Nothing beats the BMW 3-Series for style, looks or fun behind the wheel, with even the base 318i Coupe offering a satisfying drive, excellent build and solid resale values. All this comes at a premium, though. Opt for one of our alternatives instead and you'll still get sharp coupe styling, plus enough change for an exotic holiday...
The C70 was instrumental in changing Volvo's image. The stylish coupe, plus the equally attractive cabrio, proved the firm should be taken seriously. As with all Volvos, the C70 is well finished, with a smart and solid cabin, chunky controls and excellent spec. The T5 is a stormer, hitting 60mph from rest in less than seven seconds, but even the entry-level 2.0 T is quick and agile.
Engines: 2.0, 2.3 and 2.4-litre turbo petrol. Years: 1997-present. Prices: GBP10,000-22,000
Alfa Romeo GTV
Values fall like lemmings off a cliff, so a GTV is an unwise new buy. But it makes better sense used: early N-reg cars are available from as little as GBP6,000, with Alfa's fantastic 2.0-litre Twin Spark engine under the bonnet. From 1999, the 3.0-litre V6s offer gut-wrenching performance, and all GTVs are a pleasure to drive fast. The Alfa lacks the BMW's build and reputation, but no other coupe is as charismatic.
Engines: 2.0 and 3.0-litre petrol. Years: 1996-present. Prices: GBP6,000-20,000
The budget choice for educated buyers, Hyundai's Coupe offers more than the sum of its parts. With its Lantra engines and platform, you'd be forgiven for thinking the Coupe would be a dull drive. But while the car isn't that involving, handling is predictable and the 2.0-litre surprisingly perky, although a questionable facelift in 2000 saw styling take a turn for the worse.
Engines: 1.6 and 2.0-litre petrol. Years: 1996-2001. Prices: GBP4,000-11,500