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Biased Review: 2015 Lexus RC 350 F By Marty Bernstein +VIDEO

2015 Lexus RC 350 F (select to view enlarged photo)
2015 Lexus RC 350 F

MB Says: I love the Lexus RC 350 F. It's at the top of list of my all-time favorites. Consider yourself forewarned -- this is not an objective review.


by Marty Bernstein
Senior Editor-At-Large
The Auto Channel

People usually fall into two categories when it comes to who buy sports-cars: the midlife crisis group and those who are speed obsessed. There's another group who want a vehicle, specifically a coupe, that is unique in its design, has power and acceleration when they want it, is easy and fun to drive, is nimble and responsive, rides terrifically, has the required techno-and-info –tainment features and conveniences and doesn't cost a small fortune. But they don’t want a car that’s so low to the ground it’s difficult to get in and out, has a harsh, stiff ride, is a cop magnet and lacks creature comforts and amenities.

Can’t be done, right? Wrong.

As an auto journalist I drive an incredible number of new cars every year from the very expensive to the not-so-costly and from SUVs to sedans to crossovers to trucks, always striving for objectivity in my reviews.

Not this time! Not with this review.

2015 Lexus RC 350 F (select to view enlarged photo)

I love the Lexus 350 F. It's at the top of list of my all-time favorites. Consider yourself forewarned -- this is not an objective review.

2015 Lexus RC 350 F (select to view enlarged photo)

The RC 350 F looks great, no … it is sensational with an exterior sheetmetal design that is sleek, graceful, impressive and head turning without looking ostentatious or pretentious. Its lines are dynamic not dramatic. It is not exotic or over the top for the sake of being exotic or over the top. The front is striking in its simplicity while the rear, especially the ends of the rear fenders is aggressive. Riding on slightly oversize 19” spoke wheels gives it an air of authority while LED headlamps and brake lights add a dazzling affect for the L shaped running lights. The package does not impose a negative perception of the owner/driver. It’ll turn heads because it’s exceptional.

2015 Lexus RC 350 F (select to view enlarged photo)

Under the hood Lexus chose a naturally aspirated V6 for its instantaneous response and performance-driving character. It sounds like a proper GT car, with a distinct but refined growl under acceleration and a pleasingly present but quiet demeanor when cruising. An intake sound generator further enhances sonic appeal under acceleration. The overall effect is memorable, but never abrasive, and doesn’t intrude on conversation or music enjoyment. For the engineering crowd the 3.5-liter Lexus 2GR-FSE V6 propels the 2015 RC 350 with 306 horsepower and 277 lb.-ft. of torque that gets you going quickly with an eight speed transmission that combines the best of both worlds: torque converter smoothness with shifting speed of a dual-clutch unit when shifting manually.

2015 Lexus RC 350 F (select to view enlarged photo)

Now let’s get in the car. Just touch the door handle and a LED will light your way. Pulling the handle opens the door that swings wide which makes getting in and out of the car easy because this is not a knee bending exercise especially if one has arthritis or an old sports injury. Sliding into the seat easily because it not bottom dragging, which is not always the case in true sport cars or wanna-be's which often require an orthopedic visit or a chiropractor’s adjustment. The seat is well bolstered with ample padding is comfortable and is good looking as well as good sitting.

There’s a feeling of elegance in the cockpit of this Lexus. Instrumentation and gauges are low-tech-simple for hi-tech-components. They are easy to read day and night with a legible typeface which makes them logical, ergonomic and effective. The gauge design is directly descended from the LFA supercar, using full-length illuminated needles and needle rings, and a white outer band with inverted colors.

2015 Lexus RC 350 F (select to view enlarged photo)

The comfortable steering wheel has controls for the most often need to be adjusted infotainment devices. The center-stack – call it cockpit center – has a no-glare mat finish with individual adjustment switches and that allow ones finger to move the temperature by simply sliding the strip up or down between blue for cold and red for hotter.

The touch pad control device (think computer mouse) however is way too sensitive in addition to being difficult to manage. Adjusting the ride and driving dynamics is controlled by a dial that adjusts to three modes: Normal, sport and Eco. Audio geeks are guaranteed a vastly superior sound system from Mark Levinson that will fulfil their stringent requirements for music no matter the genre.

2015 Lexus RC 350 F (select to view enlarged photo)

Space age technology with a variety of acronym names devices that monitor and inform for driving safety including lane departure warning and others are intrusive when they should be, automatic when needed and wanted.

And to further enhance the experience is a palate of eight remarkable exterior colors (my test car was called Infrared and it was just gorgeous) that is augmented with a variety of interior trims. Lots of air bags, super strength steel and way too many features to list here (so get all the specs, features, dimensions, capacities and comparisons behind the links below). Price of the car driven for this review was $53,415.

This is a great looking car that is on my bucket list and one that deserves your attention if you’re looking for the drive of your life in a sports coupe that brings the joys of a sportscar without any of the perceived negatives.

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