The best coupés to buy in 2021 (and the one to avoid)

Tempted by the idea of a stylish coupé? Then check out our comprehensive rundown of the best models on the market – and find out which one we'd avoid.....

Picture a coupé and you'll probably come up with something sleek that doesn't have room for a lot of shopping but definitely stands out in the supermarket car park.

Coupé compilation image

But while style is an important factor, the best modern coupés offer a lot more besides.

They blend sharp performance and handling with good ride comfort and enough practicality to make them easy to live with. And while some are expensive, that doesn't necessarily mean they don't offer good value.

Which models are worth considering, though? Well, here we name our current top 10 – and reveal the coupé that's best avoided.

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10: Bentley Continental GT

Bentley Continental GT front - silver

The Continental GT conjures up rose-tinted images of what driving used to be like, when the super-rich would blast across Europe to get to their second home on the Riviera.

10: Bentley Continental GT - interior

Bentley Continental GT dashboard

And yet it's a thoroughly modern car that makes progress effortless, thanks to a 6.0-litre W12 engine that drives all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox. The Continental GT is hugely expensive to buy and run, though.

9: Mercedes E-Class Coupé

Mercedes E-Class Coupe front cornering -red

While it's not the sharpest car in its class to drive, the E-Class Coupé is supremely quiet and comfortable.

9: Mercedes E-Class Coupé - interior

New Audi A5 Coupe vs new Mercedes E-Class Coupe

It can be had with a wide range of engines, too, including the popular 220d diesel, which is smooth, quiet and frugal, so an excellent fit for the E-Class.

8: BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé

Whether the 8 Series Gran Coupé looks special enough to justify its high price is subjective, but it certainly strikes a great balance between sportiness and comfort.

8: BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé - interior

BMW 8 Series Gran Coupé - interior

A beautifully built interior featuring BMW's intuitive iDrive infotainment system adds further to its appeal, plus there's space for four adults.

7: BMW 2 Series Coupé

BMW 2 Series Coupé and Convertible

Based on the 1 Series hatchback, the two-door, four-seat 2 Series is competitively priced and handles well. 

7: BMW 2 Series Coupé - interior

BMW 2 Series Coupé

Plus, the 2.o-litre diesel engine we recommend is both powerful and economical.

6: Volkswagen Arteon

Volkswagen Arteon 2019 front tracking RHD

It might look a little pricey compared with the Passat saloon on which it's based, but the Arteon is good to drive, stylish and amazingly practical compared with other coupés.

6: Volkswagen Arteon - interior

Volkswagen Arteon 2019 dashboard RHD

Not only does its four-door layout make it easy to get in and out of the back, but rear leg room is vast and head room far from tight.

5: Mercedes S-Class Coupé

Mercedes S-Class Coupe front

Mercedes' S-Class saloon represents one of the best examples of limousine luxury.

5: Mercedes S-Class Coupé - interior

Mercedes S-Class Coupe dashboard

But if you want the same sort of technology and comfort in a car that’s more stylish to look at, the two-door S-Class Coupé is for you.

4: Aston Martin DB11

Aston Martin DB11 front

The DB11 is an altogether sportier choice than the S-Class, offering steering feel and body control that belies its size, particularly if you go for the V8 version.

4: Aston Martin DB11 - interior

Aston Martin DB11 interior

Alternatively, you can sit back, ensconced in the ocean of handcrafted natural hides and wools that adorn the interior, and enjoy the delights of a traditional grand tourer.

3: Audi A5 Coupé

New Audi A5 Coupe vs new Mercedes E-Class Coupe

This A5 coupé is based on a former What Car? Car of the Year, the A4 saloon, so the fact that it's quite brilliant should come as no surprise. Even amid strong competition from the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes C-Class Coupé, the A5 stands out, thanks to its plush interior and strong engines.

3: Audi A5 Coupé - interior

New Audi A5 Coupe vs new Mercedes E-Class Coupe

It's also rather practical for a two-door coupé, with a usefully large boot.

2: Mercedes CLA

2019 Mercedes CLA front

Climb into the CLA, and you'll be impressed at how lavish it feels, both in terms of pizazz and technology.

2: Mercedes CLA - interior

Mercedes CLA interior

Meanwhile, the 221bhp turbo petrol engine in the 250 version delivers stonking performance, and the keen pricing and rock-solid resale values ensure it even appeals to your sensible side.

1: Audi TT Coupé

2019 Audi TT Coupe front red

The Audi TT has been our favourite coupé for years.

1: Audi TT Coupé - interior

Audi TT Coupe 2019 RHD dashboard detail

It's brilliant to drive, beautifully built and won't break the bank. If you're looking for a small coupé that gives sports car thrills while still being comfortable, refined and practical enough to be driven every day, look no further.

There we have the best - but what about the coupé you should avoid?

Lexus RC

Lexus RC front

Instead of having a conventional petrol or diesel engine under its bonnet, the popular 300h version of the RC is a hybrid , meaning it's surprisingly cheap to run.

Lexus RC - interior

Lexus RC

Unfortunately, it sounds whiney, rival models offer more space and the driving experience is disappointing due to vague steering and the weight of the batteries.

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