Peugeot RCZ GT21 | 04 | 2011Scotcars rating

    Peugeot's eye-catching RCZ takes the coupe fight to Audi ... and just how close does it get?


    I’ve always thought Audi’s TT was a pretty striking motor car and the designers have adapted it very cleverly over the years so that it is still quite a looker. The creative people at Peugeot obviously think so too as their latest baby takes more than a few styling clues from the German rival. The RCZ could be mistaken for a TT on a dark night, but take a close look and not only is it obvious the French have taken all the best bits – they’ve made them even better. I just love the flowing lines and curves of this French fancy with its broad stance and significant presence. I especially like the ‘double bubble’ roof and rear window which may or may not do something for aerodynamics but looks brilliant.

    This is a car that looks like it means business and it really did catch the eye of fellow road users on the streets of Glasgow, but that may have been something to do with the Opal White paint job alongside the dark roof. It’s a very impressive newcomer to Peugeot’s range and illustrates just how much work they’ve done on spicing up their image. As for the name, RC apparently is the French equivalent of GT, and according to Peugeot the Z has no specific meaning – they obviously just think it sounds nice. RCZ is the first time Peugeot have used a single name across the entire global market.

    On the road

    Not only does this car look good, it drives well too with great grip and control, if a little hard on the suspension. Maybe it’s my age, but I like cars where you can adjust the firmness of the ride depending on your mood. Sometimes I like it soft and gentle, at other times I can take it hard, especially if I want to do some exhilarating open road exercises while having confidence that I’ll be sticking to the road on the bends.

    The interior layout is very appealing but I did feel the steering wheel was out of proportion to the overall size of the cabin and while the rake adjustment was fine I would have preferred the reach to go further and take the wheel closer to the dash. The speed-related active rear spoiler also helps to keep things in order when it gets lively and the car did feel very capable and secure whatever the conditions.

    Comfort & Safety

    The test car was a brand new GT and came with a £205 alloy upgrade which I think meant there were some extra wee bits of silver metal on the door sills and the like. I can’t say they added that much – the car was pretty good as it stood. Standard on the GT is leather upholstery, electric heated sport seats, parking aid, automatic lights and wipers and dipping door mirrors when reversing. The twin sports exhaust delivers a nice little roar at the back end and everything feels very sweet. Like the TT it’s a compact coupe and the rear seats are only of use to small children and should be thought of as extra carrying space, although the boot is comparatively huge.  

    Should you buy one?

    As a stylish eye-catcher with some handy performance, it’s first class.

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    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £22,750 / 22,955
    Engine / Power: 1598cc / 156bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 8.3secs, Max 133mph
    How big/heavy?: H1352mm, W2107mm, L4290mm / 1394kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 42.1mpg / CO2 155g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 28E / Band G £155
    Alternatives: Audi TT; Honda CR-Z; Nissan 370Z

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