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2019 Lexus RC 350 F Sport AWD Review By John Heilig

2019 Lexus RC 350 F Sport AWD

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2019 Lexus RC 350 F Sport AWD
ENGINE: 3.6-liter V6
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 311 hp @ 6,600 rpm/280 lb.-ft. @ 4,800 rpm
WHEELBASE: 107.5 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 155.0 x 72.4 x 55.1 in.
TIRES: P255/35R19 (F)/P275/35R19 (R)
CARGO CAPACITY: 10.4 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway
CURB WEIGHT: 3,891 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Nissan Z, Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Corvette
STICKER: $57,135 (includes $1,025 delivery, $3,710 options)
BOTTOM LINE: The Lexus RC350 stands alone among luxury sport coupes. It has performance to go with the luxury and good handling.

As with many Lexus vehicles, there is an F Sport version that is sportier than the base model. So with the Lexus RC 350 F Sport, it rides lower than the standard RC 350, which may account for the headaches I received every time I entered it. That door opening just seemed an inch or two too low for my body.

Otherwise, the RC 350 is a comfortable car to drive, especially with the F Sport seats that have excellent side support and really grab you once you get in.

The exterior design is striking. I don’t there’s one straight line on the whole car. It evokes a Formula 1 car with all the scoops and air direction panels. Interior design with red seats and trim and black overall color is nice.

The RC 350 has a firm suspension, which aids in good handling, but isn’t harsh. We have roads in Pennsylvania that can challenge any suspension, but the RC handled them all and still provided a good ride.

Under the hood the 3.5-liter V6 offers excellent power at 310 horsepower. On acceleration you almost feel as if you can go on forever (assuming you don’t have speed limits or tachometer red lines), and that’s a comfortable feeling. You feel every transmission shift, but the shifts are smooth. Even in automatic, the gear position is displayed in the center of the speedometer. I like knowing it’s not only “D” but also 1-6. When you’re in manual mode with the paddle shifters, the numerical gear is also displayed.

The instrument panel is clear with a large digital speedometer within the encircling tachometer. Water temperature and fuel gauges are on the outer fringes.

The driver grips a busy wheel with multiple switches to handle audio, phone, information, lane departure and radar cruise control (distance to the vehicle in front). The standard (and favorite) Toyota cruise control stalk is behind the wheel on the right side.

There’s a nicely integrated information screen at the top of the dash. However, navigating around the screen requires ability to work the touch pad on the console, and although I’ve been using an Apple touch screen for several years, I had difficulty getting this one to behave. Perhaps it’s just that I need more time.

There’s a good audio system and heating/cooling.

Getting into the rear seats is an issue. Our granddaughter and her backpack had to use every contortion skill she has to get in and out. Honestly, I did’t try.

Overall, the RC 350 F Sport is a great car to drive. I had issues entering and exiting, but once inside it offered a fun, sporty ride with an abundance of power.

(c) 2019 The Auto Page Syndicate