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Peugeot RCZ GT THP 1.6 156 Review & Road Test (2010) Part 3

Tue, 21 Sep 2010

Peugeot RCZ Review - The striking Double Bubble Roof

Even though you can see the interior of the RCZ is 308 titivated, it’s still a decent place to be with its leather, embossed sports seats and a decent number of toys. And the rather less than accurate SatNav which always seems to have a brainstorm wherever I want to go and sends me somewhere else.  And it’s not just in the RCZ; I have the same problem in every Peugeot I’ve driven recently.

The problem with the stunning exterior and the far from shoddy interior is that – at this price point – the drive is bound to be a disappointment. Thankfully it’s good enough, even in this mid-range 1.6 litre 156hp guise. The suspension is firm but not harsh and the RCZ offers a proper sporting drive.

Around town there’s enough prod from this RCZ to make impressive progress; progress that feels a lot better than the 0-60mph of 8.4 seconds would suggest. That’s probably because the engine revs freely without much in the way of lag; it feels brisk and appealing even though you know it’s not exactly breathing fire.

The shame is that the chassis is about the best from Peugeot I can remember. It seems properly sorted and has a lot of grip, so much so that even enthusiastic driving doesn’t really trouble the electro-nannies. Which would tend to suggest that the RCZ would be a lot more impressive to drive with the 200hp engine fitted rather than the entry-level 156bhp in our car. It also feels like it could probably handle a lot more than 200bhp. Which is an appealing thought.

That said, the RCZ is not the most involving car you’ll drive. The steering is not that communicative and the handling and grip, although very good, are not all that involving either. It’s a safe set-up; one that works but not one that gets your pulse racing.

So despite reservations that the RCZ couldn’t deliver the performance its looks promise, it does come very close. It would be nice to get hold of the 200bhp RCZ for comparison, but even this 156bhp offers a decent and rewarding drive, just one that errs on the side of caution rather than fun. But the truth is that probably makes it more appealing to more people.

And frankly, with looks like this, the RCZ could handle like narrow boat and have the performance to match and still fly out of the showrooms. It’s to Peugeot’s credit that they’ve managed to make the RCZ perform well enough to satisfy most of the promise its looks offer.

And at a very appealing price.

Peugeot RCZ GT THP 1.6 156 specification, data and price

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By Cars UK