QOTD: It's 2017 - Would You Buy a Coupe?

qotd its 2017 would you buy a coupe

At new car dealerships, coupes are thin on the ground. The demise of the Honda Accord coupe at the end of the 2017 model year shutters the mainstream midsize coupe segment, a category long since diminished by the disappearance of two-door Camrys, Altimas, and the Avengers.

Compact coupes are rare, too. You won’t find two-door versions of the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla, or Volkswagen Jetta, although their predecessors all offered coupe variants.

Chevrolet Monte Carlo, Chrysler Cordoba, Ford Thunderbird? Long gone. But coupes — genuine two-doors such as the pillarless Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic I’m driving (and being massaged by) this week, or the Honda Civic, or the Infiniti Q60, or the Rolls-Royce Wraith — are still available.

Would you buy one?

Probably not. More likely than not, your next new vehicle purchase will involve a light truck, anything from the Ford F-150 to the Toyota Highlander to the Jeep Renegade. Passenger cars account for only 37 percent of U.S. new vehicle sales in 2017. Two-door cars account for distinctly less than one out of every ten car sales. Between 2000 and 2011, global coupe sales plunged by nearly half.

It’s not difficult to understand why. Coupes, often linked in the last to performance, are by no means the only source of performance in 2017. Just look at the Honda Civic as an example. While the Civic Si is launching as a sedan and coupe now, the true high-performance Civic is the Type R, a British-built four-door hatchback.

Style, always beheld by the beholder, is constantly changing, as well. So-called (and strangely called) four-door coupes combine some of the coupe’s style quotient with some of the sedan’s practical benefits.

Then, of course, there’s the fact that vehicles such as the Toyota RAV4 Adventure have the means of capturing a young couple’s attention. Where are the kayaks you wish you owned and the bikes you intend to ride supposed to go? Not on a Celica’s roof or in a Camry coupe’s trunk, that’s for sure.

So, is a coupe on your list of new vehicles to consider?

[Image: © Timothy Cain]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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  • PeteRR PeteRR on Sep 24, 2017

    "But coupes — genuine two-doors such as the pillarless Mercedes-Benz E400 4Matic I’m driving (and being massaged by) this week, or the Honda Civic, or the Infiniti Q60, or the Rolls-Royce Wraith — are still available." You're forgetting about the Dodge Challenger, which is not a pony car, but a genuine full size coupe with an interior to match.

  • Krhodes1 Krhodes1 on Sep 24, 2017

    Sure, but not as my only car. I prefer 3drs most of all, since I rarely use the back seat to hold anything but my briefcase, but need to carry assorted crap in the back on a reasonably frequent basis. I wish I could have bought a 3dr GTI (or better yet, an M135i). Even more practical for me since I am a big guy - the bigger doors make it easier to get in and out and the further aft positioning of the B-pillar helps visibility. But in the US we are not allowed to have nice things evidently.

  • FreedMike I’m for pretty much anything that goes fast. The more, the merrier.
  • ToolGuy 16.9 gallon fuel tank (~15 usable in the real world) combined with abysmal fuel economy means the range of your girlfriend's EV will look pretty good by comparison. 😉
  • ToolGuy Cadillac should make a list of everyone who gets excited by this announcement, and never listen to those people again.
  • Jkross22 My use case is perfect for an EV. I drive about 10 miles/day tops, have a home so I can recharge at night, love how much more efficient an EV is over its ICE counterpart and love the instant torque, quietness, lack of moving parts/reliability/cost of maintenance. I'm the poster child for EV ownership.But I don't have one and don't see buying one anytime soon. As intriguing as they are, there is no way in Haiti I'm dropping 50 large minimum to buy one. Not gonna happen. The Bolt looks like a toe, I really don't like Tesla interiors, I love the Lucid and Polestar 2, the H/K electrics are interesting but look at the price of all of these.
  • ToolGuy The only good thing about this car is the wheelbase.