If you’re in the market for a car that is sleek and sexy, with some decent performance to boot, but don’t have supercar kind of money, a coupe is the next best option. Most commonly arriving with two doors and a sloping roofline (4-door versions are popping up all the time, however), coupes have the potential to offer everything you’re looking for in a car, if you don’t need the extra size afforded by an SUV.
Car manufacturers are cottoning onto the popularity and desire for coupes, with new models being released, old models being updated, and traditional sedans being substituted for sleeker versions. They offer a great combination of practicality and performance, and there are options available to suit all budgets. So which coupes should warrant your attention? We’ve compiled this list of what we consider to be the 10 best coupes currently available in Australia, covering all price brackets: from the more wallet-friendly options such as the Toyota 86, all the way through to supercars such as the Lamborghini Huracan (we know we said earlier coupes are great if you don’t have supercar money, but for those that do, the options are jaw-droppingly fantastic).
Porsche 911 (992)
Fuel Economy: 94.L/100km
Price: From $261,572 Drive Away
The epitome of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra, Porsche’s 911 has exhibited pretty much the same silhouette ever since it was introduced way back in 1964. Having gone through various iterations and model designations during its tenure, it remains one of the absolute best coupes available. The 911 certainly sits within supercar territory, but its ease of use, practicality and ability to be a genuine daily driver make it far more approachable than some of the more outlandish options out there.
While it may be a great car, we do sometimes feel there is perhaps too much choice on offer, with no less that 21 models falling under the 911 umbrella. Some of these are cabriolets, admittedly, and they also include the bonkers and more track-focused GT3, but with Carrera, Carrera 4, Carrera 4S, Targa and Turbo monikers to choose from – and various engine and trim options within these – finding the best Porsche 911 for you is no easy task.
But, what we can say, no matter which model you eventually decide upon, you’re going to receive a sublime driving experience. Your personal preferences when it comes to interior finishes may dictate which model you choose, as the base Carrera only comes with partial leather seats as standard, for example. They can be upgraded, of course, but expect to part with a hefty chunk of cash. However, there are almost too many good things to say about the 911, so we fully recommend heading to your local dealer to try them out.
Toyota 86 (ZN6)
Fuel Economy: 8.4L/100km
Price: From $32,180 Drive Away
The Toyota 86 is the Japanese brand’s best-selling sports coupe since we said farewell to the Celica, and it’s pretty easy to understand why. Not only is it incredibly affordable, with prices starting just over $30,000, it offers a scintillating drive and performance that will have you grinning from ear to ear. It’s cousin, the Subaru BRZ offers much of the same experience, so if you’re a more loyal Subie fan, we wholeheartedly recommend that model too. A successor, the Toyota GR 86 (ZN8) due for release in 2022, which will bring more power and more fun, and could be worth waiting for – its incoming arrival also means stock for the GT is limited.
But, if you need a new coupe now, the 86 GT and GTS offer incredible value for money. The only major differences between the GT and GTS are interior features, as both share the same 2.0-litre 4-cylinder boxer engine, kindly donated by Subaru. This means power for the two are the same, at 152kW for the manual transmission (the auto drops to 147kW), and couple this with Toyota’s rather excellent chassis and ride handling, means you’re given a car that is a real pleasure to drive, if you want something to throw around corners or even take to a track.
What you don’t get is a suite of driver aids, such as lane departure warning or emergency collision warning, features you’d expect from other modern cars, and even those costing similar money. But then, the 86 GT is a pure driver’s car, and exists solely to be an exhilarating drive, appealing to wannabe racers.
BMW M4 (G82)
Fuel Economy: 10.1L/100km
Price: From $161,855 Drive Away
As with its M3 sibling, the BMW M4 is often regarded as setting the benchmark for the performance coupe sector. While the latest generation may divide customers more than previous generations because of the newly-designed front grille, the German manufacturer has made other changes underneath that make the M4 better than ever.
While most sites will want to point your attention towards the M4 Competition – a far more track-focused variant – the standard M4 offers plenty of power and performance to keep most customers satisfied. Under the hood is a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six beast, delivering 353kW of tarmac-munching power, mated to an automatic transmission (it’s auto only, sorry manual fans).
As is the case for all BMW M cars, it’s the way it delivers that power that encourages customers to part with their money. Put your foot down and you’ll be rewarded with incredible levels of grip from the rear, giving you confidence to keep going and even take corners with a bit of extra speed than you might initially feel inclined to. And, as an everyday car it’s perfectly suitable. At cruising speeds and around town it’s perfectly adept, with the steering become lighter to make driving through smaller streets a doddle. There’s plenty of space in the back for passengers too, although naturally, being a coupe with a sloping roofline, headroom can be a pain for taller passengers, but this is the same for all coupes, not just BMW.
Fuel Economy: 6.2L/100km
Price: From $100,372 Drive Away
The Alpine A110 is sort of something of a revolution. While it may be based on the car of the same name from the ’60s, this modern iteration is a completely different kettle of fish, and is perhaps one of the finest examples of a true drivers car there is. A compact two-seater that could be easily compared to something like the Porsche 718 Cayman. Where it differs however – and what makes it extraordinary to drive – is in the weight department. A featherweight in the truest sense of the word, the Alpine A110 is unfathomably light, which equates to it being stupendous fun to drive.
