2015 Lexus RC F Long-Term Road Test - Wrap-Up
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2015 Lexus RC F Long-Term Road Test

  • Full Review
  • Pricing & Specs
  • Road Tests
  • Comparison
  • Long-Term
 

Read the 2015 Lexus RC F's introduction to our long-term fleet.

See all of the 2015 Lexus RC F's long-term updates.


2015 Lexus RC F

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What We Got
Lexus' new RC F comes in only one flavor, a coupe equipped with a 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Our six-month, 10,000-mile test left us with mixed feelings about the high-performance coupe.

Starting at $63,325, the RC F comes equipped with most of the features we expect in this segment: driver-selectable drive modes, big brakes and a paddle-shifted transmission.

Our car included a number of options that increase its luxury and performance. The Premium package ($4,400) adds heated and ventilated seats, a blind-spot monitor, rain-sensing wipers and more. It also came equipped with a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system with navigation ($2,840), sonar parking sensors ($500) and the Performance Pack ($5,500). The Performance Pack, an option not available on early RC Fs, combines a torque-vectoring differential and 20-spoke wheels, two stand-alone options, with an unpainted, weight-saving carbon-fiber roof and rear spoiler combo.

All in, our test car stickered at $78,365.

Performance

  • "The RC F has heaps of power but feels blunted by its mass. Oh, its body motions are reined in well, and on a fast drive it is alert and sure-footed. In fact, I'd say Lexus has done an admirable job of making this fat man dance. But it's still fat. All the praise I have for its dynamics is mentally asterisked by the refrain 'for its weight.' It's never sloppy, it's just dense." — Jason Kavanagh


  • "The RC F does have a weight issue. But I don't think that results in such a negative, fun-sucking time that you'd rather be anywhere else, including going to the dentist, a Knicks game or watching Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. If you've got an RC F and an empty, curving road ahead of you, you can very well have a cracking good time." — Brent Romans

MPG

  • "Over the four weeks, it would seem we've done more driving with the use-the-big-V8-to-turn-gasoline-into-loud-noises tactic, rather than the see-if-we-can-hit-25-mpg-in-a-V8-sports-car strategy. Maybe things will get better once the RC F goes on a couple of road trips." — Travis Langness


  • 2015 Lexus RC F

  • "The RC F returned 24 mpg from Los Angeles to Goodyear, Arizona, and back. Pleasantly, that's what the trip computer says I was getting. The EPA says it should get 25 on the highway, which should be possible on flatter terrain and fewer morons creating traffic by clogging the left lane. Frankly, that's pretty good fuel economy from a 467-horsepower, 5.0-liter V8." — James Riswick

Comfort

  • "As aggressive as [the seats] look, the bolstering doesn't grab your backside like some other cars in this category. Not sure if this is a conscious decision to make the seats more comfortable for a wider range of drivers, or just the way Lexus thinks aggressive seats should feel. Regardless of the reasoning, the seats have a near-perfect shape for my frame, which makes them supremely comfortable during everyday driving. And this is without a multitude of adjustments. During moderate cornering loads, there's enough bolstering to keep me in place." — Ed Hellwig


  • "Driving home, my first time behind the wheel of the RC F, I began to have doubts. On the highway, there was more bump and shake than I'd expected. My expectations suffered from short-term memory loss, however, as I soon remembered the last time I drove the IS F. Lexus does small, medium and big sedan comfort very well, but hasn't quite nailed the ride formula for sharp and sporty." — Dan Frio

Cargo Space

  • "Yesterday I learned that the V6-powered Lexus RC 350 and RC 350 F Sport come standard with a 60/40-split folding rear seat. It makes the trunk of such a sport coupe far more useful. I also learned that our long-term, V8-powered 2015 Lexus RC F doesn't. Instead, Lexus gives RC F owners only a small pass-through for skis and other long, narrow objects. A fold-down rear seat is usually the first thing to go in pursuit of less flex." — Scott Oldham


  • 2015 Lexus RC F

  • "What you see here is about a week's worth of groceries for a family of three, less the two dozen eggs that I placed in the front passenger seat. Also in here is a compact (and quite elderly) Maclaren Triumph umbrella stroller that, critically, can be loaded wheels first so that it's not stretching across the whole width of the trunk. Not bad, I say; not bad at all." — Erin Riches

