Twin test: Peugeot RCZ vs Volkswagen Scirocco

  • We put two, good-looking coupes to the test
  • Find out which offers the best drive and cost 
  • Do any of these make a good first coupe?

Few things beat the thrill of driving a coupe but which should you go for if it’s your first time buying a sleek, sporty number? Here we’ve pitted two stylish, four-seater (just!) coupes that offer a degree of practicality as well as lashings of visual allure.

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Peugeot RCZ 1.6 THP Sport (2010-2013) vs Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSI (2008-2012)


Peugeot RCZ: Despite the Peugeot’s engine being a little larger than the VW’s, it’s ever-so-slightly down on power, producing 156bhp compared with the 157bhp unit in the Scirocco. It’s still enough to propel the RCZ on to 133mph, sprinting from 0-60mph in eight seconds. More positively, the RCZ drives like a proper sports car.

Volkswagen Scirocco: Just 1bhp more from the Scirocco’s 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, but it’s quicker than the RCZ, too: it’ll reach 135mph and shaves the standstill to 60mph sprint time down to 7.7 seconds. How come? The shorter VW is 120kg lighter than the Peugeot although it doesn’t feel quite as satisfying to drive.



Peugeot RCZ: You don’t buy a sleek, four-seater coupe if outright practicality’s your primary concern, but in the flexibility stakes, the RCZ loses out to the Scirocco. That elegantly tapered, double-bubble roof looks great but rear-seat head and leg room in the back row is best reserved for kids. At 309 litres, the Peugeot’s boot is larger than the VW’s but its practicality is limited.

Volkswagen Scirocco: Although the Scirocco’s boot is only 292 litres, it does have a couple of trump cards to beat the RCZ into second place. At the back there’s a tailgate making it easier to load things into the boot – the VW’s almost like a compact three-door estate in shape. Plus, there’s space in the back for two adults, although rearward visibility’s compromised by the high rear seatbacks.



Peugeot RCZ: 

Both the RCZ and Scirocco are available with diesel engines but here we’ve picked cheaper turbocharged petrols, which come with slightly higher running costs. The Peugeot squeezes ahead here, combining better fuel effciency at 44mpg with lower CO2 emissions of 149g/km, placing it in band F for VED car tax.

Volkswagen Scirocco: Like the Peugeot, the VW falls into insurance group 28, but in all other respects running the Scirocco will cost you more. Officially VW claims an average of 42mpg with emissions rated at 154g/km – only slightly higher than the RCZ, but enough to nudge it into VED car tax band G. Expect to pay more for servicing, too.




Peugeot RCZ






turbo petrol,



turbo petrol,


Fuel capacity

55 litres

50 litres

Road Tax

Band F –

£145 p/a 

Band G –

£180 p/a




Insurance Group




8.0 seconds

7.7 seconds

Boot space

309 litres

292 litres




CO2 emissions




And the winner is…

Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4TSI (2008-2012): It’s that additional flexibility that just gives the Scirocco the nod – you’ll have to make fewer compromises for it to have a place in your life. Yes, it’s slightly more expensive to run and not quite as engaging as the Peugeot to drive but it’s still a fabulous all-rounder.

Peugeot RCZ 1.6 THP Sport (2010-2013): Both of these desirable coupes offer engaging driving experiences and distinctive looks making it a diffcult call to pick between them. The RCZ looks the more glamourous of the pair but its form before function ethos limits its appeal if you’re regularly going to ferry passengers on the back seat.

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