Driven: Lexus RC 300h
Since I regularly have some long distances to drive, I’ve been testing some cars that eat up the motorway with ease. Normally I need a refined car with a good range, supple suspension and most importantly a comfortable driver’s seat with a perfect driving position. The usual German big-boys will always be at the font of my mind. BMW, Audi and Mercedes always have something comfortable with a big diesel engine perfect for long distances. What about thinking outside the box for a moment? The new Lexus RC coupe may be off most people’s radar, but it certainly ticks all the boxes.
I’ve been in the new Lexus RC 300h Coupe recently. This hybrid model has a smooth 2.5 litre petrol engine and electric motor combination. Producing 220bhp it’s definitely powerful enough, the standard CVT automatic transmission gives seamlessly smooth acceleration and with the economy offered by its hybrid technology, it has excellent range. Lexus suggest fuel consumption of 57.6mpg on a combined cycle, although I achieved an acceptable 42mpg on a mix of driving – which gave me around 600 miles from a full tank.
Where this model really scores is its comfort and refinement. The RC pulls away in silence running purely on electric power with the petrol engine smoothly cutting in when out of traffic. At higher speeds there is very little wind, engine or road noise – all of which can be drowned out by the cars excellent stereo system. With electric seats, the driving position ins infinitely adjustable and the driver’s seat is comfortable enough yet supportive. A Lexus always has a comfortable driving position and this model is one of the best in the range.
Standard equipment on all Lexus RC models is very generous. Mine had full leather, xenon headlights, navigation, DAB radio and electric front seats. My only gripe was that the touchpad control for the navigation and media system was a little fiddly, and I felt the graphics on the navigation map looked a little dated compared to rivals.
The RC range starts at £34,995 on-the-road, or leasing fans can have it from as little as £400 a month. For a company car driver, the CO2 emissions of just 113g/km mean that the benefit-in-kind tax for this hybrid model will be lower than other cars in the class too!
For: Looks amazing, comfort, refinement, low emissions
Against: Fiddly media & navigation system
Verdict: A great looking GT. Well worth considering!
« « The Electric Car Game Just Changed | Driven: All new Toyota Prius Review » »