Best used coupes 2024

If you want an appealing car that mixes performance with style, the best used coupes will tick a lot of boxes

Coupes are cut from the same sort of cloth as sports cars, with importance placed on style, driving fun and performance ahead of more mundane things like practicality or fuel economy. Brand new coupes can be costly but, fortunately, the second-hand market is full of these rakish motors that you can buy with both your head and your heart. Our best used coupes offer plenty of appeal for your money.

Our definition of the coupe for the purposes of this list is something that has the classic two-door coupe bodystyle but also offers greater all-round abilities than a thoroughbred sports car. A good coupe should be great to drive but also comfortable and practical enough to use day-to-day. 

Our road testers have thoroughly tested every coupe that you can buy in the UK, making sure that they are as nice to live with as they are to look at. Read on to find the best used coupes that you can buy right now, listed below.

Best used coupes to buy

  1. Audi A5
  2. Porsche Cayman
  3. Peugeot RCZ
  4. Alfa Romeo Brera
  5. Toyota GT86
  6. Audi TT
  7. Mercedes C-Class Coupe
  8. BMW 4 Series

1. Audi A5 (Mk2)

  • Our pick: 40 TFSI S line (2018/18, 32k miles, £19,495)

It’s often said that fashion fades but style is forever, and that’s certainly the case with the eye-catching Audi A5. For the third year on the trot the handsome German machine has scooped the prize for our Best Used Coupe, its blend of kerb appeal, a classy cabin and composed driving dynamics proving too much for the competition.

While it’s not as attention-grabbing as some, the A5’s perfect proportions and neat detailing mean it never fails to attract appreciative glances, while S line models add a subtle dose of sporty visual aggression. 

Just as slickly designed is the interior, which oozes premium appeal thanks to its top-notch quality and extensive use of high-grade materials. It also benefits from the brand’s latest tech, with the Virtual Cockpit TFT instrument cluster and intuitive MMI infotainment giving the cabin a cutting-edge feel. Yet unlike many of its sleek competitors, the Audi serves up space for four adults, while the boot has a useful 465-litre capacity.

Even better, the A5 is as good to drive as it is to look at. A BMW 4 Series driver will be having more fun, but the Audi has more than enough appeal to keep keen drivers engaged. Quick steering, limpet-like traction and good body control deliver an alert and agile feel on twisty back roads, while the optional quattro all-wheel drive adds bad-weather security. The low-speed ride is a little firm, but seek out an example with adaptive dampers and you’ll be rewarded with luxury saloon-level suspension for long-distance comfort.

As for engines, there’s everything from the snarling 444bhp twin-turbo V6 in the rapid RS 5 flagship, through to the smooth 3.0 V6 TDI and fuel-sipping 2.0 TDI. However, our money is on the punchy and refined 188bhp 2.0-litre TFSI petrol, which combines a brisk 7.0-second 0-62mph time with 50.4mpg economy.

Values have now dipped below £12,000, so you can enjoy an haute couture coupe experience for less than the price of a new, bog-standard Dacia Sandero.

2. Porsche Cayman (Mk3)

When it comes to high-octane driver thrills, the mid-engined Cayman is the coupe to beat. Beautifully balanced handling and a howling flat-six motor mean few rivals are as engaging. It’s also surprisingly spacious for a two-seater. Maintenance bills aren’t for the faint-hearted, but this is one of the best driver’s cars ever.

3. Peugeot RCZ (Mk1)

Combining eye-catching looks, a healthy dose of Gallic charm and engaging driving dynamics, the RCZ should be on any fashion-conscious buyer’s shopping list. The interior is carried over from the 308 hatchback and the rear seats are cramped, but there’s plenty of kit and prices start at just £3,000.

4. Alfa Romeo Brera (Mk1)

With its distinctive looks and prices starting from less than £3,000, the Brera is a great left-field choice for buyers looking to cut a dash without spending much cash. Slightly cumbersome handling means the Alfa isn’t quite as much fun to drive as you might expect, but the rasping four-cylinder and growling V6 motors sound great.

