Best Coupe: Peugeot RCZ
Peugeot is back with a bang this year – although it never really went away.
Why it won...
Peugeot is back with a bang this year – although it never really went away. The 208 supermini will steal the limelight for knocking the Ford Fiesta off its throne as best supermini, but 2012 sees the RCZ secure a hat-trick of trophies as it continues to reign supreme as our number one choice in the coupe class.
Undoubtedly the Peugeot’s biggest selling point is the way it looks. Time still hasn’t taken its toll on the unique double-bubble roof and distinctive contrasting windscreen pillars that hit UK showrooms in 2010. The intervening two-and-a-half years have seen a raft of fresh rivals for the RCZ to contend with, but it’s still the best coupe around.
Thankfully, the pretty Peugeot is also a supermodel on the open road as well as the high street. The talented chassis serves up agile handling and reassuring grip, and it’s sure to put a smile on your face on twisty roads. Engine options range from an efficient diesel to a potent 200bhp turbocharged petrol, and it’s practical, too, with a large boot and a pair of, admittedly small, back seats.
As you’d expect from a car in such a fashion-conscious corner of the market, buyers can customise the Peugeot with a range of accessories and exterior finishes. However, its prices are more Marks and Spencer than Harvey Nichols, so the RCZ is much more affordable than its catwalk curves suggest.
Our choice: GT 200THP
The 200THP is not only the most powerful engine in the range – it also gets a short-throw gearshift, uprated brakes and chassis tweaks for improved handling. Combined with those gorgeous looks, it’s the best way to enjoy the RCZ experience.
Age hasn’t dimmed the appeal of the Audi TT – and the addition of the 1.8-litre TFSI model has given it a new lease of life. Lively performance, beautifully balanced handling and attractive prices all help to make it the pick of the range.
Bentley Continental GT V8
The revised Bentley GT finally got the engine it deserved this year – and what a transformation it made. With a better soundtrack than the W12, plus thumping performance and effortless refinement, the Continental GT V8 is a brilliant Bentley. It’s also cleaner and more efficient than ever.
- 1IntroductionThe awards everyone wants to win are back as we name the finest models in 18 categories and crown our Car of the Year for 2012
- 2Best City Car
- 3Best SuperminiPeugeot has rediscovered its touch. The RCZ coupe has been winning awards and turning heads for the last couple of years
- 4Best Compact Family CarIt was always going to take something special to beat the Volkswagen Golf, and the new BMW 1 Series is exactly that.
- 5Best Family Car
- 6Best Five-Seat MPVThe C-MAX has emerged from the shadow of the big-selling Ford Focus, and it deserves to take centre stage.
- 7Best Seven-Seat MPVThe SEAT Alhambra has made the MPV sector its own and after scooping the top prize last year, nothing in the past 12 months has been able to dislodge it from the top of the class
- 8Best Estate CarThe Skoda Superb Estate has scored a hat-trick of wins in the Estate Car category at our annual awards, and it’s going to take something seriously talented to knock it off the top step of the podium next time around.
- 9Best Crossover
- 10Best Compact SUV
- 11Best Large SUVIf the Discovery carries on at this rate, it will deserve an outstanding achievement award at our next New Car Awards.
- 12Best Hot HatchA fast Ford is back on top of the hot hatch pile, and having met the people behind the new Focus ST, we’re not surprised.
- 13Best ConvertibleThe best convertibles need to be as good with their roofs up as they are with them folded, and the Golf Cabriolet is exactly that.
- 14Best Coupe - currently readingPeugeot is back with a bang this year – although it never really went away.
- 15Best Roadster