A coupe SUV is a type of sport utility vehicle with a sloping rear roofline similar to those of fastbacks or Kammbacks. The sloping roofline is adopted to offer a styling advantage compared to its standard SUV counterpart,[1][2] which helps increase profit margins as manufacturers are able to raise the price by marketing it as a more premium model.[3] Since all coupe SUVs ever produced are of the crossover variety, coupe SUVs may also be called "coupe crossovers" or "coupe crossover SUVs".

The first-generation BMW X6, widely regarded as the first coupe SUV

Although the term "coupe" itself is supposed to refer to a passenger car with a sloping or truncated rear roofline and two (or three) doors, traditional two-door SUVs (including body-on-frame SUVs) such as certain models of Toyota RAV4 and Jeep Wrangler are never considered by such terms, and every coupe SUV by definition (except for the Range Rover Evoque Coupé) is equipped with five doors.[4] The body style notably gained criticism as some see it as less attractive and less practical than normal crossovers, since the low roofline reduces cargo space and rear passenger headroom.[5]


Range Rover Evoque Coupé, a three-door coupe SUV

The BMW X6 is generally considered the first coupe SUV.[6] It was based on the BMW X5 and has been marketed as a "Sports Activity Coupé" (SAC), as opposed to standard BMW crossovers, which are called "Sports Activity Vehicles" (SAVs). Introduced in 2008, the X6's styling generated some controversy upon its introduction, as it had less cargo space and a higher price. Mercedes-Benz followed suit in 2015 with the GLE-Class Coupe, while Audi released the Q8 in 2018.[7][8]

The AMC Eagle SX/4, which was introduced in 1981, has also been argued to be the first coupe SUV, since it is a lifted two-door liftback with a permanent all-wheel drive system and was marketed as a car that is capable of light-duty off-roading.[9] The second-generation Lexus RX and the 2003 Infiniti FX had introduced similar sloping roof design elements without being marketed as coupe SUVs.[10]

Due to its roots from the BMW X6, the segment in its early days mostly consisted of vehicles in the luxury segment.[6] Audi released the coupe version of their Q5 crossover with the "Sportback" moniker, while Mercedes-Benz uses the "Coupé" designation, both in line with their two-door and four-door coupes or fastbacks.[11] Several manufacturers began offering coupe crossovers from non-luxury segments, for example the Renault Arkana,[12] the Fiat Fastback,[13] and some China-only models such as the Mazda CX-4,[14] Volkswagen Tiguan X and Škoda Kodiaq GT.

Some crossovers may feature similar fastback roof sloping, but are not explicitly marketed as coupe SUVs. Examples are the Tesla Model X and Model Y, Toyota C-HR, Nissan Ariya, and Volvo C40.



According to Strategic Vision, an automotive research and consulting company, buyers of coupe SUVs—particularly those from Mercedes-Benz—are four to five years younger than the usual buyers of typical SUVs. This decreases a car brand's average age, which in turn increases the brand's desirability. They also noted that buyers of SUV coupes are less price-sensitive, which means brands can increase the price tag on these vehicles without affecting sales.[3] For example, the BMW X6 has an MSRP which is more expensive by around US$5,000 in the US compared to the comparably-equipped BMW X5, which greatly helped increase revenue for BMW despite being the less popular model.[15]



The coupe SUV category has attracted criticism due to being more expensive than its traditional SUV counterpart, despite having reduced cargo space and rear passenger headroom due to their lower rear roof. Like other crossover SUVs, coupe SUVs also offers poorer performance than their coupe/sedan/wagon equivalent due to additional weight and ride height.[5] Kristen Lee from Jalopnik argued that coupe SUVs "aren’t are [sic] particularly good at any one thing,"[16] Other criticisms arise from the fact that coupe SUV contradicts the traditional concept of a coupe which should only have two doors, frameless doors, and 2+2 seating.[17][18]

Since its introduction, the exterior design of the BMW X6 has been widely regarded as controversial, as the rear design in particular was said to make the car look "heavy". The first-generation Acura ZDX has received a negative reception from critics and was not a sales success.[19] [20][21]


See also



  1. ^ "Coupe de grace: How the SUV coupe offers the best of both worlds". CNA Luxury. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  2. ^ Golson, Daniel (2018-11-13). "The Crossover Coupe Explained—and Every One You Can Buy Today". Car and Driver. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  3. ^ a b "Expert Explains Why People Are Buying SUV Coupes". Motor1.com. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  4. ^ www.ETAuto.com. "Half sports car, half off-roader: The era of the SUV Coupe has begun - ET Auto". ETAuto.com. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  5. ^ a b Noordeloos, Marc (2019-04-03). "The SUV "Coupe" Is Ridiculous and Needs to Go Away". Automobile. Archived from the original on 2019-10-16. Retrieved 2021-01-18.
  6. ^ a b "Auto Plus TV: why such a wave of coupe SUVs?". Byri. 2021-06-18. Archived from the original on 2022-02-02. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  7. ^ Perez, Jeff (10 May 2018). "2019 Audi Q8: Everything We Know". Motor1.com. Retrieved 7 January 2019.
  8. ^ Sheehan, Sam. "Striking Audi Q8 concept previews 2018 flagship model". Autocar. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Opinion: It was the Americans who inspired the SUV coupe trend". WhichCar. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  10. ^ "The rise, fall and rise of the crossover coupe". Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  11. ^ "Super comparison test: Mercedes-Benz GLE Coupe vs Audi Q8, BMW X6". MercedesBlog. 2019-03-29. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  12. ^ "Arkana matata: Renault's made a BMW X4 rival". Top Gear. 2020-09-23. Retrieved 2021-04-10.
  13. ^ MoparInside (2022-08-04). "FIAT Brazil Official Shows Off Its All-New Fastback Coupe SUV!". MoparInside. Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  14. ^ FineAuto (2019-12-21). "Updated coupe-crossover Mazda CX-4 became the best-selling brand". FineAuto. Retrieved 2021-01-17.
  15. ^ Homer, Desiree (2020-06-24). "How Does BMW Make Money Off of the Less Popular X6 Coupe?". MotorBiscuit. Retrieved 2022-02-03.
  16. ^ "Those Goofy 'Coupe' SUVs? People Are Buying The Hell Out Of Them". Jalopnik. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  17. ^ "The rise and rise of the SUV-Coupé". Autocar. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  18. ^ "Coupes, crossovers, and other car body styles, explained". Popular Science. 2021-07-14. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  19. ^ "NEW YORK AUTO SHOW: Which Design Is More Polarizing? Acura ZDX Or BMW X6? - AutoSpies Auto News". www.autospies.com. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  20. ^ "2009 BMW X6 xDrive35i Review". Drive. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2022-02-02.
  21. ^ Edmunds, Dan (May 2010). "2010 Acura ZDX: Suspension Walkaround". Archived from the original on 29 May 2010. Retrieved 28 May 2010.