2020 Lexus RC

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2020 Lexus RC Review: Style Over Sport

by Michael Butler

The Lexus RC is a beautifully designed compact premium coupe that puts luxury and comfort above pure driving ability and straight-line performance. There are three engine options on offer for 2020; the base model comes equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-pot producing 241 horsepower, followed by a 260-hp V6 for AWD models. The RC 350 gets a 311-hp V6 engine, and all trim levels are available in RWD and AWD. The F Sport trim adds some serious performance features such as adaptive suspension and performance brakes. Rivals include the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe. We appreciate the beautifully crafted interior and a good list of standard features, but we wish the drive was more engaging. If you're after looks and comfort, the Lexus RC might just be the choice for you, but as far engaging driving dynamics do, you'd be better off looking elsewhere.

Read in this review:

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2020 Lexus RC Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 RC?

All major mechanical components remain the same for 2020, but Lexus has given the RC some new standard features. You no longer need to specify the Premium Package to gain access to the optional wheels, and you can no longer get your RC in Vortex Blue. The Enform infotainment system gets an updated trial period, and the great-sounding Mark Levinson audio system is now available as a single options rather than part of a more expensive package.

Pros and Cons

  • Beautiful exterior design
  • Refined ride quality
  • Spacious interior
  • F Sport strikes a good balance of ride and handling
  • Tight back seat
  • Tricky touchpad controller infotainment
  • Could be quicker in our opinion
  • No manual transmission
  • Places style above engaging driving dynamics

What's the Price of the 2020 Lexus RC?

The 2020 Lexus RC is priced to compete with the likes of BMW's 4 Series and Infiniti's Q60 Coupe. We'll start with the base model, and cheapest car in the range, the RC 300 RWD, which goes for an MSRP of $41,295. This price excludes a destination fee of $1,025, registration, and tax. The AWD version of the RC 300 goes for $43,985 and opting for the more performance orientated RC 300 F Sport RWD will set you back $46,365. The AWD version of the RC 300 F Sport goes for $48,540. The more powerful RC 350 starts at $44,225 for the RWD car and $46,390 for the AWD version. At the top of the pile sits the RC 350 F Sport, which costs $49,295 in RWD guise, and $50,905 in AWD configuration.

Best Deals on 2020 Lexus RC

2020 Lexus RC Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
RC 300
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
RC 350
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
3.5L V6 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 Lexus RC Trims and Specs

2020 RC Exterior

2020 Lexus RC Side Angle Driving Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Lateral View Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Side View Lexus
See All 2020 Lexus RC Exterior Photos


  • Length 184.8 in
  • Wheelbase 107.5 in
  • Height 54.9 in
  • Max Width 72.4 in
  • Front Width 62.2 in
  • Rear Width 63.0 in
  • Curb Weight 3,737.0 lbs

Exterior Colors

  • Eminent White Pearl
  • Nebula Gray Pearl
  • Atomic Silver
  • Obsidian
  • Caviar
  • Infrared
  • Blue Vortex Metallic
  • Ultra White
  • Flare Yellow
  • Ultrasonic Blue Mica 2.0

2020 RC Performance

2020 Lexus RC Front View Driving Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Wheel Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Headlights On Lexus

Engine and Transmission

  • Engines
    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.5L V6 Gas
  • Transmissions
    6-Speed Automatic, 8-Speed Automatic
  • Drivetrains
    AWD, RWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

Yes, it looks the part, but can the Lexus RC walk the walk? We think so. Climb in behind the wheel of the base model RC 300, and you're greeted with a driving experience that feels sporty enough, but definitely has a bias towards refined cruising. Steering in all models is sharp, and despite its overly assisted electric feel, it still manages to return enough road feedback to make driving the RC on the edge a fun, rather than daunting experience. Throw the RC into the corners, and you'll find that it's not as well set up as rivals such as the BMW 4 Series, but it is forgiving, which means there's more room to explore its capabilities in a safe and fun way. If you really want a sporty experience, you should look towards the RC F Sport, which adds stiffened adaptive suspension for an even sharper driving experience, while an available $390 limited-slip differential turns it into a capable cornering tool, albeit not a proper track weapon.

