Coupe vs. Sedan: What Makes Each Unique?

Car manufacturers use coupe and sedan platforms to produce specialized vehicles, although the two platforms’ differences go beyond body style. 

A coupe has full-size front seats, rear seats and two doors. While the car’s number of doors is its signature body style, some automakers have added a third door for easier access to rear seats. Over the years, new types of the coupe were introduced, including the four-door coupe.

Meanwhile, a sedan is a specialized four-door vehicle with ample space to seat up to six adults. Sedans come in compact, mid-size and full-size configurations. 

Sedans are different from sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in terms of ground clearance. Sedans have low ground clearance, while that of SUVs is high.

If you’re having trouble deciding which car to choose, EchoPark® can steer you in the right direction. With EchoPark®, you can get the necessary information you need about used vehicles before making your purchase.

Key Features of Coupes 

The first coupes were developed in the 1800s when car makers shortened traditional coaches for the passengers’ convenience.

Several years later, car manufacturers redesigned the car to create a new body style. This new configuration of coupes had a sleek and sloping roofline, two shorter doors, two front seats and two tiny rear seats.

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Recently, automakers started calling their more sporty sedan variants coupes. These versions demonstrated sportier performance compared to their predecessors.

In 2005, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the first four-door sedan with a sloping roofline. The vehicle is now known as the four-door coupe.

If you don't have a large family and you want an affordable vehicle that is fun to drive, the coupe could be the car for you. Its sleek and clean exterior look is also sure to attract buyers who want to drive in style.

Coupes are also perfect for those who want cars on the sportier side. With some suspension upgrades, they can quickly improve the car’s performance in no time.

Key Features of Sedans

Renault introduced the sedan in the late 1880s. The first sedan models had front seats, back seats and four doors, but did not have a fully enclosed cabin space. 

Several companies then followed suit. In 1906, Cadillac was the first company to create sedans with enclosed cabin space. Soon after, other car manufacturers introduced their own versions.

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Compared to coupes, sedans have a longer wheelbase to provide both front and rear passengers more room. Modern sedans have approximately 16 cubic feet of cargo space and more legroom for rear passengers than earlier models.

A sedan's interior size allows for a bench seat for three adults, and is also fitted with a fixed roof.

Unlike coupes, sedans have longer doors to make entering and exiting the vehicle much more accessible. The Honda Accord, BMW 3-series and Infiniti G are some of the cars that offer coupe and sedan versions.

Compared to coupes, the sedan appeals to a broader market. However, in the last decade, sedan sales have fallen as customers began to seek SUVs with more passenger capacity and cargo room.

If you have a large family or need more cargo room, a sedan could be a wise choice.

Is a Sedan or a Coupe the Best Option for You? 

The table below compares the price, performance, style, cargo space and interior comfort of a coupe and a sedan. This guide can help you choose which type of car to buy.

The information includes how a coupe or sedan could be better for you if you are looking for an affordable, faster, comfortable or stylish second-hand vehicle. 

Features Coupe Sedan
Cost (Purchase Price and Insurance Costs Infiniti G37: $36,000 Infiniti G37: $33,000, luxury sedans: $50,000 to $75,000
Performance Enhanced acceleration and braking performance Heavy suspension upgrades available
Styling Dramatic and sportier design Practical design
Cargo Space Cargo space varies 16 cubic feet of cargo space
Interior Comfort Two adults and two child passengers, backseat size varies Six adult passengers, spacious leg and head room
 

Cost (Purchase Price and Insurance Costs)

Cars with a coupe platform are pricier than sedans. The Infiniti G3's coupe variant has a new vehicle price of $36,000, while the sedan configuration has a more affordable price of $33,000.

Insurance cost for a coupe is also higher compared to a sedan. The higher price for cars with coupe platforms can be attributed to the high demand for the vehicles.

Performance

If you are looking for a sports car-like experience when driving, a coupe should be the choice for you. It features enhanced acceleration and enhanced brakes for sportier performance. 

Meanwhile, the sedan tends to be heavier in terms of performance, but if needed, the sedan has several upgradable engine options, including suspension upgrades.

Styling

The coupe is outfitted with a more dramatic and stylish exterior compared to the sedan. The former attracts customers because of its long doors, long rear windows, and a sleek and sloping roofline that gives the car a sportier look. 

Meanwhile, the sedan has a more practical yet luxurious exterior. The car has shorter doors to make it more convenient for passengers to enter and exit the vehicle.

Cargo Space

If you are looking for a vehicle with more cargo space, the sedan is the better choice. The car has approximately 16 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk.

Meanwhile, a coupe’s cargo space varies depending on the model. Some models also have foldable seats to make more room for the trunk area. 

Interior Comfort

With its spacious interior, the sedan offers more interior comfort to passengers compared to the coupe. The car’s interior space has enough room to seat six passengers comfortably.

Meanwhile, most coupes have tiny rear seats that are more suited for children than adults.

If you want an affordable yet stylish car with sportier performance, then a coupe is the right choice. However, if you want a more practical and luxurious car for you and your family, a sedan is the safer bet.

EchoPark®’s dealership offers a wide selection of used sedans and coupes. Whether you decide to buy a coupe or a sedan, our team can help find the right car for you. Shop our full inventory of used vehicles here