2023 Lexus RC 350 F Sport AWD - Almost Perfect
I like sport coupes even though they really aren't all that friendly to this old body. Watching me getting in and out of the RC 350 F Sport was not a pretty sight. Oh to be young again. Once I eased myself into the seat all was well though.
I have made no bones about the fact that I'm not a fan of the Lexus corporate snout. The rest of the RC is pleasant, it fits the "pony car" style - long hood, short deck - that appeals to a certain segment including me.
The RC is available in three basic versions; RC 300, RC 350, and RC F. The 300 has a 2.0-liter, turbo 4-cylinder with 241 hp; the 350 is a 3.5-liter V6 with either 260 or 311 hp; and the F with a 5.0-liter V8 with 472 hp. The test RC 350 F Sport AWD had the 311 hp V6 with an 6-speed automatic transmission.
If ultimate performance is your desire you have to opt for the V8. It's quicker, faster, has higher road holding, etc. But if a well balanced vehicle is more to your liking go for the RC 350 F Sport. It is quick, 0-60 in 6.0 seconds (5.8 RWD), top speed (governed) of 130 mph (143 with RWD), and up to 24-mpg (28 RWD) on the highway.
Although Lexus says the RC is a four person vehicle, like most coupes the rear seats are more for show than comfort.
I'm not sure about the yellow stripes on the front seats, I found the contrast a little jarring and they reminded me of the yellow plastic pieces on some chin spoilers. The seats themselves were supportive and as long as I took my wallet out of my rear pocket they were comfortable (the seats are firm).
Generally I liked to RC 350 F Sport's controls, I found them easy to use even when driving except for the slide controls for the climate control temperature setting. And look, there are knobs for the sound system!
Big and bold tachometer with the digital speedo in the middle was my go to setting even though I tend not to use the manual shift mode for the transmission. Truth be told I am no quicker than the computer when it was in Sport+ mode.
I could live without all-wheel-drive not only because it's $1,725 more expensive ($55,095 versus $53,370) but also because I don't think it is needed. On the other hand I never noticed that the test RC 350 F Sport had AWD so it isn't intrusive.
Brakes are a big deal for me, the better they are the more confident I feel about the ability to stop RIGHT NOW! The AWD F Sport has massive rotors but the RWD version has even bigger 14" discs front and 12.7" rear. Not that I am dissing the 13.2"/11.7" discs on the AWD.
So yes I liked the Lexus RC 350 F Sport AWD. From the inside I didn't have to look at the grille. The V6 made sweet sounds when I really got into it. The price isn't outrageous for what you get. So if you want a sport coupe that has a bit of cachet to it you should consider a Lexus RC 350 F Sport.