The aging RC still looks good but has lost its edge in the competitive luxury sports-coupe segment. The driving experience isn’t nearly as aggressive as the promise of sharp-angled exterior styling, as the RC300 and RC350 models lack power and don’t handle as well compared to their rivals. A smooth ride and comfortable interior are the positive tradeoffs. A turbo four-cylinder engine is standard, but opt for all-wheel drive or the more expensive RC350 trim and you get a naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V-6. Some are V-8 powered RC F, reviewed separately, which provides more hard-core performance. Think of the RC as a luxury coupe with fine lines, and you’ll understand what it’s all about.
What’s New for 2023?
Update for 2023 including a new touchscreen infotainment display, plus a new appearance package available for F Sport models that includes a two-tone gray and black exterior and 19-inch Enkei wheels.
Price and Which One to Buy
The RC is an attractive car due to its sporty appearance; however, he failed to fulfill the illusion. That makes us hesitant to step up to the more powerful RC350, either with or without the F Sport package. Those looking for luxury and the performance of the two-door coupe must consider one of its competitors, such as Audi A5that BMW 4 seriesor Infiniti Q60. If you’re blown away by how it looks, we recommend sticking with the entry-level RC300, which has all the styling of the RC350 for less money. Those who want all-wheel drive can have one for a few thousand dollars more. We also opted for the Premium package which adds heated and ventilated front seats, rain detection wipers and more. The individual options we liked were the 19-inch wheels, parking sensors, sunroof, heated steering wheel and improved LED headlights.
Engine, Transmission and Performance
RC300 is powered by the turbocharged four-cylinder produces 241 horsepower and mated exclusively to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard. We found the automatic to be a good match for the turbo-four, but the engine wasn’t able to pull the RC with alacrity. Lexus offers two versions of the V-6 to make up for the power shortage. Under the hood of the all-wheel-drive RC300, the V-6 produces 260 horsepower and is mated to a six-speed automatic. The range-topping RC350 gets a 311-hp V-6 that teams up with either an eight-speed (RWD only) or a six-speed (AWD only) automatic. In our tests, we’ve found this engine velvety smooth with linear power delivery, but still not quite as bold as its competitors. While it works 5.6 second run from zero to 60 mphthat We tested the BMW 440i coupe did it in 4.4 seconds—a noticeably greater performance difference than meets the eye on paper. Ride comfort is RC’s success—and doing it with honor. Upgrading to bigger wheels with lower profile tires, like those featured on the RC350 F Sport we tested, gives the ride a sharper edge, but never gets rough. The RC isn’t quite as exciting as the firmer coupe when it comes to enthusiastic driving, but it still has room to play. The steering provides a good feel of the road, and there’s enough feedback to let you know when the front tires are losing their grip on the pavement.
Real World Fuel and MPG Savings
Fuel economy ratings for all available RC machines were mediocre and outperformed most of the competition, with the most efficient model—the rear-wheel drive RC300—earning 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway ratings. The turbocharged four-cylinder’s real-world performance on our road fuel-efficient test route was a disappointing 29 mpg; in our tests, many of the higher-powered rivals matched or exceeded their road estimates. In fact, the more powerful RC350 F Sport we tested exactly matched the turbo four output. For more information on RC fuel economy, visit EPA website.
Interior, Comfort and Cargo
The well-crafted interior of the RC is stylish, comfortable and roomy, but only for front seat passengers. Its wild exterior styling is also complemented by an interior drawback: a large blind spot. The front seats in our RC350 F Sport test vehicle are supportive, cushioned and covered in supple leather. All RC models come with dual-zone automatic climate control adapted to highly intuitive and easy-to-use touch-sensitive slider controls. Cargo space is limited in the RC, so if you’re looking to go on a long trip, it’s best to pack light. While the RC trunk swallowed up our four carry-on bags, it only managed to add five with its two rear seats folded. Small items storage throughout the cabin isn’t overwhelming, but Lexus’ rivals don’t offer much either.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.0-inch touchscreen is standard, with an optional 10.3-inch touchscreen. The remote’s touchpad remains, but now that the screen is touchable, that means you don’t have to rely on those finicky console-mounted controllers. Various connectivity features are available, including onboard Wi-Fi and Amazon Alexa integration, along with smartphone mirroring functionality.
Safety and Driver Assistance Features
RC 2022 has many standards driver assistance technology. For more information on RC crash test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) website. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking
- Standard lane keeping assistance and lane departure warning
- Standard adaptive cruise control
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Lexus provides a longer powertrain warranty than most of its competitors, but coverage of the rest of the RC is average. One year of free scheduled maintenance is great, but BMW 4 series offers coverage for three years.
- The limited warranty covers 4 years or 50,000 miles
- The powertrain warranty covers 6 years or 70,000 miles
- Free scheduled maintenance is covered for 1 year or 10,000 miles
2022 Lexus RC350 F Sport AWD
Vehicle Type: front engine, all wheel drive, 4 passenger, 2 door coupe
Basic/As Tested: $52,555/$59,995
Options: Mark Levinson audio package with navigation, $2725; LED headlamp, $1160; electric moonroof, $1100; infrared paint; $595; garden aid, $500; illuminated doorway, $450; rear spoiler, $410; heated steering wheel, $150; doorman, $140; rug underlay, $120; rear bumper app, $90
DOHC 24-valve V-6, aluminum block and head, ports and direct fuel injection
Displacement: 211 inches33456 cm3
Power: 311 hp @ 6600 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft @ 4800 rpm
6 speed automatic
Suspension, F/R: control arm/multilink
Brakes, F/R: 14.0 inch vented disc/12.7 inch ventilated disc
Tires: Bridgestone Turanza EL450
235/40R-19 92V M+S
Wheelbase: 107.5 inches
Length: 185.0 inches
Width: 72.4 inches
Height: 55.1 inches
Passenger Volume: 82 feet3
Trunk Volume: 10 ft3
Restraint Weight: 3986 lbs
CD TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 5.6 seconds
1/4-Mile: 14.1 seconds @ 100 mph
130 mph: 26.6 sec
The above result removes 1 foot launch from 0.2 seconds.
Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 6.0 seconds
Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.3 sec
Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.7 sec
Top Speed (gov ltd): 132 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 162 ft
Road hold, 300 ft skidpad: 0.86 g
CD FUEL ECONOMY
Observed: 19 mpg
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Combined/City/Highway: 22/19/26 mpg
CD TESTING EXPLAINED
More Features and Specifications