Luxurious & comfortable
In the world of SUVs and four-door sedans it is quite refreshing to take a break and drive something real sporty in the form of a two-door coupe. The car I was given to test from Lexus was the RC 300, the smaller engine luxury coup in the RC line-up. Adding to its sporting nature, the RC 300 is an all-wheel drive (AWD), making it little more fun in adverse weather like the rain we get in Vancouver.
My test car was well-equipped with plenty of options totalling about $8,200, which included the F-SPORT package making this RC 300 very much like its sibling, the RC350 with the bigger engine. For the most part, the 260 horsepower of the RC 300 was more than adequate for everyday driving around town.
My car was equipped with a six-speed automatic that shifted smoothly though the gear range when left in “Drive” mode. Those adventurous types can opt for the paddle shifters located behind the steering or use the shifter itself to move up and down through the gears. I generally left it in Drive and let the computer figure it out, because in most cases, it will out-think your brain as to when to shift allowing you to concentrate on driving.
As my car was the F-SPORT it had slightly more aggressive seats, with more side support as well as enhancements to the padding. As you would expect for a Lexus, the seats were leather and looked great. With the power seats, finding a comfortable seating position was no problem. One feature I did like was the heated steering wheel and the three-position heated seats. In the wet and damp conditions I had during testing it was very welcome, keeping the dampness out of body.
This being a coupe, back seat room is adequate for adults and probably great for children. Let’s face it, coupe buyers don’t buy their cars for backseat room. That said, getting back there was easy enough as the seats easily flipped up for access.
Going right along with the seats is the interior. I will be the first to admit that this Lexus was very easy to find everything. All the controls and switches were easy to discover and operate.
Even the sound system and other controls that were seen through the dash screen worked flawlessly as you would expect. A touch pad in the center console allowed you to move about the screen easily. After a little playing and getting used to the speed in which it moves, I found it easy to navigate. The sound system has a volume control and tuner that are knobs that make life simple if you chose to do things manually and by feel, so you can keep your eyes on the road.
On the practical side of things I was surprised at the size of the truck. I had to pick up a couple of bulky things for my wife and I found that the trunk was surprisingly roomy with 295-litre capacity. Back seats will also fold down in a 60/40 configuration which I would expect one could easily get golf or any other bulky sports equipment in.
I liked my time in the RC and found it to be a comfortable car for day to day driving. Having not driven in a coupe in a while, the wider rear pillars around the back window did block my rear vision, but only a little bit of an inconvenience, although the lane departure warning devices helped my confidence when changing lanes.
If a coupe is what you want, the RC 300 is well worth a look. At a base price of around $51,000 it is a pretty good value in the luxury coupe category.
MSRP: 51,000 base, $62,000 as tested
Motor: Displacement - 3.5-litre V6 DOHC (dual overhead cam) Variable valve timing
Horsepower: 260 @ 6,600 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 236 @ 4,800 rpm
Fuel economy: 13.1 L/100 km city, 9.8 L/100 km highway