2021 Lexus RC 350

MSRP $44,225 - $46,390

Ranked #8 in Compact Coupe

7.8

Overall Rating

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2021 Lexus RC 350 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: August 19, 2021

Nathan Dyer's image
Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Seeing how tough the competition is, buying a luxury sport coupe should get a bit difficult as every vehicle tries its best to attract the crowd. Among those, you will find the Lexus RC 350, which comes up with its unique vibe. For the 2021 model year, Blind-spot monitoring has been added to the standard safety list. Apart from that, it remains the same as its previous year version.

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Pros

Exquisite interior design

Abundant room for front-row occupants

Memorable driving experience

Excellent V6 engine power

Cons

Shortage of legroom for rear row occupants

Unsatisfactory infotainment system

A bit slower for its segment

Dismal cargo space

What's New?

Blind-spot monitoring system as standard

Lexus also launched Black Line Special Edition model


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$44225

bodystyle

2dr Coupe

passenger capacity

4

top speed

170 mph

drivetrain

rear wheel drive

engine type

displacement

211 cu.in.

horsepower

311 hp @ 6600 rpm

torque

280 lb.-ft. @ 4800 rpm

transmission

2 speed CVT w/OD and auto manual

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

15/13.6 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

107.5 in.

length

185 in.

width

72.4 in.

height

54.9 in.

curb weight

3748 lbs.

ground clearance

5.3 in.

capacity

passenger volume

83.8 cu ft.

cargo volume

10.4 cu ft.

towing capacity

2800 lbs.

payload capacity

1080 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

4.9 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

20/24/28 mpg

highway range

487.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

4 yr./ 50000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

powertrain warranty

6 yr./ 70000 mi.

corrosion warranty

6 yr./ unlimited mi.

roadside assistance

Yes


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$44,225 onwards

Colors and Styles

2021 Lexus RC 350 in Atomic Silver color
Atomic Silver

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Pricing and Features

6.5

Engine and Performance

7.7

Fuel Economy

8.0

Interior

6.6

Exterior

9.9

Safety

9.0

Competition

7.0

Final Verdict

8.2

7.8

OVERALL RATING

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide

7.8

Overall Rating


While others try to achieve the perfect balance between performance, sporty characteristics, and luxury, the 2021 Lexus RC 350 focuses more on luxury and does so proudly. This is why it is still in the market and competing against rivals such as BMW 4 Series,Mercedes-Benz C Class Coupe, and INFINITI Q60. Let's see how it stacks up against the strong competition in this review.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe front angle view
2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe rear angle view

7.7/10
Engine and Performance

8.0/10
Fuel Economy

6.6/10
Interior

9.9/10
Exterior

9.0/10
Safety

7.0/10
Competition

8.2/10
Final Verdict


2021 Lexus RC 350 Features

Just like its siblings, the 2021 RC 350 is available in only one trim. This might seem a bit limiting at first but Lexus offers different packages for your extra needs. The brand offers a variety of packages, giving buyers a vast level of customization. Features such as keyless entry and push-button start, 18-inch wheels, power-adjustable heated front row seats, 10 speaker audio system, a 7-inch infotainment display, dual-zone automatic climate control, a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, and other safety assists are available as standard. Packages such as Premium package, Navigation and Premium Audio package, and the All-new Black Line Special Edition are available.

Trim

Base

MSRP (RWD)

$45,150

MSRP (AWD)

$47,315

Key Features

18-inch wheels

 

Keyless entry and push-button start

 

Power adjustable and heated front seats

 

7-inch infotainment display

 

10 speaker audio system

 

Support for Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Android Auto

 

Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert

 

Lane Departure Alert (LDA) with Steering Assist Lane Keeping Assist

 

Adaptive cruise control

 

Automatic high beams

Which Trim should you buy?

