Coupes vs Sedans: How Do They Differ and How Can You Choose Between Them?

If you're looking for a new vehicle, you probably won't have much trouble deciding between, say, a full-sized SUV and an agile subcompact, but it can be much tougher to decide between a coupe and a sedan. The differences between these two body types are subtle; that can make them hard to choose between, but it also means that one body style will be better suited to your needs and wants. Here's a quick overview of some things you need to know to make the right decision.

Coupe vs Sedan: The Technical Differences

Coupes and sedans used to differ far more significantly than they do today. It used to be the case that coupes came with two doors and two seats, but manufacturers now commonly offer 'four-door coupes' and 'five seat coupes', which tends to muddy the waters a little. Many vehicles can even be had in both coupe and sedan configurations.

However, one fact remains true, and it concerns pillars. Pillars are used to support the frame, and the coupe is the only type of car that has no B-pillar, which is the one that divides the front and rear seats.

Coupe vs Sedan: What Does Each One Offer?

It's nice to know the technical difference between a coupe and a sedan, but you probably need a little more to go on before you make your decision. That change in structure does affect the overall vehicle, so there are a few things you need to consider.

The first is how many people you commonly drive with and how tall your rear-passengers usually are. Coupes might have four doors now, but those doors will be smaller and the rear seats will tend to enjoy significantly less legroom than in a sedan. Taller or older passengers will find it tiresome to climb in and out and confining to sit in the back during longer journeys. Compounding this issue is that fact that coupes usually have smaller cargo areas.

Of course, those reduced dimensions do present a few advantages. Coupes are generally sportier in appearance than sedans, with sleeker lines noticeable across the body. Since coupes are generally much lighter than sedans, they do tend to possess sharper performance to go along with their bolder styling choices.  They're also easier to drive in the city; with a shorter wheelbase and overall length, they boast reduced turning radiuses, so you'll find them more manoeuvrable than your average sedan.

A final concern is safety. Sedans, thanks to their larger dimensions, are more commonly seen as family cars, so they're more likely to carry the latest safety technologies. Additionally, their size and shape can make it tougher for side curtain or backseat airbags to be fitted. This isn't to say that coupes aren't safe, but achieving unrivalled safety is usually less of a priority. Contact a dealership for more information and advice.