Buying Guide: Best 2017 Coupes

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - January 4, 2017

Although sedans and crossovers rule today's market, automakers are still churning out tempting coupes for buyers who favor sportiness over versatility. Swoopy two-doors aren't exactly practical, but they offer high style and a youthful vibe that you simply don't get with other vehicles.

If you're looking to indulge your sporty side or just want something different, these 2017 coupes can get the job done and then some.

Subaru BRZ
Subaru BRZ

The product of Subaru's joint venture with Toyota, the BRZ holds fast to classic sports car virtues: low weight, petite dimensions, and rear-wheel drive. It's a charming formula that places agility and fun above brute force.

The BRZ carries a 2-liter four-cylinder good for 205 horsepower when paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission, or 200 horsepower with the optional six-speed automatic. The BRZ feels livelier with the manual, but the automatic boosts efficiency from 25 mpg combined to 28 mpg. To bolster handling, you get a limited-slip rear differential and summer performance tires on 17-inch alloy wheels.

The trunk is predictably puny, but cargo space really opens up when you fold down the rear seat, which is too small for life-size passengers anyway. The BRZ first appeared in 2013, and this year receives an upgraded suspension and additional structural bracing. The newly available Performance package tacks on larger brakes and stiffer shock absorbers.

Ford Mustang
Ford Mustang

The Mustang has been in continuous production since 1964, which should tell you something about how drivers feel about this American icon. Introduced in 2015, the latest version comes standard with a 300-horsepower V6 engine, and you can upgrade to a four-cylinder turbo with 310 horsepower. GT models get a 5-liter V8 that lays down 435 horsepower and allows the Mustang to hit 60 mph in about 4.5 seconds. All versions grip the road with gusto.

Unlike past generations, the Mustang of today boasts a contemporary, even high-tech interior with tons of available comfort and trim upgrades. In fact, the whole car is highly customizable. Ford offers a huge array of design packages and performance add-ons. Value has always been part of the Mustang story, and we're glad to see that hasn't changed. The coupe starts at around $25,000.

Chevrolet Camaro
Chevrolet Camaro

Chevy's long-running muscle car proves that raw power and macho looks never go out of style. The Camaro holds just as much appeal as the 1967 original when it comes to sheer excitement for the money.

The Camaro lost 200 pounds in last year's full redesign and emerged as a trim and exotic muscle car for the modern era. The standard 2-liter turbo puts out 275 horsepower, enough to make the Camero suitably quick while achieving 30+ mpg in the highway.

The available 3.6-liter V6 provides a boost to 335 horsepower. SS models carry a 6.2-liter V8 good for 455 horsepower. Buyers looking for something truly ferocious can step up to the 650-horsepower ZL1, which is one of the most track-worthy coupes you can buy.

Honda Accord
Honda Accord

The only front-driver on our list, the Accord coupe offers a comfortable backseat for two adults and a sedan-size trunk. That makes it an excellent choice for buyers who want a stylish car that they can easily live with on a daily basis. Although it's larger than most coupes, the Accord feels nimble and athletic in spirited driving. It's also pleasantly refined, with a sophisticated interior and quiet ride when all you want to do is cruise.

The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 185 horsepower, and you can opt for a 3.5-liter V6 with a hearty 278 horsepower. In a nod to enthusiasts, both engines are available with a six-speed manual transmission, something you don't usually find in a midsize car.

The Accord coupe enjoyed a major refresh last year, so there's little change for 2017. An all-new version is expected for 2018.

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Nissan 370Z
Nissan 370Z

With its long hood, sloped roof, and two-passenger layout, the 370Z looks the part of a dedicated sports car. But it's actually more balanced than that. You get a relaxing ride, a well-crafted interior, and active noise cancellation. The standard sport seats hold you firmly in place around curves, and yet provide all-day comfort on weekend getaways.

The 3.7-liter V6 produces 332 horsepower, enough to move this two-seater from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. If that's not quite fast enough for you, there's always the Nismo version with 350 horsepower and a stiffer suspension system. All cars can be equipped with a six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

The sixth generation of Nissan's Z car, the 370Z arrived on our shores in 2009 and received its last significant update in 2015.

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, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.