As we mentioned above, the 2021 RC 350 might come in only one trim level, with either RWD or AWD to choose from, but it does offer a decent list of features such as a 10-way power adjustable driver seat and 8-way power-adjustable passenger seat. However, when it comes to choosing packages, we would suggest going for the Premium package, which loads a better level of luxury by adding a power tilt telescopic steering wheel, heated and ventilated seats, and heated mirrors. A Navigation System with a Premium Audio package is also available but seems to be best for audiophiles only. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Engine and Performance

7.7/10

The 2021 Lexus RC 350 is powered by a 3.5 Liter V6 gas engine which can easily churn out 311 horsepower and a torque of 280 lb-ft. By default, power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission which performs decently. However, you can opt for an all-wheel-drive system and a six-speed automatic transmission that replaces the eight-speed one. And that, according to us, is a worthy offering for enthusiasts because it is buttery smooth and almost feels like stuck to the ground at high speeds.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe 

As for the engine, not only does it sound great but performs pretty nicely on the road especially on straights. Sure, it’s not the fastest in its class, but it manages to go from 0-60 mph in just 5.8 seconds and a quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds. It offers enough oomph for the sake of being a luxury sport coupe. On top of that, three driving modes (normal, sport, and snow mode) are available to keep things even more interesting.

Models

2021 Lexus RC 350

2021 INFINITI Q60 Coupe

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe

MSRP

$45,150

$41,750

$45,600

$47,200

Engine 

3.5 Liter V6

3.0 Liter Twin Turbo V6

2.0 Liter Turbo Inline-4

2.0 Liter Turbo Inline-4

Drivetrain

RWD

RWD

RWD

RWD

Transmission

8 speed automatic

7 speed automatic

8 speed automatic

9 speed automatic

Power 

311hp @ 6,600 rpm

300hp @ 6,400 rpm

255hp @ 5,000 rpm

255hp @ 5,800 rpm

Torque

280lb-ft @ 4,800 rpm

295lb-ft @ 1,600 rpm

295lb-ft @ 1,550 rpm

273lb-ft @ 1,800 rpm

0-60 MPH (sec)

5.8

5.4

5.3

5.9

Quarter mile (sec)

14.2

13.3

14.3

14.1

Top Speed (MPH)

168

155

149

155

As mentioned before, the 2021 Lexus RC 350’s V6 engine performs nicely on its own. However, stack it against its rivals, and the story changes quickly as some rivals easily outrun it by milliseconds. On the other hand, the RC 350 performs better than the BMW on quarter-mile, which demonstrates its transmission’s prowess. Infiniti comes with a 3L twin-turbo V6, but the engine is not tuned and is as refined as the one on the BMW 4 Series coupe.

How well does the 2021 Lexus RC 350 handle?

Having a pretty good engine which somehow manages to fall behind the others might be a bit let down, but the real factor which makes the 2021 RC 350 worth having is the driving experience. We must say, it’s easily one of the best in its class. Not only does it perform amazingly on the straights but tackle sharp corners confidently. 

The steering wheel is perfectly weighted and does transmit a pretty good response from the road. The suspension system is pretty good because it can easily negate low to medium bumps and give you a smooth ride inside. However just don’t even think about taking to rough roads, or at least do not go for bigger alloy wheels.

Braking Performance

The 2021 RC 350 might not be the fastest in its class, but it is still fast enough to keep the sporty nature. On top of that, it weighs 3,748 pounds, which gives us an idea about its braking nature. For that, we must say Lexus did an excellent job loading great brakes. The 2021 Lexus RC 350 comes with 13.2 inches front and 12.2 inches rear disc brakes, which are fully ventilated. Furthermore, you get ABS, braking assist, and hill hold control. So despite being heavy, the braking performance it offers is really good. It stops from 70 mph to a standstill in a short distance of 168 feet.

Models

2021 Lexus RC 350

2021 INFINITI Q60 Coupe

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

13.2

12.6

12.3

13

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

12.2

12.1

11.8

11.8

Curb Weight (lbs.)

3,748

3,743

3,578

3,572

70-0 MPH (feet)

168

163

149

163

We have already established how the Lexus RC 350 comes with a decent braking system if not the best. So when compared with its rivals, the BMW 4 Series coupe takes the lead despite having the smallest brakes but has better stopping power than most others. However, we must mention that the BMW 4 Series stops from 70-0 mph in just 149 feet, followed by the Mercedes-Benz and Infiniti Q60 which happen to have exactly the same stopping distance of 163 feet.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Fuel Economy

8.0/10

As noticed, a powerful engine often comes with terrible fuel economy. However, when it comes to the Lexus RC 350, the situation is a bit different. It returns 20 mpg in the city, 28 mpg on the highways, and 23 mpg combined. These stats are not one of the best in its class but still seem to be decent. On top of that, the 17.4-gallon fuel tank capacity gets you a driving range varying from 348 miles in the city to 487.2 miles on the highway. These stats are for the RWD variant, while the AWD variant drops the figures by 1-2 mpg. 

