Peugeot’s newest model, designed with a new Lion badge and dispensing with the familiar numbering system in the name, finished ahead of the key rival the Audi TT to win the award.
The coupe, which seats four, was described by the magazine as: "The Peugeot RCZ is a beautifully balanced car, easy to drive quickly. Low and wide, it always feels completely on your side, gripping hard, resorting to understeer only at the limit.
"The Peugeot RCZ is positioned as a small, sophisticated GT, and fills it perfectly."
Designed with dramatic styling, the RCZ features an all-new front end and an innovative ‘double-bubble’ roof.
Top Gear described it as: "One of a tiny handful of cars that cost hot-hatch money but have the visual impact of something four or five times the price."
Its looks led it to be named most Beautiful Car of the Year 2009 at the International Automobile Festival and the car has also won a number of design awards.
The Peugeot RCZ was launched in the UK in 2010 and represented a sportier, more desirable direction for the French manufacturer to take in much the same way Citroen took a step upmarket with the premium DS3.
In keeping with the new image, Peugeot dispensed with the decades-old numbering system and instead chose the name RCZ to show it was a completely new model in the line-up.
The Peugeot RCZ is competitively priced from £20,450 and comes with a choice of three engines. These include a 163bhp diesel and two petrols offering 156bhp and a range-topping 200bhp.
Demand for the RCZ has been high, with over 2,000 cars sold in just six months since its launch.