Peugeot RCZ M Review

Overall Rating

  • Interior

  • On The Road

  • Value For Money

  • See Full Specs

What’s Hot

Head-turning design, entertaining turbo engine, bargain pricing.

What’s Not

Outdated interior gadgets, rear seats extremely cramped, gearshift is a little sloppy.

X Factor

More fashionable than fast, the RCZ M is still an entertaining performance coupe.

  • Country of Origin
  • Price
    $54,990 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine
    4 Cylinders
  • Output
    147 kW / 275 Nm
  • Transmission
  • ANCAP Rating
  • Airbags
    Driver & Passenger (Dual), Side for 1st Row Occupants (Front)
  • L/100 km
  • C02
    159 g/km
  • Luggage Capacity
  • Towing (braked)
    650 kg
  • Towing (unbraked)
    500 kg
Tony O'Kane | Jun 14, 2011 | 6 Comments


Vehicle Style: Performance coupe
Price: $54,990

Fuel Economy (claimed): 6.9 l/100km
Fuel Economy (tested): 11.3 l/100km


As a performance car, the Peugeot RCZ M is outshone by hot hatches costing thousands of dollars less.

But it's one heck of a head-turner, and is without doubt one of the most beautiful cars available for under $60,000.


Quality: The RCZ's interior is a step above most in the Peugeot stable, with a leather-wrapped dashboard and chrome-ringed instruments lending a premium ambience to the cabin.

There's a lot of switchgear carry-over from the 308, but on the whole the RCZ's interior is a very nice habitat for driver and passenger.

Comfort: The electrically-adjustable front seats are nicely upholstered in leather. They provide decent lateral and under-thigh support, as well as adjustable lumbar support and seat heaters.

The steering column is adjustable for reach and rake. The steering wheel is set closer to the driver than in other Peugeot models, allowing for a more natural seating position.

The back seats are strictly for young children – exceptionally tolerant ones at that. A shortage of legroom and headroom coupled with a near-vertical backrest makes them all but uninhabitable for adults.

Equipment: As standard, the RCZ M is equipped with a six-speaker stereo with CD, USB, auxiliary and Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control/speed-limiter, dual-zone climate control, rain sensing wipers, dusk-sensing headlamps, foglamps, front and rear parking sensors and 18 inch alloy wheels.

Our tester was equipped with the optional 19-inch alloys.

Storage: For a sports coupe, the RCZ has a surprisingly useful boot. Measuring in at 384 litres the boot can swallow a generous amount of luggage. The back seats also fold forward to create a handy 760 litre cargo area.


Driveability: The RCZ's 147kW 1.6 litre turbo inline four is pinched straight from the MINI Cooper S, and is just as enjoyable in the Pug as it is in the Cooper.

Punchy mid-range torque (the full 279Nm is available from just 1700rpm) produces respectable acceleration: the RCZ's 7.5 second 0-100km sprint time is nothing to sneeze at.

Torque delivery is also flexible enough for the RCZ to be poked along at low rpm around town without snatching or complaint.

The gear selector for the six-speed manual can be a little baulky at times, but the short throw is satisfyingly sporty and the clutch is easy to use.

Refinement: The 19-inch alloys produce a harsh ride over poor quality roads and the RCZ's suspension set-up is fairly firm. Low-profile Continental tyres transmit a lot of road noise too, but at least there's little in the way of wind noise.

Suspension: The RCZ surprises with its agility and high level of grip. And while the firm suspension compromises comfort, the payoff is a chassis that handles corners with confidence. It’s a very sharp and rapid steer on a winding road.

Braking: 302mm front rotors are teamed with 290mm rear rotors, and do a good job of slowing the 1370kg RCZ. There is a bit too much initial ‘bite’ on the brake pedal though.


ANCAP rating: Not rated

Safety features: Stability control, traction control, ABS, Emergency Brake Assist, EBD, Traction Control are all standard. Front and front side airbags provide protection for occupants, along with three-point seatbelts on all seats.


Warranty: three-year / 100,000km warranty.

Service costs: Service intervals are every 12 months or 20,000km. Minor services are priced at $475, major services at $761.