Available in three variants: Pure, Légende and the A110S, there is plenty to get excited about no matter which you choose. All three share the same 1.8-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine, but while the first two have 185kW, the A110S eeks out a bit more power, sitting pretty at 215kW. While those numbers may not seem particularly high for what is meant to be a performance-focused coupe, it’s lighting fast, and it’s all thanks to the fact it weighs next to nothing. It’ll get to 100km/h in 4.5-seconds, for example, quicker than a Porsche Cayman.
The drive is where it’s at, though, with pinpoint precision from the steering and a confidence in handling being instilled into you that you’ll never really get yourself into any danger. Where it suffers compared to rivals, is inside. Don’t expect luxuries such as leather upholstery or a fancy infotainment system. Alpine doesn’t care for that sort of stuff, although you’re not exactly left wanting either. Sure, Porsche, Jaguar and Audi provide you with a much more pleasant interior, but you also have to pay more. The A110 is all about the performance on the road, and for that, nothing comes close.
Lamborghini Huracán Evo
Fuel Economy: 13.7L/100km
Price: From $384,187 Drive Away
We’re no longer left wanting when it comes to buying a supercar, but despite all their 0-100km/h times, driving dynamics or even design, there still isn’t much that comes close to a Lamborghini. The Italian company’s styling to this day remains bedroom poster worthy, with designs that continue to turn heads whenever one drives past. Right now, there are just three Lamborghini models to choose from: the simply obscene Aventador, the rather excellent Urus SUV and this, the Huracán. It’s the far more accessible model, when compared to the Aventador, thanks to a drop in power, but make no mistake, it’s no slouch.
Power comes from a mid-mounted 5.2-litre V10, producing 470kW of power, allowing it to storm towards 100km/h in 2.9-seconds and a top speed of 325km/h. A rear-wheel drive variant is available too, which can encourage you to have a bit more fun, but the ‘standard’ Huarcán Evo is all-wheel drive, making it a far easier beast to tame should your right foot be made of lead. Lamborghini has been sure to include a variety of driving aids to prevent you from spinning out of control, however, giving you more freedom to push it to its limit.
Inside it’s just as bonkers as out, with a huge choice of colour combinations available to make your car genuinely unique. Fighter-jet style buttons and switches adorn much of the dash and floating centre console, with little room left for any sort of storage. If you use the Lambo as your daily, you best only be prepared to travel with your wallet, keys and phone. Of course, this is only a 2-seater, making it a great option if you’re wanting to get away from the kids for a bit, and while it can comfortably be used as a daily driver, you’ll want to make sure you can foot the fuel bill.
But if you’re buying a supercar such as this, you’ll be able to afford the fuel and maintenance that comes with it. It’s a glorious beast of a car that can be enjoyed around town or out on the open road.
Fuel Economy: 13L/100km
Price: From $51,690 Drive Away
The Ford Mustang has been a champion seller for Ford; a true muscle car for not a great deal of money is a tempting proposition for many, after all. The latest 2021 iteration has seen a fair few changes over its predecessors to make it even more enticing. There are a few models to choose from: GT Fastback; High Performance Fastback (both available with automatic or manual transmission); GT Convertible and High Performance Convertible. For those who want an even more performance-orientated variant of the Mustang, the Mach 1 is on hand to oblige.
The GT and High Performance models get a 5.0-litre V8 under the hood, delivering 339kW of power, which as expected, delivers an incredibly pleasant noise when the gas pedal is depressed, the High Performance meanwhile makes do with a more economical 2.3-litre 4-cylinder delivering 236kW of power. And, perhaps unexpected from what is essentially a muscle car, the ride is pretty damn good. Power is delivered well, getting you up to speed in no time (the manual is probably the better gearbox to go for) and at cruising speeds, you’ll find yourself feeling very comfortable. While Ford does say it can seat 4, the rear passengers will need to either be short, or have no legs. It’s tight, to say the least.
Standard equipment is relatively generous, with a good selection of driver assistance packages included throughout the range, and you’re also given a good infotainment system, complete with 12-speaker B&O Play sound system. If you’re looking for a car that has some serious grunt, and can be comfortably used as a daily, the Mustang is a no brainer.
Fuel Economy: 12L/100km
Price: From $193,800 Drive Away
When the Nissan GT-R exploded onto the scene nearly 15 years ago, it was met with critical acclaim. Supercar-rivalling specs from a car with seating for four, and one that didn’t break the bank – at least, not compared to ‘genuine’ supercars – it was a special thing indeed. The latest version is no different, and Nissan has only improved the GT-R during its tenure, even producing the quite frankly ridiculous Nismo edition. That model sure is expensive, but for those who love speed, it’s worth every cent.
