A question of coupés (2)

So now that I’ve wrapped up the debatable question as to what is a coupé, let’s get to the meat and veggies. What’s available out there on the coupé market?

  • The Germans
    The Big German Three have had the coupé market practically to themselves over the past years. This isn’t because they sell the best coupés. It’s because a coupé, as I’ve said, is a vehicle for posing, which gives way to badge snobbery very, very easily. That said, their grasp on the market is so strong, each of the German Big Three brands have two or three coupés in their line-ups. We’re going to have to break it down even further:BMW 1-series coupé – A stunted, disgusting, little bastard of a coupé, resembling it’s hatchback counterpart too closely. With not much going for it in the looks department, it has some interesting engines on offer, such as the 177bhp 2.0-litre diesel Start/Stop powerplant. My cousin has one, and it really is unimpressive. It’s crap on journeys because of its rock-hard suspension. And it’s also expensive and cramped, but hey, it’s a coupé, so that’s to be expected. There’s a new, upcoming M1-coupé, which is as exciting as the soup-stain I have on my left trouser leg. 

    BMW 3-series coupé – Not much more than an elongated 1-series, it still manages to be a far more stylish car than its smaller sibling.  It has a nice rear, but its flanks still have horrible sills and creases left over from Chris Bangle’s disastrous tenure as chief designer at BMW. The front is as bland as any other BMW, as is the ghastly interior.

    BMW 6-series coupé – The only production BMW I wouldn’t loathe owning. It’s stylish, but a bit too much, and with a €100,000 price tag + options, it screams out “ostentation!” to the four winds. The oil-burning 635d is the most interesting choice of engine, since it fits the 6-series as a GT cruiser.

    Mercedes C-Class coupé – First and foremost, this car looks like an awful, truncated version of the saloon. Horrible inside and out, the gigantic rear third stop-light is so ghastly, kitsch and tasteless it should be banned, unless Mercedes put it there for people like me to laugh at the crap taste of the sap of a driver behind the wheel. This car has zero style, thus failing as a coupé, so I won’t even bother mentioning engines.

    Mercedes E-Class coupé – The coupé version of the E-Class has always managed to look cool, relaxed and sophisticated (except for the disgustingly disproportionate W124). Again, it’s a pity when coupés resemble their four-door versions too closely, but the E-Class still manages to have a nice profile. I’m not too keen on the interior design though, with the horrendous steering wheel, and with that fussy centre console, with too many shapes and orders, it doesn’t know what it wants to look like. The lowest cylinder diesel engines are pretty impressive, as you’d expect from the current crop of German mechanical prowess in general, with the same 2.2-litre with three power outputs (136, 170 and 201bhp), but all with the same fuel consumption figures.

    Mercedes SLK – Bleeeargh. First off, it looks awful. Second, only balding, middle-aged men with jumpers tied around their necks and cruising to score with females half their age or disgusting, middle-aged blonds who try everything under the surgeons scalpel not to look like prunes with wigs drive these things. And if I’m not mistaken, it only comes as a hard-top convertible. Hence, it’s not a proper coupé.

    Audi TT – This car is suckingly nauseating to gaze upon. It looks like a stunted bar of soap. It’s far too expensive, especially when compared to its larger, better-looking brand-colleague, the A5, and even more so when compared to its most direct competitor, the Peugeot RCZ.

    Audi A5 -Probably the best rational choice of coupé available today. Nice shape, nice interior (even though it’s practically a carbon copy of all other Audis), and great choice of engines. By far the best is the 2-litre diesel with start/stop tech, which fulfils all needs well and is economic and efficient at the same time. Drawbacks include the price (having some nice options will be worth about 50% of the base-price of the car), the fact that all Audis look the same (though this one manages to be handsome) and the cheapening effect of the existence of the Sportback version.
    Nevertheless, I’ve never hid my, shall we say, hostility towards the brand with four rings, so my saying that this model is probably the best offering in its segment is saying something. A car I wouldn’t detest owning.

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