Coupe versus Sedan: Which One is Right For Me?

Posted at Mon, Dec 7, 2020 3:30 PM

You’re in the market for a new vehicle, you don’t need the increased amount of space offered by most SUVs, you’re looking for something with a lower profile, maybe sportier or maybe more luxurious or maybe something more understated, more value for your dollar. Coupes and sedans fall right in line with what you’re looking for, with models ranging from sporty to economic, you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for, and still fit into those packed in spaces in the work parking lot. In this article we’ll be looking at the differences between coupes and sedans, how they equate to benefits or disadvantages, and a brief look at the sometimes blurred lines between them. So buckle in and get ready, we’re on our way.

Coupes, named for horse drawn carriages designed for ease of passenger entry and comfort have come a long way in the automotive world since their original inception. Now, with two doors, a sleeker profile, and a reduced weight, coupes appeal most to those looking for a more responsive feel and sportier performance. Coupes accomplish this sportier feel with a shorter wheel base and lighter weight, customary of the body style. While space is lost in the rear seats, longer doors allow easier entry to the rear seats, with some manufacturers going as far as to add a third door to allow for even easier entry for rear passengers. And while it’s typical to think of cramped spaces in the back of coupes, backseat leg and head room varies greatly depending on the manufacturer and even models within the same lineup. This is notable in the rear space offered in the Dodge Challenger.

These longer doors and reduced rear seating offer their own quirks of coupe ownership. The longer doors, and likewise windows, create a larger opening, meaning its best to keep them closed when at highway speeds to make the most out of fuel efficiency. And, while a coupe itself may fit into those tighter parking spaces easier due to its smaller body, the longer doors can run into trouble with close-parked cars and curbs due to their wider opening.

Recently there’s been a new trend, especially among certain German auto manufacturers, the abandonment of the two door style along with the adoption of four doors while maintaining the sportier profile offered by coupes. It’s wrapped up under the eponymous nonage, four door coupe. As consumer trends point towards SUVs, another exciting edition of the coupe is also being offered, that is the crossover coupe, with the Tesla Model X being an extreme example, mirrored by the Honda HRV for the more economic option.

Now on to sedans, sedans offered a varied approach to comfort and usability, ranging from sub-compact like the Nissan Versa to full size like the Infiniti Q50 , there are certainly quite a few choices to pick from. The traditional distinction between sedans and coupes is simple, sedans have four doors. These four doors are shorter than the coupes, allowing for easier access in those cramped parking lots. They open up to more interior space as well, with most sedans offering bench seating in the rear row allowing for three adults to sit comfortably, or realistically two with one unfortunate individual situated roughly on the middle hump in older sedans.

These vehicles are also longer, which allows for more interior space for passengers as previously mentioned along with more cargo space. For the consumer most interested in cargo space is may be worth it to research SUVs or CUVs, which each offer more space while being more rugged or sporty respectively. While coupes are ingrained with sporty spirit, high end sedans offer a more luxurious take to everything from evening trips to super market to the daily commute, and a more understated yet refined appearance for the economic buyer.

All in all, both coupes and sedans have their own characteristics, both traditional and new, that make them more attractive to certain buyers. It’s up to you, the consumer, to take the time and compare them to find which body style would fit most into your life. We here at North End Motors are available to help for just that, from the first time you reach out to us to after for fifth oil change, our team is dedicated to helping you make the best financial and personal decision on your vehicle purchase. From our family to yours, stay safe and stay healthy this holiday season.


The article above is a collection of information on the features of both coupes and sedans. Consumers should pursue a variety of sources both online and safely in person when in the process of purchasing a new or used vehicle. North End Motors Inc. is not to be held liable should the above information be used in any way other than for what it is intended to be, a short introduction to information on vehicle body styles.

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