American manufacturers built a long list of full-size coupes in years past, but the pickings on today's lots are slim. Big luxurious cruisers like the Cadillac Eldorado, Coupe DeVille, Oldsmobile Toronado, Buick Riviera, Ford Thunderbird, and the mighty Lincoln Mark series ruled the road decades ago. Chevrolet alone had three large coupes: the Impala, the Chevelle, and the Monte Carlo. Other big coupes of note included the Dodge Coronet, Plymouth Satellite, Ford Galaxie 500, and Mercury Cougar. Sadly, all of those vehicles (and too many brands) are a part of history. We had to search hard to compile a modern day list. Full-size domestic coupes were cool and affordable, back in the day, but those days are long past. Today’s list is largely dominated by expensive imported brands.
10 Top Full-Size Coupes
Photo Credit: Dodge
Not only does Dodge Challenger rein as the sole remaining full-size American coupe, the dastardly new Demon variant is billed as the fastest street-legal car to ever be offered for sale in the U.S., with an estimated quarter-mile time of 9.65 seconds. While the Challenger’s Mercedes-Benz-based architecture is significantly more dated than the current Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro, it offers two things that its smaller competitors cannot match. The first is a fully functional back seat, capable of accommodating full-size occupants. The second is most applicable to cold weather states, as the new Pentastar V6-powered Challenger GT is the only traditional American muscle car offered with all-wheel drive. Worth noting: V6 Challengers are only offered with automatic transmissions. If you want a manual, you need a HEMI V8.
Photo Credit: Nissan
The mighty Nissan GT-R (a.k.a. Godzilla) stands out among imported full-size high-performance coupes, with a legacy that spans decades. The GT-R Premium’s ($109,990) twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter 24-valve V6 churns out 565 horsepower, delivering it to all four corners through a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission and ATTESA E-TS all-wheel drive. The ponies jump up to 600 hp in the $174,990 NISMO Edition, which also features a track-tuned suspension, 20-inch ultra-lightweight RAYS alloys, a host of carbon-fiber aerodynamic body enhancements, and NISMO-branded Recaro leather upholstered front buckets with synthetic suede inserts. Kit your new GT-R out with the 11-speaker Bose audio system and you’ll find two subwoofers strategically located between Godzilla’s rear seats.
Photo Credit: Aston Martin
Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe
Who hasn’t watched a James Bond film and felt a pang of longing for a magnificent Aston Martin? If you’re headed that way, you might as well go big, and there’s nothing quite like the Vanquish S Coupe, which Aston Martin bills as “the Ultimate Super GT.” You’ll find a monstrous 6.0-liter V12 nestled between the fenders, mated to an 8-speed automatic. Aston Martin rates the combo as worthy of a factory 3.5 second 0-60 mph time. The big V12 pumps out 595 horsepower in the UK and Europe, but if you live elsewhere, you’ll just have to get by with 580 hp. The top speed is a blistering 201 mph.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe
Mercedes-Benz gets the nod for including a wide range of coupes in their current product portfolio. The E400 starts at $54,550, the all-wheel drive E400 4MATIC variant is priced at $57,050, and the E550 crosses the mark at $60,650. The E550’s 402-horsepower 4.7-liter V8 biturbo engine is mated to a 7-speed automatic. The distinctive exterior features Mercedes-Benz' exclusive flowing, pillarless hardtop design. The 4-passenger E55’s “elegantly sporty” cabin features individual buckets in the second row, and the materials are top-notch, as you would expect in a Mercedes-Benz. Acceleration is factory-rated at 4.9 seconds from 0-60 mph.
