4. Mini Coupé
This is more on the spectrum of fun little sports car than refined long-distance cruiser. The ride, especially of John Cooper Works cars, is very firm and transmits quite a lot of road noise into the cabin. However, when you get a 208bhp engine in such a tiny little car, along with really tight handling, you can forgive a few flaws. Ditching the rear seats and replacing them with a slot to load longer items through makes the Mini Coupé quite practical – assuming, of course, that you don't need to carry more than one passenger. Rarely will you find a coupé that offers more fun for less than £10,000.
As with the Seat Leon SC, the Volkswagen Scirocco borrows heavily from the more practical Golf. It, too, has a more rakish roofline to make it look a bit more sporty – although this does impact on the amount of rear seat head space it has, it’s still a very practical car. It has a lovely neutrality to its handling, plenty of grip, pleasant steering and a comfortable ride. And there is a large choice of engines from the very frugal to the very fast. All of which are desirable qualities in a practical performance coupé.
We found 2010 2.0 TSI 210 GT, 58,612, £9716
Subtle is the best way to describe the look of the BMW 3 Series Coupé. Not showy or flashy; all very conservative. But the driving experience? Well, that’s something else entirely, especially when it is equipped with one of BMW’s fantastic straight-six petrol engines. The normal saloon is a fine car to pilot and the coupé adds a sportier twist on that winning formula. The ride may be a little firmer, but not to unacceptable levels, so none of your fellow passengers should complain. And it really can take four people, as this is still a sensible car – albeit one that still knows how to have fun on twisty back roads. A very complete coupé, then.
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