Used Peugeot RCZ Review (2009-2015) MK1

Independent review by Peter Hayward from Driving Force

4-minute read

Peugeot RCZ

Peugeot RCZ (2009-2015)

The Peugeot RCZ is a striking coupé that offers performance and style in a decent overall package that's perhaps overlooked and underrated when compared to alternatives. 

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  • Punchy engine choice
  • Striking looks and style
  • Surprisingly big boot
  • Firm suspension
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Not as sought-after as rivals
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What's the Peugeot RCZ like?

The stunning Peugeot RCZ coupé drives as beautifully as it looks and will surely become an appreciating classic in the future.

Both the 160bhp diesel and petrol models can be described as electrifying from behind the wheel. Everyone will know you’ve arrived when you turn up in one of these, judging by the swivelling heads toward this car.

Earlier models had the ‘gatemouth’ grille, which Peugeot espoused in 2010, but a facelift in 2012 gave it a much better looking nose and grille along with other improvements that lasted until production ended in 2015.

The facelift also included extra standard equipment and much more kit on the options list, some of which will probably have been included on used cars.


The same range of two engines and four power outputs stayed constant throughout production. All are front-wheel drive, and the petrol engines are all based on Peugeot’s excellent 1.6-litre THP turbo.

This is available with 153bhp, 200bhp, and in the range topping R model, 266bhp. These offer 0 to 60mph times of approximately 8.0, 7.4 or a scorching 5.7 seconds respectively. Economy is in the 42 to 44mpg range for all.

There's also a 2.0-litre diesel HDI with 160bhp that completes 0 to 60mph in approximately 8.4 seconds, and it returns an excellent 54mpg. Manual gearboxes are all 6-speed with excellent ratios and a slick change, and most models were also available with a 6-speed automatic.

But of course, the petrols are the performance masters of the range, with the upper two versions able to hold their own up against the vast majority of the coupé opposition.

Driving Experience

Acceleration is good from rest, but through the gears out on the open road, these are marvellous cars to drive quickly and make any straight piece of road safe for overtaking.

The engines are smooth and refined and so is the ambiance on the inside with all apart from the R having a very good ride for a sporty coupé.

Handling and roadholding are also right out of the top drawer, with tremendous grip and marvellously tactile steering. The ride is a little lumpy at lower speeds on rougher roads, but you could live with that in return for the marvellous exhilaration and fun.

Practicality and Equipment

The RCZ is basically a 2-seater, but there's a pair of small seats behind where one limber adult could sit across for a short journey or a couple of small children could be accommodated. And the boot is a very good size for a sports coupé, helped by the front-wheel drive layout.

Equipment levels are very good straight out of the box, and include an alarm, parking sensors, cruise control, alloys, excellent seat and column adjustment, sports seats, traction control and climate control.
Peter Hayward

Upper models and special editions add sat nav, leather and more.

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If you're in the market for a decent quality coupé that's great to drive and a bit different to the predictable coupé offering, then the Peugeot RCZ is an interesting and stylish outside of the box alternative. With a big boot and decent choice of engines, it could make for a clever used buy.