Photo Credit: Infiniti
If Godzilla is a bit too much of a monster for your tastes (or wallet), the slinky Infiniti Q60 just might fit the bill. Infiniti offers the 2017 Q60 in a dizzying array of trim levels, with ten variations in all, in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive. The choices range from the 208-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter RWD Q60 2.0t ($38,950) through the 300-hp twin turbo 3.0-liter V6 RWD Q60 3.0t Premium ($44,300), all the way up to the top-of-the-line AWD 400-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 Q60 Red Sport 400 ($53,300). A 7-speed automatic transmission is used across the board, with the V6 models benefiting from twin transmission fluid coolers and driver adaptive algorithms.
Photo Credit: Honda
The Honda Accord remains as the last affordable large imported coupe. The 2017 Accord Coupe is offered in five trim levels: LX-S ($24,125), EX ($26,250), EX-L ($29,095), EX-L V-6 ($31,275), and Touring ($34,475). The LX-S, EX, and EX-L are equipped with an 185-horsepower inline 4-cylinder engine, while the EX-L V6 and Touring are fitted with a 278-hp V6. A 6-speed manual is standard on the EX-L V6, if you hanker to chase Mustangs and Camaros. The Honda Sensing safety technology package (includes adaptive cruise control, active lane keep, collision mitigation braking, and road departure mitigation) is standard on the Touring and optional on all other trim levels.
Photo Credit: Cadillac
Cadillac CTS Coupe
The Cadillac CTS was the last full-size luxury coupe produced by an American manufacturer. The CTS Coupe enjoyed a short run, with production kicking off in the 2011 model year. The high-performance CTS-V variant was a truly magnificent beast, with its crisp “Art and Science” design language and a gnarly 6.2-liter V8 engine rated at 556 horsepower and 551 pound-feet of torque. The CTS Coupe ended its run in the 2014 model year, while the mighty CTS-V Coupe hung around for one more year. CTS-V Coupes were produced in limited numbers and are highly sought after. While Cadillac no longer produces the CTS Coupe, a bit of perseverance should turn up a certified pre-owned vehicle.
Photo Credit: Bentley
The 2017 Bentley Continental sets a high mark among full-size luxury coupes, with gobs of power and a seemingly infinite number of customization options. It’s all about bespoke go-fast elegance and the cabins are positively exquisite. The 2017 Bentley Continental is offered in V8 and V12 configurations. The GT V8 is equipped with a 500-horsepower 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 while the GT V8 S powerplant produces 521 hp. The 6.0-liter V12 Speed produces 616 hp and the range-topping V12 Supersports, new for 2017, delivers a whopping 700 hp. The Continental was launched in 2003, and the second generation arrived in 2011, with a refresh in 2014. The Continental rolls on the Volkswagen Phaeton platform. Bentley has been a subsidiary of Volkswagen for nearly two decades.
Photo Credit: Audi
Audi fields two large-ish 2-doors, the A5/S5 and the R8, but we’ll need to disqualify the latter from this list of full-size coupes, as it lacks a back seat (because of its mid-engine layout). Squint at the A5’s profile on a foggy morning and you might think you’re looking at a Mustang or possibly an Accord. The A5 starts at $42,800, with standard quattro all-wheel drive, a 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, an available 6-speed manual transmission, and a factory rating of 5.7 seconds from 0-60 mph. The S5 ($54,600 in Premium Plus trim) is a hotted up version of the A5. The S5’s 354-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and is factory-rated at 4.4 seconds in the 0-60 sprint.
Photo Credit: Lexus
Lexus strolls onto the large luxury coupe scene in 2018 with the stunning new LC. The LC is offered in two variants. The LC 500 is equipped with a 471-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 engine, which carries a factory estimate of 4.4 seconds in the 0-60 sprint, with a top speed of 168 mph. The LC 500 h hybrid is just a few ticks slower, at 4.7 seconds from naught to sixty, and a 155-mph top end. The LC 500 h’s EPA fuel economy rating of 26 city/35 highway mpg is quite respectable. You can have your cake and eat it, too, as long as your offspring are not six foot two. While rear seat headroom is limited, with just 32.2 inches available, smaller kids will love the thrill ride.