For the most part, buyers are going to choose between the GT-R Premium, or GT-R Premium with luxury interior, which essentially just adds some leather to proceedings. What makes the GT-R so special is the science and engineering that have done into developing it, with every minute detail being tweaked and adjusted inch-perfectly to deliver the best possible performance. Under the hood of every GT-R (except the Nismo) lies a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged engine, delivering 419kW of power, catapulting it to 100km/h in 2.7-seconds. We can’t think of many buyers who will want it to go quicker, to be honest.
Inside it’s a comfortable affair too, with bucket seats that keep you pinned in position (handy, given the power available) and while it might not worry the Porsches or the Audis of the world in terms of outright luxury and finish, it’s not exactly a bad place to be. It’s also from the driver’s seat that you’re able to make a huge number of changes to the way the car is setup, allowing you to find the perfect driving style whether you’re out for a daily drive, or hooning it around a track. It’s an exceptional coupe, and may often get overlooked, but for speed and practicality, it’s up there with the best.
Unfortunately, Nissan has now discontinued the GT-R in Australia (the same day this article was published). So while you won’t be able to order a brand new one, there should still be some used stock floating around.
Fuel Economy: 7.2L/100km
Price: From $140,603 Drive Away
The Jaguar F-Type is one handsome beast, and boasts all the necessary credentials to warrant a space on your driveway. Jaguar has made some changes to the lineup available in Australia, predominately to do with the engine, as there is now only one V8 option available: the F-Type R. But, should your budget not be able to extend to grab that one, there are 2.0-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder and 3.0-litre V6 options on offer too, making the F-Type more accessible than ever.
These latter two are offered in rear-wheel drive, while the hot and fiery F-Type R is all-wheel drive. You can also get convertible versions of the 2.0- and 3.0-litre cars, but for our money, the coupe is where it’s at. Whichever engine option you choose, you’ll be rewarding with a responsive driving experience and one that you can truly enjoy. Inside is also exceptional, with the quality of finishes up there with the very best, although some may bemoan the lack of any real storage options. But this means you’re left to focus solely on the drive, and that’s something you’re going to want to do on a regular basis.
You also don’t get a particularly generous of amount of equipment as standard, but Jaguar has an options list featuring a vast majority of features you’ll probably want to add. This does increase the cost, of course, but also improves the driving experience. The ‘stock’ version of the car is still exhilarating, however, so it’s definitely one to test drive.
Aston Martin Vantage
Fuel Economy: 10.3L/100km
Price: From $223,744 Drive Away
Aston Martin, understandably, has a more gentleman’s tourer image to it, brought on thanks to its longstanding association with James Bond. And in many respects, it is just that. However, the Vantage, the ‘baby’ in Aston Martin’s lineup when compared to the DB11 and DBS, is anything but. This is the more fiery, sportier model in the Aston catalogue, and a very fine car it is indeed.
Its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 is borrowed from the Mercedes-AMG GT, giving it 503hp and sending it to 100km/h in 3.6-seconds, and on to a top speed of 314km/h. Impressive numbers, we think you’ll agree. And make no mistake, it’s no widow-maker, as Aston Martin has tinkered away to give drivers of all abilities a car that is exceptional to drive. You only get the option of an eight-speed automatic transmission (in Australia, at least), and while it might not as quick to shift up or down as rivals for similar money, what you get instead is the Aston experience, and it’s an absolute dream.
The interior is one of outright quality. with impeccable finishing throughout and an array of buttons and dials to play with. Some necessary, some perhaps not so much. There’s also a distinct lack of driver assistance technologies, but you probably won’t even care, as Aston Martin has setup this car to be as responsive as possible, and making the overall driving experience the star of the show.
Ferrari Roma (Type F169)
Fuel Economy: 11.2L/100km
Price: From $409,888
The Ferrari Roma is the Italian icon’s legitimate rival to the Porsche 911. A 2+2 mid-front engined coupe, it shares much of the same DNA as the Ferrari Portofino, although to give the manufacturer some credit, an awful lot of the Roma is all-new. As with pretty much all other Ferraris, the Roma is jaw-droppingly good looking, with clean lines all around, and barely an air intake in sight. But what you really want to know about, is what powers the thing.
Under the hood you’ll find a 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8 mated to a six-speed dual-clutch auto box that will get you to 100km/h in 3.9-seconds, and despite those figures, the Roma is surprisingly simple to control. This is a car designed to appeal to the masses, not just the Michael Schumacher wannabes, or the guys with shedloads of cash who simply want the most expensive, fastest car to come from Maranello.
Inside things have been given an overhaul, with a huge 16-inch digital instrument display and an 8.4-inch touchscreen display on the centre console, Some traditionally analogue controls have made the jump to digital touch-sensitive, which some may find cumbersome, but ultimately it’s a quality place to find yourself sat. The main bugbear with the Roma (and other Ferrari vehicles) is the list of options and their individual costs, many of which you’re going to want to add, which naturally causes the price to simply skyrocket, and it ain’t cheap to begin with. If you’ve got the cash to spend, go nuts, but many will be out-priced. Fortunately, the other 9 cars on this list are worthy alternatives.