If you’re in the market for a new car, a coupe can be a sporty, stylish option. However, balancing performance and looks with your budget can sometimes be challenging.
The biggest budget-buster on most coupes can be the powertrain. Bigger engines offer more power, but also come with a heftier price tag and lower fuel economy. High-tech suspensions improve handling, but also add to a coupe’s price. Going for more interior features will also make a coupe more expensive. And, even adding a sport package that just gives your coupe more aggressive looks can significantly affect your bottom line.
Coupes Less Than $20,000
There are several coupes that cost less than $20,000. Take a look at the $17,965 Honda Civic Coupe, the $19,480 Scion tC and the $17,400 Kia Forte Koup. Honda tweaked the Civic for 2013, and the coupe comes standard with features like a rearview camera, Honda’s 5-inch i-Mid infotainment system that displays photos and vehicle information, Bluetooth hands-free calling and a USB audio interface. Most of these standard features are usually costly options on coupes in this price range. The tC is also well-equipped with a USB port and iPod interface, keyless entry, leather-trimmed steering wheel and panoramic moonroof, which is an impressive feature in this price range. The Forte Koup doesn’t offer as many standard features as the tC or Civic Coupe, but it does come standard with Bluetooth phone connectivity and a USB port. All three coupes have four-cylinder engines, though at 140 horsepower, the Civic is the least powerful.
Coupes $20,000 to $30,000
The $20,000 to $30,000 price range offers more options and more power. Muscle cars like the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro are priced less than $25,000. Both vehicles come standard with V6 engines, which is one of the main differences between these models and less expensive coupes. The $22,200 Mustang is one of the best values in this price range. It’s powerful and has good fuel economy at 19 mpg in the city and 31mpg on the highway, and also offers a decent 13.4 cubic feet of cargo space. It also has the lower MSRP of the two, with the Camaro starting at $23,345. The $27,295 Dodge Challenger also has a standard V6 engine, and if you want even more power, a V8 is available. The Challenger R/T with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 starts at $31,090.
Coupes $30,000 to $50,000
Coupes in this price range, like the Audi A5, Infiniti G37 Coupe and BMW 128i Coupe, offer more luxurious and high-quality interiors. They also offer nimble driving dynamics and refined powertrains. The G37 Coupe and 128i both have six-cylinder engines, while the A5 has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and standard all-wheel drive. The 128i and G37 are both rear-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive is optional on the Infiniti. The G37, with 330 horsepower, is also the most powerful of the group compared with the 128i’s 230 horsepower and the A5’s 211 horsepower. However, more powerful versions of both the BMW and Audi are available, which more closely rival the G37’s power.
Coupes $50,000 and More
The Mercedes-Benz E350 Coupe starts at $51,120 and is one of the best-performing coupes on the market. It has a 3.5-liter direct injection V6 engine that reviewers love that makes 302 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. Luxury features on the E350 include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats and hands-free Bluetooth interface. Other coupe choices include the $79,000 Jaguar XK Touring, the $74,900 BMW 6-Series and the $115,300 Mercedes-Benz CL-Class.
Performance cars tend to have lower fuel economy ratings and may require premium fuel, so it’s important to factor this into your budget. The BMW 128i and Infiniti G37 Coupe earn 19/28 mpg and 17/25 mpg with manual transmissions, respectively. Both require premium fuel and have estimated annual fuel costs of $2,500, according to the EPA, though keep in mind that annual fuel costs can vary based on the current price of gas. The Chevrolet Camaro uses regular fuel and gets 19/30 mpg with an automatic transmission. According to the EPA, the estimated annual fuel cost for the Camaro is $2,250. To learn about fuel economy ratings and annual fuel costs, visit www.fueleconomy.gov.
Total Cost of Ownership
To make sure your next coupe is within your budget, you might also want to calculate the total cost of ownership, which includes the MSRP, fuel consumption, financing, insurance, depreciation, predicted repair costs and other factors. These estimates give you a good idea of what you’ll spend over the next five years to own the coupe.
For instance, the Subaru BRZ starts at $25,495, which is $1,245 more than the Hyundai Genesis Coupe. The BRZ is more expensive at the outset, but has a lower five-year cost of ownership. According to IntelliChoice, the BRZ’s five-year total cost of ownership is about $4,500 less than the Genesis Coupe’s. Companies like IntelliChoice, Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds, among others, provide these ownership costs, so be sure to check them out as you compare models.