Cut a dash in a car with a jaunty roof slope and a smattering of practicality
Once upon a time, you only bought a coupé if you wanted to make a style statement. There was a price to pay for it, and not just when it came to handing over cash to the salesman: coupés were neither massively practical or cheap to run.
Things have changed, though. Now you can look good in a coupé and still feel good about the cost and common sense implications.
Make up your own mind from our roundup of six of the best stylemeisters on the market today.
6. Bentley Continental GT
The Bentley Continental combines style, power and sports-car levels of pace in a big car that handles more securely than you might expect. The cabin is of course uber-luxurious and comfortable enough to provide a genuine alternative to flying if your destination is anywhere in Europe. If you don’t think the standard specification is quite comprehensive enough, you can specify just about any extra you can think of, up to and including a stone-veneered dashboard. It’s a simple question of money. The ‘basic’ GT starts at £135,000.
5. BMW 420d SE
Any car that incorporates most of the 3 Series’ cabin equipment starts off with a distinct advantage. The 4 Series does that, while adding the equally appealing option of BMW’s excellent iDrive infotainment and navigation system. It carries four people with ease – or one with a high degree of engagement. On top of all that it looks expensively stylish while returning up to 70mpg in 2.0-litre diesel form. A great blend of ability and looks, from £33,400.
4. Jaguar F-Type Coupé 3.0 V6 S
Boot and cabin space might not be class-leading, but the driving experience offered by Jaguar’s F-Type hardtop puts it into the highly competitive selection of our favourite sports cars. At prices starting from £51,775, even the entry-level cars are good value because they come with just about everything you’re ever likely to need. Though more powerful versions are available, the sweet spot in the range is the 375bhp V6 S.
3. Seat Leon SC 1.4 EcoTSI 150 FR
Based on the same platform as the regular Seat Leon hatchback, and thereby also the Golf, the £20k three-door Leon SC offers an interesting alternative choice in the otherwise conservative small hatch market. Don’t reduce your style points by going for the rackety 1.6-litre diesel engine: the higher-powered 1.4-litre petrol is much more refined and sporty, with no serious mpg penalty. You can only get that engine in the top of the range FR model, but that’s no hardship as cabin quality and equipment are both high.
2. Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupé C 220 AMG Line auto
The days when diesels were regarded as the dirty option are long gone. Today’s Mercedes C-Class Coupé is best ordered with a 168bhp 2.1 litre diesel engine. The optional air suspension is well worth having: in regular mode it is very accomplished at dealing with broken UK roads, or you can switch it into handling mode to firm things up on a fast drive. The Coupé’s seats are different to the C-Class saloon’s, with extra depth and comfort and electric lumbar adjustment, and its cabin purveys a real sense of quality. Cost? Around £36,400.
1. Audi TT 2.0 TFSI 230 Sport
The TT is What Car?’s current Coupé of the Year, an annual award it has won on numerous occasions in the past. That’s because it delivers a fantastic package of quality, appeal and sports car driving pleasure, with the (admittedly very occasional) ability to carry four. In 2.0 TFSI 230 Sport guise it costs £27,585. The Drive Select system allows you to weight up or lighten the steering and sharpen up the throttle response. Performance is impressive with a 6-second 0-62mph time and yet economy is also great with over 40mpg attainable.