Peugeot don’t really get the recognition they deserve for their cars. If you ask any normal person in the street what they think of Peugeot, the likelihood is they’d either call them beautiful or unreliable; we have Jeremy Clarkson to thank for the latter remark… However, if you take your memory back to 1984, or google it if you aren’t quite old enough, Peugeot created one of the best driver’s cars ever: The 205 GTI. It really was an amazing car that proved displacement is no match for lightweight cars with pinpoint handling. Since then the French car maker has churned out a number of quick cars bearing the GTI badge, but the one that offers something a bit different is the RCZ R.
To extract 266BHP from a 1.6 takes a lot of engineering prowess, the likes of which Peugeot have in abundance. The front brakes were taken straight from the WRC 206 rally challenger and the limited-slip differential at the front promises to reduce wheel spin and torque steer. From these facts, you’d expect the Peugeot to be more of a track king than a road warrior but even with all that power, by driving the Peugeot relatively sensibly you can return up to and above 40MPG; very impressive.
Despite an exterior that oozes curb appeal, the car is definitely let down by its poor infotainment system. You’d expect a car built in 2009 to have a satnav with graphics better than that of an Atari, and at the absolute very least DAB radio! The Peugeot however relies on a standard radio set up and a poor satnav with buttons set well beyond the reach of a normal person’s arms.
We caught up with Jack, a servicing expert at East Midlands Car Centre who stated that “It is a incredible to drive, its engineering is incredible but its held back by its outdated interior.”
The sleek swooping lines running front to back really do make it a gorgeous car, however as you’d expect you do have to sacrifice head room for any passenger in the rear, we feel that’s acceptable for the gorgeous roofline though! The boot is very respectable at 309 litres and increases to over 700 litres with the seats folded down, that may be the best way to drive it as you’d be lucky to fit anyone in the back anyway! Despite the seats in the rear being a token effort, more than anything the front passengers receive a decent amount of space and comfort. The firm ride does leave you sore after a long journey but that’s the price to pay for such excellent cornering.