Lexus RC (2014) Review

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Lexus RC (2014) At A Glance

3/5
Honest John Overall Rating
Lexus offers a wide choice with the RC coupe. It's available as a 2.5-litre hybrid, or, at the opposite end of the spectrum, with a 5.0-litre V8 engine in the overtly sporting RC F model. Oddly, there’s nothing filling the sizeable void in the middle, which means the RC goes to a disparate bunch of buyers. Even so, both RCs do one thing well, which is offer an interesting alternative to the German players that dominate the marketplace.

+Dramatic looking coupe. Will turn more heads than popular alternatives. It's likely to be very reliable.

-Some dated features like foot-operated parking brake. Infotainment is pretty poor. RC F is expensive.

New prices start from £37,145
Insurance Groups are between 34–50
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

Lexus must despair at the lack of imagination of European buyers, as while the brand has been hugely successful in markets like America and its Japanese home, it’s never made a huge impact in the UK and throughout Europe. The trio of German premium players in the marketplace is Lexus’s biggest foil, with Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz utterly dominating in the sectors that Lexus competes in. 

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With the RC it’s got more of a chance than it has with things like its IS saloon, simply because coupe buyers will be buying with an eye on standing out, and the RC certainly cuts it in that respect. Indeed, park an RC alongside its Audi A5, BMW 4 Series or Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe rivals and it’s the Japanese car that’ll likely turn the most heads. The RC F takes that a step further, with bolder, more assertive looks to match its wilder performance, though at the price point it competes at it’s a trickier sell, particularly as its rivals out-drive it. 

Introduced back in 2014, the RC range, such as it is, got a facelift in 2019, though you’d have to be a dedicated Lexus fan to have noticed. Lexus did offer a 2.0-litre turbo version for a while, and if you’re abroad there’s more choice – US buyers able to have a 3.5-litre V6 model along with four-wheel drive -  but there is just not the demand to sustain a wider model line-up in the UK. 

A very deliberate choice then, if you go ,or the RC over those German rivals, and one that’s not without merit, the hybrid 300h model has a 2.5-litre petrol engine with an electric motor assisting, it being the more sensible of the pair, both to buy, and run. If you’re wilfully determined to be different, though, the RC F will be a talking point if you go for it, chiefly because everyone will want to know your reasoning for not having an M4, RS5 or C63 AMG. A naturally-aspirated 5.0-litre V8 will be your likely answer, but the reality is most RCs will be that hybrid, bought by people who will be buying off their company car lists and wanting something a bit different but still economical and clean enough to not punish them on their tax bill. 

That Lexus seems to have limited availability of some options, trim levels and suchlike for the RC on its online configurator does somewhat suggest that the RC will be going the way of its IS saloon relation – that being, quietly being dropped from the range rather than replaced. That will leave Lexus to focus on selling its more popular SUV and crossover models. That’s hardly surprising, as the coupe marketplace is a small one, and Lexus is an even smaller player, but if you’re daring enough to be different you might miss the Lexus in the coupe mix, but in all honesty, the majority of buyers won’t notice it’s gone.

What does a Lexus RC (2014) cost?