<VV> difference between a sedan and a coupe (a bit long)

Dorairaj Isaac dnaisaac at rogers.com
Sun May 3 19:43:53 EDT 2009

Many definitions of a coupe and a sedan will define the coupe as a two-door
or three-door model that is roughly equivalent to the sedan. A sedan almost
always has four doors in contrast. Actually there are four-door coupes, and
two-door sedans, so the differences between a coupe and a sedan automobile
may not always be quite clear.

In reality, a coupe is strictly defined by its interior volume or space.
Distinctions between a coupe and a sedan has little to do with doors and are
made clear by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), which standardizes
definitions of the different types of cars on the market. Measurements of a
coupe and a sedan are as follows:

.         Coupe equals less than 33 cubic feet (.934 cubic m).

.         Sedan is equal to or greater than 33 cubic feet.

Thus a coupe and sedan can be determined by volume alone rather than being
determined by number of doors. A two-door car with a larger than 33 cubic
foot volume or interior space is essentially a two-door sedan. Likewise, a
four-door car with less than a 33 cubic foot volume is a four-door coupe.

Nevertheless, many manufacturers call a car a coupe when they want to evoke
a sportier concept for the car. They may include the name coupe in the car,
though technically what you are really buying is a sedan. The Cadillac Coupe
de Ville is a classic example of what is really a two-door sedan. So it can
get difficult to determine the differences between a coupe and a sedan when
the word coupe is added to the name of the car.

Some people mistakenly think a coupe and a sedan are differentiated by
whether the car has a  <http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-hatchback.htm>
hatchback rear. While it is true that many coupes have a hatchback opening,
usually called a three-door car, not all do. Some have the traditional
trunk. Further, there are four-door coupes with a hatchback, but
additionally there are four-door sedans with a hatchback, which are more
properly called station wagons or simply wagons.

It is untrue that the difference between a coupe and a sedan can be made by
counting the number of seats. Some define coupes as having merely front
seats, and possibly are movable back seat. Actually coupes can have two rows
of seats or one. In contrast, the sedan always has two rows of seats, but
the distinction between a coupe and sedan can't be made here because of the
variation of rows of seats in the coupe.

The best bet is to stick with the car's interior volume, when
differentiating between a coupe and a sedan, rather than worrying about what
the car is named. When choosing afar it may matter little what it is called.
Usually what does matter is the car's performance, space for passengers, and
ease of use, rather than whether a car is a coupe or a sedan.




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