Lexus RC vs. BMW 4-Series

By

Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.


, Automotive Editor - June 1, 2018

Luxury automakers like Lexus and BMW don't compete with one another in just the large sedan segment, but also when it comes to sporty coupes. The BMW 4-Series is the benchmark of the luxury coupe segment for its athletic capabilities. The model is also available as a Gran Coupe (a four-door model) and a Convertible, which means there's a 4-Series for almost everyone.

Not wanting to leave all of the sales open for BMW, the Lexus RC lineup came out in 2014 as a direct competitor to the 4-Series. With its unique exterior styling, the RC is a more daring take on a luxury coupe. But does it have what it takes to bring down the BMW?

See a side-by-side comparison of the 4-Series & RC »

What the RC Gets Right

When it comes to entry-level performance from their all-wheel-drive variants, it's the RC that has the edge over the 4-Series. The RC 300 AWD has a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 260 horsepower. That's more than what the base 430i xDrive Coupe can muster from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which is 248 hp. The range-topping 2019 RC F also packs more power than the 2018 M4. The RC F comes with a 5.0-liter V8 that generates 467 hp. The most powerful version of the M4 is rated to make 444 hp.

The Lexus RC is also the more affordable option. The 2018 RC 300 starts at $41,665, while the 2018 430i Coupe has a starting price tag of $45,795. That's a $4,130 difference in favor of the Lexus. And it's not like you're missing out on features, as the entry-level RC 300 comes with dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, a 10-speaker audio system, and WiFi hot spot capability as standard.

What the 4-Series Gets Right

The 4-Series is the more fuel-efficient offering of the two vehicles. With its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder, the BMW is EPA-rated to get 24 miles per gallon city, 34 mpg highway, and 27 combined. The RC isn't too far behind with a rating of 22 mpg city, 32 highway, and 26 combined.

BMW's sporty offering is the more versatile and usable coupe. The two-door variant has a trunk volume of 15.7 cubic feet, which is 5.3 cubic feet more than what the RC offers. The 4-Series also offers more front and rear head room, rear leg room, and front shoulder room than the RC. If you expect to have more than two passengers in your car on a regular basis, the 4-Series is the more comfortable vehicle of the two.

The 4-Series comes out on top in exterior styling as well. While's BMW's design is safe, the RC's angular lines and spindle grille won't appeal to everyone. The 4-Series may look all business, but it's the safer design choice for drivers that don't want to stand out.

Want Something Besides a Coupe?

The 4-Series is available in three different body styles, which means that you don't have to settle on a coupe like with the RC. The larger four-door Gran Coupe model and Convertible both retain the same sporty, athletic feel as the coupe and are both available as rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive variants, as well. With more options to choose from, there's a better chance that you'll find exactly what you're after with the 4-Series.

Our Verdict: BMW 4-Series

At the end of the day, choosing between these two vehicles boils down to how much you enjoy driving and which one you think looks better. The 4-Series is the more engaging vehicle to drive thanks to its sharp road manners. The fact that it's also available as a Gran Coupe and Convertible is also a bonus.

Take a closer look at the BMW 4-Series »

Take a closer look at the Lexus RC »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia, but now calls Detroit home. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new food, wrenching on his car, and watching movies.