Best used coupes for less than £10,000 (and the ones to avoid)

The car you’ve always promised yourself? These £10,000 used coupés show that you can have style and practicality on a budget...

Style really does sell. But if you fancy the idea of driving around in a suave, sophisticated coupé, it doesn't have to cost you the Earth.

Top 10 used coupes for less than £10k

Buying used puts smart coupés within reach of all of us.

What's more, you don't have to sacrifice usability or fuel efficiency to enjoy driving around in something stylish. Some used coupés can be found with efficient petrol engines, some are diesels and some are even hybrids.

To prove it, here are 10 coupés of all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some place the emphasis firmly on fun; others are practical and cost-effective enough to use every day. But they all have two things in common: all of them look and feel great to drive, and all are available for less than £10,000.

10. Jaguar XK

Jaguar XKR

'A cut-price Aston Martin' was how the Jaguar XK was described when new, and, with its flowing looks, it isn't hard to see why. Granted, the hatchback rear end isn't quite as svelte as an Aston's, but that was because Jaguar needed to make sure its customers' golf clubs would fit.

Jaguar XK (cont.)

Jaguar XK

We won’t pretend that a Jaguar of this age will be cheap to run, but reliability was generally good, thanks to the brand's Ford links, and the XK has to potential to appreciate if you find a good one. Plus, you get a V8 soundtrack, which will make you feel great every time you drive it.

We found 2006 Jaguar XK 4.2 V8, 88,900 miles, £8900

9. Nissan 370Z

Nissan 370Z

A bit of a brute: the Nissan 370Z has a thumping 3.7-litre V6 that sounds raw and bassy, plus a firm ride and huge reserves of grip, thanks to those wide, low-profile tyres. Practicality is compromised due to extensive wheel arch intrusions in the boot that eat into the available space, but it should have enough luggage capacity for two.

Nissan 370Z (cont.)

Nissan 370Z

The 370Z is a fun car to drive, though, with well-weighted steering that provides plenty of feedback to the driver. And for a car with a big engine, rear-wheel drive and muscle-car looks, the 370Z is now something of a bargain.

We found 2009 Nissan 370Z 3.7 V6 GT, 73,861 miles, £9500

8. Audi A5 Sportback

Audi A5 Sportback

Cool, calm, sophisticated. That’s how you would describe the Audi A5 Sportback if you had to compare it with the Nissan 370Z. It doesn’t offer the thrills of the previous car on this list, and the slightly offset pedals might annoy some drivers, but it's a much more practical and cheaper-to-run alternative, with a huge range of four, six or eight-cylinder engines available in either petrol or diesel form.

Audi A5 Sportback (cont.)

Used test: Audi A5 Sportback vs Chevrolet Volt vs Range Rover Evoque

It’s even well equipped, with climate control, leather seats, automatic wipers and a decent stereo. Classy coupés have never been so practical or reasonably priced.

We found 2013 Audi A5 Sportback 2.0 TDIe SE Technik, 58,776 miles, £9995

7. Mercedes CLS

Mercedes CLS

Some of you might be throwing things at your screens and yelling "That's not a proper coupé", because the Mercedes CLS has got too many doors. Well, the market for blending coupé looks with the increased practicality of a saloon began with Mercedes, because product planners realised that demand for both sectors was dwindling, so why not combine the two?

Mercedes CLS (cont.)

Mercedes CLS

You get something that looks great, yet is easier to live with every day for those who have a family or need to carry three passengers regularly (the CLS is a four-seater only). It also handles slightly better than the softer E-Class on which it's based, plus AMG Sport models come with lots of goodies such as sat-nav, sportier exterior styling and some excellent LED headlights.

We found 2012 Mercedes CLS 250 CDI AMG Sport, 76,433 miles, £9995

6. BMW 1 Series Coupé

BMW 1 Series Coupe (04 - 14)

The BMW 1 Series Coupé isn't the biggest big two-door car you can get, but its relative lack of weight and rear-wheel drive layout give it remarkable driving talents. Later examples such as the one we found feature BMW’s class-leading iDrive infotainment system.

BMW 1 Series Coupé (cont.)

