The Lexus RC 300h stirs the soul, but is it a match for German rivals? Geraldine Herbert finds out
What is it? So you want something sporty and premium that wouldn’t look out of place at a Greenpeace fundraiser. You want it to look muscular but not bling, with good driving manners, plush interior and comfort. Well, Lexus would like to tempt you with their 2019 RC 300h – a hybrid coupé.
Is it a looker? It looks absolutely gorgeous and is a real head-turner but then how could it not be, its inspired by the larger and stunning LC. The RC’s long, low, attention-seeking shape now sports a new front bumper, grille and headlamps imbuing it with a new elegance.
What about the interior? Inside you’ll find the same panache and while you may struggle to notice much change since the previous version but the tweaks include a new analogue dash clock and a distinctive stitching pattern has been added that epitomises edgy style and sophistication. On the downside, the seats in the rear are tiny and best reserved for shopping bags, while the rear-view mirror tells you virtually nothing that is going on behind you.
Under the bonnet? The engine remains unchanged. The RC is still powered by a 2,494cc direct-injection, four-cylinder petrol that delivers, along with the electric motor, combined power of 164kW and oodles of sheer pulling power. Despite the sporty looks, low CO2 emissions mean low motor tax and decent fuel economy keeps you out of the fuel station.
And on the road? The RC handles as well as rivals and even comes very close to the best in terms of ride comfort. The only real let-down is the whine of the CVT gearbox – even above the tyre noise it’s noticeable, but overall the ride is firm and the handling is good.
Will it break the bank? Available in two grades – Luxury and F Sport – prices for the RC 300h start at €56,950.
Why you will like it? Cars by Lexus have never blended into the background and they each blaze their own visual trail, and the RC is no exception. As a niche model, it will struggle against the likes of the BMW 4 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe, and the Audi A5. However, while it’s not a sports car, the RC 300h is a striking two-door coupe with oodles of panache and with a reputation for reliability there’s little chance the RC will let you down
What it says about you? With dramatic looks and a dashing drive, you‘re living proof that you can have it all.
3 words to describe the Lexus RC 300h? Stunning, Classy, Green
30th January 2019