Peugeot RCZ 1.6 THP 156 review

Entry-level version of Peugeot's Audi TT rival, the RCZ. What's the THP 156 like to drive?

Evo rating
Price
from £20,450
  • Those looks
  • Vague steering, leggy gearing

In the same way that it almost doesn’t matter whether or not Cameron Diaz is capable of winning an Oscar, it sort of doesn’t matter whether the double-bubbled RCZ drives with aplomb. The looks are so stunning that so long as the rest of the package isn’t terrible, most people will be happy.

The turbocharged 1.6-litre motor (developed by BMW and Peugeot) is punchy but slightly hobbled by very long gearing. Being able to do over 100mph in third seems slightly ridiculous when it will only reach 62mph after 8 seconds.

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The base car’s chassis lacks the lower bracing bar of the 197bhp version but it nonetheless has oodles of grip. Understeer and oversteer simply aren’t on the menu. The steering has just enough weight but lacks real feel, and when you really push the RCZ into a corner you seem to have to make two stabs with the wheel despite the clean path scribed by the tyres underneath you. Best to just flow down the road smoothly and serenely, which the RCZ does very well. Certainly well enough.

Specifications

EngineIn-line 4-cyl, 1598cc, turbo
Max power156bhp @ 5800rpm
Max torque180lb ft @ 1400-4500rpm
0-608.0sec (claimed)
Top speed133mph (claimed)
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