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Lexus RC Review

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Lexus RC

1/10

Lexus RC

2/10

Lexus RC

3/10

Lexus RC

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Lexus RC

5/10

Lexus RC

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Lexus RC

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Lexus RC

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Lexus RC

9/10

Lexus RC

10/10

1 / 10

heycar review

      Launch year
      2014
      Body type
      Coupe
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Hybrid
00/10
heycar rating
Yin and yang Lexus coupe

Best bits

  • The RC is a real head turner
  • Hybrid delivers decent economy
  • Brilliant reliability and dealer service

Not so great

  • Flagship RC F is not able to match rivals for driver appeal
  • RC hybrid might manage decent economy, but it’s at the expense of performance
  • Lexus infotainment system not as slick as rivals’

Read by

Lexus RC frontleft exterior

Overall verdict

Lexus RC front interior

On the inside

Lexus RC left exterior

Driving

Lexus RC backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Lexus RC left exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Lexus RC

"The Lexus RC and the RC F take the idea of niche models to the extreme by offering you a GT coupe fitted with either a 223PS 2.5-litre hybrid petrol engine that sips fuel or a 464PS naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 petrol, which definitely doesn't."

Lexus RC frontleft exterior

At one end the RC self-charging hybrid promises relatively palatable running costs if you can’t bring yourself to buy one of its German, diesel alternatives. It’s also quick and quiet if not as engaging as a sporty GT like the RC should be. At the other end, the V8 RC F goes for bombastic, high-revving indulgence in a package that’s not as polished – or as quick – as the turbocharged German models that line-up against it. 


It’s also a tale of ‘close but no cigar’ when you take in the interior. The RC has loads of room for tall adults in the front and its seats are comfortable and supportive. The back, though, is only really suitable for kids and even they’ll find it’s a gloomy place to sit.


Then there’s the infotainment. Its graphics aren’t as pretty as you’ll find in a Mercedes or a BMW but that’s excusable, what’s harder to ignore is how tricky it is to operate when you’re driving.  


The RC and RC F are a rare sight in the UK and Europe. That’s despite them being introduced six-years ago, and recently facelifted in 2019. With well established rivals like the BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe and Audi A5 offering a far more expansive choice than the RC line-up, it’s little surprise that the Lexus coupe is overlooked by so many buyers. 


That obscurity might appeal to some though, and while overall it’s difficult to really recommend the RC over premium alternatives, they’re not without some merit, the RC making some sense in hybrid form if you’re looking to keep your company car taxation as low as possible. They’re good looking too, the hybird car RC less overt than its more aggressively sporting V8 brother, but either will certainly have you turning more heads than any of their respective competitors. 


Add Lexus’s superb customer service, certain reliability and decent levels of standard equipment and you might be tempted, but, really, in the UK at least, the RC will always be a bit part player in an already relatively small niche in the market. 


Is the Lexus RC right for you?

It might be, if you’re not keen on the oh-so-obvious Germanic norm in the premium class and have previously nailed your colours to Lexus’s mast.


The likelihood, then, is you’ve had Lexus cars before – perhaps an IS or GS as your company car, or an RX SUV for the family – the kids have grown up and you want something a bit more indulgent, but still with four seats, just in case.


You’ll be used to the driving characteristics of the hybrid system and the quirky controls you’ll find in the otherwise finely finished interior, so they’re no surprise, and, likewise, you’ll have a great relationship with your Lexus dealer. If that’s the case, they’ll be only too happy to sell you an RC, and the chances are, you’ll be more than happy with it, too.   

What’s the best Lexus RC model/engine to choose?

The standard RC with the 300h 2.5-litre hybrid will please your sensibilities, and pocket, drive reasonably well and look good. No it’s not got the F's screaming 5.0-litre V8 under the bonnet, but if you want it to look a bit like it does, you can have your RC with the F Sport trim, which goes some way to replicating the looks of that range topper. 

What other cars are similar to the Lexus RC?

Key rivals for the Lexus RC are as familiar as it is unusual and include the excellent BMW 4 Series Coupe, the stylish Mercedes C-Class Coupe or Mercedes E-Class Coupe and the classy Audi A5


Taking the high performance RC F into the consideration means you’ll be looking at those excellent German rivals again, but wearing sporty M, AMG and RS badges respectively, so the Audi RS5 and BMW M4 are strong contenders here.  


Learn more

Lexus RC front interior

On the inside

Lexus RC left exterior

Driving

Lexus RC backright exterior

How much does it cost to run

Lexus RC left exterior

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

What does Lexus RC stand for?

According to Lexus, RC stands for 'Radical Coupe' which is a fair assessment given its radical looks.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

How fast is the Lexus RC F?

The Lexus RC F has a top speed of 168mph and can get from 0-62mph in 4.3 seconds, although to get the best from it you'll need to work it harder than you do turbocharged rivals like the Mercedes-AMG C63 Coupe.

Keith Moody

Answered by

Keith Moody

What is the fastest Lexus?

While the RC F is fast, the fastest Lexus is the LFA which has a staggering 202mph top speed.

Dan Harrison

Answered by

Dan Harrison

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