“To be known in the industry for our design” that was the thought that stuck in my head when testing the All-New Peugeot RCZ. A coupe that will be known for its unique rear headroom solution, and the chrome roof arches, Peugeot’s new goal is to be known within the car industry as the ultimate Design brand.
So, as far as design goes, the RCZ shows off Pug’s focus quite well. An acquired taste for some, the new TT rival has two, dare I say it, bosom-like bumps in the rear window, to achieve maximum headroom in the rear two seats. Unique is the word I shall use, and achieving asymmetry almost confusing the front and rear of the car. To add to this, they have framed the panoramic roof with chrome roof arches (‘champagne chrome’ is also available) that seems to compliment both the dark and vivid colours available. To finish off, adding wheel arches packing more muscle than Mr Universe himself, I was very excited to find out how this machine performed.
Jumping into the RCZ is a pleasant experience altogether, arguably the two rear seats, even with your head in a bosom, are for either children or small dogs, however the expansive glass roof gives you a very open and airy feel to the cabin – something that the TT suffers with for any rear passengers. Another benefit the Pug has also is the vast amount of boot space, open up the boot and inside is cavernous.
Although pleasant, the interior isn’t far off the rest of the Peugeot range, an ‘RCZ’ insignia emblazoned on the steering wheel and chrome dials add a sporting feeling to the coupe, but it’s not that different from say a ‘GT’ version of the 308.
Regardless of this however, when it comes to coupes, it all boils down to how the ride handles, and getting your moneys worth out of it. The 1.6L petrol is a fine example of the RCZ to drive, a little light with steering at times, however overall an engaging experience, effortlessly flying down country lanes, unleashing 156bhp of power and hitting 0-62mph in a steady 8.3 seconds. This coupe doesn’t rely on any steroids, but is clearly on a strict protein diet for its muscle, steering with precision and purpose.
For those seeking a more relaxed journey however, the Peugeot RCZ is a great cruiser too. Sitting on the motorway sliding past traffic puts this car in its element, being appreciated and looked upon from every angle by other motorists, with its buns of steel leaving a cheeky reminder of who is the boss. The RCZ is overall a great performance coupe, Peugeot have done well to create such a competitor against the strength of Audi’s signature coupe.
Lastly let’s talk price and great news for RCZ owners, as the base price of an Audi TT, is the highest for the RCZ. Beginning at a modest £20,895 Peugeot have made an affordable performance coupe. Do I think it’s as ‘designer’ as the TT, not really, but I wouldn’t say it wasn’t designed beautifully with Peugeots new brand identity in mind.