2018 Lexus RC 350 Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2018 Lexus RC 350 is a comfortable and stylish luxury coupe. It's a fine companion for both commuting and long-distance driving, and it offers all-wheel drive for enhanced traction in wet or snowy conditions. As a performance coupe, though, the RC 350 is a little disappointing.
The RC 350 is more powerful than the RC 300 version, and its smooth-revving V6 now makes a respectable 311 horsepower. That's good enough for the RC 350 to sprint from zero to 60 mph in about 5.9 seconds. But the reality is that most competing coupes with their turbocharged six-cylinder engines are quicker still. Another problem is the RC 350's heavy curb weight, which keeps the car's handling from being razor-sharp.
The 2018 RC 350 wins some points for its smooth and quiet road manners. But we think you'll be happier overall with rivals such as the Audi A5, BMW 440i or Mercedes-AMG C 43 coupe.
What's new for 2018
Trim levels & features
The 2018 Lexus RC 350 is the most powerful version of the RC luxury sport coupe. It's supported by the less expensive RC 300, which is reviewed separately. Standard features are mostly identical among these variants, with the engine the most significant difference. The RC 350 is powered by a 3.5-liter V6 (311 horsepower, 280 pound-feet of torque) paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission for rear-wheel-drive models. A six-speed automatic comes with all-wheel-drive versions.
Standard feature highlights include 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, power-adjustable front seats, heated seats (AWD models only), simulated-leather upholstery, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, a 7-inch color display, voice controls, and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio. Also standard is adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist, and Lexus Enform communication and remote services.
A number of option packages are offered, although availability can vary depending on where you live. The Premium package adds heated and ventilated front seats and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Luxury package includes those items plus automatic wipers, perforated-leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with a heated rim on AWD models) and driver-seat memory settings. The All-Weather package offers headlight washers, a windshield wiper de-icer, water-repellent front door windows and a supplementary electric cabin heater.
Other options include a navigation system (with a console-mounted touchpad controller, upgraded voice controls, a 10.3-inch display, and smartphone app integration with Destination Search, Yelp, Pandora and iHeartRadio) and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson surround-sound audio system.
The F Sport package fits the RC with appearance items such as a mesh grille and a unique front fascia along with substantive bits including 19-inch wheels with summer (RWD) or all-season (AWD) tires, adaptive sport-tuned suspension dampers, upgraded front brake pads (RWD only) and sport front seats. F Sport models also get perforated-leather upholstery and trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with a heated rim on AWD models), driver-seat memory settings and a special instrument cluster.
Stand-alone options include a sunroof, upgraded headlights, LED foglights, blind-spot monitoring, variable-ratio steering with a four-wheel steering system (RWD F Sport only), a limited-slip differential (RWD F Sport only), 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 optional F Sport package (3.5L V6 | 8-speed automatic | RWD).
Note that since this test was conducted, the RC has received only minor revisions.
Noise & vibration9.0
Ease of use5.0
Getting in/getting out6.5
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.