Why you need a used Peugeot RCZ in your life

Some who have seen the Peugeot futuristic 908 RC show car at the 2006 Paris motor show-one could have predicted that she would give birth to the compact and beautiful 308 RCZ concept revealed in Frankfurt the following year.

Even fewer would have guessed that the last car would come out almost unchanged in production form two years later, again in Frankfurt. Almost? Based on the 308, but this time, it was known only as the RCZ.

Letters have been very important for Peugeot parade of the cut. The addition of a second R, as in the range-topping RCZ R, came with a 267bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 0-62mph time of 5.9 sec.

Deliveries of the £31,995 R started in January 2014, a year before the RCZ production ended. There are only 300 UK-registered Rs, in comparison with 12, 000 or so standard rczs, it is so rare and – whisper – likely to become a classic. Although not the 2014 R we have spotted from £11,995. The private seller says that it is a repaired Cat D write-off. Sorry; once a Cat D write, always a Cat D write off.

We will park A. For all of its hidden features, Torsen limited-slip differential among them, it could be any RCZ, which means that you would still turn as many heads in our favourite, the much less expensive 154bhp 1.6 GT.

The RCZ has arrived in 2010, a sport, a Zagato-inspired double-bubble roof, aluminum arches and a two-position active rear spoiler which deploys at 53mph and again at 96mph. The car is comfortable, fun to drive and, with the seats-down boot space to 760 litres, reasonably practical (even if it is cramped at the rear and, unlike the Audi TT, it’s not a tailgate).

However, while it is an amazing product to the outside, the RCZ’s interior, given by the 308, is a bit ordinary. Look out for cars with option pack of leather, which extends cowhide to the dashboard. They look and feel much more upscale.

As new, the line-up has started at £19,900 for the 154bhp 1.6 Sport with 18 inch alloys and cloth trim. An optional automatic gearbox was offered with this engine. GT-spec models got 19in alloys, parking sensors and leather. He was joined by a 197bhp 1.6 which feels more alert (0-62mph arrives in 7.5 seconds compared with 8.4 sec for the 154bhp model), but not especially so. The 197bhp 1.6 model also had the Sports kit, with a short-shift gear lever and the small steering wheel. Diesel fans have been served by a 159bhp 2.0 HDi which correspond to the 154bhp 1.6 0-62mph time, but did 9mpg more (53mpg compared with 44mpg).

The special editions have followed, and then in 2013, the facelifted RCZ has arrived, still with the same engine but with a revised grille and automatic lights. The final milestones have been the arrival of the RCZ R and limited edition Sport-Red Carbon.

There was a lot of customization options through the RCZ is the life. With the small ads full of right hand cars below £8000, the beauty has never been such a case.

An expert’s view…

SAM WEBBER, CHARTERS PEUGEOT ALDERSHOT

“We have sold a lot of rczs. His pace is a big selling point. This is the kind of car that you turn around to look after you’ve locked. Early cars had some problems, but later have no problem. The 154bhp 1.6 GT with the standard leather is the only one to have. The gear suits, while the 197bhp car is longergeared and feels less sensitive. The RCZ R will be the classic, even if, if you can find one. We have recently made a 64-plate R 14 000 kilometres in the framework of the exchange. It sold for around £19,000 before it hit the forecourt.”

Buyer beware…

ENGINE

Early cars suffered from the timing chain and tensioner problems, in order to find a car that has replaced it. Loss of power on the 2.0 HDi could be due to a bad ECU (it needs updating). The engine run-on after shutdown could be contaminated CFO. The noise of the timing belt at idle could be due to a bad hydraulic muffler on the coolant hose. On all models, listen for a noise from the front top right engine mount when cornering. On all engines, old oil can cause idling problems. On the 197bhp 1.6, loss of power may indicate a bad turbo solenoid valve bypass.

The TRANSMISSION

On the 2.0 HDi and 154bhp 1.6, value of the offset from the third to the second to check if the transmission slips to neutral. If this is the case, the control lever may need adjusting. On the 197bhp 1.6, awkward changes may be caused by water in the gearbox.

SUSPENSION

A blow to the front may be caused by the upper shock absorber mounts.

BRAKES

Check the warning lamp of ABS, which could indicate that the wiring to the wheel speed sensor.

ELECTRIC

A “gong” sound means that the battery is not holding its charge and needs to be replaced. Display Instrument on the first cars had lighting bugs that should have been resolved. Check the penetration of water in the trunk of the lock.

INSIDE

Solid and well screwed, but at the beginning of GT-spec cars ” in the leather driver’s seat, side-impact airbags may bring evil.

BODY

Poor jack say some cars can be damaged thresholds.

Also useful to know…

There were three reminders. The first was for 2010 cars to address the front brake hose wear. The second, from the same period, dealt with possible leakage of fuel return on the diesel. The third fuel leak from the fuel heater on 2012-2014 diesel.

How much to spend…

Of £5000 to£7999

Many of 2010/11 1.6 s and 2.0 Hdi, around 50k km, most with FSH.

£8000-£10,995

Low mileage 2010/11 car, in addition, 2012 and 2013 cars with a mileage reasonable.

£ 11 000–£13,995

Fill your boots with low to mid-mileage 2013/14 cars of all types and specifications.

£14,000 – £16,995

The end 15 of the plate of the car; the last of 16 platers push £17,000 for a 154bhp 1.6 GT.

Of £18 000 and € 20-500

The latest RCZ Rs – if you can find one

John Evans