2017 Lexus RC 300

2017 Lexus RC 300
2017 Lexus RC 300

Pros

  • Interior craftsmanship is excellent
  • The ride quality will provide hours of comfortable touring
  • Smooth power from the V6 engine
  • All-wheel drive is standard

Cons

  • Overall performance comes up short against rivals
  • Infotainment interface is difficult to operate
  • Tiny backseats are small even for children
Lexus RC 300 years


Which RC 300 does Edmunds recommend?

There aren't any traditional trim levels associated with the RC 300, but we suggest adding the optional F Sport package. Besides sporty cosmetic touches inside and out, it also adds an adaptive suspension, which helps improve the car's overall ride comfort and handling capabilities. By contrast, we recommend skipping the Dynamic Handling and Rear Steering option because in our opinion it makes the RC less enjoyable to drive.

Edmunds' Expert Review

Overall rating

3.5 / 5

Hampered by middling performance, the 2017 Lexus RC 300 falls well short of the benchmark set by many of its rivals. Yes, it's comfortable and stylish, but you'd be better served by other luxury sport coupes.

Also, controlling the navigation and entertainment features through the Remote Touchpad is an exercise in frustration. Further hurting the RC's chances of becoming a top pick is the lack of storage and cargo space. If all you're after is a stylish and comfortable luxury coupe, the RC 300 may satisfy. But overall we think other luxury sport coupes will deliver a better all-around experience.

2017 Lexus RC 300 configurations

The 2017 Lexus RC 300 is a luxury sport coupe that represents the midlevel model for the RC lineup that starts with the RC 200t and is topped by the RC 350. Standard features are mostly identical among these variants, with the engine the most significant difference. The RC 300 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 (255 horsepower, 236 pound-feet of torque) paired with a six-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. It's the only RC version that has all-wheel drive as standard.

Standard feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated power front seats, premium vinyl upholstery, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, a 7-inch display, voice controls and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Also standard is Lexus Enform Service Connect, which provides access to vehicle status and maintenance alerts via a smartphone app.

A number of options packages are offered, although availability can vary depending on where you live. The Premium package adds ventilated front seats and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Luxury package includes those items plus automatic wipers, leather upholstery, a power-adjustable and heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and driver-seat memory settings. The All-Weather package offers headlight washers, windshield wiper de-icer, water-repellent front door windows and a supplementary electric cabin heater.

The Navigation package adds a console-mounted touchpad controller, a navigation system, upgraded voice controls and smartphone app integration (including Destination Search, Yelp, Pandora and iHeartRadio). The Navigation/Mark Levinson package adds a 17-speaker surround-sound audio system.

The F Sport package pads on appearance items such as a mesh grille and a unique front fascia along with substantive bits including 19-inch wheels, adaptive sport-tuned suspension dampers, upgraded front brake pads and sport front seats. F Sport models also get perforated leather upholstery and trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver-seat memory settings and a special instrument cluster. Stand-alone options include a sunroof, upgraded headlights, LED foglights, adaptive cruise control (bundled with a collision mitigation system), and front and rear parking sensors.

Trim tested

Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions, although trim levels share many aspects. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2015 Lexus RC 350 Coupe with the F Sport package (3.5L V6 | 8-speed automatic | RWD). Note that although we have not yet evaluated the Lexus RC 300 that uses a smaller and less powerful engine than the RC 350, our findings here are broadly applicable to the RC 300. Since this test was conducted, the RC has received only minor revisions.

Driving

Unfortunately, the RC 300 F Sport is less than the sum of its parts. Acceleration is underwhelming for a luxury sport coupe, and it's not a particularly rewarding car to drive fast around turns.

Acceleration

The RC 350 version we tested accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds, which is about average for the class. But the AWD 300 is slower. Lexus claims it needs 7.3 seconds to reach 60 mph.

Braking

The brake pedal provides excellent response without feeling grabby or abrupt in normal use. But in our simulated-panic stop, a RC 350 F Sport with summer tires stopped from 60 mph in 120 feet. That's disappointing, and we expect a RC 300 will be very similar.

Steering

2.5
The RC 350 F Sport we evaluated came with active four-wheel steering with optional variable-ratio electric-assisted power steering. It all sounds nifty, but in actual use, the car feels nervous in corners and difficult to predict or get used to. Thankfully, this option is not available on the RC 300.

Handling

In theory, the optional chassis enhancements should provide superior handling, but the RC posts only mediocre handling evaluation numbers at our test track and confounded us (and the electronic stability-control system) on our twisty evaluation route.

