Road Test Review – 2023 Lexus RC350 F Sport – Light Updates Keep This Coupe Fresh

The 2023 Lexus RC350 F Sport is an interesting entry in the luxury coupe segment. While the aggressive exterior styling projects sporty driving and track-ready prowess, the RC350 prefers to cruise through the motions with the range-topping V8-powered F model taking on formal track duty. But while the mainstream RC’s approach to the slow life has helped it maintain a presence in the marketplace, it’s also no secret that the model is rapidly aging and losing ground to rivals. But does the RC lineup as a whole still have a few tricks up its sleeve to help it stay fresh in the eyes of buyers and pump up sales for Lexus?


RC Styling Is Aging Like A Fine Wine

The exterior styling of the RC is aging when compared with some of its rivals. Despite this, our red hued tester still managed to do a good job grabbing attention from curious observers. The exterior styling may seem a bit jumbled, but it also highlights the Frankenstein like nature of its construction with the platform using pieces from the Lexus IS, GS, and the previous generation IS convertible. The RC’s styling was lightly updated a few years ago and they included a lightly tweaked front grille and headlights as well.

The rear has been tweaked too but the end result is a look that will largely be familiar to Lexus loyalists. Unfortunately, it also means that the RC has been lapped by some of its rivals including the BMW 4-Series coupe that has benefitted from several updates over the years. That said we will give the RC canvas a nod for looking elegant in certain colors including the vivid red hue that defined our F Sport grade tester.


RC Interior Still Checks Off The Boxes For Comfort and Luxury

Slip inside the RC and the interior still retains its impressive build quality and high amounts of luxury. Front seat occupants have plenty of legroom with the comfortable front seats having a balanced amount of comfort and support. The RC has back seats, but the Lexus prefers you treat them like Sasquatch or the Loch Ness monster and pretend they don’t exist. It’s just as well since the space is extremely tight even for children and is best left for cargo.

The cryptozoology that dominates rear seat affairs also means that rear blind-spots are as prevalent as tales of the Jersey Devil with lane changes being a frustrating ordeal. That said, the RC does come with plenty of goodies including dual-zone climate control, heated and cooled seats, as well as a premium Mark Levinson audio system. A major change that buyers will notice is that the 2023 model gets an all-new touchscreen infotainment system. A base 8.0-inch screen is standard but our tester arrived with the optional 10.0-inch display that’s now touch operated. The annoying touchpad is still present, but user frustration is greatly reduced with the screen now capable of receiving touch based commands. We’re glad that load speeds are very fast between each tap since it will serve as further motivation not to use the touchpad.


V6 Is a Balanced Choice

The 2023 Lexus RC is powered by a trio of engines with a 241-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder serving as the base engine. Buyers looking for more power and balance can opt for the naturally aspirated 3.5-liter V6 which is available in two tunes depending on the drive layout. Go for a rear-wheel drive model like our example and you get a 311-hp V6 while the all-wheel drive RC300 gets a 260-hp version of the engine. The RC350 also gets an eight-speed automatic while the RC300 gets a six-speed. Our RWD-equipped F Sport tester was able to make the sprint to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds which is still pretty brisk, but it’s also slower than the BMW 440i which can do the same feat in under 5 seconds.

While the V6 may lag behind the more powerful 5.0-liter V8 in raw driving fun, the RC 350 makes up for it by offering buyers an impressive degree of ride comfort. The F-Sport package does add some firmness to the suspension, but that does little to detract from the buttery smooth ride that is more than enough to drown out Michigan’s roughest slabs of urban pavement. The RC may not be as eager to play at the limit like some of its rivals but as long as you allow the coupe to play within its own limits, it returns the favor with enough comfort to soak up the miles on a long road trip or a quick trip to the store.


Value Quotient

Pricing for the 2023 Lexus RC lineup starts at $45,970 which will get you a base RC300 with a four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. Climbing up the RC range brings pricing into the $50,000 range with all-wheel drive being exclusive to the V6-powered RC300. Meanwhile, RC350 models are a rung above the RC300 but come in V6 only guise. Rear-wheel drive examples start at $48,900 with all-wheel drive bumping the price up to $51,065.

Our tester arrived as an F Sport model with base prices for these models starting at $53,520. Our tester came with a light sprinkling of optional equipment which caused the price to creep up to just under $60,000. That’s on par with many in its segment, but it also causes the RC to stand out for other reasons. For roughly the same price, buyers can get a BMW 440i model that has more horsepower and newer technology while a growing pool of rivals has also eclipsed it in prestige and performance. However, if you’re a buyer that’s not looking to go fast and is instead looking for a sharp-looking coupe that can deliver the goods in ride quality, the 2023 Lexus RC lineup might be the perfect ticket to meeting those needs. In some ways, the RC is a throwback to old-school personal luxury coupes with those models often putting wild styling on a platform catered towards providing a balance of comfort and sportiness.




Carl Malek has been an automotive journalist for over 10 years. First starting out as a freelance photographer before making the transition to writing during college, his work has appeared on numerous automotive forums as well as websites such as

Carl is also a big fan of British vehicles with the bulk of his devotion going to the Morgan Motor Company as well as offerings from Lotus, MG, and Caterham. When he is not writing about automobiles, Carl enjoys spending time with his family and friends in the Metro Detroit area, as well as spending time with his adorable pets.

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