The best coupés you can buy in 2021
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.
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.
If you want to find out more about any of the cars on the list or see how much we can save you thanks to our New Car Buying service, just click on the relevant link.
10. Audi A7 Sportback
This five-door coupé is a beautifully made and comfortable cruiser with a surprising amount of space inside. It’s competent rather than particularly fun to drive, though, and its infotainment system is too complex.
Audi A7 Sportback (cont.)
Generous standard equipment
Sluggish automatic gearboxes
Fiddly infotainment system
Dependable handling but hardly exciting
9. Bentley Continental GT
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. 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.
Bentley Continental GT (cont.)
Enjoyable to drive
Gearbox can be jerky
Missing some safety kit
8. Mercedes E-Class Coupé
While it's not the sharpest car in its class to drive, the E-Class Coupé is supremely quiet and comfortable. 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.
Mercedes E-Class Coupé (cont.)
Quiet on the move
7. BMW 8 Series Coupé
The 8 Series strikes a great balance between sportiness and comfort. What's more, it has a beautifully built interior that features BMW's intuitive iDrive infotainment system. The 8 Series is more expensive than direct rivals, though.
BMW 8 Series Coupé (cont.)
Cramped in the back
There are sportier rivals...
...and more comfortable ones
6. Aston Martin DB11
As luxury brands go, Aston Martin is as emotive as it gets. But that naturally brings sky-high expectations, so it says a lot that the DB11 offers everything you'd hope for from a big, modern Aston. Not only is it a sublime grand tourer, but it’s now usefully more communicative, while the interior matches modern tech and infotainment with classic craftsmanship.
Aston Martin DB11 (cont.)
Beautifully crafted interior
More fun to drive than most of its GT rivals
V12’s spiky to drive in the wet
Limited rear-seat and boot space
There are softer-riding alternatives
5. Audi A5 Coupé
The A5 coupé is based on a former What Car? Car of the Year, the A4 saloon, so the fact that it features in this top 10 should come as no surprise. Standout qualities include a plush interior and strong engines, plus it's surprisingly practical for a two-door coupé, with good rear space and a usefully large boot.
Audi A5 Coupé (cont.)
Strong and smooth engines
Practical by coupe standards
Steering could be more feelsome
You’ll want to add a few options
Very expensive Vorsprung trim
4. Mercedes CLA
Climb into the CLA, and you'll be impressed at how lavish it feels, both in terms of pizazz and technology. 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.
Mercedes CLA (cont.)
Strong on safety
Lots of kit and power for your money
Tight rear head room
Small boot aperture
Not as fun as the best coupés
3. Volkswagen Arteon
Even with five doors, coupés are often compromised, but that's not the case with the Arteon. The tallest of passengers will find they have space to sprawl in comfort, while the boot is huge, with a wide-opening hatchback that makes loading a buggy easy. More than that, the Arteon is a confidence-inspiring, comfortable and satisfying drive, and has loads of equipment as standard.
Volkswagen Arteon (cont.)
Strong engines including a plug-in hybrid option
Generous standard equipment
Huge interior space and boot
Automatic gearbox is a little jerky at low speeds
Poor resale values against premium rivals
A BMW 3 or 4 Series is more fun to drive
2. Audi TT Coupé
If you're after a coupé that’s easy and affordable to live with, yet enjoyable to drive and filled with premium lustre, the TT strikes the perfect balance. Even the entry-level 40 TFSI version has serious gusto and delivers masses of handling poise.
Audi TT Coupé (cont.)
Great to drive
Fabulous interior design and quality
Surprisingly practical boot – for a coupe
Rear seats are seriously cramped
Misses crucial safety kit
You'll want to add options
1. BMW 4 Series Coupé
Compared with the 3 Series saloon, the 4 Series gets a wider rear end, stiffer structure and lower centre of gravity, helping to make it far more rewarding to drive than similarly-priced rivals. Yet if you go for the M Sport Pro Package, it's also a comfortable choice. In fact, it’s a perfectly balanced take on the dual nature that makes for a world-class coupé.
BMW 4 Series Coupé (cont.)
Range-topping M440i is seriously rapid
More fun to drive than direct rivals
More room in the back than you might imagine
Rival coupés have bigger boots
Some wind and tyre noise
Next up: the Coupé to avoid...
Aston Martin Vanquish
The Vanquish has stunning looks and a sonorous engine, but in most other respects it feels its age: there's too much body float, it's seriously cramped and the infotainment system is terrible.