Coupes. They’re sleek and sexy, cozy and intimate, fast and furious. Coupes are driven by secret agents, superheroes, and outlaws alike. They appeal to our fantasies of personal freedom and adventure. The style and the performance beckon you to get behind the wheel, find an open road, put your right foot down, and head for the horizon.
But how practical is a coupe for the transportation demands of daily life? Granted, a coupe will not be your first choice if you have kids in car seats or many people to haul around. Minivans and SUVs are much better choices for those situations.
However, if you are single, or a couple, or you have a family and another vehicle for the daily grind, a coupe could make sense. For those times when you (and perhaps your significant other) want to head out for dinner or a weekend getaway, a coupe makes the trip special.
Our focus in this article is that class of coupes that lets you get away from it all, any time of the year, no matter what the weather throws at you. These coupes have all-wheel drive. They can get you to your destination in snow, sleet, or rain, just as capably as an SUV.
One more thing: there is a major year-round advantage of having an all-wheel drive system in your coupe. By providing power to all four wheels, and balancing each wheel’s traction based on what is happening at each corner of the car, these coupes can safely keep you in control, even at speeds that may be a bit too fast for conditions. Thank you, stability management and torque vectoring software!
So what does our collection of all-wheel drive coupes look like? We start with a few examples from BMW, Infiniti, Audi, and Lexus, all priced approximately between $35,000 and $45,000. Next we jump up to almost $100,000 and keep going, with examples from Porsche, Nissan (yes, Nissan!), Mercedes-Benz, another BMW, and another Audi, topping out at over $160,000.
Some of these have usable back seats, some have occasional back seats, and some have no back seats. Engines range from just three cylinders up to ten cylinders, placed in the front, middle, and rear. Horsepower goes from a decent 208 up to a massive 565. Five of the cars represented here come from German brands, and four are Japanese. There is an all-wheel drive coupe for just about every taste and budget. Now let’s slip behind the wheel of each and see what they have to offer…
1. 2017 BMW 230i xDrive Coupe
Base Price: $35,150
The 2017 BMW 230i xDrive Coupe is where both all-wheel drive coupes and BMW all-wheel drive coupes start, pricewise. This is a snug-fitting coupe with a back seat for occasional use, since there is not much legroom back there.
Dynamically, the 230i xDrive Coupe is great fun to drive. It is nimble and peppy in the BMW tradition. Its 248-hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine is mated to an 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Power is sent to all four 17” alloy wheels by the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. All-season tires and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes stop you securely.
Inside the 230i xDrive Coupe, you are held in place by the standard 8-way manual adjustable sport seats, which come with power side bolsters. Simulated leather is standard, but you can get real cow-derived leather as an option. Twin-zone automatic climate control lets you and your passenger choose your ideal temperature settings. A standard 205-watt CD/MP3 audio system with HD radio and seven speakers lets you crank up your favorite music as you carve some corners.
Above all else, the BMW 230i xDrive Coupe is a BMW, and delivers completely for those who truly love to drive. It has that special feel that will reward the enthusiast who seeks to explore what it has to offer.