Coupes may have fallen out of favour in recent years, but in the 2010s they were still a buzzing market segment full of a variety of models (admittedly not always brilliant – Renault Laguna coupe, anyone?). And the Peugeot RCZ was one of the better ones.
Designed to take aim squarely at the Audi TT, where the Audi is all gaunt Teutonic seriousness, the RCZ is more subtle and delicate, with a curvy ‘double bubble’ roofline, wide square-planted haunches, and a tucked-in waist. Inside, too, you’ll find soft leather upholstery (at least where it was specified from new) and classy-chrome-ringed instruments.
Despite inauspicious underpinnings (it shares its insides with the deeply unimpressive first-generation Peugeot 308), the RCZ proves to be a precise, involving, grippy and entertaining companion on your favourite B-road. And that’s despite the fact that only the 270hp RCZ R features any form of limited-slip differential.
Aside from the rare full-fat R model, engine choices include a smooth and revvy turbocharged 1.6 with either 156hp or 200hp, and a frugal, torquey 2.0-litre diesel. But whatever’s under the bonnet, as an alternative to everyone’s-got-one hot hatches and TTs, the RCZ is very appealing indeed.