Peugeot RCZ: Gallic flair and refined elegance
Sleek coupe receives sporty touches for 2014 edition
With a near fleet of luxury vehicles sitting in Driven's carpark space recently, from a top-end Mercedes-Benz to two varieties of Lexus sedans, there was one star only for a young colleague - Peugeot's RCZ coupe.
When he spotted the RCZ in the carpark space, and found out he'd missed out in taking part in the photo shoot featured here, he put in a complaint as he loved the French sports coupe with the now famous (or infamous depending your view) double-bubble roof.
On sale this month, Peugeot New Zealand has just launched a restyled RCZ, priced from $59,990, that comes with $5000 optional Black Pack, as featured in my test car.
The 2014 RCZ gains a new grille with a low and long air intake panel topped off by six LED lights to create a "claw" effect that the French manufacturer loves to add to its new products.
The luxury package includes a black grille, wing mirrors, roof arches, 19in alloy wheels with black brake callipers, plus the stunning satin black carbon roof.
The carbon roof, combined with the white coupe model, gives the RCZ a more refined appearance than the standard model with the black arches, which give the car a more masculine look.
While the exterior appearance may be classy, don't judge the coupe as just an about-town car. When the 1.6-litre turbo petrol 147kW engine is paired with the six-speed manual transmission you get a vehicle that yearns to hit the road.
Second gear is almost redundant as the transmission pushes through at speed to sit at fourth in normal city traffic to a nimble sixth when on the motorway.
Newly calibrated suspension combined with a low ride, despite the 19in alloys, means you get that sporty ride.
It's a heavy vehicle too and I struggled to open the driver's door when parked on a hill.
Inside the car, the RCZ gains electric front seats and leather trim steering wheel though I felt the fleather (faux leather) seats could have been replaced with the real deal.
The large glass rear window that extends over the two rear seats means passengers are hit by the sun, but to be honest you're not going to be using that row on a daily basis.
What it lacks in rear head space, the car makes up for with a huge boot with 384 litres of space - an envy of most hatchbacks, small sedans and most convertibles.
If you fold down the two rear seats you get a whopping 760 litres.