The coupe is the pinnacle of racetrack-meets-main-street driving, the kind of head-turner vehicle that anyone would be proud to drive. There’s just something about the potent feeling of sitting behind the wheel of a coupe that triggers one’s sense of adventure, even if that adventure is to go deposit a check. New and used car dealers alike can barely keep their hands on a coupe long enough to list it before it’s gone, and it’s easy to see why. Automakers put their best engineering into their coupe offerings because coupe drivers just expect more power and performance than the average sedan driver.
These sporty, lightweight, and compact variations on the sedan body style may sacrifice a set of doors, but more than make up for the lack of cabin space with outstanding road performance. That’s because those classic coupe looks communicate a sense of exhilarating speed, just as one-ton pickup truck bodies communicate a sense of grueling strength. Do most coupes actually live up to this selling point? In a way, yes, but some of them fall short of offering good everyday value.
However, the following eight examples aren’t just affordable; they’re top-rated. These coupes are so reliably potent that even used, older editions are sure to age gracefully. Here are the top 8 great-value used coupes that are so consistently top-tier that we’d recommend just about any you could get your hands on.
One of America’s best coupes year after year, the Corvette is proof of what American engineering can accomplish without being priced like it’s a luxury good. It’s consistently ranked as one of the top cost-to-performance ratio coupes out there, and upgraded editions like the Z06 performance variant can be quite the trophy. Quick, agile to handle, and surprisingly reliable, the Corvette’s interior stylings lean away from the practical simplicity of other Chevy vehicles and instead feels indulgent. Simply put, the Corvette represents the absolute best from Chevy, and its consistently wonderful V8 engine makes this coupe an industry leader.
Kia Forte Koup
The apparent misspelling of “coupe” aside, the Koup is nothing to laugh at. This is the coupe body style of the popular Kia Forte, which performs beyond anything else in the Kia lineup. Again, it may be a Kia but withhold your judgment. The brand of family safety and good economy actually delivers in their surprisingly fierce coupe offering.
The Kia Forte Koup is quick and stylish without being too ostentatious. Nobody will accuse you of being in your mid-life crisis when you’re behind the wheel of a Forte Koup. Plus, its low starting price and high fuel economy mean this is hardly the impulse buy – rather, it represents sporty performance at an almost unbeatable value.
German sports cars are legendary, and a used BMW 4-Series coupe is a great entry-point for the average car shopper. A 4-Series is quick and agile, and even a base model is sure to be stocked with the luxury trimmings you’d expect from this brand. While BMW has even quicker coupe offerings like the legendary 8-Series, a 4-Series is definitely a more attainable buy. By no means does it look cheap, though; a BMW will always look elegant and sharp, no matter how great a deal you got on a used model. Consider yourself lucky if you come across one of these beauties in the used market.
Those who assume the Civic is for commuters disinterested in a challenge have never met the Civic’s coupe cousin. An available body style upgrade from the reliable engineers at Honda, the Civic Coupe, especially the more powerful Si model, offers that brand-famous longevity and value in a surprisingly agile package. Its lightweight turbocharged engine delivers shocking degrees of sporty power, while its outstanding on-road handling makes for an enjoyable daily drive. Even better, it’s still a Civic, meaning that you’re going to get long-lasting quality at a highly competitive price. Fun tech in recent editions and hordes of safety features mean a Civic coupe could be a great first car for young drivers, too.
Ford’s legendary performance car also happens to have one of the lowest barriers to entry. Recent editions with the EcoBoost engine also offer a surprisingly high balance of fuel economy and great on-road performance. The standard Mustang isn’t the most elegant coupe in the industry, but its incredible acceleration guarantees satisfying drives every day. There are various trims and upgrades, each of which offers varying degrees of sporty power; however, any edition you find is sure to be an exhilarating drive. Bonus points if you can get your hands on a V-8, which feels as powerful as its growling engine sounds.
We know, we know: it’s a Subaru. Those who assume Subaru has found its niche among safety-conscious drivers may be surprised to learn about the BRZ coupe, which has aggressive looks and an aerodynamic body that easily blends into the sportscar crowd. This rear-wheel drive coupe was developed together with Toyota and is also sold as the Toyota 86 and the Scion FR-S, but Subaru builds all three models in the same factory. Incredibly lightweight with a low center of gravity and a quick steering rack, the BRZ offers supreme responsiveness. Maybe Subaru isn’t just for transporting the kids after all, but going out on an affordable joy ride.
One of the industry leaders in I-didn’t-know-I-could-afford-it luxury, INFINITI’s best coupe offering is the gorgeously styled Q60. Its powerful V-6 engine is quick to deliver acceleration and climb to top speeds. Best of all, nearly every edition offers the V-6 powertrain at the standard price; no admission fee necessary to access its sporty power. While some may complain that it handles more like a sedan than a muscle car, it’s nonetheless an impressive drive at an affordable rate, and there’s no question that those signature Q60 looks are among the most enviable out there.
Let us indulge in this one for a second. Mercedes-Benz offers some of the most celebrated coupes out there – and we mean traditional coupes, not their sporty SUVs like the GLE that they brand as “four-door coupes.” Classic sports cars are some of what this German automaker does best, including the barrier-breaking C-Class coupe.
The turbocharged inline-4 offers a quick jolt of power across its lightweight body, so this luxuriously styled coupe is fairly quick. While certainly not the world-class AMG offerings that outprice many drivers and outpace the competition, the C-Class coupe is a great entry-level-luxury option that offers generous tech and comfort features. Besides, a used Mercedes can be surprisingly affordable, too, so it’s not farfetched to consider this ultra-stylish import.
Coupes to Contend With
For all their darting performance and searing speeds, coupes don’t have to be luxury options one can only dream of taking to the streets. Anyone who fantasizes of sitting in the racecar-like captain’s seat of an alluring coupe may just be shopping in the wrong place. If you think a coupe is too rich for your blood, it may be time to check out the used car lot.
After all, coupes like the ones in this list aren’t short-lived supernovae but long-lasting investments with sturdy powertrains designed to handle years and years of testing their limits. Therefore, even a used coupe is a great investment that can last as long as any other quality used car. Plus, there’s no chance of any of these sporty drives going out of style anytime soon. If anything in this world ages gracefully, it’s a sports car.