Stunning looks are backed up by entertaining handling
Why it won...
The past 12 months have done nothing to dim the appeal of the Peugeot RCZ. Its distinctively shaped roof and smoothly integrated rear windscreen make the kind of visual impact that rivals can only dream of – and that’s saying something when its competitors include the Audi TT and VW Scirocco.
But it’s not only a pretty face that’s earned the RCZ a second Best Coupé crown in a row. Its talented chassis and strong engines deliver the performance to match its striking styling. Tempting prices ensure it undercuts rivals in the coupé class, too.
Video: watch our video review of the Peugeot RCZ
Cream of the crop is the range-topping THP 200. With its enhanced chassis and more powerful engine, it provides serious driver appeal. It was the surprise package at last year’s Performance Car of the Year shoot-out, where it beat a host of more expensive machines on its way to a strong fourth-place finish.
Cabin quality isn’t far behind its prestige-badged rivals, and the generous equipment count of the two-tier range makes up for any shortfall when it comes to fit and finish. Flagship GT trim includes leather upholstery and gorgeous 19-inch alloys, and even Sport models feature climate control, sports seats and reverse parking sensors. As the old Peugeot advertising slogan said: “The lion goes from strength to strength...”
Our pick: The flagship THP 200 is the stand-out choice in the RCZ range. It sprints from 0-60mph in 7.3 seconds and has agile handling to match. The short-throw gearbox, grippy chassis and responsive steering give it the edge over rivals. And it all comes wrapped in the most eye-catching bodywork around.
Audi TT Few cars achieve classic status while they’re still in production – but the TT has done just that. Not only is it a design icon, but it’s great to drive, too. A classy cabin, desirable badge and talented engine line-up complete the package, while quattro drivetrain adds dynamic gloss.
Volkswagen Scirocco The practical choice in the coupé sector makes few concessions for its pair of spacious rear seats, as it still looks the part. The Scirocco drives superbly, and GT models even come with ACC adaptive dampers as standard, providing comfort and poise in equal measure.
- 1Britain’s best new carsWe pick the best new models on the market in 17 classes, plus our Car of the Year and more
- 2Best Compact Family CarIt's a third category win in as many years for VW's family favourite
- 3Best ConvertibleGerman firm produces another serial class winner
- 4Best Family CarIt's a hat-trick of victories in the family class for Skoda's big five-seater
- 5Best SuperminiA mix of great handling, smart looks and practicality keep the Fiesta at the top of the supermini pile
- 6Best City CarBig-car options keep tiny Hyundai at the head of the field
- 7Best LuxuryGerman limousine is still the best in the business
- 8Best CrossoverLast year's Car of the Year is still the one to beat in the crossover class
- 9Best Compact SUVSmallest Range Rover marks a new dawn for the firm
- 10Best Hot HatchSporty Golf is a hugely accomplished all-rounder that lives up to legendary badge
- 11Best EstateThe load-lugging Skoda Superb Estate wins two years in a row
- 12Best Supermini-MPVNew supermini MPV heads straight to the top of the class
- 13Best RoadsterRear-wheel-drive thrills keep two-seater at the top of the pile
- 14Best ExecutiveGerman firm Audi has finally toppled arch-rival BMW for executive honours
- 15Best MPVSpanish firm picks up its first-ever gong for its no-nonsense, great-value seven-seater
- 16Best Coupe - currently readingStunning looks are backed up by entertaining handling
- 17Best Compact ExecutiveFine handling and super-efficient engines help 3 Series remain at the top of the pile
- 18Best Large SUVAll-round talents of big Brit see it take a seventh title
- 19Best Premium SuperminiAll-new model takes on MINI and beats it to the title
- 20Performance Car Of The YearItalian thoroughbred won through against new supercar from F1 arch rival McLaren
- 21Design AwardSwedish firm's coupe concept gets your vote as a style icon
- 22Special AwardHi-tech safety pack brings kit which is usually the reserve of executive cars to the masses
- 23Car of the YearAll-new Range Rover sets new standards to become our grand champion
- 24Auto Express Hall of FamePresident of General Motors Europe is a deserving inductee to our Hall of Fame
- 25Green AwardInaugural winner of our new Green Award is doing its bit for the environment, as well as owners' wallets
- 26Driver PowerReaders had their say on the cars they own - and it was clear which firm was their number one