5. Toyota GT86 (Mk1)

The Toyota GT86 is about as pure as coupes come, and is the result of a joint venture between Toyota and Subaru which saw the latter create the BRZ. First on sale in the UK in 2012, the GT86 used a 2.0-litre boxer engine that delivered 197bhp via either a six-speed manual or auto transmission. The manual gearbox is a delight to use, while the rear-wheel drive set-up helped the GT86 quickly earn plaudits for its sensational handling.

You’ll be doing well to get a GT86 for less than £9,000 these days, and you might have to put up with some rather large mileage figures on the odometer in order to do so. Part of the problem is that the GT86 has never sold in huge numbers in the UK, so there are never many used models on sale at any given time. Its relative rarity keeps their prices up, and you may need to travel further afield to find an example that ticks all of your boxes.

As standard, the GT86 rode on 17-inch alloy wheels, with dual-zone climate control, sports seats and electric folding door mirrors included too. The rear bench is really a children-only zone, while the 237-litre boot is good for shopping and not much else.

6. Audi TT (Mk3)

Audi really moved the TT on with the Mk3, so much so that it first teased us with the interior at the Consumer Electronics Show back in 2014. That’s because the TT is packed with tech – it was Audi’s first model to use its Virtual Cockpit, a 12.3-inch digital panel that showed a sat-nav map and all the infotainment functions in front of the driver. There’s no central screen here.

This setup makes for a beautifully minimalist cabin, and it’s loaded with high-quality materials. Touches such as heated seat and climate control switchgear being inside the air vents were revolutionary at the time.

The tech underneath the angular, pin-sharp bodywork creases is just as advanced. Believe it or not, this sporty coupe is based on the same platform as the VW Golf family hatchback, but with Audi working its magic on the suspension and steering, the TT is as agile as you’d ever want a sports car to be.

Audi offered a diesel when the TT first went on sale, but stay true to the car’s roots and go for the 227bhp 2.0 TFSI petrol – combined with Audi’s sharp-shifting dual-clutch S tronic auto, the 0-62mph sprint takes just 5.3 seconds, or you can opt for a little more involvement (and probably save a bit of cash) by going for the sweet six-speed manual.

7. Mercedes C-Class Coupe (Mk5)

Mercedes has a long history of making two-door coupes, although the C-Class was only offered in such a guise for the first time in 2011. The fifth-generation C-Class arrived in 2014, with the Coupe following shortly after. This means early examples have now had long enough to come down in price significantly.

The C-Class Coupe is more aimed at those looking for a smooth ride than a sporty drive: the diesel engines are quite noisy when pushed, while the steering feel isn’t that invigorating. For the best possible comfort, look out for cars equipped with Airmatic air suspension and riding on the smaller 17-inch wheels that came as standard on Sport models.

Automatic gearboxes are the transmission of choice on most C-Class Coupes. Petrols get a seven-speed 7G-Tronic transmission, while diesels have a nine-seed unit. There are paddle-shifters should you wish to take manual control, but it’s easiest just to let the electronics do their own thing. Elsewhere, the on-board tech isn’t class leading but the fit and finish of the interior is excellent.

8. BMW 4 Series (Mk1)

Much has been made of the latest BMW 4 Series and its distinctive grille, although its predecessor was far less controversial when it came to styling. The previous-generation 4 Series Coupe was noted for its sleek appearance, although it had undeniable substance to go with its attractive exterior.

A plethora of petrol and diesel engines were offered on the first-generation 4 Series, and while none of them are short on power the six-cylinder units are more tuneful than the four-cylinder variants. Meanwhile the six-speed manual gearbox was a joy to use, although the optional eight-speed automatic had its own strengths.

As you’d expect from BMW, the carmaker hasn’t scrimped in terms of kit: SE-trimmed examples get 17-inch alloys, dual-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control and a host of other upmarket mod cons. The 4 Series Coupe is reasonably practical too; legroom in the back isn’t overly generous, but nor are these cars restricted to children and teenagers. A 445-litre boot is decent too, although not quite as deep as you’ll find in the 3 Series saloon.

Now find out more about the best used cars you can buy...

Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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