Models

2021 Lexus RC 350

2021 INFINITI Q60 Coupe

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe

MPG (City)

20

19

26

24

MPG (Highway)

28

28

34

33

MPG (Combined)

23

22

29

27

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

17.4

20

15.6

17.4

Range (City/Highway /Combined, in Miles)

348/487.2/400.2

380/560/440

405.6/530.4/452.4

417.6/574.2/469.8

Numbers like these are the reason why we think that the 2021 RC 350 is an economical car. However, we would love to have a bigger fuel tank. Stack it against its rivals, and you will see how the RC 350 only managed to surpass INFINITI Q60. Both BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C 300 offer better MPG. The Q60 comes with a large 20-gallon fuel tank which puts its driving range well over the Lexus. Merc, on the other hand, gets a similar tank as the Lexus but offers the best driving range in the competition. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Interior

6.6/10

Remember when we said how the 2021 RC 350 focuses more on luxury, this gets cleared as you get inside the cabin. One gets welcomed by easily one of the best-looking interiors in its segment. Instead of going simple, Lexus went ahead by bringing a complex design with double tone colors which look attractive. And yes, premium materials can be found on most of the surfaces. As for the dashboard, a multilevel dash with tab like display in the middle and other units are jammed on it. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe cockpit area

A 10-way power-adjustable driver seat and an 8-way power-adjustable front passenger seat are available as standard. The front seats get a heating function as standard but can be upgraded to ventilated ones. At the rear, a 60/40 split-folding bench seat is made available. The front row seats on the Lexus are the most spacious, offering 45-inches of legroom. However, the rear row seat offers abysmal legroom. Also, the 10.4 cubic feet of standard cargo capacity is good considering it is a coupe. You also get limited storage areas inside the cabin for your personal effects.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe front seats

Models

2021 Lexus RC 350

2021 INFINITI Q60 Coupe

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe

Seating Capacity

4

4

4

4

Front Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

39/54.7/45.4

37.9/54.6/43.1

38/55.1/41.8

38.8/54.8/42

Rear Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)

34.8/50.8/27.3

34.5/52/32.4

35.2/55/34.5

35.6/51.7/32

Cargo Capacity (cu-ft)

10.4

8.7

12

10.5

Sure, the spacious cabin of the RC 350 offers impressive room for front-row occupants, which is far better than all the other rivals could offer, but the rear row bench seat comes with limited legroom. The standard cargo capacity is decent but can be increased by folding down the rear row seat. However, the seat cannot be folded from the trunk and needs to be done from the front. The BMW 4 Series offers a more balanced front and rear row space and also offers the highest standard cargo capacity at 12 cu ft. Standout interior features include:

  • 10-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • 8-way power-adjustable passenger seat
  • Heated front seats (all-wheel-drive models)
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Power tilt and telescopic steering wheel

What’s there to keep you entertained?

Unlike its excellent cabin with amazing interior quality, the infotainment system of the 2021 Lexus RC 350 is a bit disappointing. A 7-inch infotainment display is available which can be controlled via a knob or physical buttons which is average at best. Fortunately, one can bypass it as Lexus added support for Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa. 

A 10 speaker audio system is available which sounds decent. However, a Mark Levinson 17-speaker audio system with a subwoofer is also available via package and sounds even better. Other features such as a navigation system, SiriusXM, USB ports, Bluetooth 3.0, and WiFi hotspot are available. Standout infotainment features include:

  • 17 speaker audio system with subwoofer
  • 7-inch infotainment display
  • Android Auto, Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay support
  • SiriusXM
  • Navigation system

2021 Lexus RC 350 Exterior

9.9/10

Although when compared to last year’s model, you will not find any exterior changes in the 2021 Lexus RC 350. But then again, it is already very stylish. Unlike others, the RC 350 is a lot sharper with various curves. At the front, you get the traditional wide Lexus grille with chrome surround and edgy projector headlamps. On the sides, once again, you will find a curvy design with fenders extended outward. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe 

Body-colored power heated side mirrors and door handles are available. Below you will find 18-inch split 5-spoke alloy wheels, which according to us, look great. At the rear, you will find pointy tail lights complementing the front with a very curvy rear spoiler-like trunk design with dual exhaust tips below. A Black Line special edition is available which adds black chrome wheels and triple-beam LED headlights. 

