STYLE DOESN’T HAVE to cost the earth, so take a look at our top 10 coupes that can be yours for under £5000.
10. Fiat Coupe
If you’re going to buy a Fiat Coupe, you’re going to have to expect to spend money. Rust, electrical faults and expensive servicing are some of the Coupe’s known problems, but when you can buy one for as little as £500, I suppose it’s not so bad. The Chris Bangle design (the man who would give us the ‘flame surfaced’ BMWs) still looks great too.
9. Ford Cougar
Before the Ford Kuga, there was the Ford Cougar. A large, Mondeo-based coupe that was comfortable, well-equipped and handled surprisingly well. It’s design might not described as exciting but it’s certainly stylish in a restrained kind of way. Mechanicals are strong and should prove to be a reliable ownership prospect. Prices start at £400-£500.
8. Peugeot 406 Coupe
Described by many as a mini-Ferrari, the 406 Coupe was designed by legendary Italian design house Pininfarina and still looks just as good today. More a comfortable GT than a sports car, the 406 Coupe handles competently but doesn’t relish corners like some. High mileage cars can be troublesome but it’s a generally reliable car. Prices start around £600.
7. Alfa Romeo GTV
Another serious looker, the Alfa Romeo GTV (and its Spider cousin) was also designed by Pininfarina. The GTV has the performance to back up it’s looks though, with a finely balanced chassis and the option of a gorgeous, but thirsty, 3.2-litre V6. We’ve all heard Alfa reliability horror stories but look after it and it’ll look after you. Prices start at £800.
6 Jaguar XK
With only £5k to spend, you can forget any dreams of getting your hands on an XKR. But with prices for the standard XK8 now starting around £3500, you can still have a big cat on your driveway. You can enjoy luxury and comfort from your Jag, as well as surprisingly sporty handling. Surprisingly reliable too, but it’s a big car so running costs can mount up.
5. BMW 3-Series Coupe
The sensible choice. The 3-Series Coupe might be slightly boring to look at but it’s comfortable, well built, reliable and handles like a dream. As a result there are thousands of them out there so you won’t exactly stand out from the crowd. There’s a huge range of petrol and diesel engines so there’s one to suit every budget. Prices start around £1500.
4. Toyota Celica
In all the buzz surrounding the new GT86, the venerable Celica has been a little bit forgotten. It might only be front-wheel-drive but it handles sweetly, is well built and very well equipped. Being a Toyota, the only reliability issues will be from negligent or reckless previous owners so look for service history and crash damage. Prices start around £1000.
3. Audi TT
The TT suffers from the same image problem that affects the Mazda MX-5. But if you can put up with the occasional “hairdresser” comment then you can get your hands on a mighty fine car. Built on solid VW group mechanicals and with the usual Audi fit and finish it should be a very enjoyable and relatively trouble free car. Prices start from £2000.
2. Smart Roadster Coupe
Low weight, low power and low grip is a classic recipe for fun and it’s one the Roadster Coupe sticks too religiously. The only real weak point is the sometimes ponderous semi-automatic gearbox. Being small and nimble means it not only handles brilliantly but is cheap to run. Build quality is nothing to write home about though. Prices start at £3000.
1. Nissan 350Z
Who could say no to a 3.5-litre V6 engined, rear-wheel-drive coupe? Combine that with fine handling, great looks and impeccable reliability and you have a very irresistible package. All of which becomes even more irresistible when you realise you can buy a 350Z today for as little as £4500. It seems like the bargain of the century but that engine will hit you hard when it comes to insurance, tax and fuel and if you drive it enthusiastically (read “sideways”) it’ll eat rear tyres at an alarming rate. Still tempted though, aren’t you?