2 door cars or coupes, are very popular choices for first-time buyers, younger drivers and those looking for an affordable, attractive alternative to 4-door sedans, wagons or SUVs. They are particularly appropriate if you don’t really need extra space for other family members, and you like the sportier style of a coupe. What 2-door cars are best in the used car market? Here are three picks covering a fairly wide spread of price and size-range.

We’ve selected these three based on reviews by automotive experts, as well as popularity as gauged by consumers – and, frankly, the numbers of 2-door cars out there available to buy.  Stick with cars that are less than 5 years old, since they will have fewer miles and more standard safety features.

  • MINI CooperThe subcompact (2007-2009) MINI Cooper is “stylish, fun-to-drive and remarkably good on mini_coopergas,” comments Edmunds, while it bemoans the 2-door car’s “puny backseat”, “fussy controls” and “stiff and noisy ride.” U.S. News & World Report likes its “nimble road manners…outstanding fuel efficiency.” It’s a Consumer Guide Best Buy. Kelley Blue Book lauds its “high style and high performance [117-hp base of 172-hp supercharged 4-cylinder engine] in a small package.”
  • Ford MustangFord Mustang has maintained its legendary muscle-car status since its 1964 introduction. Look for the 9th-generation models (2005-2009) and get a power-packed 300-hp V-8 GT with standard ABS and traction control. Edmunds says “Mustang continues to be one of the best bang-for-your-buck performance buys.” Consumer Guide hails the 2-door Mustang’s performance, handling and value within the class, but knocks the V-6, rear seat room and interior materials. Auto Week’s Wes Raynal gushes “This car is one big hoot, and it’s instructive to get into a rear-drive, V8-powered bad-ass every once in a while.” Note that the Mustang, redesigned for 2010, is U.S. News & World Report’s #3 in Muscle Cars.
  • BMW 1-Series U.S. News & World Report hails BMW 1-Series “sensational road personality and strong build quality,” but pans exterior design and cramped second row. Car and Driver says “it looks cool and brings you BMW virtues for a lower price than a comparable 3-series sedan.” Look for 230-hp inline 6-cylinder models, 2008 (all-new) or 2009.

Other 2-door cars to consider include the following (and don’t forget coupe versions of popular sedans): Audi A5, S5, Chevrolet Camaro, Cobalt and Corvette, Dodge Challenger, Ford Focus, Honda Accord and Civic, Hyundai Genesis, Infiniti G37, Mazda RX-8, Nissan Altima, and Scion tC.

By Suzanne Kane

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