2018 Lexus RC 350 Review

RC 350

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2018 Lexus RC 350 Overview

The Lexus RC 350 is a compact luxury sports coupe, serving as the two-door counterpart to the Lexus IS 350. It enters 2018 with a few new options.

The exterior appearance is the same as before. All RC 350 models carry a low and wide body with plenty of visual drama, including L-shaped lighting at the front and rear. The F SPORT version takes that a step further with different bumpers and wheels along with an aggressive mesh-patterned version of the Lexus spindle grille. For 2018, the F SPORT’s color palette includes a new color, Flare Yellow.

The RC 350 gets a 3.5-liter V6 with 311 horsepower, up 5 from last year, and 280 pound-feet of torque. The standard RWD version includes an 8-speed performance transmission, while the optional AWD system swaps that for a 6-speed automatic. The F SPORT treatment, available for both RWD and AWD, tacks on larger brakes, a unique adaptive variable suspension, and an updated drive mode selector with Sport S+ and Custom modes. The RWD RC 350 hits 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, while the AWD version does it in 6 seconds flat. Fuel economy ratings are 20 mpg city, 28 highway, and 25 combined for the former and 18, 24, and 21 for the latter - both on premium fuel.

Inside, there’s a whole list of standard features: 18-inch wheels, leatherette upholstery, keyless access and start, paddle shifters, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, a color infotainment system, a 10-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, LED headlights, and daytime running lights. The F SPORT gets 19-inch wheels, a wider 10.3-inch infotainment system, aluminum pedals, an F SPORT steering wheel, silver interior trim, a black headliner, F SPORT heated and cooled seats with authentic leather, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column, memory settings, auto-dimming side mirrors, and an improved instrument cluster. Options include everything from navigation, to a premium Mark Levinson sound system, to a heated steering wheel (standard on AWD models), to authentic perforated leather on non-F SPORT models.

As far as safety, a full complement of eight airbags and a reversing camera come standard along with Lexus’ Safety System+, which includes a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, automatic high beams, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic detection is a standalone option.

The Lexus RC continues to be an interesting option that stands out against the plainer personalities in its class, and it now has more standard features than before.

Updated

Kyree is new to the automotive journalism scene, but has voiced snarky public opinions about cars for quite some time. When he's not drooling over the latest European luxury sled, he's designing web experiences or writing backend code.

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