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2019 Lexus RC350 offers thrilling driving experience Featured

Posted On Saturday, 02 November 2019 12:02 Written by
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The 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport, while impractical for families, is a blast for those who love to drive. The 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport, while impractical for families, is a blast for those who love to drive. Photo courtesy of Lexus


While it’s important to be practical with your vehicle choices, if you have the means it’s also nice to have some fun — and there are quite a few vehicles out there that will let you do exactly that.

One such ride is the 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport, a luxury sport coupe that offers no shortage of thrills. Read on for a full report.


One look at the RC350 and you know it’s a hot rod.

From the aggressive front grille to its low-to-the-ground status, it gives off racy vibes. The exterior design is a work of art, with a beautiful, sleek design — a contender for best look in the class.

Point blank: THe RC350 is designed for speed and a fun driving experience.
It’s not set up for driver comfort, especially on longer drives (this isn’t a cushy SUV). The sport-style seating hugs the driver tight into the seat.

The back seat is strictly for storage, not people. Unless perhaps it’s a small child, and the people sitting up front are very short. Realistically, think of this vehicle as a 2-seater.

The seats are very low to the ground, and you really sink into the vehicle. This is a Lexus, so you’re going to have high-end materials inside. You’ll be greeted by quality leather seating and other high-end materials.

Options include triple-beam LED headlamps (a $1,160 option); Power moonroof ($1.1K) and heated steering wheel ($150).

If you choose the F Sport trim level, you’ll get the following features:

  • Bolstered Front heated and ventilated seats
  • Lexus memory system for driver’s seat, outside mirrors and steering wheel
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Blind Spot Monitor with rear cross traffic alert
  • F Sport Suspension tuning
  • Adaptive Variable Suspension
  • 19-inch split five spoke alloy wheels
  • Dark gray streamline trim, aluminum pedals
  • F Sport grille


In a luxury sport coupe, “sport” is the most important word.

A vehicle in this category (which also includes entries from Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Cadillac and BMW) has to offer pure driving enjoyment to the pilot.

The RC350 delivers that, courtesy of its powertrain: A 3.5-liter, V6 engine paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters are also included if the driver wants to get more involved.

Numbers are 311 horsepower and 280 lb.-ft. of torque, and the RC comes in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. 

You can choose the drive mode. Eco, Normal, Sport S, Sport S+, Snow and Custom are the options. Let’s start with the sound, as the RC350’s engine offers a nice little growl, a deep bass note that lets you know what’s coming.

When you start driving the RC, you’ll quickly find it’s one of the most fun rides you can get in the class. It hugs the corners tremendously, and gets moving quickly. Zero to 60 time was about 6 seconds — not best in class but nothing to sneeze at either.

I won’t offer a flowery soliloquy about the beauty of driving a car this sporty. When it comes to vehicles like the RC350, the reality is that you have to experience and feel firsthand what they offer to truly appreciate it.

I’ll just say this: You won’t be disappointed in the feeling this type of vehicle provides, and this type of vehicle is why driving enthusiasts exist. They offer something a traditional car can not offer. 

Also, if you do test one, make sure to find some curvy roads and get out of the city if you can. 


For a car this sporty, the RC350 is very strong on safety. 

You get dual front airbags, dual front knee airbags, front seat mounted side impact airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags and a supplemental restraint system.

Anti-lock brakes, brake assist and smart-stop technology are also included.

The Lexus Safety System features: Pre-collision System with Pedestrian Detection, High-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist and Intelligent High Beam Headlamps. 

The Lexus Intuitive Parking Assist feature is offered for a $500 premium.

The optional navigation system worked very well, and the 10.3-inch color multimedia display looks great.

But the weak link, as usual for a Lexus, is the touchpad controller used to control the infotainment system, which continues to be difficult to use, overly touchy and desperately needs an overhaul. 

The actual infotainment system itself is fine and accomplishes everything it sets out to do, but the ability to easily control it by touch is lacking. Thankfully, voice controls work very well for most commands, so you can avoid using the touchpad much of the time.

The RC350 includes a 10-speaker sound system, and has Apple CarPlay compatibility for phone mirroring (but for whatever reason, still no Android Auto capability). 

Adding the navigation system will also get you the Mark Levinson Audio package — boasting a 17-speaker, 835 watt, 7.1 channel surround sound performance. It offers a tremendous sound, both for bass and treble and everything in between, and features Clari-Fi audio processing. Three months of Sirius XM satellite radio are included before a subscription is required.

Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect are included free for 10 years, and Lexus Enform Wi-Fi (4GB) is free for one year.

Official fuel mileage numbers for the 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport are 18 city/24 highway/21 combined. These are not great numbers compared to the other luxury offerings in the class, but if it’s any solace I’m pretty sure that someone shopping around for a sport coupe isn’t putting fuel mileage atop their list of concerns — it’s all about the driving experience.

The RC350 F Sport I tested was at the top of the range and priced just over $58,000; base price starts about $41K for standard RC, $51K for F Sport version. If you’re in the market for this type of ride, spending over $40K is going to be the norm, so these prices are not outrageous.

To sum up, the 2019 Lexus RC350 is definitely not a family ride. It looks great inside and out, and will be purchased by those looking for a thrilling and enjoyable driving experience.

It's a vehicle that is perfect for weekend getaways, not trips to the grocery store or the school drop-off line. 

===== can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page.

Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu.

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2019 Lexus RC350 F Sport
  • Price as tested: $58,010
  • Best feature: An absolute blast to drive
  • Rating: 3.5 out of five stars
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Folks looking for a fun, sporty luxury ride
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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