The 2019 Lexus RC 350 is a luxury sports coupe that seats up to four. It’s style, performance, and a wealth of configurations certainly pose the RC as an enticing option in the market. The RC provides its occupants with a plush ride and a comfortable cabin with space for two. The RC 350 is simply a coupe that’s easy to enjoy.
The RC received a small refresh for 2019, drawing inspiration from the LC coupe. This means new front and rear bumpers, revised front and rear lighting elements, a few new wheel designs, and tweaked exterior mirrors. Inside, a new analog dash clock, a revised ignition switch button, improved cupholders, and a console-mounted knee pad for the driver create a slightly more luxurious cabin. Lexus updated the suspension as well as the power steering and the turbo four-cylinder’s logic in order to help improve performance. Onboard Wi-Fi with 4G LTE, Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa integration are now standard, but you can’t get Android Auto, as is Lexus’s Enform Remote app which can also be paired with a smartwatch. The optional Premium package (which was on our test vehicle) now includes memory settings for the driver, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, rain-sensing wipers, heated and ventilated front seats, and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
Ride quality, sound deadening and comfort is where the RC succeeds. The RC 350 is not as eager as tauter coupes when it comes to enthusiastic driving, but there’s still some room to play. The steering wheel transmits a good amount of road feeling, and enough driver feedback to let you know when grip begins to fade. The RC 350 gets a 311-hp 3.5-liter V-6 and the slick-shifting eight-speed automatic with rear-wheel drive or the six-speed automatic when equipped with all-wheel drive. We do like the nice growl that the RC 350 makes when you press the loud pedal. The Lexus Safety System was intuitive and well-integrated, unlike some of its competitors, which made driving for long periods a pleasure rather than a chore.
Good visibility and a roomy front cabin are highlights of the RC, the front seats are supportive, well cushioned, and wrapped in supple leather. All RC models come with dual-zone automatic climate control adjusted by touch-sensitive slider controls that are intuitive and easy to use. The Mark Levinson stereo setup is crystal clear while still having a good amount of bass response with all 835-watts of premium sound through 17 speakers. It’s probably one of the best stereos I’ve experienced in a car.
A big plus for the RC 350 space in the back, for a coupe, the car has a great amount of trunk space, especially with the seats down. However seat space in the back is tight for rear passengers. I wouldn’t put any full-sized adults back there for any length of time.
The bad, we are not fans of Lexus‘ touchpad-based multimedia interface, it can be a challenge to use, controls are unnecessarily complicated and take your eyes away from the road which is never ideal. In addition to the standard RC 350, there’s also the sportier RC 350 F Sport. Like other F Sport vehicles, the RC 350 F Sport comes with an adaptive variable suspension, high-performance brake pads, limited-slip differential, and a Sport mode. Lexus’ Dynamic Handling System with rear-wheel steering is optional on rear-drive variants.
Driving the RC 350 inspired confidence, as equipped, my tester was priced at $52,670 including destination fees. The RC 350 competes with the Audi A5, BMW 4 Series and Cadillac ATS. If you’d like a luxury coupe that offers good handling and stands out from the crowd, the RC 350 should be on your shopping list, the 2019 Lexus RC 350 offers a fresh and stylish take on the grand tourer.