Models

2021 Lexus RC 350

2021 INFINITI Q60 Coupe

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe

Curb weight (lbs)

3,748

3,743

3,578

3,572

Length (inches)

185

184.4

187.9

184.5

Width (Inches)

72.4

72.8

72.9

71.3

Height (Inches)

54.9

54.5

54.6

55.3

Ground clearance (inches)

5.3

4.9

N/A

3.5

Wheelbase (inches)

107.5

112.2

112.2

111.8

Dimensions wise, the RC 350 is similar to its rivals. However, it is heavier than the others. But yes, it also comes with better ground clearance than the others, which means better control over bumps. The BMW 4 Series is the longest one of the lot and also comes with a large wheelbase, which explains why it has better interior room and cargo space. Some of the Standout exterior features are listed below:

  • 18-inch split 5 spoke alloy wheels
  • Body-colored power heated side mirrors
  • Triple beam LED headlights
  • Moonroof
  • Rain-sensing wipers (optional)

2021 Lexus RC 350 Safety

9.0/10

The 2021 RC 350 is based on Toyota’s New N platform, which is shared by Lexus IS and GS. It offers decent build quality, which is why the 2021 Lexus RC 350 received the maximum possible rating of ‘Good’ from IIHS. The NHTSA hasn’t crash-tested it yet, but Lexus has loaded the RC350 with various safety features. It comes with multiple dual-stage airbags including driver and passenger knee airbags, standard driveline and traction control, and a tire pressure monitoring system. 

Buyers also get a lane departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation system, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring system, automatic high beams, and rear cross-traffic alert. For easy parking, sensors and a backup camera are made available. Standout safety features include:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Lane departure warning system
  • A forward collision mitigation system
  • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic high-beam headlights

2021 Lexus RC 350 Competition

7.0/10

2021 Lexus RC 350 vs 2021 INFINITI Q60 Coupe

When stacked against the INFINITI Q60, the Lexus RC 350 offers better practicality, more room for front-row occupants, and more volume for cargo. It even offers better braking power than the INFINITI. The Q60, on the other hand, offers better performance on the road, a bigger fuel tank which leads to a better driving range, and more room for rear row occupants. It is a tough choice between the two.

2021 INFINITI Q60 Coupe

2021 Lexus RC 350 vs 2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe

The competition between RC 350 and BMW 4 Series is an old rivalry, and once again, BMW takes the lead here by being quicker on the road. It even offers better braking power, superior fuel economy, and more room for cargo and occupants. The RC 350 offers a bigger fuel tank, more room for front-row occupants, and a cabin that is better looking and comfortable. We would recommend the BMW 4 Series between the two.

2021 BMW 4 Series Coupe

2021 Lexus RC 350 vs 2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe

Going against the Mercedes-Benz C 300 was bound to happen as it is one of the best luxury coupes in the market. So when compared, it is easier to see that both RC 350 and C 300 offer somewhat similar fuel tank and cargo capacities. However, the rear-wheel-drive C 300 is a bit faster than the Lexus and offers better fuel economy, and driving dynamics are way better than the RC350.

2021 Mercedes-Benz C 300 Coupe

 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Final Verdict

8.2/10

Just like its siblings, the 2021 Lexus RC 350 is still making a name for itself by offering an excellently designed cabin, decent performance, amazing ride quality, and appealing aesthetics. Even the long list of features it comes with is impressive. The limited legroom for rear row occupants, mediocre infotainment system, and average driving range create some confusion when it comes to buying. Otherwise, we would advise you to consider the 2021 Lexus RC 350 when it comes to buying a luxury coupe.

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