Buying Guides

The 5 Best Sporty Coupes

These are the fun to drive two-door cars you've always wanted

Wade Thiel, Senior Staff Writer

The kids are gone, and the house is finally quiet. Or perhaps you're the only "kid" in your family, and you can finally buy that sporty coupe you've had your eye on. Nailing the turns and turning heads are what slick, sexy and sporty coupes are all about, meaning their focus is on performance and styling over function. You're done with crossovers and minivans. It's time to reward yourself.

Sporty coupes can't boast practicality as their primary strength, but car makers have infused many of them with both space and high-tech features, as well. Need to jet to the supermarket in style? Swanky night out on the town with your significant other? Weekend road trip? The sporty coupe can do all that and more. Here are the best ones out today. Forget about toting your friends, and just enjoy the drive in one of these beautiful steeds.

2016 BMW 2-Series

  • PROS: Very fast, reasonably fuel efficient with either engine, great steering and handling.
  • CONS: Options can make the price skyrocket, not very flashy.

BMW’s focused pursuit of the ultimate driving machine has shifted from the 3-series to the 2-series ($33,150 base MSRP). Many believe the little brother to the high-selling 3-series is the better driver’s car, and it’s almost impossible not to love it. The car is simply so good. It drives wonderfully on any road, has sophisticated but not flashy styling and is wickedly fast with either the 230i’s 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo four-cylinder (248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque) or the M240i’s 3.0-liter TwinPower turbo inline six-cylinder (335 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque). The car is exceptionally comfortable, clad in fine materials and comes with your choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. BMW offers either a manual or automatic gearbox. This is one of the most compact and engaging cars out there that’s a blast to drive every day.

2017 Lexus RC

  • PROS: Eye-catching exterior, smooth powertrain, good handling, smooth ride.
  • CONS: Poor infotainment system controls, small trunk.

The squinty, aggressive glare of the headlights and Lexus’s signature grille give the Lexus RC ($40,155 base MSRP) a distinctive look. Available in several versions and F Sport variants the RC is a coupe with a sophisticated yet sporty ride and available all-wheel drive (standard on the RC300). There’s three engine options to choose from: a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque), a 3.5-liter V6 (255 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque) or an up-tuned 3.5-liter V6 (306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque). If you need even more power than that, you have to jump to the Lexus RC F, which packs a 5.0-liter V8 (467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque). No matter what engine option you go with you’ll get an upscale and comfortable interior to go with the rest of the package. The F Sport versions of the RC are a must if you’re after a truly sporty handling vehicle. Don’t expect too much from the infotainment system. Its controls are finicky and distracting.

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class


for Prestige Seeker

  • PROS: Luxurious ride and interior, fit and finish are immaculate, wonderful to drive.
  • CONS: Options can make the price skyrocket, infotainment system can be difficult and not as feature heavy as you'd expect.

If you’re looking for a luxurious coupe the Mercedes C-class ($42,650 base MSRP) is the way to go. It’s more luxurious than most of the competition, and it still offers seriously good driving characteristics. While it might not feel as sporty as some other brands' coupes it makes up for it by offering supreme comfort and elegant styling inside and out. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (241 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque) the two-door C-class offers plenty of get up and go for most people. Available all-wheel drive and a myriad of options make this car one of the most customizable out there. Be careful about how many options you tack on. You can easily make the price jump by 10 grand or more, and because this car doesn’t come with some of the equipment many people want standard, it’s easier than you think to do that.

2017 Cadillac ATS

  • PROS: Distinctive exterior, great engine options, excellent handling, plenty of features.
  • CONS: Finger-magnet piano black plastic on dash, tiny touch-based infotainment buttons, small trunk.

The Cadillac ATS ($37,595 base MSRP) pushed hard to become a viable option in a segment that is dominated by European cars. In a sense, it has succeeded. Cadillac has made a very good coupe that can hold its own with the competition but unfortunately they aren’t selling many of these cars. This has little to do with the road prowess of the car and likely more to do with the fact that a sporty two-door is something still fairly new for Cadillac, and that the CUE infotainment system isn’t very good. The base ATS is powered by 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder (272 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque). If you need more power, you can step up to the 3.6-liter V6 (355 hp and 285 lb-ft of torque) or jump to the ATS-V, which gets a 3.6-liter turbocharged V6 (464 hp and 445 lb-ft of torque). We highly recommend the latter for face-melting speeds and superb handling characteristics. A manual or automatic transmission is available (get the manual).

2017 Infiniti Q60

  • PROS: Attractive exterior styling, powerful V6 engine option, good suspension.
  • CONS: Interior isn’t as high-class as it should be, too many settings and drive modes.

Possibly Infiniti’s best looking car of all time, the Q60 ($38,950 base MSRP) is a rakish, aggressive beauty. Even if you don’t like cars you can appreciate how aesthetically pleasing the exterior of the Q60 is. It has the goods to back up its speed-hungry looks, too. The base engine is a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder (208 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque). A step up from that is the 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that comes in two different power ratings. Infiniti offers a 300 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque version and a 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque version. All engine options come with an automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive. As wonderful as the car looks on the outside, the interior is a bit of a letdown. It’s well-designed but clad in materials that would look more at home in a less-prestigious Nissan.

Why buy a coupe

  • When you care more about style and performance than about room for four
  • The kids are out of the house, and you're done with the minivan.
  • Resale value no longer means all that much to you.

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