Drivability

Despite its steering and handling idiosyncrasies, the RC 300 is a very easy car to drive so long as you don't lean too hard on it. In highway or commute driving, it's quick and smooth.

Comfort

4.5
Even kids will find rear legroom lacking, but otherwise the RC 300 F Sport provides an exceptionally comfortable ride, above-average front seats and one of the quietest cabins available.

Seat comfort

3.0
The F Sport's heated and ventilated soft-leather front sport seats are well contoured for body-hugging grip and road-trip comfort but could be a bit snug. The two rear buckets, also leather, have good shape, but there's little headroom and zero legroom.

Ride comfort

4.5
With its adaptive variable suspension, the F Sport offers an exceedingly sophisticated ride that envelops road imperfections with ease and poise. Dial it up, and it grows firmer without becoming harsh, making it better than most. We expect the RC 300 to ride similarly.

Noise & vibration

5.0
Whether idling at a stoplight, accelerating up to highway speeds or cruising at 70 mph, the RC 350 is one of the quietest cars in its class. Wind, road and engine noises are all minimal. We expect the RC 300 to be comparably quiet.

Climate control

4.5
Dual-zone climate controls are prominently located, clearly marked and easy to understand. The air vents put out a nice volume of air, and rear passengers have a pair of their own. The F Sport package adds heated and ventilated seats, and a heated steering wheel is optional.

Interior

2.5
The interior of the RC 300 is well-built but has some issues. User interfaces are frustrating at best, and the space is good up front but ultra-tight in back. There are few places to put things such as cellphones, the trunk is small, and many visibility aids cost extra.

Ease of use

2.0
It's remarkable how Lexus got the layout and electronics interface so wrong. From the terraced center stack and semi-responsive touch-sensitive temperature sliders to the finicky touchpad controller, it's an ergonomic disaster.

Getting in/getting out

3.0
Coupes are notoriously difficult because of their long doors, and so is this one. The front seats auto-slide to afford rear-seat access, but they are infuriatingly slow and threaten rear passengers' shins and feet upon return.

Driving position

4.5
Numerous seat adjustments and a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with a fairly generous adjustment range made it easy for a wide variety of drivers to settle in comfortably at the controls with a clear view out over the hood.

Roominess

3.0
The RC 300 provides slightly above-average front room but by far the least room in the rear when compared with its Audi, BMW, and Mercedes coupe peers. Think of it as a 2+2 coupe with the comfort priority placed on the first 2 in that equation.

Visibility

3.0
Overall visibility is challenging, particularly because of the big rear blind spots. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, and adaptive cruise with frontal pre-collision system are all optional, but we think some of these should be standard.

Quality

4.5
As with any Lexus, the RC 300's build quality (door closure, leather, paint, and cabin isolation) is outstanding. Not a squeak or rattle, ever. Even the few plastic bits have the look and feel of high quality.

Utility

3.0
Considering the lack of storage for your personal items and the small trunk, the Lexus RC 300 trails the competition when it comes to utility.

Small-item storage

3.0
It lacks cubbies and nooks and has shallow bucket cupholders. A small center bin and narrow, hard-to-access door pockets are also problematic. The glovebox is merely adequate.

Cargo space

3.0
With a trunk volume of only 10.4 cubic feet, the RC 300 isn't the most cargo-friendly coupe in the class. Fortunately, the standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seats expand space.

Child safety seat accommodation

Has two pairs of LATCH anchors at the bottom and three top-tether anchors along the top. Bottom LATCH anchors are tightly recessed between the seat cushions, though. Rear legroom is generous enough for most rear-facing seats to fit, but tall front occupants might still have to scoot up some.

Technology

2.0
Lexus' Remote Touchpad infotainment interface is simply one of the worst controllers we've experienced. It works much like a laptop trackpad, but it's very difficult to use while in motion. On the bright side, the display is crisp and offers a lot of features.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2017 Lexus RC 300.