Audi TT 1.8 TFSI ($64,500) – The TT loses a bit of shine next to the glamorous RCZ, not to mention it’s almost ten grand pricier. Its 1.8 litre engine manages 3kW more than the RCZ's 1.6, but is down 20Nm.

The Audi's interior is definitely the more impressive of the two though.

BMW 125i Coupe ($55,600) – With a sweet naturally-aspirated 3.0 litre inline six and a superb RWD chassis, the 125i is a joy to drive.

Usable rear seats are a bonus too, but the demure 1 Series will never turn as many heads as the RCZ. (see 1 Series reviews)

Nissan 370Z ($68,640) – The 370Z's design is more masculine than the RCZ and its 245kW/363Nm 3.8 litre V6 endows it with a far more impressive turn of speed.

It's a decidedly uncompromised sports car though, and has a smaller cabin and luggage area than the Peugeot, not to mention a much heftier price-tag. (see 370Z reviews)

Note: all prices are Manufacturer’s List Price and do not include dealer delivery or on-road costs.


For styling alone, the RCZ will easily find favour among fashion-conscious buyers. But, unlike many 'image cars', the RCZ can more than hold its own on a twisting mountain road and is a genuine pocket-sized performance coupe.

Both beautiful and athletic, the RCZ is also very good value. Its flaws are relatively few, but we do recommend sticking with the standard 18-inch wheels (rather than the harsher 19-inch alloys) if the roads in your area are particularly poor.

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Filed under: Featured, review, Peugeot, petrol, coupe, Peugeot RCZ, Manual, fwd, sport, performance, lifestyle, Advice, special-featured, enthusiast, 2door, 2011 Peugeot RCZ, 6m, peugeot rcz m, 2012 peugeot rcz

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  • MattJelonek
    MattJ says,
    4 years ago
    Wouldn't recommend buying any PSA car, Peugeot or Citroen. Especially from their dealers who rip you off at servicing and countless issues with French cars, even today. The service can consist of high costs near the thousand dollar mark as well as in some true instances, a door needing replacement, a key needing replacement and a few other things, when in fact, the interior part of the door was never removed to check the issue and all that was needed was a key battery replacement which would have cost a nice $4k (there were a few other issues that the servicing didn't seem to oversee properly).
  • editor says,
    4 years ago
    Really liking the new(ish)short and to the point review format you guys are using now, keep up the informative good work.
  • MotorMouth says,
    4 years ago
    I really can't see how anyone would find this car beautiful. It's design lacks any cohesiveness at all. It seems like they have welded the back of a Boxster to a 308, then stuck the roof from a TT on it all, without making any effort to make them fit together. The result just looks wrong from every angle. The interior is nice but eventually you will have to get out and see what a hideous chimera of a thing you paid good money for. I've seen a few on the road but I think you'd have to have rocks in your head to choose one of these over a 10 grand cheaper Megane RS250, which looks incredible and goes much better.
  • Froggie says,
    3 years ago
    Try it yesterday with my wife. Very nice external body but very low quality from inside.Seats are electric but not confortable and all controllers are on a column and looking cheap and fragile. Engine it's strong and powerful. It's an expensive car to just make a head-turner. May be as I come from a BMW 125I and it's look for me I downgrade in this new model.Regards
  • peter c says,
    3 years ago
    Here in Australia all these Eurpean cars must come to grips with parts pricing. They have a poor reliability record here partly caused by Australia's harsh conditions. These cars once out of warranty period sometimes become a throw away item if a major component letting go. It was reported that a 4 year old VW Golf value was $19000.00 auto needed to be replaced at a cost of $11330.00. In recent years European cars gave increased their Australian market share but due to high repair cost realbility brand loyalty is non existent and it shows with very few repeat customers. For the well heeled BMW and Mercedes would be the exception.
  • ron mancell says,
    3 years ago
    Looked at the in detail. Good looking and very civilised. The interior looks up market. It is not a 2+2 however. Got in the back and my head touched the rear window. Getting out from there was an experience. Seats are comfortable and grip you in place. Comparing with an A3 convertble and a golf cabrio and i would take the peugeot anytime. More comfortable to drive than my wifes mx5
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