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.
trim levels & features
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.
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.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
child safety seat accomodation
edmunds expert 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.