2015 Lexus RC 350

What's new for 2015? The 2015 Lexus RC 350 is an all-new model.

After years of only having German entry-level luxury sport coupes to pick from, you're finally getting another option to consider from Lexus: the 2015 Lexus RC 350. Derived from the Lexus IS sedan, the RC 350 certainly makes a statement with its rakish good looks. And just like the IS 350, the RC 350 features a silken 306-horsepower V6 engine with available all-wheel drive. There's no 250 version at this point, but there is the extra-strength RC F version with a 467-hp V8 if you've got a serious need for speed.

This Lexus coupe's strengths are most readily apparent in the RC 350's interior, though. The RC 350's dashboard design is attractive and contemporary, and just about every surface you can find or touch is finished with high-quality materials. We're also fond of the comfortable and supportive front seats complemented by suspension tuning that does a great job of smoothing out rough pavement. For general commuting and daily driving, the RC 350 is an excellent companion.

Exterior Highlights
Entry-level luxury sport coupe available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, available in a single well-equipped trim level

The 2015 Lexus RC 350 is an entry-level luxury sport coupe available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. It's offered in a single well-equipped trim level.

Standard equipment includes 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, selectable drive modes, LED headlights, heated side mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a rearview camera, a 10-way power driver seat, an eight-way power passenger seat, heated seats (AWD only), leatherette premium vinyl upholstery, real wood and aluminum trim and a 60/40 folding rear seat with armrest.

Standard electronics features include Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a 7-inch color display, voice controls (including Siri Eyes Free for iPhone users) and a 10-speaker sound system with satellite radio, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and iPod/USB connections. Also standard is Lexus Enform Remote, which provides access to common functions, vehicle status reports and GPS location via a smartphone app.

A number of options packages are offered, although availability can vary depending on the region in which you live. The Premium package includes heated and ventilated front seats as well as blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert. The Luxury package includes those items along with auto-dimming side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, perforated leather upholstery, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with a heated rim on AWD models) and driver memory settings. The All-Weather package (AWD only) includes headlight washers and a windshield wiper de-icer.

The Navigation package adds a console-mounted touchpad controller, a navigation system, upgraded voice controls and smartphone app integration (including Bing, Yelp, Pandora and iHeartRadio). The Navigation/Mark Levinson package adds a 17-speaker surround-sound audio system.

The F Sport package includes the Premium package features along with a mesh grille, a unique front fascia, 19-inch wheels with summer (RWD) or all-season (AWD) tires, adaptive sport-tuned suspension dampers, upgraded front brake pads (RWD only), sport front seats, perforated leather upholstery and trim, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel (with a heated rim on AWD models), driver memory settings and a special instrument cluster.

Stand-alone options include a power sunroof, LED foglights, variable-ratio steering with a four-wheel steering system (RWD F Sport only), adaptive cruise control (bundled with a collision mitigation system) and front and rear parking sensors.

High-quality materials, dashboard, armests and sides of cetner console are covered in padding, supportive seating, multi-tiered cockpit

The 2015 Lexus RC 350's four-seat cabin is trimmed in consistently high-quality materials. The upper dashboard, armrests and even the sides of the center console (where knees tend to rub) are swathed in dense padding. The front seats are impressively supportive yet supple, but those with larger frames might feel slightly snug.

The multi-tiered cockpit is peculiar, but attractive and contemporary overall, with a terraced layout and subtly upscale touches. The audio and climate controls are steeply angled, reinforcing the RC 350's sporty vibe, and the buttons and knobs are generally easy to use. As far as carrying stuff, the RC 350's trunk provides 10.4 cubic feet of capacity, an average figure. It's expandable via the 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks.

The 2015 Lexus RC 350's standard safety equipment includes antilock disc brakes with brake assist, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, front knee airbags and side curtain airbags. Also standard is Lexus Enform Safety Connect, an onboard emergency telematics system that incorporates collision notification, a stolen-vehicle locator and roadside assistance.

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