2017 Lexus RC 300 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Interior craftsmanship is excellent
  • The ride quality will provide hours of comfortable touring
  • Smooth power from the V6 engine
  • All-wheel drive is standard
  • Overall performance comes up short against rivals
  • Infotainment interface is difficult to operate
  • Tiny backseats are small even for children
Other years
2017
Lexus RC 300 for Sale
2017
List Price Range
$28,429 - $35,900

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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 models

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.

EdmundsScorecard

Overall3.5 / 5
Comfort4.5
Interior2.5
Utility3.0
Technology2.0

Consumer reviews

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

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Most helpful consumer reviews

It looks great!
SpaceRacer,11/20/2018
2dr Coupe AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
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
2dr Coupe AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A)
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.

Features & Specs

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

Safety

Our experts like the RC 300 models:

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
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2017 Lexus RC 300

Used 2017 Lexus RC 300 Overview

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

What's a good price on a Used 2017 Lexus RC 300?

Price comparisons for Used 2017 Lexus RC 300 trim styles:

  • The Used 2017 Lexus RC 300 Base is priced between $28,429 and$35,900 with odometer readings between 18445 and49306 miles.

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Which used 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. There are currently 11 used and CPO 2017 RC 300s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $28,429 and mileage as low as 18445 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2017 Lexus RC 300.

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Find a used Lexus RC 300 for sale - 1 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $21,843.

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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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