Peugeot RCZ 2021 review

The RCZ is a sleek sports car sold by Peugeot between 2010 and 2015

£7,222
Average price
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2
Out of 5

Pros

  • Stylish looks
  • Good to drive
  • Surprisingly big boot

Cons

  • Interior looks dated
  • Not much rear seat space
  • Lacks quality of rivals
  • MPG

    0 - 0

  • CO2

    0 - 0 g/km

Model review

Peugeot is a brand that’s known primarily for making stylish and sensible everyday cars, but every now and again it shows off a rather more creative side. This was definitely the case for the French firm in 2010, when it showcased the RCZ – a sleek sports car that was almost unrecognisable to anything else the firm had ever made. 

With a striking ‘2+2’ design and a cool ‘double bubble’ roof – the latter being something carried over from the original concept car – the RCZ stands just 1.36m tall and is certainly an impressive piece of design. It debuted with a choice of petrol and diesel engines, too, and was actually a surprisingly popular model for the firm. First deliveries for the RCZ would begin in Spring 2010.

Latest model

For 2013 the RCZ would be revised as part of a mid-life update, with key changes including a subtle front-end redesign, a wider choice of optional extras and a boost in standard equipment, with features such as 19-inch alloy wheels. 

Later in 2013 would possibly become the overall highlight of the RCZ, though – the R. Packing a 270bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine under the bonnet, it was the brand’s most powerful car to date at the time. It was far from being a standard car with a bigger engine, though, with the model featuring a bespoke suspension set-up and a Torsen limited slip differential to name just a couple of changes. 

Though the RCZ is one of the highest praised Peugeots of recent years, the French firm chose to discontinue it at the start of 2016, with no model being introduced to replace it.

Value for money

When new in 2010, the RCZ was actually available for as little as £20,000, though prices would rise to more than £30,000 for the R. That said, used prices are of greater interest as that’s the only way you can buy an RCZ these days.

Prices for high-mileage cars actually start from as little as £3,500. That said, around £4,500 can still get you an early low-mileage example in good condition. If you’d prefer a later 2015 car, around £8,000 could buy an example with under 50,000 miles on the clock. 

It’s important to note that R models are by far the most expensive, with strong demand and very limited supply keeping values high. You’ll need at least £13,000 to buy one of these.

Looks and image

Though the RCZ might have debuted more than a decade ago, its design continues to look fresh and stylish, even by modern standards. At the time it truly looked like a concept car, and that hasn’t changed much, with sleek lines, its fancy double bubble roof and big flared rear wheel arches still giving it fantastic road presence. 

Sadly the interior hasn’t quite aged so well, with cheaper plastics on show and plenty of buttons not quite offering the same modern appeal. Though some examples for sale will be fitted with an optional sat nav screen, it’s not worth paying extra for this as it lags behind modern systems. It also features comfortable and supportive sports seats as standard, with GT versions featuring front heated and electric leather seats. 

Peugeot has produced some fantastic driving cars over the years, and the RCZ is certainly up there too. With sharp handling and little roll, it has all the correct attributes of a sports car and was the French firm’s most fun car in years. Where driving enjoyment is concerned, the R is definitely the one to go for. It adds that additional punch the RCZ lacked before, along with far greater dynamics. 

Space and practicality

At its launch, Peugeot called the RCZ a ‘2+2’, and said the rear seats were best for ‘occasional use’. That’s certainly true, as they’re especially impractical and not suitable for adults. 

However, treat the RCZ as a two-seater and it’s far more impressive, with a generous amount of upfront space and a surprisingly big 384-litre boot, which is very similar in size to many hatchbacks. A wide opening also means it’s surprisingly easy to access, while folding rear seats are also included, should you need to try and fit in any longer items.

Engines

With a choice of petrol and diesel engines available on the RCZ, there’s a surprising amount of choice available. 

Let’s start with the petrol, with all three options featuring a turbocharged 1.6-litre unit. The standard option produces 156bhp, and gets the option of a six-speed manual or an automatic – this being the only auto option available. With this, it can go from 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds and hit a top speed of 133mph. 

Next up is the popular 200bhp output, which drops the 0-60mph time to 7.4 seconds and raises the top speed to 146mph. Meanwhile at the top of the range, the R takes the power up to 270bhp, can complete the 0-60mph in just 5.7 seconds, and go on to a top speed electronically limited to 155mph. 

Though a diesel might not be the most obvious choice in a sports car, the RCZ’s turbocharged 163bhp 2.0-litre HDI unit actually accounted for around a third of sales. Though performance might not be its strongest suit, it could hit 60mph in 8.5 seconds and reach a claimed top speed of 137mph.

Running costs

If you want a sports car but also affordable running bills, the diesel is the version to go for, with Peugeot claiming it could return an impressive 54.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 130g/km. Even the petrol models shouldn’t cost too much to run, though, with claimed figures in the 40mpg. The automatic will be thirstier, though. 

Road tax will also be more affordable than other sports cars, with prices annually ranging from £155 to £250, depending on version.

hings to look out for

The RCZ sits quite middle-of-the-road when it comes to reliability. Key concerns include electric door mirrors that won’t fold as the motors have seized, along with rusting aluminium roof rails. Also check the air conditioning is working as it should as it’s prone to faults. 

Rivals

Key rivals for the RCZ include the Audi TT, Renaultsport Megane Coupe and Volkswagen Scirocco. Meanwhile if you fancy something a touch more practical – especially when it comes to rear seat space – you should consider a Vauxhall Astra GTC, BMW 2 Series Coupe or Kia Pro Ceed GT. 

Depreciation

As the RCZ hasn’t been on sale for a number of years, all cars will have had the sudden depreciation hit that sees values drop. Though there is still some time until prices hit rock bottom, it’s a safer place to put your money than plenty of newer sports cars.

Trims explained

Three main trim levels are available on the RCZ – Sport, GT and the flagship R. Equipment highlights and pricing are as follows.

Sport

Even entry-level RCZ models come with plenty of standard equipment, including 18-inch alloy wheels, sports seats, dual zone air conditioning, a twin rear sports exhaust and active rear spoiler. Rear parking sensors and an alarm are also included.

From £3,500 (used)

GT

GT models are more desirable, with these adding features like a leather interior, automatic lights and wipers, larger 19-inch alloy wheels, front parking sensors and electrically operated and heated front seats.

From £3,500 (used)

R

Sitting at the top of the range, the R gets a big 70bhp boost in power compared to the regular GT model, while getting a range of other tweaks to maximise its ability, including an uprated clutch, larger intercooler, a Torsen limited slip differential and twin-scroll turbocharger. In terms of design changes, it is separated by its unique 19-inch alloy wheels, matte black detailing and red brake callipers. It also gets a fixed rear spoiler and specific rear diffuser.

From £13,000 (used)

Summary

  1. Stylish design
  2. Fun to drive…
  3. Especially in flagship R form
  4. Plenty of standard equipment
  5. Big boot…
  6. If tiny rear seats
  7. Diesel version available
  8. Relatively low running costs
  9. On sale between 2010 and 2015
  10. One of Peugeot’s best cars in recent years

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