Coupes are supposedly a dying breed, but it’s difficult to tell that for sure. European manufacturers still make plenty to choose from, and most are affordable. Japanese manufacturers make far fewer, but each one packs a solid punch. Here are all the Japanese coupes surviving until 2022 that cost less than $100,000.
Infiniti has the Q60
The Infiniti Q60 has been around for a while, and frankly, it’s become rather unremarkable. Nevertheless, it’s an affordable coupe from Japan, and it has several trims available. At its weakest, starting at $41,750 the Q60 comes with a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged V6 producing 300 horsepower to the rear wheels.
At the other end of the spectrum the Q60 Red Sport 400 AWD starts at $60,200 and gets all-wheel-drive, as well as a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 400 horsepower. If all-wheel-drive doesn’t tickle your fancy, the Q60 Red Sport 400 goes for $2,000 less and uses rear-wheel-drive. The Q60 Red Sport 400 would be our choice because it has the more powerful engine and every safety feature available.
Lexus: tons of Japanese coupe options
Lexus makes two different coupes, the LC and RC, both with their own variants. The base LC starts at $93,050 with a 471-hp 5.0-liter V8, while the base RC starts at a modest $42,220 and has several trims. The RC can have a 2.0-liter inline-four or two different 3.5-liter V6 engines, as well as all-wheel-drive.
The RC 350 F Sport has a 311-hp V6 with either rear or the more expensive all-wheel-drive starting at $51,230. There’s also the RC F, which costs $65,975 and comes with a 472-hp 5.0-liter V8. There’s also an LC with a hybrid powertrain that starts at $97,610.
The dependable Mazda MX-5
Mazda only makes one coupe and you can guess what it is. The MX-5 is a tried and true, thoroughbred sports car. It’s a convertible that uses a 2.0-liter inline-four and makes 181 horsepower. It can have a manual transmission and starts at just $26,830. Mazda also makes one with a retractable hardtop, starting at $33,045. It’s affordable and sporty, but it’s not much good for anything else.
A lot is riding on Nissan’s shoulders
News spread of Nissan reviving the Z like wildfire. It looks absolutely brilliant and is a call-back to the old Z cars from the 1970s. It has a twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower and uses a manual transmission, as well as a limited-slip differential. When it releases, the Z may just be the sports car to beat, at least on paper. Die-hards will find something to complain about, such as its electric steering, but it’s a small price to pay for an otherwise great Japanese coupe. Though it’s technically a 2023 model, the Z is slated to launch in Spring 2022.
Toyota and Subaru continue with their sports coupe
Toyota and Subaru make the same coupe. Toyota calls it the 86 (now the GR 86), Subaru calls it the BRZ. They start at $27,995 with a much-needed update. Some owners of previous generations complained of the lack of power until the very edge of the rev counter. Now, Toyota and Subaru tout a completely reengineered engine which now gets 228 horsepower, tuned for more torque and acceleration.
We can’t forget about the revival of one of Toyota’s most notorious coupes, the Supra. The 2022 Supra has two drivetrain options. The first starts out at $43,090 for a 2.0-liter inline-four turbo that makes 255 horsepower. The second option is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that makes 382 horsepower for $51,090. Sadly this car doesn’t yet come with a manual transmission.
Few choices, but not one of them bad
Japanese automakers offer fewer affordable coupes, but they make each one count. The MX-5 is tried and true, the Q60 is solid, the Lexus is costly but makes up for it with powerful engines, the 86/BRZ is improved, and the Z is flat-out exciting. All (except the Lexus) are affordable, and cheaper than any BMW or Audi coupe.