Review and Test Drive: 2017 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

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The 17-speaker Mark Levinson sound system is a cut above most while, almost in an effort to compensate, the early 1900s touchpad-like controls for the 7” multimedia screen are difficult to interact with, especially while driving. This is further exacerbated by low-quality graphics and a slightly overwhelming user interface. The Germans have nailed down infotainment systems and Lexus needs to get past its inertia to go in a similar direction and its reluctance to embrace Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Look around and note the F Sport-specific digital gauge cluster, aluminum pedals, F Sport-specific steering wheel and shifter. If the passengers in the rear are children, they’ll be enjoying the ambience as well although adults will complain it’s rather cramped for their liking.

Although it’s quick on paper, the V-6 is somewhat more relaxed than the raw specs had led me to believe. It’s paired with a very smooth and responsive eight-speed automatic with a Sport mode.

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The $4100 F Sport package we had on the RC adds a variety of options that will give competitors such as the Audi A5, Infiniti Q60, and BMW 4er a run for their money. Switch on the Sport S+ driving mode to firm up the F Sport’s adaptive dampers, although for Autobahn cruising you might wish to stay with the default suspension setting. The 19” all-season tires ensured excellent cornering and braking although we should note that the F Sport’s brakes are slightly larger than the standard RC’s.

We see the RC350 F Sport as more of an Autobahn cruiser with sporting potential than a true sports sedan, but that seems to be what Lexus was going for here. It’s happiest on a highway at 80 mph (129 km/h) keeping ahead of slower and ostensibly inferior traffic.

Lexus offers every conceivable driver-assistance option one could think of in the RC, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blindspot detection, and adaptive cruise control with emergency braking.

Click here to continue to Page 3Style, Performance, and Specifications

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