoying some freedom before the patter of tiny feet signals the need to buy something more practical, like a small SUV or family hatchback. Not that a coupe is necessarily impractical. Today, some coupes come with four doors, so it's easier to get in the back, even if space is at a premium.

Some manufacturers offer so-called coupe-SUVs, although in most cases they're little more than standard SUVs with less rear headroom.

Which is why we're focusing on traditional coupes. Life's too short to drive a boring car, so buy one of these coupe cars while you can.

 Best coupe cars



BMW 2 Series Coupe

With the 1 Series moving to a front-wheel-drive platform, the 2 Series Coupe is now the only small rear-driven BMW you can buy. This makes it the default choice for keen drivers, although it’s worth noting that only the four-cylinder versions are powered through the rear wheels – the fantastic six-cylinder M240i xDrive is four-wheel-drive. Fear not, though, because the 2 Series Coupe is every bit as good as the larger 4 Series equivalent, but with the bonus of a cheaper price. Even entry-level versions come with a long list of standard equipment, plus excellent build quality and the desirable BMW badge.

Read our full BMW 2 Series Coupe review

Audi A5 Coupe

Who said coupes have to be impractical? The Audi A5 Coupe might have fewer doors than the A5 Sportback, but it still boasts seating for four adults and a boot that’s only marginally smaller than the Audi A4 saloon. Subjectively, it looks smarter than the four-door Sportback, albeit in a subtle and relatively sober manner. There are three trim levels: Sport, S line and Black Edition. All feature LED headlights and Audi’s impressive Virtual Cockpit digital instrument panel. At the top of the range, the Black Edition comes with 20-inch alloy wheels and a flat-bottomed three-spoke steering wheel.

Read our full Audi A5 Coupe review

Mercedes CLE

The new Mercedes CLE is essentially a luxury replacement for both the C-Class Coupe and E-Class Coupe. Measuring over 4.8 metres in length, the CLE boasts more size and elegance than its key rivals, the Audi A5 Coupe and BMW 4 Series Coupe. Because there's no ‘entry-level’ trim, all versions come with a long list of standard equipment, but things get positively lavish if you opt for the Premier Edition. There are three engines: a four-cylinder petrol, six-cylinder petrol and four-cylinder diesel – each one boasting mild-hybrid tech to improve fuel economy. A nine-speed automatic transmission is fitted to all models.

Read our full Mercedes CLE review

Alpine A110

If a Porsche Cayman or Audi TT isn’t for you, then the Alpine A110 is a very solid left-field choice. It’s hugely competent, engaging to drive and very entertaining, even at sensible speeds. It’s very light, with a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout and tremendous balance. Add in perfectly judged suspension for UK roads and it’s a real treat behind the wheel. There are four models to choose from – the standard A110, the A110 GT, the A110 S and the A110 R – but all share the same fundamental qualities.

Read our full Alpine A110 review

Jaguar F-Type

The entry-level F-Type gives you an alternative to the Audi TT and Porsche Cayman, while the top-spec models are seriously pricey rivals to the Porsche 911 and Audi R8. Whichever model you go for, however, you’ll get a polished, good-looking sports car that’s great to drive, and with a classy interior that’s comfortable enough for international journeys. The boot’s a good size, too, which can’t be said about quite a few cars on this list. It’s a stretch to say it’s an all-rounder, but the F-Type is more usable everyday than a lot of other coupes.

Read our full Jaguar F-Type review

Bentley Continental GT

If it’s good enough for Premier League footballers, it’s good enough for you. At the end of the day, Clive, the Bentley Continental GT offers incredible all-round capability and boasts one of the finest interiors of any car, regardless of price. You get a choice of a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 or 6.0-litre twin-turbo W12 engines, and while the larger unit is sublime, the V8 produces the right soundtrack and is arguably all the Continental GT you’ll ever need. For such a large and luxurious car, the Conti is a joy to drive on a twisty road. Back of the net.

Read our full Bentley Continental GT review

BMW 4 Series Coupe

Remember when social media went into a meltdown over the size of the grille on the BMW 4 Series Coupe? We hope this doesn’t sound like we’re damning it with faint praise, because it looks far better in the metal than it does on a smartphone. You can make up your own mind, but in just about every respect, the 4 Series feels a class above the 3 Series. It’s better to drive, the styling is suitably bold and the interior is a real class act. Crucially, the entry-level 420i is probably the best 4 Series you can buy.