Interior

  • "While this car is a blast to drive, what stands out for me is the interior. It's like strapping into a jet cockpit and having all the controls at your fingertips. Sure, there's a little overkill here for the young enthusiasts. My father observed that some of the features are little more than geegaws. He also didn't care for the carbon-fiber panels. But other than that, the RC F left us both with a favorable impression." — Philip Reed


  • "If you obsessively look at ads for old cars like I do, you'll know that the driver seat's outside bolster is a common wear point for leather upholstery. What's not common is for a one-year-old bolster to have a hole in its hide. But that's what our 2015 Lexus RC F is dealing with as it prepares to leave the fleet." — Josh Sadlier

Audio and Technology

2015 Lexus RC F

  • "Lexus Remote Touch is terrible. The previous little joystick was bad enough, but the mouse-style touchpad is even worse. I don't like using the touchpad on my laptop, let alone using one in a moving car. It draws too much attention away from the road, and even if you were sitting still, it would still be frustrating." — James Riswick


  • "The audio system has power and clarity, two things that matter most to me. The hit from the bass is crisp and the highs don't fall apart when the volume knob goes all Nigel Tufnel on you. I threw everything I had at the system: Pink Floyd's 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond,' Verdi's 'Rigoletto (La Donna e Mobile),' Duke Ellington's 'Jeep's Blues,' and even the stylings of Li'l John. All sounded amazing through the speakers." — Mark Takahashi

Maintenance

  • "It didn't take long for our long-term 2015 Lexus RC F to reach the 5,000-mile mark. In fairness, the RC F showed up to our office with 3,120 miles already on the odometer, so it's not like we've been driving it around the clock, but 1,800 miles in four weeks definitely qualifies it as a popular car. Right as the Lexus RC F ticked over 5,000 miles, three different lights popped up on the dash, warning that maintenance was required." — Travis Langness


  • "One detail worth mentioning is the incredibly large oil capacity. The RC F holds 9.8 quarts (including the filter) of 5W-30. Compare that to the 6.6 quarts the RC 350 requires." — Mike Schmidt

Miscellaneous

  • "I capped the vacuum line that controls the sound of the intake on our 2015 Lexus RC F, like I said I would. It took less than a minute and cost $0.40. This change (I'm hesitant to call it a modification) falls under the 'I can't believe it's not like this from the factory' variety because of its simplicity and its improvement. In fact, documenting the change took longer than the process itself. I haven't noticed any negative side effects yet, but I am enjoying the RC F more. The engine sounds like it has more authority in the lower part of its power band, the part of the power band where you'll spend the most time if you drive in a city." — Carlos Lago


  • "This RC F is your typical Lexus about as much as Al Capone was just your typical beverage distributor." — Brent Romans

Maintenance & Repairs

Regular Maintenance:
We only kept the RC F long enough for one service interval. The complimentary 5,000-mile service included an oil (9.8 quarts) and filter change as well as a visual inspection of tires, brakes, wiper blades and the driver's floor mat.

Fuel Economy and Resale Value

Observed Fuel Economy
The EPA estimate for the Lexus RC F is 19 mpg combined (16 city/25 highway). We averaged 17.3 mpg over 7,306 miles. Our best tank was 25 mpg, and the longest distance traveled on one tank was 306.8 miles.

Resale and Depreciation
The Edmunds.com True Market Value (TMV®) cannot be calculated due to the pre-production nature of the vehicle.

Summing Up

Pros: Powerful V8 engine. Attractive interior with high-grade materials. Great-sounding audio system.

Cons: Performance is hampered by weight. Frustrating and distracting infotainment system. Muted engine noise undermines the RC F's sporty guise. Stiff ride quality.

Bottom Line
The RC F struggles to overcome its 4,000-pound curb weight. It isn't slow, but the excessive weight means the handling and performance don't quite match those of its competitors. The interior is well put together with high-grade materials, but a frustrating and distracting infotainment system damps the experience.

 
Total Body Repair Costs: None
Total Routine Maintenance Costs: None (over 6 months)
Additional Maintenance Costs: None
Warranty Repairs: None
Non-Warranty Repairs: None
Scheduled Dealer Visits: 1
Unscheduled Dealer Visits: None
Days Out of Service: 1
Breakdowns Stranding Driver: None
 
Best Fuel Economy: 25.0 mpg
Worst Fuel Economy: 9.2 mpg
Average Fuel Economy: 17.3 mpg
 
Final Odometer Reading: 10,512 miles

The manufacturer provided this pre-production vehicle for the purpose of evaluation.


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