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Best used coupes for less than £20,000

Great coupés come in all shapes and sizes, but if you've got £20,000 burning a hole in your pocket which of these used ones should you have at the top of your list? Here's our top 10.....


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by
Mark Pearson

Used coupes

Keen drivers will always want a stylish coupé on their driveway, but buying a new one can set you back a fair old chunk of money. That's where buying used comes in, with many of the best of the breed available for less than £20,000, the cost of a new and far more humble family hatchback. 

Many of the cars on this list are only two or three years old and should give you miles of enjoyable, trouble-free motoring. Some even come with four or five doors, in the modern fastback coupé style. So read on to find out which one you should be laying down your folding on, as we count down our top 10.

10

Mercedes CLA

Yes, it's one of those four-door coupés, in the trendy fastback style. Not, admittedly, the latest Mercedes CLA for our budget, which is a really good car, but the previous 2013-2019 version. Still a reasonable car, though, with a glamourous silhouette and a swoopy roofline that makes old-fashioned executive cars look just a little plain-Jane. It's well equipped and drives well. It's even got room for your kids in the back.

We found: 2018 Mercedes CLA 200d AMG Line, 24,000 miles, £17,995

Pros

  • Attractive styling
  • Well equipped
  • Scores well on safety

Cons

  • Firm ride
  • AMG version is very expensive
  • Rear space is cramped
9

Toyota GT86

The Toyota GT86 is one of the more hardcore, old-fashioned coupés on this list. The relatively skinny tyres don't offer up the same level of grip some rivals do, making the handling of the rear-wheel-drive GT86 a bit more playful than anyone used to modern front-wheel-drive cars will be expecting. Plenty of fun on the right road, though. Off sale now so used is the way to go. 

We found: 2018 Toyota GT86 2.0 D-4S Blue Edition, 32,000 miles, £19,995

Pros

  • Engaging handling
  • Well equipped
  • Comfortable front seats

Cons

  • Not much grip
  • Cheap feeling interior
  • Not a genuine four-seater
8

Mercedes C-Class Coupe

This handsome devil is more than just a two-door version of the C-Class executive saloon; great steps were made to make its behaviour and driveability as good as its looks promise. On the road, the C-Class Coupé is classy and composed. It handles well, rides superbly and has a smart interior. Residuals are good so you'll now need slightly more than our budget to buy a 2017 car, otherwise, it would have finished higher.

We found: 2017 Mercedes C-Class Coupe 250d AMG Line Premium Plus, 26,000 miles, £24,500

Pros

  • Comfortable ride on air suspension
  • Good handling
  • Smart interior

Cons

  • C300 model is a bit lacklustre
  • Lazy automatic gearbox
7

BMW 2 Series Coupe

The 2 Series Coupé is small in size and rear-wheel drive so is a great option for those who really like driving. It’s even good for those who don’t like paying for fuel, because diesel models are very parsimonious, too. Petrol models, meanwhile, are quick and smooth. The interior is well screwed together and contributes to the premium feel of the 2 Series. You also get one of the best infotainment systems in the business.

We found: 2018 BMW 218d Coupé M Sport auto, 12,500 miles, £18,995

Pros

  • Desirable styling
  • Neat handling
  • Decent practicality

Cons

  • Rear passenger space
  • Manual seat adjustment
  • Expensive to buy compared with some rivals
6

Mercedes CLS

Many say it was the CLS that started the fashion for four-door coupés. This second-generation CLS takes all that we loved about the rakish first-gen car – the punchy engines, opulent interior and generous equipment list – and adds in an extra dollop of refinement. Large and expensive new, our budget buys an older car, but one that'll still impressive both everyone who rides in it and the neighbours. 

We found: 2016 Mercedes CLS 220d AMG Line, 49,000 miles, £19,995

Pros

  • Precise steering
  • Generous equipment list
  • Punchy, refined V6 diesel engine

Cons

  • Expensive compared with some rivals
  • Firm ride on standard suspension
  • Strictly a four-seater
5

Mercedes E-Class Coupe

One up from the individual-looking second-gen, four-door CLS is the latest version of the E-Class Coupe. If you’re after a suave and comfortable four-seat coupé that’s good to drive and wears a premium badge, this could well be the car for you. It’s a handsome car, recognisably a Mercedes and has a nicely understated elegance to its lines. Underneath, it shares its underpinnings with the E-Class saloon – it's a good thing, since that’s a very competent executive car.

We found: 2017 Mercedes-Benz E220d AMG Line Edition, 38,000 miles, £19,975

Pros

  • Lovely interior
  • Refinement
  • Comfortable ride

Cons

  • Vague steering
  • Awkward boot
  • Expensive infotainment option
4

Audi A5 Coupe

A classy coupé for grown-up people, the two-door Audi A5 is one of those cars that gets under your skin the more time you spend with it. Few rivals can match its varied talents: tidy handling, a smart interior, a comfortable ride and great performance. Like the Mercedes E-Class Coupé, the A5 Coupé will seat four people (there's a four-door Sportback version too), but the Audi has the advantage of having an infotainment system that’s easier to use. 

We found: 2018 Audi A5 Coupé 2.0 TDI SE, 43,000 miles, £19,900

 

Pros

  • Plush interior
  • Strong and smooth engines
  • Practical by coupe standards

Cons

  • Steering could be more involving
  • Not as well equipped as some
  • Sports suspension can be firm
3

Audi TT

The Audi TT might be getting on a bit now but over the years few rivals have managed to get close to its winning combination of class, practicality and fine driving dynamics. It has one of the best interiors of any car, too. Put that together with its sharp handling, pleasant ride and neat steering, as well as its excellent value and decent reliability, and it's no wonder it's still our favourite used coupé.

We found: 2017 Audi TT 1.8 TFSI SE, 26,000 miles, £18,995

 

Pros

  • Fabulous interior design and quality
  • Brilliant handling
  • Superb resale values

Cons

  • Rear seats are cramped
  • Not very well equipped
2

Volkswagen Arteon

Dismiss those who say this is merely a Volkswagen Passat in drag, the five-door coupé Arteon is a fast and stylish executive car, with the added practicality of a hatchback boot. It looks terrific, of course, and it comes with a range of impressively punchy and efficient engines. It's well equipped, spacious and refined, too, and our budget here can put a 2018 model on your driveway, making it a bit of a used car bargain. And a stylish one to boot. 

We found: 2018 Volkswagen Arteon 2.0 TDI Elegance, 22,000 miles, £18,995

Pros

  • Punchy, efficient engines
  • Well equipped
  • Spacious

Cons

  • Auto 'box jerky in traffic
  • Potentially only average reliability
  • Not terribly exciting to drive
1

BMW 4 Series

Admittedly not the latest model - which by the way is a bit of a humdinger - but this older BMW 4 Series is still the business. It’s suave and smooth and refined and great to drive, and it’s available as a rear or four-wheel drive car with a large range of excellent engines. What’s more, it's not only a two-door coupé, you can get it as a more desirable Gran Coupé too, with five doors and a decent-sized boot, making it a practical choice. Add in a classy interior and a top-notch infotainment system and it’s unbeatable. 

We found: 2018 BMW 420d Gran Coupé M Sport auto, 30,000 miles, £19,990

 

Pros

  • More practical than the coupé
  • Standard electric tailgate
  • Excellent handling

Cons

  • Dated interior
  • High boot lip
  • Firm M Sport suspension