Peugeot RCZ V Audi TT

  • Diesel powered coupes go head-to-head
  • RCZ has less power but more practical
  • Prices for RCZ start from £21,245 TT starts from £27,540

Peugeot and Audi have been battling it out on the diesel front in the Le Mans 24 Hour race for several years. In the past year the two car makers have taken the fight to the dealer forecourts.  Who will win the battle for top diesel sports car?

The TT has been around for 11 years while the RCZ is the new kid on the block. Compare the two cars and you'll see that there are similarities on the design front. However, the French flair wins the day its 'double-bubble' roof.

Peugeot has added a 163bhp 2.0-litre diesel to the RCZ range. The oil-burning unit is mated to a smooth short-shifting  six-speed manual gearbox. The ride was very pleasant when cruising at motorway speeds  and when you wanted to drive in an enthusiastic manner there was plenty of power to do so too.   

The RCZ is more for comfort than outright pace and power. With this engine it can complete the benchmark sprint in 8.7s and has an achievable top speed of 137mph.  It has a pulling power of 325Nm, giving the TT the slight edge in this department. 

Under the bonnet of the Audi TT is a 2.0-litre diesel with 172 'horses' (bhp). The engine is a feisty unit and has a pulling power of 349Nm. The Quattro all-wheel drive system lets the Audi get the traction down better than that of the RCZ. It has a maximum speed of 140mph where legal and will complete the benchmark sprint to 62mph in7.5s.

The Peugeot RCZ and the Audi TT emits 139g/km of CO2, making these pair of coupes quite clean.

But the real test is in frugality - both cars on this test are diesel powered sports cars.  The RCZ can achieve 53.2mpg on average. Compare that against the TT's figure of 53.3mpg  - not much in it but TT scrapes into the lead with better performance and slightly better fuel economy.

The Audi TT is placed in a VED of E whereas the RCZ is also in band E making both cars exactly the same when it comes to paying the annual road tax of £115 while showroom tax will also cost £115.

In terms of practicality, the RCZ wins this part of the contest, it has 384-litres with the rear seats in place and 760-litres when folded. The Audi TT has 290-litres with the seats in position. This expands to 700-litres when folded. If you need a car with a decent boot then you'll be choosing the RCZ, it's the sensible choice for those long weekend breaks.

The TT may have the better performance but the RCZ is more practical when it comes to carrying luggage. The cars are pretty much even so it may come down to looks, the RCZ shades it over the Audi with that double-bubble roof.

The Peugeot is the cheapest to buy outright, the RCZ in sport trim with the 2.0-litre diesel engine starts from £21,245, while th TT in Sport spec starts from £27,540. However residually the Audi fares better, it retains 73% after one year or 10,000 miles while the RCZ retains 68% after one year or 10,000 miles. After three years or 30,000 miles the Audi still comes up trumps, it should retain around 50%, the RCZ will only retain around 44%.

From looking at the stats the Audi is top dog, although that French 'double-bubble' roof has an element of French flair about it.