Used test: Honda Civic vs Volkswagen Golf vs Audi A3 vs BMW 1 Series

But if gadgets aren't your thing, you'll be pleased to know that the interior of the 1 Series has plenty of high-quality plastics to endow it with a classy feel, plus the ergonomics are excellent, so there will be no issues with getting comfortable. It has a great range of engines, and since the 1 Series isn't particularly bulky, fuel economy and CO2 emissions are low – particularly if you go for a diesel.

We found 2013 BMW 1 Series Coupé 120d M Sport, 36,000 miles, £8495

5. Honda CR-Z

10: Honda CR-Z

If you're looking for something a little easier on the wallet, why not the hybrid Honda CR-Z? Not only is it very reasonably priced now, but it will also sip fuel very slowly and be very reliable. But that’s not the end of the positives, because this Honda is also good fun to drive. Unlike most hybrids, this one has a manual gearbox, with the electric motor assisting the little 1.5-litre petrol engine to give it a bit of extra power when needed.

Honda CR-Z

10: Honda CR-Z - interior

It isn’t the biggest or most practical coupé out there, but if it were bigger, it wouldn’t be quite as darty and nice to drive as it is. This quirky coupé is an interesting alternative that will be painless to own.

We found 2013 Honda CR-Z 1.5 IMA Sport Hybrid, 58,000 miles, £6695

4. Volkswagen Scirocco

2016 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS review

The Volkswagen Scirocco borrows heavily from the more practical Golf hatchback. It has a more rakish roofline to make it look a bit more sporty; although this has an impact on rear head room, it’s still a very practical car.

Volkswagen Scirocco (cont.)

Volkswagen Scirocco

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 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSI Bluemotion Technology, 43,000 miles, £9475

3. Seat Leon SC

2016 Seat Leon SC 1.4 EcoTSI FR Titanium review

As with the Volkswagen Scirocco, the Leon SC has a lot in common with a regular five-door hatchback, being a three-door version of the regular Leon. However, when it comes to style, the Leon SC still scores highly, thanks to a more rakish roofline and a reduction in wheelbase.

Seat Leon SC (cont.)

2016 Seat Leon SC 1.4 EcoTSI FR Titanium review

This makes it less practical than the regular car, but that’s the price you pay sometimes. FR Technology cars are well equipped and the 1.4-litre turbo petrol is punchy.

We found 2016 Seat Leon SC 1.4 EcoTSI FR Technology, 33,151 miles, £9500

2. BMW 3 Series Coupé

BMW 3 Series Coupe (06 - 13)

'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's 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.

BMW 3 Series Coupé (cont.)

BMW 3 Series Coupe (06 - 13)

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, because this is still a sensible car – albeit one that knows how to have fun on twisty back roads. A very complete coupé, then.

We found 2013 BMW 3 Series Coupé 320d M Sport, 59,000 miles, £9750

1. Audi TT

Used test – sporty coupes: Audi TT vs Renault Sport Megane vs Subaru BRZ vs Toyota GT86

Audi may have played on the style of the first-generation TT, but it really pulled out all the stops with the second-generation car. While it can trace its underpinnings back to the Golf, there's much more aluminium used in this generation of Audi TT and it handles with aplomb; a little like a Golf GTI, but one with a fancy suit on.

Audi TT (cont.)

Used test – sporty coupes: Audi TT vs Renault Sport Megane vs Subaru BRZ vs Toyota GT86

However, the TT still manages to squeeze in a useful amount of cargo room and running costs are reasonable, thanks to a wide selection of petrol and diesel engines to suit all budgets. It is, in short, a class act that is worthy of being at the top of this list.

We found 2014 Audi TT 1.8 T FSI S Line 46,600 miles, £9990

Click onto the next slide to find out what used coupés to avoid >>

Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai Veloster

If you don’t like how it looks on one side, just nip round to the other side for a different style altogether. That’s because one side has just one door, and the kerbside has two. Why? Good question. But at least that extra door is on the correct side for safe entry and exit and you don’t have to open the front one first to get to the back. Elsewhere, though, the Veloster is a distinctly average car.

Mercedes-Benz CLC

Mercedes CLC

It was positively creaking by the time Mercedes put this car out of its misery, and while you could have had it with a large 3.5-litre V6 (read 'thirsty'), it was, in essence, a light facelift of the old C-Class Sport Coupé from 2001. For what is such an outdated car at heart, the CLC costs quite a bit, too.

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