Volkswagen CorradoEnlarge Photo
Coupes are all about one thing: style. You might think that style comes at a price. For your third or fourth passenger, the price may be a lack of room. Thankfully, for the other 99% of the time where only you are in the vehicle, looking good doesn't have to cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Coming in at the bottom is one of the most desirable and interesting cars on the list. Why is it at the bottom then? Well, they're getting rare. Finding a decent Corrado involves a ton of searching, and probably a bit of mechanical work as well. However, the upsides are worth it. This is one of the best-looking VWs to ever roll out of Wolfsburg. Plus, your engine choices are either the supercharged G60, or the sweet-sounding VR6 motor in the SLC. Plus, its one of the few cars on this side of a Porsche that has an automatic rear wing. That is way cool.
Although it is the least driver-oriented car on this list, the Firebird might be making a comeback in the cool department. Mainly, that's because it is long-gone. Also, compared to its sister, the Camaro, from the late nineties it was always the better looking car. Its the perfect car if you have a bunch of semi-truck driving buddies and a bold mustache. Did I mention T-tops?
One of the first mildy good cars Hyundai ever produced was the Tiburon GTV6. It had plenty of power, good looks, and one of the sweetest six-speed gearboxes you could get in a car that cost less than $30,000. Since it cost so little when it was new, you can get them cheaper than you might expect these days.
There is a good reason so many people tend to go all gaga over a VTEC system. A lot of the performance-oriented VTEC engines are rev happy and eager to please. Mix that engine with the sleek looks of the Honda Prelude, and you have a quick coupe with reliability to match. Even the boxy old late-Eighties model can be a looker with a bit of visual modifications. Who doesn't love pop-up headlights?
"The ultimate driving machine" was BMW's tagline for a long time. Today, the E30 is making a comeback. Its boxy styling is starting to gain retro appeal, and drifters are favoring it for its straight-six engine and rear wheel drive layout. If you don't like something from the eighties, the E36 3-Series is starting to trickle down in to affordability as well. Plus, it's a BMW. I can't think of a time when saying, "I drive a BMW" wasn't cool.