26.3.2010 Peugeot RCZ Coupe GT review
Lamborghini looks at Peugeot prices is the main selling criteria for the new RCZ coupe. It dishes up enjoyably brisk performance without too much financial pain providing you are not too aggressive with the right foot in a surprisingly practical car. I predict its desirability will produce the best used car values Peugeot has seen in a long time. Improved build quality will help too.
Review by Russell Bray for WhatGreenCar.com
'Greenest' engine is Peugeot's familiar 160bhp 2-litre turbo-diesel which, partly hampered by the car's weight delivers performance more in the 'hot' hatchback category than the supercar one despite the RCZ's dramatic styling. With maximum push (250 lbs/ft) from 2,000rpm it is easy to surf a wave of torque while making rapid yet relaxed progress. Maximum power is at 4,000rpm. In still air that results in a top speed of 137mph. Acceleration to 62mph takes 8.2 seconds.
Very good considering the comfortable, non-adjustable suspension (unlike the rival VW Scirocco) but the extra weight of the diesel engine in the nose makes the RCZ keener to plough head straight on at a tight bend than the lighter petrol engined cars. Feels remarkably neutral (and safe) whatever you do to the accelerator pedal in a faster corners. Wide tyres, pushed out to the edge of the bodywork bring plenty of cornering grip but the car feels ultimately more hatchback than thoroughbred coupe.
Attention grabbing 2+2 seater coupe with hints of the classic Volkswagen Karmann Ghia coupe of the 1950s mixed with a flashier take on the Bauhaus styling of Audi's ubiquitous TT Coupe. Design is cabin forward yet the front of the car shows it is based on Peugeot 308 to keep down costs. Lots of 'personalisation' possible with different colour roof, roof arches, grilles, wheels and even stripes. Length 4287mm. Width 1845mm.
COMFORT & CONTROLS
The bane of exotic looking cars is that they usually have bad visibility, but despite wide windscreen pillars and huge door mirrors the RCZ is easy to see out of. The instruments are glammed up but otherwise standard fare apart from a 'designer' clock which I liked but some colleagues hated.
Pedal location was pretty good but sometimes a little is lost in later translation to right hand drive. Six-speed manual gearchange no problems. Automatic transmission only on smaller petrol engine versions.
MPG & RUNNING COSTS
Official figures; Urban 41.4mpg. extra urban (some out of town) 62.7mpg, combined 53.2mpg. First drive consumption, including performance testing, proved diesels can be thirsty if driven hard at 29.4mpg. Carbon dioxide emissions of 139g/km puts the RCZ in band E with annual road tax of £120. Insurance group TBC. Warranty covers three years/60,000 miles.
Economical turbo-diesel engine with standard particulate filter delivers fine economy if driven with restraint. Good aerodynamics help reduce fuel thirst at cruising speeds. Gear change indicator encourages economical driving. A prototype, four-wheel drive 75mpg plus diesel-electric hybrid has been built and is being considered for production despite loss of carrying capacity. It's CO2 emissions are 139g/km and a WhatGreenCar rating is coming soon.
Peugeot doesn't know how to do impractical, so the RCZ not only has a good size boot but flip down rear seats too. Standard kit on Sport models includes sports seats, dual-zone air-conditioning, alloy wheels, radio/CD player with MP3 connection, USB port, black roof panel, twin sports exhausts and rear parking sensors. GT models add bigger, 19in diameter alloy wheels, leather upholstery, electrically adjustable and heated seats, front parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers.
Model tested: Peugeot RCZ 2-litre HDi 163 Coupe GT
Body-style: Two-door, 2+2 coupe
Engine/CO2: 160bhp, four-cylinder turbo diesel/139g/km
Trim grades: Sport, GT
On-road price: From £20,450 for 1.4 petrol GLS (model tested £24,550)
Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles
In the showroom: Mid-May 2010
Review rating: 4.0 STARS
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