Manufacturers must often walk a fine balancing line between style and performance. A tightrope walk, if you will.
On one hand, if you make your vehicle too sporty and high-performance, you may need to sacrifice luxury and comfort. Make it too comfortable and luxurious and you may risk it not being perceived as sporty enough.
Few vehicles can balance both aspects.
But then I had the opportunity to review the 2020 Lexus RC 350 F Sport. Eyes wide open.
2020 Lexus RC 350 F Sport Specs
First impressions are everything. At least that is what “they” say. Well, I am not sure I believe that statement entirely, but your first thoughts on virtually anything do mean a lot.
Like this RC 350 F Sport.
Time for cliff notes and then I will go into detail.
This car rides so smooth. There are times when you feel as if you are gliding on or even a little above the road.
It handles well. I found this one to hug corners with precision and spirited agility.
It has looks. Lexus RC 350 F Sport has sleek and streamlined styling that finds a way to balance both intense sportiness with luxury and class. Interior cabin has that same feel. Wait until you see the seat color – wow.
Compare it with other Lexus entries and you will see this is not a race car by any means. I have tested the Lexus RC F. 5.0-liter V8 engine. 472 horsepower. 0-60 time in 3.96 seconds.
But 2020 Lexus RC 350 F Sport again walks that line between smooth, comfortable and peppy. You see a common theme here. 3.5-liter V6 engine. 311 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. torque. 0-60 time of 5.8 seconds.
Look for an 8-speed automatic transmission (with paddle shifters), along with double-wishbone front suspension and multi-link rear suspension. The result is a luxury sport coupe that offers smooth acceleration and precise “one-with-the-road” cornering and handling.
In short, an enjoyable and fun ride.
2020 Lexus RC 350 F Sport interior
We probably spend more time looking inside our vehicles than looking at the exterior. Actually, that statement is not really all that accurate but for many it is.
This is one reason interior styling and features are so crucial.
First impression. I found the black and yellow leather seats to be quite comfortable and offered good support for my spine and lower back. Yes, that’s right, I said black and yellow seats. Standard 10-way power driver (with 2-way lumbar support) and 8-way power passenger seats provide solid support and comfort.
One of my wife Holly’s biggest car pet peeves is the lack of a power passenger seat. Glad Lexus checked that box for her.
Standard multimedia system is 7-inch color display with 10 Lexus premium speakers and voice commands. This is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. These are must-haves for most car buyers these days.
My specific evaluation was with the upgraded Navigation / Mark Levinson Audio Package. This includes a 10.3-inch multimedia screen and dynamic (real-time) navigation, along with a whopping 17 speakers and 835-watt amplifier.
Other interior perks include push button start, heated and ventilated / cooled front seats, dual temperature controls, memory seats / outside mirrors / steering wheel, blind spot monitor and auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink garage door opener.
The one feature that was challenging for me to learn is the smart touch pad that allows you to use the multimedia display and functions. Since the screen is not a touch screen, this is the next best thing, I guess. I imagine using this touch pad gets easier the more you use it, but I only had a limited time window.
Exterior Features for RC 350 F Sport
What a beautiful car.
Sleek and rounded lines flow from front to back.
And whatever your feelings are on the polarizing Lexus spindle front grille, it gives the company and RC 350 F Sport a unique identity. One look and you know this is a Lexus – even if you did not have the badge on it.
Look for standard auto on/off LED low and high beam headlamps with daytime running lights. My tester included optional upgraded triple beam LED headlamps. Not only cool looking but able to shine wider and higher and more intense. Double score.
To me the profile cornerstone are the wheels, which are 19-inch split-five-spoke alloy wheels. This RC was upgraded with optional F Sport orange calipers.
Safety features include blind spot monitor and Lexus Safety System +, which consists of pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, high-speed dynamic radar cruise control, lane departure alert with steering assist and intelligent high beam headlamps.
RELATED VIDEO: Compare Lexus RC 350 F Sport vs Supra 3.0 Premium
Lexus RC 350 F Sport utilizes different driving modes (Eco, Normal, Sport S, Sport S+, snow and custom) to provide better fuel efficiency and more acceleration. I suggest Sport S+ mode for a more muscular, throatier exhaust sound.
Time for your thoughts on 2020 RC 350 F Sport
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What do you think of the 2020 Lexus RC 350 F Sport? Do you own one and what has your experience been so far?
This vehicle in rear-wheel drive has a factory MSRP of $49,295.
My specific Nebula Gray Pearl car was loaded up with just about every option you can imagine, which added another $8,000 to the price. You can see the window sticker for this near the end of the included video (which features both this car and the 2021 Supra 3.0 Premium side-by-side).
See you next story when I detail changes coming to 2021 Camry LE and SE.
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