Peugeot RCZ (2009-2015) review
With concept car looks and a sporty driving experience, the Peugeot RCZ is a left-field alternative to the Audi TT.
Few small coupes will turn as many heads as the sleek Peugeot RCZ. Launched in 2009 and facelifted in 2013, the stylish Peugeot has even the upmarket Audi TT and bold VW Scirocco beaten for crowd-stopping kerb appeal.
Yet look beneath the racy looks and classy interior and you’ll discover humble Peugeot 308 hatchback underpinnings. As a result the Peugeot RCZ delivers four-seat practicality, surprisingly low running costs and an attractive price tag that undercuts the Audi TT.
The Peugeot RCZ is also powered by a familiar line-up of engines. Petrol models get a the 1.6-litre THP unit in 156bhp, 197bhp and highly tuned 266bhp guises, while the only diesel engine available is the punchy and frugal 163bhp 2.0 HDI.
There are four trim levels to choose from – Sport, GT, Red Carbon and R. The entry-level Sport model comes with all the essentials, while the GT adds leather trimmed and heated seats, plus 19-inch alloys wheels for an extra £2,400. The GT is also available with the smooth and responsive 197bhp 1.6-litre THP petrol engine, which also gets revised front suspension for even sharper handling.
The recently introduced Red Carbon model gets the same engine choice as the GT, but will set you back an extra £1,500. However, this additional outlay buys a vast array of upgraded kit, including sat-nav, xenon headlamps, metallic paint and a distinctive carbon red finish for the dashboard.
Sitting at the top of the range is the extremely rapid Peugeot RCZ-R. Based on the GT model, this very special machine features a heavily modified 1.6-litre petrol engine and substantial suspension upgrades. The result is one the most exciting and engaging front-wheel drive cars money can buy – although at £32,000 it’s not exactly cheap.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingWith concept car looks and a sporty driving experience, the Peugeot RCZ is a left-field alternative to the Audi TT.
- 2Engines, performance and drive
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsStrangely, the flagship Peugeot RCZ R model returns better economy figures than the THP 200.
- 4Interior, design and technologyThere’s no denying that the Peugeot RCZ is one of the most attractive cars on the road. While there are some elements of the Audi TT about it, the elongated shape, ‘double-bubble’ rear window treatment and aluminium roof bars give it a look all of its own.
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceAs you’d expect, there’s a price to pay for the Peugeot’s sleek looks and low-slung stance.
- 6Reliability and Safety