Dashboard, infotainment, sat-nav and passenger space

There’s practically a set formula for the interiors of hotted-up cars. Smaller, flat-bottomed steering wheel? Check. Metal gearknob? Check. Colour-contrast stitching on uprated seats? Check and check. The RCZ R has ’em all.

But even if it’s slightly predictable, the RCZ R’s version of a quick interior is an appealing and enticing one. There are chromed kickplates on the sills and a small plaque on the centre console to remind passengers that this is no ordinary RCZ. The steering wheel doesn’t feel as tiny as those in the Peugeot 208 and 308 but, flat bottom aside, it’s pleasingly shaped and finished. It also has the advantage that you can read the dials.

The Peugeot's pedals are pleasingly spaced. Nice drilled aluminium pedal tops, too

The seats are supportive and comfortable and, with plentiful under-thigh support and a broad range of reach and rake adjustment on the wheel, it’s not hard to find an almost Germanic low-slung driving position with the wheel at your chest.

The metallic gearknob is, as they always are, chilly on winter mornings, but it guides the lever around a short-throw, positive gate. The aluminium pedals are well spaced.

Ergonomically, the rest is a slightly mixed bag. The rear seats are all but hopeless and the multimedia system is eclipsed by those of its main rivals, but once you’re accustomed to both you end up using the rear seats as handy luggage space and learn to find your way around the car’s systems.

Standard kit is more plentiful than average. You get Peugeot’s ‘RT6’ sat-nav system, directional xenon headlights, tyre pressure monitors and auto-folding door mirrors thrown in, as well as the obvious stuff like the sports seats.

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The boot capacity is marginally bigger than in a seats-up Audi TT, but the Audi’s liftback opening gives it a versatility advantage.