2020 RC Interior

2020 Lexus RC Driver Area Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Front Chairs Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Central Console Lexus
See All 2020 Lexus RC Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

  • Seating capacity
  • Front Leg Room 45.4 in
  • Front Head Room 39.0 in
  • Rear Leg Room 27.3 in
  • Rear Head Room 34.8 in

2020 RC Trunk and Cargo Space

2020 Lexus RC Front Seats Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Driver Seat Lexus
2020 Lexus RC Trunk Space Lexus
  • Trunk Volume
    10.4 ft³

2020 RC Safety and Reliability


  • Basic:
    4 Years \ 50,000 Miles
  • Drivetrain:
    6 Years \ 70,000 Miles
  • Corrosion:
    6 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Roadside Assistance:
    4 Years \ Unlimited Miles
  • Maintenance:
    1 Years \ 10,000 Miles

US NHTSA Crash Test Result

NHTSA safety ratings are not available at this time.

Verdict: Is the 2020 Lexus RC A Good car?

The duality of the Lexus RC is what makes it an appealing proposition. It is most certainly a sporty thing that not only looks fast but gets down the road pretty convincingly, but its main focus is on driver comfort, safety, and luxury. From the outside, the RC's striking looks and optional triple beam LEDs lead you to believe that this car is going to be a rocket, but in reality, it is more of a sporty coupe with GT aspirations. We love its composed ride quality, but driving hard reveals a significant disconnect between driver and car, which is improved upon when you go for one of the F Sport cars with tighter suspension and an optional limited-slip differential. Inside, the level of quality and refinement is excellent, and you get all the basic features you'd expect from a car in this class. We were disappointed with its tight rear seats and unintuitive infotainment system, though. All in all, the RC is an honest premium coupe that can be enjoyable at pace and offers impressive refinement but don't expect it to set scorching lap times or thrill the soul.

What Lexus RC Model Should I Buy?

The RC is a good looking car no matter what trim you go for, so if you're not interested in dynamic ability, an RC 300 will do just fine, but we think the RC can do much better than the base model. With a rather hefty curb weight, the RC needs all the power it can get, so for that reason, we'll start off with the RC 350. It offers all the features found on the RC 300 but gets significantly more poke. While you're at it, you might as well go for the F Sport version that turns the RC into a more convincing driver's car thanks to its adaptive suspension and performance brakes, but don't expect BMW 4 Series levels of athleticism. The RC 350 F Sport starts at $49,295.

Check out other Lexus RC Styles

2020 Lexus RC Comparisons

BMW 4 Series Coupe BMW
Infiniti Q60 CarBuzz
CompetitorHorsepowerMPGPrice (MSRP)
Lexus RC241 hp21/31 mpg$44,670
BMW 4 Series Coupe 255 hp25/34 mpg$47,400
Infiniti Q60 300 hp19/28 mpg$42,250

2020 Lexus RC vs BMW 4 Series Coupe

Competing in the luxury sports coupe class, the BMW 4 Series has become a popular choice for executives that like the look of a sports car, but who don't feel the need to go for a hardcore performance option such as the M4. The 4 Series is powered by either a turbocharged four-pot developing 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque, or a more potent turbocharged inline-six that churns out 320 hp and 330 lb-ft of torque. Gas mileage ranges from 23/34/27 mpg for the 430i to 22/30/25 mpg for the 440i xDrive Coupe. Whereas the Lexus RC feels disconnected from the driver, the BMW is more involving, the engines more potent, and the transmission far better. We are also grateful for the inclusion of a six-speed manual option. The BMW does have its weak points; however, it doesn't come with many standard features, optional extras can get expensive, and headroom is a bit tight in the rear, but not as constricting as the RC. We'd go with the 4 Series all day, purely for its dynamic nature.

See BMW 4 Series Coupe Review

2020 Lexus RC vs Infiniti Q60

The Q60 Coupe is a stunning vehicle and competes with the likes of the RC in the sense that it's also developed by the premium arm of a Japanese company. From the outside, the Q60 charms with its flowing lines and handsome front end, but its interior is starting to show its age. Under the hood of the Q60 lies a potent twin-turbo 3.0-liter V6 engine that produces 300 hp and 295 lb-ft, and is more enjoyable to push hard than the V6 in the RC 350. If you want something even more hardcore, Infiniti offers a Red Sport 400 trim that produces 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. Things we like about the Q60 are the roomier rear seats and supremely comfortable front seats, and the general refinement of the interior which features lots of soft-touch materials. On the other hand, the interior design is starting to look a bit dated, and the aging infotainment system is tricky to use. The rear seats, as in the RC, are cramped, and it holds a dubious safety record. We'd stick with the RC here, despite the Q60's brilliant engine options.

See Infiniti Q60 Review
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