Susan Frissell, Editor, Womenwithwheels.com
It’s hard to say anything negative about the Lexus brand. Same goes for the beautiful 2021 RC350. Although probably not the most practical of rides, this car is the fun, luxurious and sporty coupe you want for those days when driving is fun.
Our 2021 RC350 F Sport test car came equipped with a few extras including the Triple Beam LED headlamps ($1,160), Mark Levinson 17 speaker 835- watt premium surround sound audio system-a must have ($1,080), Intuitive parking assist ($500), Premium paint (“Infrared” $595), and Power moonroof ($1100). Total price $55,565 with delivery of $1,020 brought the bottom line to $56,590; perhaps a high tag for a second-or third vehicle on the driveway.
The MSRP for our test RC350 was $51,130. F Sport features include F sport bolstered front heated and ventilated power seats, Lexus Memory System for driver’s seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel, power tilt and telescopic steering wheel and rain sensing wipers. Drive Mode Select with Sport S/S+ and Custom Modes, F Sport suspension tuning, Adaptive Variable Suspension, 19-inch Split-Five-Spoke Alloy Wheels, Dark Gray Streamline Trim, Aluminum pedals, F Sport grille and moveable meter.
The RC 350 is available in three trim levels including RC 350, RC 350 F Sport, and special edition 350 F Sport Black Line edition styling with 311 horsepower, and a V6. The Black Line Special Edition is available for 2021. A stand-out with black exterior details and ash wood interior trim. It is a limited production model that also comes with a two-piece matching set of Zero Halliburton luggage! This edition is also equipped with blind-spot monitoring and parking sensors.
Opting for the RC 300, your tab will start at $43,245. From there you can get into the RC 350 for $46,175, RC 300 F Sport at $47,715 and the RC350 F Sport at $50,645.
A different offering, the RC appears sporty, but isn’t in the category many think of as ‘sports car.” We are not sure of its audience, but it appeals to this retirement-age writer and would seriously be considered as an ‘edition’ to the fleet. It could easily be a daily driver. The RC is a comfortable, easy-to-drive vehicle. The sport seats are very comfortable and there is adequate headroom for most drivers.
It’s been suggested that if drivers are looking for a performance coupe that is by design luxurious-and with a sports-car feel, they may want to consider the Audi A5 Sportback or Genesis G70. Choosing the RC 300, one can get into the brand and this beautiful Coupe for less than the RC 350.
The entry-level RC 350 comes equipped with a 306-hp V-6, paired with the 8-speed automatic transmission. As with all Lexus products, the engine is smooth and powerful. We weren’t impressed with the exhaust tune and found it a little ‘forced.’ Nothing can match a Corvette sound, but the Lexus could be more throaty.
Our test RC 350 F Sport came with AWD and the 3.5-liter V6 engine with 311 horse. This engine is typical of what we’ve come to expect in a Lexus product-smooth, more than adequate. A comfortable cabin is where the Lexus RC shines. We prefer the low-profile larger 19-inch wheels standard on the RC 350. We didn’t try driving with the paddle shifters, but for those who want that sporty feel, they are available.
Engine: 3.5-liter DOHC V6, 311 hp
Transmission: 6-speed automatic, full-time All-wheel-drive; Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
Fuel tank capacity: 17.4 gal.
EPA Fuel Economy: 22/19/26
Wheelbase: 197.5 in.
Length: 18.5 in.
Width: 72.4 in.
Height: 55.1 in.
Seat Capacity: 4
Front/Rear suspension: Dbl wishbone, multi-link
Wheels: 19-inch Split-Five-Spoke Alloy
Warranty: Lexus Enform Safety Connect, 3 yrs trial; Lexus Enform Service Connect, first 10 years of ownership. 4 yrs/50,000 basic coverage, 8 yrs/70,000 mile powertrain; 8 yrs/unlimited mile corrosion, perforation