The potential for this car was through the roof. With the LF-LC and LF-CC concepts roaming the auto circuit some five or six years ago, Lexus’ latest sport coupe was going to be a knockout. The RC, which stands for “Radical Coupe”, has been all but completely snubbed by the luxury coupe buyer. How often do you spot one on the road?
When the production car hit showrooms, many were swooned by the final product’s design, far many more were disappointed and turned off. The fact of the matter is that this is a Lexus and with that name comes many high points, and a fair number of lows.
Are high-end coupe lovers wrong to ignore Lexus’ offering or did they get it right when they went elsewhere? Read on.
Why you should buy a 2018 Lexus RC 300:
- The Lexus RC is impressively refined, luxurious and solidly built
- The cabin’s unique design is equal parts functional and alluring
- The F Sport packages are a must. The seats, the wheels and the adaptive dampers are brilliant
- Said dampers maintain an impressive level of comfort without sacrificing choice handling abilities
- The RC 350 strikes a lovely balance between performance and luxury. The RC F’s 5.0-litre V8 is a beautiful piece of kit
Why you should not buy a 2018 Lexus RC 300:
- A BMW 440i Coupé with xDrive retails for $6,000 less and an Audi S5 Coupé is about $3,000 less expensive than an RC 350 which sports a $64,570 sticker price. The A5 Coupé is $3,000 cheaper and the 430i xDrive Coupé is priced a few dollars from the RC 300’s $51,520 price tag
- The RC’s styling is far too polarizing. The German cars and the Infiniti Q60 are attractive. The RC is not, at least in my opinion
- The tested RC 300 is disturbingly uninspiring to drive. The 3.5-litre V6 feels choked and helpless. As well, the V6 moans constantly
- Remote Touch. Remote Touch. Remote Touch. This is the worst offending unpleasant UI tool on the market
- As a Lexus, the RC does not project the same youthful image as the German cars do
The conclusion is easy enough: do not buy/lease an RC 300, or an IS 300 for that matter. Lexus made a mistake when they decided to de-tune the 3.5-litre V6 for the AWD “300” cars instead of improving upon the turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine currently available in the RWD IS 300.
The RC 300 tries to be as cool as the other kids in the school yard but simply can’t deliver the goods. It might wear a designer jacket like the others but it’s tailored all wrong. And then there’s trying to communicate with the car through Remote Touch…
Unfortunately, all other options in this narrow segment are more interesting in nearly every respect. The RC F is an exception based solely upon the normally aspirated V8. As refined as the RC is, it’s not for the younger professional looking to let his or her hair down once in a while. I’ll leave it at that.