Although coupes are no longer what they used to be, there are some still in the market that can offer that traditional coupe look and feel for a sub RM200k price tag.
There are some pretty amazing and affordable coupes on sale in the used car market today, and while the fear that they might break down is one of the reasons why they are cheap, their impractical design is also another factor that is affecting its prices, making them more affordable and tempting than ever!
Still, if you think you can maintain them and practicality is not on the top of your priority, then perhaps you have access to some of the most exciting and lusted after cars ever to grace this land.
What is a coupe? Traditionally, a coupe is a term given to cars with a sleek sloping roofline, two doors, and two seats upfront. Manufacturers also put two tiny seats in the back of coupes, but we all know the tiny ones are more for kids and animals instead of adults. We'll also throw convertibles into the mix here too.
Coupes are a dying breed, fallen from favour in the new millennium after reaching an all-time high point in the nineties. While the coupe shape is now experiencing a resurgence in four-door cars and SUVs, we all know a true coupe has two doors, rides low, drives well and is pretty cramped in the back.
So without further definitions, let's take a look at some of these sub RM200k coupes because who knows, you might just be flush with cash and having a mid-life crisis!
SL55 AMG R230 (from RM128k)
If a muscle car coupe with a convertible roof sounds appealing to you, then the SL55 AMG should be right up your alley. With a 5.4-litre supercharged engine that pushes out nearly 500hp, this sleek bit of metal from the company that brought you the three-pointed star should get you from 0-100km/h in just 4.3 seconds.
The Mercedes SL (Super-Leicht or in English: Super Light) has stirred emotions since its inception in the fifties, and while the R230 generation is not the lightest out of them all (2000kg), it still has looks that can kill, even till today.
One thing to note, though, those three alphabets after SL55 usually means the car comes with brute force, and that bit of muscle is not cheap to maintain especially for road tax. With a yearly road tax figure of around RM12k, it is not for the faint-hearted, and then there are its typical ABC (active body control) suspension problems which could set you back some money which can probably get you a new Perodua Axia. Slap on some coilovers, and that problem is fixed for good, but you'd still have to pay a yearly road tax worth two kapcais a year. Also, there are no longer hire purchase loans for a car this old, so that is another thing you should consider.
BMW M6 E63 (from RM180k)
Like the SL, the M6 is one of the most iconic coupes ever produced. Since its inception in 1983, the M6 has set the motoring world alight through its sharp handling, distinctive styling and sheer driving pleasure, and it all started with the M635CSi model, better known as the M6 shark.
Believe it or not, the E63 M6 was only the second iteration of the M6, introduced after a 16-year M6 hiatus. When BMW brought out the E63 M6 in 2005, they were not messing about and gave it a beautiful sounding 500hp V10 engine but unfortunately paired it with the infamous SMG-III automated manual transmission.
The transmission is actually okay when it is running right, but it does have a few problems, chief of which is its hydraulic pump motor. This part alone could set you back a few thousand ringgit without labour, so a manual one would be best, if you can find one that is. Like the SL, the biggest problem with the car is its yearly RM11k road tax and its cash buy or personal loan acquisition options.
Ford Mustang 6th Generation (from RM213k)
Okay, we know we said sub RM200k coupes, but we couldn't resist including the Mustang in this list as it's only just about breaching the RM200k threshold.
When Ford created a right-hand-drive Mustang for the first time in 2015, it practically opened up the world market for the Mustang, especially for those who drive on the left side of the road. This must have been one of Ford's brightest ideas, as it was named the world's best coupe from 2015-2017.
The other feature that made the Mustang more accessible than ever was Ford's 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine in the sports car. It really did bring down the total overall cost of ownership but kept some of its more muscular 5.0-litre brother's performance, and you no longer needed to pay RM11k a year (5.0-litre Mustang) just to keep it legally on the road.
Just like the Germans above, the Ford Mustang is an iconic coupe. It is Ford's longest ever car nameplate and has pretty much remained under the same philosophy of long hood and short deck since its introduction in 1964.
The official introduction of Mustangs by Ford Sime Darby Auto Connexion to the Malaysian market in 2016 opened up the flood gates for this pony, and you can pretty much see them everywhere on Malaysian roads now. It's been said that it's best to avoid earlier models and go for the later ones as most of the niggly problems such as defective wiring harnesses had been sorted out.
Porsche Cayman (from RM98k)
It's pretty unbelievable that you can now buy a Porsche Cayman from as low as RM98k, and at this price, it really does bring the Porsche coupe ownership dream closer to many.
The Porsche Cayman is a coupe derived from Porsche's mid-engine two-seater roadster, the Boxster. Named after the Caiman alligator, it shares many of its parts with the Boxster, and the main difference between it and the roadster is the body shape. While the Boxster is only available as a convertible, the Cayman is only available as a coupe, making them distinguishable. It's a coupe version of the Boxster if you must, but the Cayman does have one variant that the Boxster does not have, which is the GT4.
While the Porsche Cayman's looks are a debatable part of its characteristic, there's no arguing that it has a fabulous driving experience. Its mid-engined layout offers many different powertrains, starting from a 2.7-litre flat-six all the way up to a 3.4, but newer models 2016 onwards came with a horizontally-opposed flat-4 turbocharged engine of 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre displacements.
3.4-litre Caymans that have been used as track day cars will probably be the most unreliable out of the lot, as they can suffer from oil starvation due to high amounts of G-forces. You can read all sorts of horror stories about this on the internet. Apart from that, they are all pretty solid cars, but a pre-purchase inspection will always negate unwanted future problems. Expect to pay road tax northwards of RM4k for Caymans that have bigger displacements.
Lotus Evora (from RM200k)
The Lotus Evora is probably one of the most practical Lotus cars ever offered. It was first launched in 2009 and was the first all-new Lotus for nearly more than a decade. It was built to take on the likes of the Porsche Cayman and 911 and was the world's only mid-engined 2+2, that is until the BMW i8 came along.
The Evora was intended to be a refined version of the less-than-civilized Lotus Elise and Exige, but compared to other coupes of its performance standard, it still felt raw. Although it feels medieval compared to other mid-engined sports cars like the Porsche Cayman, it can be used as a daily driver.
Saying that however, this 'raw-ness' is precisely why people love it in the first place because it really does reward drivers who want that exhilarating driving experience.
With an invigorating high-rpm 3.5-litre engine that likes to scream, the car will surely give you that immersive sports car feeling, especially when its 400bhp is unleashed. The things is though, the car is not all about power and speed because it was built to give you loads of fun around the twisties.
While others can learn a thing or two from the Lotus Evora's lightweight approach, the Evora can probably learn about interior quality from others. Cracked cosmetic roof panels, poor interior fitting and malfunctioning window motor are unfortunately common.
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