Best Used Driver's Cars

25th Jun 2021

By Daniel Hitchman

An unparalleled driving experience

In a world where SUVs are common sight, it can be a refreshing change to get behind the wheel of a well-sorted coupé that has been designed with the driving experience in mind.

Every generation has boasted some magnificent coupés to choose from; the BMW 635CSi was a star in the 1980s, while the '90s featured the classy V12 Jaguar XJS.

Despite the transition to larger and more family orientated vehicles, a number of manufacturers have released some sensational cars in recent years. As a result, there is a variety for prospective buyers to browse from.

Ranging from everyday sports coupés all the way through to elegant weekend getaway cars, we have highlighted five of the best used coupés for keen drivers.


Silver BMW M2 Competition, parked on racing track

Renowned broadcaster, Jeremy Clarkson, once said the BMW M2 is "the best M car BMW has ever made". Although there are a number of people who would argue that, such is the brilliance of BMW's M catalogue, we are under no illusion that the BMW M2 is utterly sensational.

The standard 2 Series of this generation was already an exceptional vehicle, but the M2 benefitted from bigger wheels and tyres, a wider stance, larger brakes, and an upgraded suspension set-up that is a hallmark of the M division. The end result was a car that was immensely good fun to drive, but also remarkably capable.

Part of the M2's ability to devour tarmac comes courtesy of a 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder engine. Earlier models got a single turbocharger and produced 365bhp, while later models introduced a second turbocharger and got a power hike to 404bhp. Regardless of your choice, the 0 to 62mph dash will take under 4.5 seconds.


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Mercedes-Benz E-Class

White Mercedes-Benz, parked and on charge

A fine driver's car does not necessarily need to centre around going as fast as humanely possible. That is where the Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes in, an elegant coupé with a potent range of engines and a chassis that is well-suited to Britain's roads.

Naturally, if outright performance is the aim of the game, then the AMG models should be your first port of call. The 4MATIC all-wheel drive system found on the E53 and E63 S models ensure acceleration and grip are mesmerising, while the strong brakes and tuned suspension make for an engaging driving experience.

However, even the regular everyday models offer an exceptional drive. The large diesel engines may not offer much in the way of aural drama, but they work in tandem with the chassis to make progress effortless when driving. You can, of course, opt for any of the petrol variants, which are similarly talented when the going gets twisty.


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Jaguar F-TYPE

Grey Jaguar F-TYPE, parked in countryside

If there is one thing Brits should be proud of, it is the breath taking designs that our native car companies can produce. One such example of that is the Jaguar F-TYPE you see here, which is a two-seater sports car that looks utterly magnificent.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the F-TYPE is more than just a pretty face. The low-slung nature of its design combines effortlessly with the potent range of engines, which translates to a memorable driving experience. Rear-wheel drive models are the most rewarding in terms of engagement, but the all-wheel drive models offer incredible levels of grip.

Powering the F-TYPE are a variety of petrol engines, all of which have their own unique character. The large V8 is full of drama, and will never be short of entertainment. Although, the entry-level models with 296bhp offer a great blend of performance and balance, meaning it simply boils down to your preference.


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Porsche 911

Red Porsche 911, driving in the countryside

It was only a matter of time before the Porsche 911 made a guest appearance. And quite rightfully so, given its rich heritage and uncanny ability to deliver maximum driving pleasure. Any generation of 911 is worthy of a place in this article, but we are going to focus on the latest model.

Engineered to thrill and entertain, the suspension of the 911 has been honed over numerous generations. Each component of the car is tailored to the specification you go for, meaning features such as the brakes, gearbox and engine all work in perfect harmony with each other. Translated, the driving experience is exceptional each and every time.

There are a variety of engines to choose from, ranging from a not-so-entry-level 380bhp Carrera through to the spine-tingling Turbo S, which produces 641bhp. Chassis systems to look out for include Porsche Active Suspension Management (PASM) and Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control (PDCC), which enhance an already sensational driver's car.


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Aston Martin Vantage

Grey Aston Martin Vantage, parked in sunset

There is a compelling case to feature the Aston Martin DBS Superleggera here as opposed to the Vantage, what with its totally unique 5.2-litre twin-turbocharged V12 petrol engine. However, the Vantage weighs approximately 200kg less than the DBS Superleggera, which certainly pays dividends.

Thanks to its lower kerb weight, the Vantage feels more agile and responsive to steering inputs. In addition, the beautifully-balanced chassis and powerful brakes - examples with carbon ceramic brakes do exist - allows you to make the most of the 4.0-litre V8 petrol engine that lives beneath the bonnet.

Courtesy of two turbochargers and a slick 8-speed automatic gearbox (manuals are available), the Vantage is able to deploy its 503bhp with ease. As a result, the 0 to 62mph sprint will take just 3.5 seconds and the Vantage will keep on accelerating all the way to 195mph.


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Discover your next coupé through Stratstone

The great thing about the vehicles above is that they each offer their own unique take on what a great driver's coupé should be. For example, the BMW M2 is the obtainable sports car that can be used on a daily basis, whereas the Aston Martin Vantage is ideal for those wanting something for the weekend.

Regardless of which you choose, you will not be short of driving thrills. For more driving tips and car buying advice, feel free to browse through our blog section, which is regularly updated with fresh content.