The Peugeot RCZ is an attractive, good-to-drive and well equipped coupe that stands out from other cars on the road. With ground-hugging bodywork and a curvy roof, the RCZ is a radical departure from the hatchbacks and MPVs for which the French company is best known.
Launched in 2010 as Peugeot's answer to the highly successful Audi TT, the RCZ has since received a mid-life facelift that's updated the exterior, bringing it up-to-date with Peugeot's latest models. It remains a strong rival to leading coupes such as the Volkswagen Scirocco, Toyota GT 86 and Subaru BRZ.
The RCZ has a slightly dated but very well equipped and pretty comfortable interior, with decent space for front-seat occupants. However, the tiny rear seats are strictly for contortionists or small children, due to very limited head and legroom. You’re better off thinking of the RCZ as a two-seater coupe with occasional-use rear seats that are better suited to carrying shopping bags than people. Not that the boot is small – in fact with a long and wide 309-litre luggage area, the RCZ is a surprisingly practical coupe.
Engine choice includes a frugal 2.0-litre diesel or a 1.6-litre petrol that's available with either 156 or 200bhp. With prices ranging from around £22,000 to just over £28,000, there's a choice of three trim levels – Sport, GT or Red Carbon. Offered in all three trims, the 2.0-litre HDi diesel has claimed fuel economy of 54.3mpg, so it won’t cost you a fortune to run, yet with 163bhp it has enough performance to hit 62mph from rest in 8.7 seconds.
The less powerful 156bhp 1.6-litre petrol model is the cheapest RCZ you can buy, while the 200bhp version gets uprated suspension and faster steering to ensure it has the sporty handling to match its performance. This model is the best choice for keen drivers, while the diesel blends style with low fuel bills.
The Peugeot RCZ-R coupe (reviewed separately) is a bona-fide performance car, but the standard RCZ is a very appealing coupe. It might not appeal to driving enthusiasts as much as the rear-wheel-drive Toyota GT 86, or be able to compete with the prestige of an Audi TT, but for those who simply want a good-value coupe with stunning looks, the Peugeot RCZ is very hard to beat.