2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport test
John Goreham's picture

Car and Driver: 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport feels cumbersome, slower

Just two years ago the Lexus IS 350 F Sport sedan beat its BMW and Cadillac competitors in a Car and Driver comparison test. Will the RC 350 F Sport fail to measure up?

Almost exactly two years ago the Lexus IS 350 F-Sport won a Car and Driver comparison test against the BMW 335i and the Cadillac ATS 3.6. In this sedan matchup, the Lexus had many strong points and made history by breaking the automotive publication habit of awarding the win to the BMW and then testing the cars to see who came in second. In the April 2015 print edition of Car and Driver, the Lexus RC 350 F Sport is basically called a relaxed cruiser and compared unfavorably to the BMW 435i and Cadillac 3.6 coupe.

Although not a formal comparison test done the same day in the same conditions, the CD writer compares the 2015 Lexus RC 350 F Sport to the Caddy and BMW throughout the short review. One line may sum up the whole article, that being, “However, those seeking a thrill from behind the F Sport’s wheel will be underwhelmed.” Pointing out the specifications of the Lexus RC 350 F Sport, the author notes that the Lexus is 0.3 seconds slower to 60 MPH than the Caddy and 0.5 seconds behind the BMW. You can tell the difference between a 5.7 seconds and 5.4 sprint to 60 MPH when you drive a street car, right?

CD also points out that the RC 350 F Sport has a “somnambulant” highway ride, like its ES 350 brother. That means it feels like the car sleep-walks in case you don’t use the term in your daily conversations. Putting a positive end to a story that found mostly faults in the new RC, Car and Driver says the RC does have “…that most precious of commodities – tactile feedback.” The tester also noted the car has “…good body control and smooth, balanced transitions, even when driven hard.”

Interestingly, the car magazines also had little good to say about the IS 350 F Sport when it first launched in late 2012 and was tested solo. However, on the day that the competitors were all brought together for actual back-to-back comparisons, the Lexus came first in both Road and Track, and Car and Driver full comparison tests. It will be interesting to see how the Lexus RC 350 does when the comparisons are done this year with the Cadillac ATS and BMW 435i.

Main story image courtesy of Eddie Carabillo, owner and Facebook RC Club contributor.

Share this content.


Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Comments

John, I think Lexus should have done better with the RC, I mean it still needs some work to do, so do you think Lexus will make a lot of changes in the next RC ? like the 2016 RC ? because to be honest its reviews are not the best, or they will wait another 3-4 years to make some touchable changes ?
Good question. I tested the RC 350. Drove it on both roads and also a track and I loved it. The interior and drivetrain is the same as the IS sedan basically, but with the new MMI for the Nav. That stuff is only 18 months in the market and it was all well-received by the media. The BMW has not changed its interior at all in that time. The Lexus BMW and Cadillac also have not changed their drivetrains either. It will be interesting to see if it actually does badly when the car mags bring all the coupes together and test them. Hopefully, they will test comparable trims.
Though the Lexus RC 350 F sport is a solid sports sedan, I think it will struggle against the emerging giants in the next year or so. For starters, Mercedes finally have a car for enthusiast in this segment, the C450 AMG, which, from the reviews so far, seems to be a cracker of a sports sedan, and should make some noise sales wise. BMW 340 is a few months away, and Audi's new S4 is also lurking. Lexus and Cadillac, with their normally aspirated V6s, might struggle to keep up, this segment is getting hot!
They basically did made it better , you just have to get the RCF other then the regular rc
Though the Lexus RC 350 F sport is a solid sports sedan, I think it will struggle against the emerging giants in the next year or so. For starters, Mercedes finally have a car for enthusiast in this segment, the C450 AMG, which, from the reviews so far, seems to be a cracker of a sports sedan, and should make some noise sales wise. BMW 340 is a few months away, and Audi's new S4 is also lurking. Lexus and Cadillac, with their normally aspirated V6s, might struggle to keep up, this segment is getting hot!
I Couldn't agree more! As a fan of Lexus cars, I feel that they didnt take enough time of planning when they have released the RC F and the same goes to the new GS F, the new GS F cant compete with E63 or M5 it only had 470 HP. They are focusing on something completely different than others. But in the end Lexus has its own super perfect reliability, handling, and quality.
Habitashi Believe me this: go and test drive the RCF and thr M4 yourself. Take minimum 2 hours and you will love the RCF. After trying both the RCF and the M4 i can tell you that i feel Lexus took really time to think how todo an excellent all rounder sport coupe. If i dare to give you an advice: do not belive all the tests you read or see. There are also excellent tests about the RCF. The RCF attacks the bests europe and germans can offer and believe me Lexus has done an excellent job with this one. But we europeans will never or hardly admite it. After all europe lives with it's industry and the auto industry in one of the most important sources for europe. Imagine if Lexus sell more that our Luxury Autos!!!!!?! Nein es muss nicht passieren.
I agree, but in fairness to the Car and Driver author, he was evaluating the RC 350. I did drive both the new M3 (M4 was not avail) and the RCF on track and road and for me, the RCF is the clear choice. However, I can see why a very skilled driver might choose an M4 if she (or he) was planning a lot of track time or racing of some kind. I also loved that when Motor Trend had a pro race driver test both back to back the RCF was within about 1/2 of a second of the lap time of the M4. The grumblings over weight in the RC line are much to do about nothing IMHO. Story link: http://www.torquenews.com/1083/2015-lexus-rc-f-and-bmw-m4-virtual-tie-racetrack