Peu­geot RCZ buyer’s guide

FROM £6,995 Cool coupé can now be picked up for a bar­gain sec­ond-hand

Auto Express - - Contents - Richard Dredge from trade in­sider Quentin Will­son

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.

His­tory

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.

Which one?

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.

Al­ter­na­tives

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.

Ver­dict

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.

Com­mon faults

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

Con­tact 01562 820131 www.sjrayn­er­cars.co.uk

Thanks to SJ Rayner Cars in Kid­der­min­ster, Worcs, for the loan of the RCZ in our pic­tures

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