I’ve owned Leona, my ten year old Seat Leon 1.9TDi, for a couple of months now, and, perhaps predictably, I’m bored.
It was a good choice and more or less meets my requirements for a daily commuter, but I’ve decided to treat myself to something a little flasher.
I’d considered the Audi TT and A5; the Merc CLC or a Jag XF. I’d ruled out the Hyundai Coupe and the Honda CRZ. A GT86 would be great but I will have to be patient until the price drops somewhat.
One day, I was sat in Leona with my 6 year old daughter, waiting for her to finish the snack we’d just bought at the supermarket before setting off to visit a relative. A car pulled into the space in front of us.
I asked her what she thought of it.
Her response was simple: Buy it.
And I’m seriously tempted to take her advice.
There’s one problem…it’s French.
A true petrol head can’t own a Peugeot, can they?!?
But this is no ordinary Peugeot – it’s the stunning RCZ.
It’s sleek sexy lines and unique double bubble roof are captivating.
But did I mention it’s French?
And that it’s a Peugeot?
I’d already suffered with the unreliability and expensive servicing of the Peugeot 306 I had owned for three years. Did I want to go down that route again?
I started to do some research. No doubt the engine options were rubbish, and they were terribly unreliable.
I was suprised to find that this isn’t the case.
The engine options (aside from the top of range and expensive RCZ-R model) are a 2.0 litre diesel or a 1.6 litre turbocharged petrol engine in two different guises. Dismissing the diesel, I looked into the 1.6 petrol option – surely that would be too small and underpowered? My 306’s 1.6 engine only produced 90bhp.
But that was back in 1993, and it was a natural aspirated engine.
This turbo charged unit produces either 156bhp or 200bhp.
Assuming at the time that the 200bhp engine would be horribly inefficient – ‘better’ (sorry Peugeot) car makers typically struggling to better 35mpg with a 200bhp engine – I considered the 156bhp option. Would that be enough power?
The car is pretty light, and reading the official as well as owners reviews, it sounded sufficient – and promised an excellent 44mpg.
That’s about what I’m getting when driving the Leon, erm, ‘enthusiastically’.
So perhaps the 200bhp option wouldn’t be so bad… I guessed 36mpg.
The official combined figure is 42mpg.
That’s impressive. Go Peugeot!!
But how realistic is that claim?
I checked the owners reviews.
The more I read, the more I fell in love. The RCZ sounds perfect for me. It’s fast enough, makes a nice noise, is spacious (at the front – rear is for children only, which is fine), and is surprisingly efficient.
Some people were only getting 32mpg, but they weren’t even trying. I read that most people doing regular ‘motorway speeds’ were getting around 40mpg, which I’d be very happy with for a 200bhp petrol engine. Revs at 85mph in sixth gear were reported to be 2,500rpm – that’s the same that Leona achieves at that speed (apparently, of course), and that’s a low revving diesel. So it’s comfortable & quiet & economical at those speeds.
Hang on hang on hang on.
I’ve been down this road before.
I always buy a car and then get bored or realise it’s not suitable in some way or another after 2 or 3 months.
Won’t this be the same?
Well, in this case, I won’t rush into it. I can’t – I don’t have the money to.
So I will take my time and read more information, check out potential problems etc, and try and go for a test drive in one.
And so what if it’s a Peugeot? It’s a RCZ. It’s still special.
Let’s just hope it doesn’t have special needs, like most of my previous car choices.