A good looking car with great on-road comfort and feel is offset by a few misses.
The 2019 Lexus RC 350 is a stylish luxury coupe combining its good looks with ample performance. It basically has the looks and price of a high performance sports car, without an absurd amount of performance.
It is worth noting our 2019 test model came in the now discontinued for the 2020 model year Blue Vortex Metallic exterior color.
Inside the cabin, it is much more like a traditional sports car with its “cockpit” feel. The seat bottoms are raised to hold the person still when making corners albeit they can be difficult to enjoy for long trips and all the controls are laid out in an easy to reach assortment.
Once you turn on the vehicle, the seat and steering wheel adjust to your prior setting (similar to other luxury cars), however, this builds up the idea of its cockpit design.
While there are two rear seats, the seating area is tough for even small children as we witnessed first hand. Having two adults in the front, makes the car seem really small and the lack of cup holders really makes this a single person’s drivers car.
The 7.0 Lexus Enform infotainment screen is adequate for the vehicle while navigated it takes some getting used to. Once you do, the clear, crisp audio sounds from the optional Mark Levinson 835 watt, 7.-1 channel surround sound package are music to your ears.
There is also a premium package with a host of safety features which will now be standard in 2020.
Powering the 2019 Lexus RC 350 is a 3.5L V6 producing 311 HP, 280 lb-ft of torque when mated to the 8-speed automatic transmission.
It goes 0-60 in 5.8 seconds and, when not racing to speed, returns 18/24/21 city/highway/combined fuel economy.
On the Road
Once on the open road, the Lexus RC 350 is a smooth and can be quite fun to maneuver through traffic. While it won’t blow you away from a dead stop, it does a great job feeling like it does and amusing your friends.
We found it handles really well and the optional 19-inch wheels provide a little more ground clearance allowing for you to wince when you hit bumps.
It also comes in an All-Wheel Drive setup making it much more enjoyable when the weather turns nasty and the road conditions deteriorate.
The driving position is quite good and there is ample visibility through the windshield to see the road ahead.
The 2019 Lexus RC 350 comes in two varieties: RC and RC F Sport. It is available in a rear-wheel drive and also an AWD configuration with the one engine. Base pricing starts at $44,075 with the AWD adding $2,165 to your price. The F Sport package starts at $50,790.
Its primary competitors are the Audi S5 and the BMW 440. Both of these cars have a similar price point and engine performance output.
The Lexus RC 350 wins on style and driving comfort over its competition. It handles the road superbly and frankly, looks great doing so.
The RC 350 sacrifices performance for ride comfort and the seats are really hit or miss with some loving them and others preferring to sit on a pillow on top of the seat.
After a week behind the wheel, the 2019 Lexus RC 350 turned a bunch of heads and was a fun drive albeit with some issues with the seat as well as its lower entry/exit of the doors versus taller sedans and SUVs. It is really a great option for a single or a couple who desires a good looking and riding sports car while giving up interior room.