2017 Lexus RC 350 Review

RC 350

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2017 Lexus RC 350 Overview

Part of the RC series Lexus introduced for 2015 to take on the 2-door luxury offerings from the Germans, the 350 is the highest trim in the RC lineup below the beastly, performance-focused RC F. The RC 350 can be selected with either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD), and it features a significantly more powerful version of the V6 than the RC 300. As a fairly new design, the RC 350 doesn’t receive major updates or changes for 2017, but it does look every bit the part of a sporty executive coupe, with sharp lines, angular scoops, a low roofline, and Lexus’ love-it-or-hate-it hourglass grille.

The RC is a heavy platform at almost two tons, so the extra power from the RC 350’s engine is more than welcome. Its 3.5-liter 4-cam V6 pumps out 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Its power fortunately doesn’t have an adverse effect on fuel economy, as the RC 350 with RWD is rated at 19 mpg city, 28 highway, 22 combined compared with the RC 300’s 19/26/21. With AWD, though, the RC 350 does drop a bit to 19, 26, and 21. With RWD, the RC 350 will get from 0 to 60 in 5.8 seconds, while the AWD version will take 6 seconds flat. While the car has plenty of power and performance to enjoy, it’s still notably slower than equivalent German offerings, and it’s not unreasonable to expect a car at this price to be faster.

As with the rest of the RC lineup, the RC 350 gets double wishbones in front, a multi-link suspension in rear, and an electronically assisted power-steering system. For about $5,000, an available F Sport package adds adaptive dampers, a sport-tuned suspension, 19-inch wheels, variable-gear-ratio steering, a Sport driving mode, and changes to the stability-control system.

The RC 350 has solid, deeply supportive, bolstered front seats with extra stitching if you spring for the F Sport package. While the front seats are good for spirited drives, long trips, and the daily commute alike, the back seats are very tight and won’t comfortably fit anyone larger than a small child. The rear seats split and fold, which is a welcome feature, since the trunk offers a disappointing 10.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

The rest of the RC 350’s interior is typical of Lexus’ steadily improving fit and finish and has as premium a look as the others in its class. Among the standard features are leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, cruise control, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and automatic climate control. In addition to an All-Weather package, a Luxury package adds leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, a blind-spot monitor, and a power-adjustable steering wheel. Standalone options include a premium Mark Levinson audio system, a moonroof, and several high-tech safety features. The RC 350 is also available with the Enform infotainment system, which features a touchpad that responds to touchscreen-friendly gestures, but hasn’t been universally praised.

A standout in safety, the RC 350 has received Top Safety Pick+ status after crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Available crash-prevention safety features include blind-spot monitors, cross-traffic alerts, forward-collision warning with adaptive cruise control, and a rear-view camera.

Updated

Since 2012, Andrew Newton has been writing about cars both old and new. Andrew has been an associate editor at Sport Car Digest as well as a contributor to sites like BoldRide and JamesEdition. He was also the Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA before becoming the Auction Editor at Hagerty Classic Car Insurance. He currently splits his time behind the wheel between his NA Miata, 1994 Corvette, and Triumph TR6.

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