In Europe, Honda's CR-Z hybrid hot hatch isn't the only eco-friendly sports car available to buyers of average means. One of the most recent arrivals in the category is Peugeot's striking RCZ sports coupe that is offered with a frugal 2.0-liter diesel engine.
Two cars, two different approaches on the same topic. But which one is better? To answer this question, British magazine Auto Express took both sports cars and tested them to see which one comes on top in typical everyday use.
If you read between the lines - or in this case, the tester's words, the RCZ is a better car picking up the title in fuel economy, performance, interior styling and quality, as well as exterior looks. But -there's always a but, isn't there?- the entry-level RCZ Diesel costs £5,251 [about US$7,900 or €6,500] more than the basic CR-Z, which ultimately makes the comparison unjust.
Video and some quick facts we gathered on both cars after the jump.
Video: Autoexpress / Youtube
UK SPEC MODELS: QUICK FACTS
HONDA CR-Z: The CR-Z comes with a 1.5-liter petrol engine coupled to a small electric motor producing a combined output of 124-horsepower at 6,100 rpm and 174Nm / 128 lb-ft of peak torque from 1,000 to 1,500 rpm.
With the 6-speed manual, Honda UK claims that the CR-Z in basic 'S' trim sprints to 62mph (100km/h) in 9.9 seconds [10.1 seconds for the better equipped GT model] and tops out at 124mph (199 km/h).
According to the manufacturer, the hybrid sports car, which tips the scales at 1,198 kg / 2,641 lbs, returns a combined fuel economy of 56.5mpg UK [5.0lt/100km or 47.0mpg US] with CO2 emissions of 117g/km.
Auto Express said that in a mixture of conditions as well as some hot laps on the test track, the CR-Z's trip computer recorded an average of 39.5 mpg UK [7.1 lt/100km or 32.9 mpg US].
In the UK, the CR-Z is offered in three trim levels - S, Sport and GT, with prices set at £16,999, £17,999 and £19,999 respectively.
PEUGEOT RCZ: Along with the 1.6-liter turbocharged petrol engines producing 156HP and 200HP, the RCZ is also offered with a 2.0-liter turbo diesel hooked up to a six-speed manual gearbox.
It delivers 163-horsepower at 3,750 rpm and a maximum torque of 340Nm / 251 lb ft at 2,000 rpm and returns a combined fuel consumption of 53.2 mpg UK (5.3 lt /100km or 44.3 mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 139 g/km.
In AE's test, the RCZ returned an average of 41.4mpg UK [6.8lt/100km or 34.5mpg US].
Weighing in at 1,474 kg / 3,250 lbs, the diesel-powered RCZ goes from zero to 62mph (100km/h) in 8.7 seconds and reaches a top speed of 137mph (220km/h).
The Peugeot RCZ 2.0 HDi is available in two grades, Sport and GT, with OTR pricing set at £22,250 and £24,550 respectively.