These Peugeot RCZ and Audi TT may look like two good value 2+2 coupes but that would be the obvious interpretation. The Peugeot RCZ and Audi TT are great to look at and admire from a distance, plus they move with grace. Being able to carry off this multi-faceted talent of catching our eye and then taking our breath away on a mountain pass is all part of being a sportique (sports and boutique) coupe.
Too much of one factor, it seems, will always end up detracting from the other. Different cars are designed for different purposes. Some are designed to go fast. Others are designed to be fuel efficient. Some are designed to be ultra-practical and haul around a five kids and a dog. And then there’s a few that are designed to look drop dead gorgeous.
Among the best examples of these enormously pretty cars available today are the long-running Audi TT and the recently launched Peugeot RCZ. If you’ve got $65,000 to spend, it’s fair to say they’re in a class of their own when it comes to stylish European 2+2 coupes. After a 2011 Audi TT model year price hike of $1900, the entry-level Audi TT 1.8 TFSI only just squeezes into that price bracket.
The Peugeot RCZ price, on the other hand, is almost $10,000 cheaper, available as a manual, automatic or diesel, and all for the same price. Given the difference between the Peugeot RCZ and Audi TT, if you’re prepared to spend $65,000 then you’ll be looking to option up the Peugeot.
The most you can do to it is add the Sportif Pack ($3500), Monaco Pack ($2700), full leather ($1500) and premium metallic paint ($1300), which brings the total of the Peugeot RCZ price to $63,990 and levels the playing field. Alternatively, until April, you can order the Peugeot RCZ 200th Anniversary Special Edition for $61,990.
The Peugeot RCZ plays particularly well in the looks department; its modern profile is arguably one of the tastiest around. Continuing the theme of what’s good about the Peugeot RCZ we come to the handling and there’s a rather large surprise in store: it matches and exceeds that of the Audi TT, even managing to corner better. The front end of the Peugeot RCZ is more positive on turn-in, and you’re able to place it more precisely than the Audi TT, and then on exit it fights the urge to push wide harder than the TT.
The Audi TT remained solid as expected but the package as a whole has lost some of the thrill that made it so popular before the Peugeot RCZ came along. The Audi TT looks dated alongside the Peugeot RCZ and kind of past its best. Don’t think that the Audi TT is any better, because the basic arrangement is a carbon copy. Where the Peugeot RCZ could fall a bit short is on durability.
The Peugeot RCZ vs Audi TT may look like standard French vs German rivalry under the bonnet but in truth its Germany against itself. The 2.0-litre Audi TT engine is lifted from a Volkswagen Golf GTI and pushes out the same 155kW along with 70Nm more torque (to make 350Nm). The Peugeot RCZ uses the 1.6-litre BMW power plant that does duty in the Mini, and in 147kW/275Nm turbocharged guise this is a pearl of an engine. It’s down on power and torque against the Audi TT, so the Audi claims the acceleration advantage even if the way the power is delivered is abrupt.
credit image : EVO magazine
In order to achieve its 6.6ℓ/100km fuel consumption claim the first half of the throttle barely moves the Audi TT off standstill but anywhere beyond that you end up cooking a tacky with acceleration wheel spin – it’s not the most useable power band. The Peugeot RCZ on the other hand has a more linear power delivery and driving in traffic is a less demanding experience. The Peugeot RCZ also comes with what they term an ‘Engine Sound System’ that enhances intake roar.
Conclusion of Peugeot RCZ vs Audi TT Comparison
The Audi TT time has come and gone; new talent has moved in and surpassed its abilities and will make a name for it before it too gets usurped by the next big thing. When we first looked at this Peugeot RCZ vs Audi TT comparison nobody thought the Peugeot had a look-in. We said the Audi TT was just too good and the Peugeot RCZ wouldn’t match the TT in any area.
One at a time however, those who drove the Peugeot RCZ were swayed by its agility, smooth power delivery, quirky but appealing interior and superior handling, until eventually we were all standing on the French side wondering why we liked the Audi TT so much in the first place. You could buy the Audi TT and you’d be happy with it.
The Audi TT is a potent, polished car but you would be missing out on the better deal. The Peugeot RCZ offers more in every department for less. It becomes particularly difficult to root for the Audi TT when all the cards the Peugeot RCZ is pulling are aces in a game of five-card poker.
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