Review

Peugeot RCZ coupe

Price  £22,100 - £32,000

Peugeot RCZ coupe

reviewed by Carbuyer

Pros
  • Dramatic looks
  • Punchy, economical engines
  • Great to drive
Cons
  • Tiny back seats
  • Expensive options
  • Not as prestigious as Audi TT

At a glance

The greenest
GT 2.0 HDI 163 Diesel Manual 2dr £26,350
The cheapest
Sport 1.6 THP 156 Petrol Manual 2dr £22,100
The fastest
GT 1.6 THP 200 Petrol Manual 2dr £26,900
Top of the range
Red Carbon 1.6 THP 200 Petrol Manual 2dr £28,400

"With incredible looks and superb driving dynamics, the Peugeot RCZ is one of the best cars the French company has ever produced."

There aren’t many cars on the road that can match the Peugeot RCZ for sheer head-turning good looks. It's a stylish, futuristic-looking vehicle, but it's also great to drive, comfortable, relatively cheap to run and very competitively priced. Peugeot have aimed it at the Audi TT, but it's a fair bit cheaper than its more premium rival. It feels quite spacious, too – at least in the front; the rear seats are absurdly tiny and only useable for small children.

The RCZ also has a reasonably sized boot, which makes it fairly easy to live with. It comes with a choice of three engines, all of which offer pretty decent economy and performance. The diesel engine even manages to return more than 50mpg – not bad for something that looks like a supercar.

MPG, running costs & CO2

4.0 / 5

Very economical for a sporty coupe

There are three engines available with the Peugeot RCZ, a diesel and two petrols. The former will do 53.2mpg and 139g/km CO2, putting it in tax band E with an annual cost of £125 – that's pretty much identical to the most efficient engine in the Audi TT range. The 156bhp 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine will do 44.1mpg and 149g/km CO2. While the more powerful 200bhp 1.6-litre petrol is capable of 42.1mpg and 155g/km CO2.

Interior & comfort

3.5 / 5

Balances good handling and comfort very well

Peugeot has set up the suspension in the RCZ very well indeed. The handling is sporty but it hasn’t come at the price of comfort, so it feels really smooth over motorways and most other roads. You will feel some jolts when driving over a poorly maintained road, but it's nothing like as bad as you’d get in many other sporty cars. The front seats are pretty spacious, too, and the cabin is well insulated from wind and road noise. The engines are nice and quiet, too. The RCZ has a great driving position but the pedals are quite high, which longer-legged drivers might find to be a bit uncomfortable.

Practicality & boot space

2.5 / 5

Features a surprisingly large boot

The boot on the Peugeot RCZ is surprisingly big, with 384 litres of capacity. The rear seats are split-folding, too, which lets you free up some additional space when needed. The only problem with the boot is that you have to lift items up over the rear bumper in order to get them in – which will prove tricky with heavy or bulky items.

The other issue with the RCZ is the amount of space in the rear – it's pretty cramped, with very little head and legroom. If you want a sporty coupe with a bit more practicality, it's worth taking a look at the Volkswagen Scirocco.

Reliability & safety

3.0 / 5

Peugeot has a questionable reputation for reliability

Peugeot hasn’t put the RCZ up for crash testing, so it doesn’t have an official safety score. It does come equipped with a range of safety technology, though, including electronic stability control, traction control, ABS and four airbags, and should prove to be safe.

It remains to be seen how reliable the RCZ is, though. Peugeot doesn’t have the greatest reputation in this department. The firm came 31st out of 32 in the Driver Power customer satisfaction survey's manufacturer rankings – a pretty abysmal result.

Engines, drive & performance

4.5 / 5

Brilliant fun to drive thanks to accurate steering and a precise gearbox

The RCZ isn’t just a great car to drive – it's the best drivers’ car that Peugeot has produced in decades. The steering is really accurate and responsive, the gearbox is precise and engaging, there's plenty of grip, and it corners really well, too. It's both enjoyable and easy to drive, and you’ll find it puts a smile on your face every time you take it out on a country road. All three engines are good, too, offering plenty of power, while cars fitted with the top-of-the-range petrol engine also get upgraded suspension for even better handling. The interior is great, too, which helps to make the car feel special every time you take it out for a spin.

Price, value for money & options

3.6 / 5

Well equipped and cheaper than the Audi TT

The main rival to the RCZ is the Audi TT, and the Peugeot significantly undercuts it on price. Ok, the Peugeot badge isn’t as desirable as the Audi one, and the RCZ interior isn’t quite as high quality, but we still think the RCZ represents good value, and you see a lot more TTs on the road than RCZs, so it feels a bit more exclusive. It also comes with more equipment as standard. There are two specification levels: Sport and GT. Sport models get alloy wheels, dual-zone air-con, automatic headlights and rear parking sensors. GT models also get electric heated leather seats, front parking sensors and bigger alloy wheels. Resale values have proved to be strong to date, thanks to a high level of demand on the used market.

What the others say

3.9 / 5
based on 2 reviews
  • 4.0 / 5

    "Coupes are all about style, and the RCZ still delivers on that score. The new nose brings the car in line with Peugeot's latest models, and adds a dose of sophistication – even if it isn’t as distinctive as the original. That said, the RCZ is still well equipped and drives with plenty of verve, thanks to the grippy chassis and potent, efficient diesel."

  • 15.0 / 20

    "You're forced to double-and triple-take this car, absorbing the unlikely curves, supercar stance and balance. It still looks like a proper show-car, oozing with improbable, even impossible, design ideas like that double-bubble roof that runs seamlessly into the curved rear window. And yet here it is, in the metal and glass, with the driver's door ajar and the keys in the ignition. A Peugeot you can actually desire."

Last updated 
19 Mar 2014

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I used to love French cars for their style then for a couple of decades they were just styled by Belgians. I have tried the RCZ, it is far better looking than the Audi TT but the build quality was to my mind a bit iffy, the gaps between body panels were uneven whilst the paint finish looked as if it would peel off within a little over a year. Being disabled have to drive an auto, finally PSA have kept up by offering a 6 speed auto, previously they were left behind the competition, a 3 speed whilst everyone else was fitting a four speeder. The RCZ is a lovely little car let down by so-so quality control, I would buyone if it were otherwise plus the attitude of their sales staff.

Had an RCZ for 3 years on Contract Hire. It looked the business, even if 200bhp is a bit light. However, I lost count of the number of times it was in the garage for numerous sensor faults, coolant leaks, oil leaks, replacement chrome overdoors, replacement sat nav screen, etc. Despite it probably being in the garage for a month overall, Peugeot Contract Hire try to squeeze every last penny out of the deal. Glad I have now moved on and bought my Audi R8

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