Lexus RC 350 – for the distinguished motorist

By Miles Downard

Lexus is a brand synonymous with big luxury saloon cars. Obviously it’s branched out over the years, a foray into SUVs being the most notable as customer demand in this segment is vast.

However there’s another side to the Japanese manufacturer of the two door variety. The LFA supercar is most well known as it’s halo car, but that DNA filters down into the likes of the LC500 and this, the RC350.

What’s good?

The RC350 is actually more luxury GT cruiser than a sports car. Yes it has two doors, but inside you’ll find four seats with a rear set that’ll fit more than just toddlers.

It’s 3.5 litre V6 doesn’t have a turbo and is all the better for it. It’s silky smooth, delivering 232kW and 380 torques to the rear wheels in the most gentlemanly fashion via an eight speed automatic gearbox. It’s a brisk car, without being fast. Fast is too brash in nature for the RC. Accordingly it wafts from zero to 100km/h in around 6.3 seconds.

Also read: Lexus ES: redefining comfort

Then there’s the comfort. The two door GT car puts to shame many a saloon in terms of ride quality. Yes it might sacrifice a little corner speed and display a bit more body roll as a result but we aren’t race car drivers at the end of the day. That said, it’s no slouch around a bend should the mood strike.

Lastly, to my eye the RC is rather pleasing. It’s nicely sculpted and bulged in all the right places yet maintains a subtlety to its presence that is befitting of its badge.

What’s not so good?

I think the motor could sound a bit more growly. As I said, this isn’t a sports car, but it does still have in its possession a lovely V6 that could make its presence more apparent. 

The other thing is Lexus’ infotainment control system, which is a touch pad with a bizarre level of haptic feedback. It takes some getting used to, which in the modern world of intuitive-everything is a bit tiresome because it isn’t.

Pricing

The RC350 F-Sport hits price sheets at R940,000. Looking across the list of competition you’ll find an Audi S5, BMW 440 and a Mercedes C43 Coupe for the same sort of money, give or take R70,000 in the case of the Merc. None are as comfortable and all of them are too complicated, with turbo this and settings for that. The Lexus just gets on with it, leaving you to enjoy the journey. Of course there’s also the matter of features, like adaptive cruise control, ventilated front seats, lane departure and keep assist etc, which are all standard on the Lexus and optional on the competition. That means the Lexus is something of a bargain by comparison.

Verdict

If you’re a boy racer then sure, go in search of one of the aforementioned German cars. If you’re a more distinguished motorist, the Lexus is just what you’ll be looking for.