Manufacturers throw around the phrase “coupe-like handling” so much nowadays, many people don’t even know what exactly classifies as a coupe anymore. One common belief is a car must have two doors and rear-wheel drive to fall into that category, but that’s actually not the case.
While rear-drive two-door cars often are the most well-known of the bunch, there are lots of good-looking coupes that tick just one — or none — of those boxes.
Some high-volume automakers sell their front-wheel-drive compact models with both as sedans and coupes, which often attract younger buyers who don’t need as much cargo space. A few mass-market manufacturers similarly make coupe variants of their five-door compact sedans. Those also send power to the front wheels but come with three doors — driver-side, passenger-side and rear hatch — instead of two.
Although coupes are slightly less practical than other body styles, that’s a small price to pay for the improved styling, often inside and out. To demonstrate this, here are four attractive coupes that have a front-wheel-drive layout:
Honda Civic Coupe
Photo via Honda
For the Civic’s 10th generation, Honda focused on making sure all the variants — coupe, sedan and hatch — look sporty. As you’d expect, however, that was emphasized even more when designing the Civic Coupe. With the inclusion of pronounced wheel arches and aggressive lines that move from the front to the back quarter panels, Honda definitely succeeded.
Honda Accord Coupe
Photo via Honda
Honda is one of the few mass-market manufacturers that still produces a two-door version of its mid-size sedan, and it’s better for it. The Accord Coupe presents the perfect alternative for people who want the sportier body style, but require a bit more interior space than they can get with the Civic.
Toyota Yaris 3-Door
Photo via Toyota
The three-door Yaris looks very similar to the five-door from all angles except profile. From the side, it seems as though the Yaris always was meant to be a coupe. Because it isn’t cramming two doors per side between the short wheel base, the three-door version looks more spacious, which interestingly is the opposite effect most coupes have. Fewer doors also means fewer panel gaps, and on a subcompact that really helps accentuate the car’s lines.
Mini Cooper Hardtop 2-Door
Photo via BMW
First, don’t ask us why Mini is the only brand that refers to its hatchback coupes as two-door, because your guess is as good as ours. However, we’re glad it decided to stop trying to reinvent the wheel by making a literal coupe version of the Mini Cooper, which had a sloped roofline that made it extremely impractical — and hideous.
Photo via Hyundai
It’s hard to believe Hyundai used to make some of the dullest looking cars on the market because its current offerings are gorgeous. That said, the Veloster arguably is the most attractive, partly due to its black A-pillar that helps make the car look quick while it’s standing still by drawing your eyes along the body toward the sleek rear end.
Photo via Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
Even though the 500 seems a bit cutesy now that Fiat added the Mazda MX-5’s Italian sibling to its lineup, the 124 Spyder. That said, the small subcompact is still an extremely attractive car with a well thought out interior, so we can’t knock it too much.
Thumbnail photo via Honda