This hybrid is sporty, fuel-efficient and defies comprehension
2016 Lexus RC 350
The RC 350 is an all-new model. Based loosely on the existing IS and GS sedans, the compact RC 350 coupe is blessed with a muscular fastback body and beautifully refined interior that's at once luxurious and sporty. Inside and out, the RC 350 represents a new type of vehicle for Lexus, one that we suspect will draw buyers to the brand for the first time.
If not for the trademark spool grille, you'd be hard pressed to identify the RC 350 as a Lexus. The designers have done a masterful job of incorporating some of the best styling themes found in this class. To back up the looks, every RC 350 carries a 3.5-liter V6 engine with 306 horsepower, and all-wheel drive is available in place of the standard rear-drive setup. Rear-drive models get an 8-speed automatic transmission, while a six-speed version is required with all-wheel drive. A selectable driving mode system is standard across the board.
The RC 350 starts with NuLuxe (leather-like vinyl) seating for four, wood interior trim, keyless access and ignition, LED exterior lighting, a rearview camera and a 10-speaker audio system with HD radio. The Premium package adds blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and heated and ventilated front seats. The Luxury package is much the same, except you get genuine perforated leather seats. The available navigation system comes with a touchpad controller, a slew of integrated smartphone apps and streaming audio. Finally, there's an All-Weather package with headlamp washers, wiper deicers and a more powerful heater.
The performance-oriented F Sport package is available on both two- and all-wheel drive versions. Along with revised trim inside and out, you get an adaptive suspension system, summer performance tires on specific 19-inch wheels, expanded digital instrumentation, high-friction brake pads and four-wheel steering.
For safety's sake, you can add a collision mitigation system with integrated adaptive cruise control to any model, as well as front and rear parking sensors. A sunroof is mandatory on the F Sport and optional elsewhere. The standard RC 350 model can get some of the F Sport's performance upgrades as individual options.
Price as tested: $44,295
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