Overall Consumer Rating

Most helpful consumer reviews

It looks great!
SpaceRacer,11/19/2018
F Sport in Caviar. This car's interior and exterior look great - better than A5 and C43 (subjective), better quality than Merc. (fact) + no NAV Screen glued to the top of the dash. Downs: terrible fuel economy (how Toyota combined low torque, hp, and fuel economy in the 300 is an engineering feat) and awful handling, much worse than the Germans; the engine needs AT LEAST 50 more hp (RC 350); the 6 speed auto is fairly terrible (the gearing is so long by the time you reach max torque and hp in any gear other than 1st you are going very fast)-and the AWD excuse makes no sense, see Audi and Merc (I typically shift myself); the touchpad is a nightmare and this generation should have never been put into production. Also, some quality issues, surprising based on Lexus/Toyota reputation-dash replaced due to a small crack at edge of speaker (Lexus covered the dash, but stuck me with the $385 labor-as if I cracked my own dash at 5k miles) and this new dash has a small spot of discoloration, headlights replaced due to fogging on the inside, and a few minor paint imperfections. I went from owning two Audis to the RC 300 F and miss the sportier focus, but overall, despite this review, love the car. Many compliments, just lacking performance...
Great GT car
kenny c,11/29/2018
Car is super smooth and quiet, perfect grand touring car. Definitely on the heavy side so doesn't have the tight handling of a Miata, but overall pretty fun to drive. The weight kills the MPG though and I only averaged about 16-17 mpg in mixed driving and not a heavy foot. W heavy foot that number drops. No standard blind spot (which is def needed) or sunroof or any other safety tech and side mirrors don't tilt down in reverse which is pretty lame for a $45k Lexus. Car is built like a tank though and if I didn't have a kid I probably wouldn't be getting rid of it after just a year.
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Features & Specs

MSRP
$42,770
MPG
19 city / 26 hwy
Seats 4
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
255 hp @ 6400 rpm
See all 2017 Lexus RC 300 features & specs

Safety

Our experts’ favorite RC 300 safety features:

Pre-Collision System
Warns you if a collision is imminent and will apply the brakes if you don't act in time.
Blind-Spot/Rear Cross-Traffic Alerts
Lets you know if there's a vehicle in your blind spot or approaching while you're backing out of a parking space.
Lexus Enform Safety Connect
Helps when you need it most with automatic crash notification and roadside assistance.
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Good
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

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More about the 2017 Lexus RC 300

The 2017 Lexus RC 300 is a two-door luxury sport coupe with muscular styling, a high-quality interior and a quiet, smooth highway ride. Shoppers who live in areas with frequent snow or mud will appreciate the standard all-wheel drive, which provides solid traction under a variety of road conditions. And although the RC 300 might not corner like a hardcore sports car, its handling will be more than adequate for most drivers, while its V6 engine packs enough punch to deliver respectable acceleration.

The RC 300 was a new model last year, derived from the existing RC 350 but with all-wheel drive and a less powerful engine. Accordingly, the changes for 2017 are few, but they include a new black-finished grille, different wheel choices, a new Scout GPS navigation link, available triple-beam LED headlights and one additional exterior color choice, a metallic black called Caviar.

The interior of the RC 300 is attractively designed and luxurious. Materials are mostly soft to the touch, and even the few hard plastic parts have an upscale look and feel. The front seats are snug yet very comfortable, but, like a lot of sports coupes, the rear compartment is best reserved for small children. Standard and available technology abound, although controls for the infotainment system and other functions can be difficult to use.

Power for the RC 300 comes from a 3.5-liter non-turbocharged V6 engine that generates 255 horsepower and 236 pound-feet of torque. It drives all four wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with standard paddle shifters. The EPA rates fuel economy for 2017 RC 300 at 21 mpg combined (19 city/26 highway).

On the road, the RC 300 has acceleration that's not spectacular, but it is more than adequate for highway passing and will likely satisfy the majority of drivers. It's also more of a comfortable tourer than an ambitious corner-carver. But you can upgrade handling via the F Sport package, which adds an adaptive sport-tuned suspension, larger wheels and performance tires, and upgraded brakes.There's also perforated leather upholstery and some unique exterior trim pieces.

The RC 300 comes in one very well-equipped trim level, with such standard features as keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control, power-adjustable, heated front seats and an infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. The Premium package and Luxury package add a variety of comfort and convenience items. As noted, the F Sport package brings sport suspension and additional interior appointments. Whatever your preference, let Edmunds help you find the 2017 Lexus RC 300 that best meets your needs.

2017 Lexus RC 300 Overview

The 2017 Lexus RC 300 is offered in the following submodels: RC 300 Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2017 Lexus RC 300?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2017 Lexus RC 300 and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2017 RC 300 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2017 RC 300.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2017 Lexus RC 300 and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2017 RC 300 featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

Which 2017 Lexus RC 300s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2017 Lexus RC 300 for sale near. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2017 Lexus RC 300.

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Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2017 Lexus RC 300?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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