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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review:Lexus RC

Overall verdict
Forgettable engine and transmission in a sporty-looking package. A sheep in wolf’s clothing.


Looks quick and deft. Improvements are subtle but noticeable.


Isn’t quick, not very interesting to drive.


What is it?

Time to play spot-the-difference with this revised and updated RC, what Lexus describes as a ‘luxury sports coupe’. It’s supposed to have taken direction from Lexus’ awesome LC supercar-slash-GT and have subtle design changes, better aero, suspension, tyres etc than the car that first popped up in 2014. You get the idea.

It gets a bit forensic though: new bumper corners, new grille mesh, triple-stacked LED headlights (only on F Sport and Takumi models) and some L-shaped daytime running lights. Different rear light units, ducts on the corners of the rear bumper, a slightly wider stance, apparently. Hard to spot, that one. It’s supposed to be ‘sharper and more graceful’ than before, but when the press pack lauds the fact that the RC is supposed to be ‘more stable than before under a wide variety of conditions’, you get the feeling that bald driving excitement wasn’t point one on the agenda. Unlike the RC F (and Track Edition), which sport much more exciting hardware.

Mind you, the RC300h isn’t supposed to be a hardcore sports car, but offer a different take on a sporty-looking coupe - one with a bit of a conscience. After all, there aren’t that many two-door coupes that can hit 47.5mpg regularly, and manage a decent chunk of their usage cycle on EV only (which it does). The F-Sport grade gets 19-inch wheels that echo the rims on the LS and LC, as well as badges and a few other upgrades, and generally it hangs together very nicely. It certainly stands quite happily with the Merc C-Class Coupe or BMW 4 Series, giving the genre a more specific Japanese style, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
500 5.0 [463] 10th Anniversary 2dr Auto
4.5s 258g/km 25.0 463 £67,870
The cheapest
300h 2.5 2dr CVT
8.6s 114g/km 56.5 223 £38,590
The greenest
300h 2.5 2dr CVT
8.6s 114g/km 56.5 223 £38,590
Continue: Driving