2018 Lexus RC 350

Pros: Smooth-for-the-class ride quality; luxurious trimmings inside and out; good front-seat headroom and leg room; crisp performance from 8-speed transmission; vigorous acceleration in RC F model

Cons: Not all testers like touchpad controller; back seat is cramped and difficult to access; styling is too aggressive for some

CG Says: The 2018 Lexus RC is relatively unchanged. The 4-cylinder RC 2.0t and RC 2.0t F Sport models are now badged RC 300 and RC 300 F Sport. The V6 engines each get a 5-horsepower bump in power. The RC is a sporty, low-slung two-door coupe with a performance-oriented “grand tourer” personality. A 241-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder powers the rear-wheel-drive RC 300. The all-wheel-drive RC 300 is powered by a 260-hp 3.5-liter V6. The RC 350 is available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and has a 311-hp 3.5-liter V6. The F Sport models up the sportiness level of the RC 300/350 via adaptive variable suspension and rear-wheel steering (the latter on the rear-drive RC 350 model only), along with unique interior and exterior trim. A limited-slip differential is optional on RC 300 and rear-drive 350 F Sports. The high-performance RC F is rear-wheel drive only and is powered by a 467-hp 5.0-liter V8. All rear-wheel-drive RCs have an 8-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive models have a 6-speed automatic. Standard features on the RC include keyless access and starting, rear-obstacle detection, Lexus Enform Remote (which allows remote viewing and control of some functions), Siri Eyes Free for iPhone users, and Lexus Enform App Suite which includes apps such as Pandora, Bing, Yelp, and iHeartRadio. Options include leather upholstery, navigation system, heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, blind-spot and rear cross-traffic alert, and memory driver seat. In addition to its muscular V8 engine, the RC F boasts high-performance features such as a sport-tuned suspension, Brembo-brand brakes, and distinctive bodywork, plus an available torque-vectoring rear differential and active rear spoiler (which deploys at around 50 mph). Though they’re not the most ferocious performers in their class, the RC 350 and RC F offer an intriguing blend of performance and luxury with unforgettable styling.

The Facts
Class Premium Sporty/Performance Car
Body Style(s) 2-door coupe
Passenger Count 4
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Manufacturer Lexus
Nation of Manufacture Japan
Base Prices RC 300: $41,665
AWD RC 300: $44,355
RC 300 F Sport: $45,770
AWD RC 300 F Sport: $48,095
RC 350: $44,595
AWD RC 350: $46,760
RC 350 F Sport: $48,700
AWD RC 350 F Sport: $50,460
RC F: $65,645

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter (RC 300 rear-wheel drive)
Horsepower
241
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
22
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
32

Optional Engine
3.5-liter V6 (AWD RC 300, RC 350)
Horsepower
260 (311 in RC 350)
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
6-speed automatic (AWD)
EPA City Range (mpg)
18-20
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
24-28

Optional Engine
5.0-liter V8 (RC F)
Horsepower
467
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
16
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
25