Peugeot RCZ buyer’s guide
FROM £6,995 Cool coupé can now be picked up for a bargain second-hand
Cool coupé now looks a bargain used, from £6,995
PEUGEOT doesn’t have much of a history when it comes to pure sports cars, although it has produced its fair share of them over the years – its focus has been on hot hatches. So when it unveiled the RCZ in 2009 it was a bolt from the blue; this was quite unlike any Peugeot previously available in showrooms.
The car was clearly inspired by the Audi TT, although unlike that model it was only ever offered in coupé form. But that wasn’t so bad because its double-bubble roof, expansive rear window and fabulously sleek silhouette conspired to make the RCZ look gorgeous from any angle. Now you can buy one for under £7,000, which is a bargain for a guaranteed future classic.
THE RCZ arrived in July 2010, with a choice of petrol or diesel engines. The former was a turbocharged 1.6-litre unit with either 156bhp or 200bhp, while the latter was Peugeot’s excellent 2.0 HDI powerplant in 163bhp guise. A revised RCZ reached showrooms in March 2013, with a redesigned nose and minor interior trim upgrades, but in the meantime there were two RCZ special editions.
Just 75 Asphalt models were delivered in 2011 (in THP 200 form only), while the Magnetic of summer 2013 was available with any of the three engines. The final development was the RCZ R in January 2014, featuring a more powerful 270bhp version of the turbocharged 1.6-litre petrol engine found in other RCZS.
YOU can choose between two trim levels (GT and Sport) and 1.6 petrol or 2.0 diesel engines, both turbocharged, and the latter in three states of tune. Only the THP 156 got an auto option, although it’s best avoided.
We favour the THP 200 with its sportier front suspension, but there are no bad choices. While the diesel works well, it’s more of a cruiser than a sports car; the RCZ R is quick, but rare and costly. The entry-level Sport features 18-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, dual-zone air-con, rear parking sensors, ESP and an active rear spoiler. GT spec adds leather trim, along with heated front seats, front parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, and 19-inch alloys.
THE Scirocco offers typical Volkswagen build quality with a dash of style and healthy usability. There’s a range of superb engines and plenty to choose from, while the driving experience is decent – if not quite sparkling.
The Nissan 370Z comes in thirsty 3.7-litre V6 petrol form only, but it’s a blast because, unlike the RCZ, it’s rear-wheel drive, and you can buy open or closed versions – just beware of the poor refinement.
Or you could go for an Audi TT, the RCZ’S double. You get strong engines, excellent build quality and the security of four-wheel drive if you want it, plus there are coupé or convertible versions, but prices are steep compared with the Peugeot.
IT’S a shame Peugeot hasn’t replaced the RCZ; it gave the brand’s range a boost, but was simply too niche. That Peugeot badge means residuals aren’t very strong, so there are bargains to be had – and there are plenty of reasons to want an RCZ, because this car’s beauty isn’t only skin deep.
It’s great to drive, frugal and well equipped, plus surprisingly practical if used as a twoseater. Running costs are low, plus reliability is decent (if unspectacular). No wonder the RCZ won our Best Coupé award three years in a row – and now that it’s available used at keen prices, it makes just as much sense.
“It’s great to drive, frugal and well equipped, plus it’s surprisingly practical if used as a two-seater”
THE French Audi TT rival delivers a sporty driving experience. Running costs for the RCZ are surprisingly low, with plenty of space up front, although there’s next to no legroom in the back. The Peugeot ranks well in reliability tables, with generous safety features.
FREQUENT issues include oil leaks and engine timing solenoid faults. Repairs average around £1k-£7k.
Warranty price: £32 per month
Prices start from £32 per month with Warrantywise
Thanks to SJ Rayner Cars in Kidderminster, Worcs, for the loan of the RCZ in our pictures