Then the Lexus surprises you with a bit of a hidden trick. Turn that big dial on the console to Sport a second time, and it engages Sport+. The plus, in this case, means even firmer damping. The springiness goes away. The transmission starts to hold gears for you through turns. It responds faster to the throttle as well. The RC finally starts to come alive. It’s still more 440i than M4, and you can definitely feel that it weighs the best of 2,000 kg, but it finally shows some character in Sport+.
One look at the sloping roofline, and it’s apparent that this isn’t a car with much space in the back, and sliding the front seat shows pretty quickly that if your rear passengers have feet, and the driver is tall, the seats are useless. But who really uses the back seat of a coupe for passengers? Maybe for a child seat, probably for a laptop bag and some occasional groceries, but not for passengers. Similarly, though, the low roofline and the wide sills combine for a small door opening. It can be difficult to climb in and out of the opening, and you will probably net a decent amount of dirt on your pants from the sill. Once you get in and seated it feels comfortably snug, with decent visibility to the front. Seeing out the back is a different story but the RC does have a backup camera with cross-traffic alert and large rear-view mirrors to help out.
The tactile interface for the navigation system and the stereo is a touchpad that wobbles and clicks to tell you where you’re moving the cursor. It feels cumbersome and takes some serious getting used to. The movement of the pad requires you to keep your hand very stable, and the cursor doesn’t always go where you’re expecting it to. With more use, it may become more natural, but in my week with the car I could never get the hang of it. The sliding tachometer, which moves left and right to allow for a larger info screen in the dashboard was a delight and a great combination of looks (with it centred) and practicality (with it shifted to the side).
4 years/80,000 km; 6 years/110,000 km powertrain; 6 years/unlimited distance corrosion perforation; 4 years/unlimited distance roadside assistance
If you’re looking for a compact coupe with good power, lots of noise, a cushioned ride, all the luxury features and big, brash looks, this is your car. If you’re looking for a corner carver that will leave you with a smile on your face at the end of every drive, you’ll probably want to check elsewhere.
Pricing: 2016 Lexus RC 350 AWD F Sport
Base Price: $58,250
A/C Tax: $100
Price as Tested: $63,695