Peugeot RCZ 2.0HDi GT Manual 2015 Review
When looking for a sporty coupe, rarely does one think of Peugeot. More renowned for their 107 Supermini or 308 Hatch and their recent foray into the Crossover market, Peugeots RCZ Coupe doesnt seem like a logical step for them. However, considering the alternatives in the mid-range market¦ there are none¦ Perhaps it is a stroke of genius?
As a direct competitor to the Audi TT, a high bar had been set. Comparing the RCZ directly against the TT would be unfair, as would comparing the TT against a Porsche 911. Yes they are both sports coupes, however the market, and price point, are very different.
With the RCZ starting around £23,000 and the TT starting at £27,000 one might think that the gap is small enough to compare the two directly. If this is the case and you have a choice between the RCZ and the TT, go for the TT, it is as simple as that.
However, looking at the RCZ in isolation there are some endearing qualities to consider.
The exterior styling of the RCZ, whilst mimicking the TT to a point, has that unique double-bubble roof and rear glass design which gives it that certain french je ne sais quois and makes it stand out. The overall look of the RCZ also makes it look low to the ground and wide. The slight overhang of the bonnet over the front grille gives it an almost F1 car look¦almost.
On the inside, it is clearly a Peugeot which means the plastics are a bit scratchy and flimsy with creaks squeaks readily apparent. There are some nice touches of leather on the dash and overall it looks good, however you can tell it has been done on a budget. The leather seats are limited in height adjustment meaning a taller driver will be rubbing their head on the roof (thank goodness for the bubble effect).
Moving onto the engine, you can tell this has been taken straight from the standard Peugeot parts bin. The 2.0HDi 163HP engine is torquey and powerful enough however it is grumbly and unrefined. Torque steer is apparent and under heavy acceleration from standstill tramping can ruin the show somewhat. That being said it pulls well and is quick enough, however as with the Diesel TT, you feel its looks are writing cheques that its engine cannot cash.
Looking at the RCZ as a whole, it is easy to understand why it has been nicknamed the Aldi TT, as it appears to emulate Audi’s iconic coupe, but on a far stricter budget. As a company car for the junior exec on a budget wanting to keep minimal BIK exposure yet getting a sporty looking coupe, its a good choice, however given the choice most will opt for a TT.
Looking at leasing the RCZ against the TT, due to the Audi’s stronger residual values, it is currently works out cheaper to lease the TT against the RCZ. So, whilst Peugeots effort with the RCZ is commendable, it is unfortunate that it has fallen short as a viable company car or car to lease in general as the TT will win every time on build quality, looks, performance, prestige and price.