It's not often that a car moves unscathed from concept to production. There's almost always a bit of filing at the edges, toning down the 'mental' and making the whole thing a bit more sensible for a real-life, breathing customer.
That's not what happened with the RCZ though. Peugeot's showpiece at the 2007 Frankfurt Motor Show was an immediate hit with the industry and a concept car originally designed to wave two fingers at Audi's TT was formally introduced in 2009.
Bang for Your Buck
The RCZ is a good-looking machine. It genuinely possesses the 'wow' factor, with its double-bubble styling putting arch-nemesis the TT to shame. It's a sensual, voluptuous shape with a seriously futuristic feel to it – it's arguably one of the most interesting-looking machines on the road today.
The interior boasts a 308-derived dash and a lot of the hard plastic that comes with it. The base models are somewhat underwhelming in terms of design, but the approved used Peugeot RCZ boasts exemplary build quality across the board – it's no coincidence that this humble Peugeot coupe once shared a production like with the Aston Martin Rapide.
The Peugeot RCZ for sale has a class-leading boot rather than a rear hatch. With a luggage capacity of 384 litres this car will carry more shopping than an Audi TT
or even a VW Scirocco
. With the (impractically small) rear seats folded forwards, the figure shoots up to 760 litres – the RCZ is by no means impractical when it comes to carrying capacity. The only issue with the boot is that it tends to accumulate rainwater and then dump it inside as soon as you open the lid – a minor inconvenience but a potentially irksome fault in the British climate.
What you'll pay
It's not great news for the second-hand RCZ buyer trying to find a bargain. The used Peugeot RCZ holds is value well, especially in comparison to the competition. This means that you'll be spending around £15,000 on a Sport model on 60-plates with 25,000 miles on the clock, which is less than £5k below its original list price of £19,995.
An equivalent Audi TT would change hands for about £18,500 now, down over £9k from its retail price of £27,145.
What to check
The used Peugeot RCZ is a reliable machine. It's not actually a very complex car – it's a mechanically straightforward front-wheel-drive coupe in space-age clothing. All the engines are veterans of the Peugeot range and the interiors are hardwearing. The only glitches have been with the instrument display lighting but these have been resolved under warranty – there are no inherent faults with this car that you need to check for. Peugeot has a good record according to the Reliability Index.
Users report a predisposition to alloy damage while parking so check these ahead of any purchase.
Not surprisingly unique parts such as the folding door mirror for £200 plus are not cheap, but those shared with other more pedestrian models are affordable enough.
How it drives
On the road it's an impressive machine with respectable performance and good road holding for a chunky sports coupe. The 200bhp engine – shared by the impressive MINI John Cooper Works range – shifts the RCZ to 62mph in 7.6 seconds. The twin-scroll turbocharger produces a consistent flow of power from right in the belly of the rev range.
Peugeot's habit of putting diesel engines into their cars means that the RCZ has been produced with a two litre HDi FAP – the largest engine available for this car – which grunts out 163bhp. The downside to the diesel model is the added kerb weight, which manifests itself in reduced agility and marginally slower acceleration. The diesel's massive torque means that acceleration from cruising speeds is impressive and there's still an 8.7 second score on the 0-62 test. Top speed is 137mph.
The ride is firm. There's not much body roll to speak of but the overall effect is comfortable and perfectly suited to long-distance cruising. On more undulating roads there are some small issues, mainly to do with speed bumps in town. There's a staggering amount of grip but the steering struggles to convey this – the first few harsh bends will be an exercise in faith. Overall, the Peugeot RCZ for sale is outshone by the Audi TT but still presents a hugely fun ride in what has to be the best-looking machine Peugeot has ever produced.