What is the Difference Between a Coupe and a Sports Car?

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What is the Difference Between a Coupe and a Sports Car?

There are many reasons that someone may want to add a sportier car to his or her collection of vehicles, or else choose one as a replacement for an aging car. Not only can smaller cars be fun to drive, many have better fuel efficiency than larger vehicles, as well as appealing styling on both the interior and exterior. Two of the main categories of smaller, sportier cars are coupes and sports cars, both of which can be purchased from dealerships, private sellers, or online from eBay.. However, for many drivers, the differences between these two types of vehicles is not entirely clear, which is complicated further by the fact that there is overlap between the two categories. Still, there are a few ways to tell a coupe from a sports car, including its size, and more importantly, its performance. Both coupes and sports cars can act as a thrilling addition to any car collection, but knowing the difference between the two is the key to choosing the perfect one.


One difference between coupes and sports cars is that the former is generally a bit bigger than the latter. Although most coupes and sports cars feature a two-door design, many coupes feature a backseat that is accessible behind the two front seats. Though this backseat can be cramped, it is appropriate for the occasional passenger or child. On the other hand, for the most part, sports cars are designed to seat only two people; the driver and the passenger. When choosing between the two types of cars, it is, therefore, important to consider if the driver frequently has passengers.

Club Coupe

The backseat of a coupe is so notoriously small, there is actually a separate class of coupe designed with a roomier passenger space in the back. These cars are known as club coupes, although they may also be referred to as two-door sedans, depending on the vehicle. Someone looking for a sporty design but more passenger room may want to consider a club coupe.

Other Types of Coupes

In addition to the club coupe, both marketers and manufacturers have used a number of different descriptors to append the word "coupe" over the years. Each of these classifications has its own features and considerations. For instance, a business coupe is designed with a removable backseat, or none at all, so that travelling salespeople can easily carry the necessary items with them on the road. An opera coupe, which was one of the first coupe varieties, had a high roof in the passenger area and was so called because people could travel to the opera in the vehicle without having to remove their hats. While these are no longer in style, it is still interesting to note the variety of ways in which the word "coupe" has been used over time.


Storage space can also be an important factor when distinguishing between a coupe and a sports car.. In general, a coupe has a roomier boot and, therefore, the ability to carry more cargo than a sports car. Because the ultimate goal of a sports car is to perform well at high speeds, loading one down with cargo does not necessarily make the most sense. Still, someone who needs to carry a lot of items frequently, whether on road trips or trips to the shop, a coupe is likely the better choice.


One of the key factors that can be used to distinguish a sports car from a coupe is its performance. Sports cars are specifically designed to perform well at high speeds and to handle smoothly even with demanding switchbacks. For this reason, sports cars are low to the ground and also very light. While many coupes also handle well, performance is a secondary emphasis when it comes to a coupe's design. A sports car is definitely the right choice for someone who feels compelled to drive very fast, but they are not always the most practical choice otherwise.

Fuel Efficiency

In this day and age, it is also important to consider fuel efficiency when purchasing any type of car. Unfortunately, sports cars are designed much more for performance than for conservation. Coupes vary widely but they can certainly be fuel efficient depending on the type of coupe. More recently, hybrid coupes that utilise electric power in addition to internal combustion have become much more attainable for those who are concerned with efficiency and mileage.

Exterior Design

Some coupes and sports cars can look very similar, but there are some design elements that are unique to both types of car,, including the layout and the overall profile. In general, sports cars are very noticeable. Those drivers who choose a sports car should be comfortable being looked at while they are on the road. Coupes are much more standard and can easily blend into traffic. Additionally, there are some more specific ways in which coupes and sports cars are designed differently.


In many cases, the layout of a sports car differs from that of a coupe. The location of the car's engine as well as how the car drives, that is front wheel drive or rear wheel drive, can have a big impact on the handling of the car. Most modern cars, including that majority of coupes, feature an FF layout, which means the engine of the car is located in the front and the car features front wheel drive. While some sports cars are also constructed in this manner, many higher-end cars feature the RMR layout, with a rear-mid engine placement and rear wheel drive. This is even the layout of most Formula One racing cars. Many drivers may not have a preference for the layout of their car, but anyone shopping for a sports car should certainly know their options.


Another interesting styling difference between coupes and sports cars is that coupes generally feature what are known as frameless windows. This means that the car's windows seal directly against the weatherstrip of the main body of the car. This is a stylistic choice and does not affect the handling of the car, but some people may prefer the look. Sports cars may also have frameless windows, but it is not considered to be a requirement of the design.


Many people associate sportier cars with convertible tops and for good reason. The straight definition of a coupe says that it has a fixed top, which means that a coupe, technically speaking, cannot be a convertible.. Because a sports car does not necessarily have a hard top, it may be a convertible. However, sports cars that are also convertibles may be referred to instead as roadsters. A convertible sports car, or roadster, can be a great choice for someone who lives in a warm climate and wants to experience the outdoors while driving.

Popular Modern Coupe Models

There are many different makes and models of cars that qualify under the definition of a coupe. The following table does not outline every model, but does describe some of the more popular types of coupes.



Year First Produced

Still in Production













Each of these coupes has their own unique look and handling capabilities. Furthermore, each coupe fits into a certain budget category and, therefore, may not be accessible to everyone in the market for a coupe. Regardless, there is certainly a coupe available for anyone who wants one because they are one of the most popular car styles.

How to Buy a Coupe on eBay

If you have made the decision to purchase a coupe over a sports car, you can begin the shopping process on eBay. Because eBay features listings from sellers around the world, it is quite likely that the perfect coupe is available for you to purchase. Using keywords like "four-door coupe&", you can find any type of car for which you are looking. If too many results are returned, simply use the eBay filters to narrow them down until you see your perfect car.

When shopping for a coupe or any car on eBay, it is important to keep shipping in mind. Although, for the perfect vehicle you may be willing to pay a steep shipping charge, most people would prefer not to spend too much in this regard, and instead, spend their budget on the car, itself. Luckily eBay features a geographical sorting feature that allows you to search by location. This way, you can find a coupe near you and arrange a pick up, which means not having to pay shipping costs.


Because there are so many different types of cars available on eBay, from dealerships and from private sellers, it can be difficult to know exactly which one best fits any individual's lifestyle. This can become especially apparent when the differences between two types of cars are so subtle, as is the case with coupes and sports cars. The most important thing to do when deciding between a coupe and sports car is to decide which features are most important to the driver of the car. Some drivers are anxious to have a car with a powerful engine, while for others, a sporty look is the most important feature they are seeking. No matter which car features or car accessories are most important, it is possible to find a suitable vehicle. Having a clear idea as to the definition of different types of cars is sure to bring a bit of much needed clarity to the car buying experience.

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