2013 Peugeot RCZ THP 200 1.6 turbo petrol from Belgium
It's one of those cars, which put a smile on your face every time you step in
The turbo leaked coolant ever so slightly, noticeable only by a very faint and occasional smell of coolant. The dealership found a slightly loose connection (after quite a bit of detective work) and fixed it, under warranty of course.
Other than that, the car has been trouble free.
All in all, the RCZ has been a very pleasant surprise. It feels well built, even a quality product. We've owned almost exclusively so called premium brand cars before, and RCZ seems to be more or less on par with them. We could have afforded also the Audi TT or BMW Z4, but opted for the RCZ, because we felt it to be more individual, perhaps less serious, and definitely more "bohemian". For us it was also the best looking of the bunch, especially the new face lifted version, but that's of course a matter of personal taste.
The car serves us as a daily ride. It's mainly used for school runs and commuting to work. The back seat has ample room for a tall 5-year old and his full-size safety seat (the RCZ has Isofix!). The boot is also surprisingly large and can take week's grocery shopping for a three-person family without a problem. The car also works quite well in normal traffic. It's not difficult or temperamental to drive at all, and even the visibility is OK despite the sporty and quite aggressive design. Parking radars are recommended though, since the car is quite wide and the seating position is low, and therefore the body dimensions can be a bit challenging to make out in tight parking spaces.
To sum it up from a practical point of view, the RCZ doubles up as a city car or a second car in the family pretty well, as long as you don't have to transport anyone taller than 150 cm on the backseats.
However it has also another, much funnier side to its character. Aside from the serious sports car looks, which truly collect compliments even from complete strangers (always thought commenting strangers were just urban legend), the car actually handles quite well. It is capable of rather impressive cornering speeds, feels very well planted, is sports-car quick and precise to steer (feel could be a bit better, though), and has a decent amount of oomph to be enjoyed on twisty roads during weekend outings. Actually I would not hesitate to take the RCZ to a track day either, it's so good.
N.B. Performance comments above go only for the 200 HP version, which has a bit different suspension and steering compared to its 156 HP petrol and 163 HP diesel siblings. I have no experience of the 156 HP, but have tried the diesel, and it felt softer and perhaps a bit more comfort-oriented. Also the weight of the heavier diesel engine at the front could be felt, when driving more aggressively.
When it comes to longer trips, the RCZ would probably do quite well there, too. The suspension is comfortable enough despite being firm, handling is of course very good, and luggage space is ample for the genre. However, at higher highway speeds it's not the most quiet car, and could even become tiresome on very long trips, if one is especially sensitive to that sort of thing. I suspect a partial reason to be the engine noise enhancer in 200 HP version, which seems to activate somewhat at speeds above 140 km/h. As I said, it's not loud by any means, but not Merc S-Class silent either.
All in all, the diesel version would probably make a better mile cruncher with its torquey engine and slightly softer suspension.
To summarise, we have been very happy with the RCZ after the first year of ownership. It's always a compromise regarding space and comfort when owning a sports car, but Peugeot has managed to make the RCZ a very nice compromise indeed. And that without diluting the sports side of things, no less. Well done.
Peugeot THP 200, 2013
19 inch wheels
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 13th August, 2014