Apart from a $250 price increase, the RC range is unchanged for 2022. That means there’s still a choice of drivetrains, engines and trim levels, but no changes other than revised wheel designs.
2022 Lexus RC
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You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
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4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2022 Lexus RC Overview
Choosing Your Lexus RC
The RC range is quite complicated to navigate, but in essence, you have a choice of three engines, two drivetrains, and two trim levels. The cheapest way into RC ownership is the RWD 300 model, which costs $43,895 (all prices include destination). Adding AWD costs between $2,165 and $2,690 depending on whether you want the more powerful 350 or base 300 respectively. F Sport models start at $48,365 in RWD, while the unrelated RWD-only F model is priced at $67,295.
A 3.5-liter V6 powers both the 300 and 350 models, in different states of tune. The 300 models enjoy 260 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque, fed to either the rear or all four wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission on 300 models and a choice of six or eight-speed auto boxes on 350 models. Fuel economy in 300 models stands at an EPA-estimated 21 miles per gallon city, 31 mpg highway, and 25 combined. This drops as low as 19/26/22 mpg in the AWD versions of both the 300 and 350, where power output increases to 311 hp and 280 lb-ft.
The RC F is fueled by a five-liter V8, which generates 472 hp and 395 lb-ft. Although fuel economy isn’t likely to be a priority, it returns 16/24/19 mpg.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Combined)|
|3.5 V6 (300)||260 hp||236 lb-ft|
|3.5 V6 (350)||311 hp||280 lb-ft||16/24/19 mpg|
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
Cargo capacity for the four-seater RC stands at 10.4 cu ft with the rear seats in place.
It’s to Lexus’s credit that safety features are consistent across every trim level. The Lexus Safety System+ includes pre-collision and pedestrian detection, lane departure alert with steering assist, dynamic radar-guided cruise control, and intelligent high beam headlights. That compact cabin contains eight airbags, and driver aids range from traction control and braking assistance to blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alerts.
The stock infotainment system is a seven-inch color display, which is way off the pace nowadays. At least it’s fairly well equipped, with a remote touchpad, satellite radio and a ten-speaker audio system, smartphone and Alexa integration, and remote control of the vehicle through a Lexus app. F Sport models receive active sound control, but navigation is an option across the range.
Every RC receives keyless entry with push-button start/stop and an illuminated entry system. Dual-zone climate chills a cabin with ten-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat (including lumbar) and eight-way power for the front passenger. Wooden trim and a leather steering wheel and shift knob add touches of luxury internally.
Navigation is a $1,645 option while paying $2,725 combines nav with a 17-speaker Mark Levinson audio system, bringing the added benefit of a larger 10.3-inch split-screen multimedia display. The Premium Package costs $1,790 and bundles in rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated and auto-dimming outside mirrors with heated and ventilated front seats, and memory settings.
With a mesh grille and smoked chrome trim, F Sport models stand out on their 19-inch graphite-finished wheels. Inside, aesthetic touches include perforated leather on the shift knob and steering wheel, bolstered front seats with heating and ventilation, aluminum sports pedals, memory settings, and a power steering wheel.
Alongside the navigation/navigation-and-stereo packages, the $220 All-Weather Package adds headlamp washers and water-repellent front door glass to a windshield wiper de-icer. It also includes a fast-response interior heater, though it’s unclear why Lexus would install any other kind of heater as standard.
You wouldn’t buy an F model for additional creature comforts, because its focus is entirely on maximizing performance. The rear wing is speed-activated, while 20-spoke forged alloy wheels are shod in Michelin Pilot tires. A Torsen limited-slip rear diff and launch control help to apply power to the road, and Brembo brakes provide comprehensive stopping power.
Alongside the combined nav and Mark Levinson package, it’s possible to spend $6,375 on the Premium Package, including (but not limited to) ventilated front seats, semi-autonomous parking, and hand-polished 20-spoke BBS alloy wheels. The truly wealthy can invest an eye-watering $17,775 on adding these elements plus lashings of carbon fiber, both internally and externally.
If performance is your priority, F models are impressively engineered and extremely rapid. Otherwise, we’d save the money and buy a base RC, since F Sport doesn’t really gain enough equipment to justify its premium.
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