Read our full BMW 4 Series Coupe review

Audi TT Coupe

The current, third-generation Audi TT might lack the wow-factor of the original model, but it remains one of the most popular sporty coupes you can buy. It has the look and feel of a ‘baby Audi R8’, and it even performs like one if you opt for the flagship TT RS. Granted, a four-cylinder engine producing 197PS to 320PS can’t reach the heights of a V10 supercar, but you’ll be able to explore more of the TT’s potential on a British B-road. In all cases, the TT looks superb, boasts a high-class interior and retains a strong image. Buy one while stocks last.

Read our full Audi TT review

Porsche 718 Cayman

The 718 Cayman is the most affordable Porsche sports car you can buy – costing around £2000 less than the equivalent 718 Boxster – but the driving experience is far from basic. If you’re prepared to look beyond the slightly underwhelming 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines (the six-cylinders are nicer), you’ll find a car that offers many of the joys associated with a Porsche 911 for a much cheaper price. It feels noticeably sportier and more bespoke than a BMW 2 Series or Audi TT, with a delightful cabin and superb build quality. It’s also worth remembering that even the lowliest 718 Cayman will sprint to 62mph in 5.1 seconds before hitting a top speed of 170mph.

Read our full Porsche 718 Cayman review

BMW 8 Series Coupe

With prices ranging from £84,000 to £140,000 before you select any extra-cost options, you’d be forgiven for thinking the BMW 8 Series Coupe is expensive. However, when viewed alongside the likes of the Aston Martin DB11 and Bentley Continental GT, it’s actually a bit of a bargain. The range-topping V8 models will catch the eye, but don’t rule out the more affordable 840i. For crossing the odd continent in a relaxed and cosseting manner, few cars come close to the 8 Series Coupe.

Read our full BMW 8 Series Coupe review

Do all coupes have two doors?

In the past, coupes tended to have two doors, although the likes of the Ford Capri bucked the trend by having a hatchback, turning them into three-door coupes. Today, the word is widely used to describe cars with a sloping roofline, no matter number of doors, such as the Mercedes GLE Coupe and Porsche Cayenne Coupe. The idea of an SUV-coupe might seem like a contradiction in terms, but that’s just how it is. The five-door BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe also blurs the lines between a hatchback and a coupe.

Can I carry a dog in a coupe?

A coupe with an enclosed boot is unsuitable for carrying dogs, but the front passenger seat or rear bench could be used for such a purpose. Don’t forget to secure your canine companion properly. Alternatively, you could consider a car like the BMW 4 Series Gran Coupe, which offers the styling of the 4 Series Coupe and the practicality of the 3 Series hatchback. For more space, take a look at the growing range of so-called SUV-coupes.

What is a coupe-cabriolet?

In theory, a coupe-cabriolet should offer the best of both worlds: a drop-top for sunny days and a secure closed roof for the winter. They grew in popularity around the turn of the millennium, with cars such as the Mercedes SLK, Peugeot 206 CC and Ford Focus CC dominating the sector. Today, many manufacturers have generally ditched folding metal roofs in favour of less complex and lighter fabric tops. If you’re buying a used coupe-cabriolet, make sure the roof doesn’t leak.

Ask HJ

Can you recommend a modern replacement for my Fiat Coupe?

I recently lost my beloved 1998 Fiat Coupe 20v Turbo, after a head-on collision with a drunk driver. We were lucky to walk away. Having owned the car since 2002 I am looking for a replacement with the same charisma and excitement of my old Fiat. I need at least four seats, with some reasonable space in the back for growing teenagers. I would like a leather interior, a sunroof and hassle-free ownership (the Fiat was very reliable). Safety is, maybe not surprisingly, a key consideration. Ideally, I'd like to get a great value car and have a maximum budget of £25,000 but would prefer to spend less. If I pick the right car I am likely to keep it for the long haul. Any suggestions, please?
How about a Kia Stinger? It's a left-field choice, much like your Fiat Coupe, with a spacious interior and long transferable warranty. Your budget won't quite stretch to the sporty GT S but the 2.0-litre petrol is no slouch. If you'd prefer a premium alternative, take a look at the Mercedes C-Class Coupe or BMW 4 Series.
Answered by Andrew Brady
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