2021 Lexus RC 350

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2021 MODEL
$45,050 - $47,215 See Inventory Prices
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7.9

Overall Rating

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2021 Lexus RC 350 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: September 19, 2020
Madhav A Nigam's image

Madhav A Nigam

Content Writer

Walking ways to building cars that have a knack for reliability with a fine touch of luxury and performance is just another day in the time of Lexus. With the market bursting in all directions and SUVs becoming assertive more than ever, the coupes are becoming more refined in order to carve their slice of the pie. And getting a piece of that pie is the 2021 Lexus RC 350

Ever since the birth of Lexus over 30 years ago as Toyota's luxury car division, it has grown increasingly popular in the premium car market. Lexus has had a decent grip on the US market too, and their new 2021 RC 350 looks to continue that trend along.

With competition brewing from Infiniti Q60, Audi S5 Coupe Quattro, and the BMW 4-Series, let’s find out if the 2021 Lexus RC 350 is ready for the challenge that awaits.

See detailed review »

Pros

Buttery smooth V6

Impeccably refined and quiet

High-quality interiors

Very reliable

Cons

Infotainment system is dated and can be tedious to control

Trunk space is sub-par

Rear seats are useless

What's New?

The Lexus RC 350 remains unchanged for 2021 model year


Pictures

Exterior
Interior

Styles

2021 Lexus RC 350 in Atomic Silver color 2021 Lexus RC 350 in Caviar color 2021 Lexus RC 350 in Infrared color 2021 Lexus RC 350 in Nebula Gray Pearl color 2021 Lexus RC 350 in Ultra White color 2021 Lexus RC 350 in Obsidian 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

Features

6.5

Engine And Performance

7.7

Fuel Economy

8.1

Interior

6.6

Exterior

9.9

Safety

9.0

Competition

7.0

Final Verdict

8.2

7.9

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2021 Lexus RC 350 Base

Base

power
311 hp @ 6600 rpm
fuel
Premium unleaded (required)
mpg
23 combined

$45,050 - $47,215


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
2dr Coupe (3.5L 6cyl 8A) Starting at $45,050 MSRP (23/28) 311 hp @ 6600 rpm, 3.5L, V-6, premium unleaded (required)
8-Speed Automatic rear wheel drive 4
2dr Coupe AWD (3.5L 6cyl 6A) Starting at $47,215 MSRP (23/28) 311 hp @ 6600 rpm, 3.5L, V-6, premium unleaded (required)
6-Speed Automatic all wheel drive 4

Expert Review

7.9

Overall Rating


The Lexus RC 350 carries style with substance, and most of all, a sense of reliability due to its roots. It is powered by a naturally aspirated 3.5L V6 powertrain that belts out 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The power from the engine is tamed by a 6-speed automatic transmission. The car is offered at $45,050 with RWD as standard, and AWD can be had for $2,165 extra taking the price to $47,215 for the AWD

With its stance as one of the most cost-effective luxury performance vehicles, it garners competition from the Audi S5 Coupe, BMW 4-Series, and the Infiniti Q60.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe side view

6.5/10
Features

 
 
 

7.7/10
Engine and Performance

 

8.1/10
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

6.5/10

Like any luxury brand, the Lexus RC 350 is offered in a single standalone trim which encompasses all that the ride can offer in terms of features, functionality, and performance. Priced at $45,050 for the RWD, the base trim is a trusty steed that won’t let you down at any given time. If you want the AWD, then be prepared to shell out $2,165 more at $46,390. 

Like all Lexus vehicles, a performance-centric F-Sport model will also be revealed later which will be enough to satisfy the revv head in you.

Models

Lexus RC 350

MSRP (RWD)

$45,050

MSRP (AWD)

$47,215

Key Feature

18” Split-5-Spoke Alloy Wheels

 

Bi-LED headlamps and LED taillamps with DRLs

 

Drive Mode Select Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters

 

SmartAccess with push-button Start/Stop

 

Dual-zone climate control with interior air filters, smog sensor and automatic recirculation mode

 

Perforated Nuluxe interior trim

 

10-way power-adjustable and heated driver’s seat (including lumbar)

 

8-way power-adjustable and heated passenger’s seat

 

10 speaker premium sound system with HD Radio, SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth

 

Lexus Multimedia System with 7-inch color multimedia display and Scout GPS Link with MapStream and TurnStream 

*Subject to change after official price launch

Though you get many features as standard in the RC 350, as a true luxury brand, Lexus keeps the door to customization always open so that you can trick out the ride with add-on options and packages. From features to aesthetic updates, the sky's the limit with respect to the kind of customization you can achieve. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe

2021 Lexus RC 350 Maintenance, Reliability and Warranty

When it comes to reliability, Lexus tops all of the charts, literally. Lexus has been named as most reliable by JD Reports, AutoExpress, and Reliability Index. This is because the DNA of Toyota of being dependable and reliable has been ingrained from the very start. 

The Lexus RC 350 scored 79 out of 100 in the JD Power score which assures that it is one of the best in its segment. The customers have been all praise for the brand and the vehicle alike. So if you are buying a Lexus, you can’t go wrong with regards to reliability. That being said, the 2019 model of the vehicle had a recall pertaining to a faulty fuel pump. Thankfully, the 2020 model did not see this problem, and we don’t expect the 2021 model to see these faults either.

Now, the decision to buy a car is an immensely personal one. It depends on your usage, your location, and the kind of weather you encounter on most days of the year. And owing to these factors in addition to local state tax laws, dealer discounts, destination charges, and your personal negotiation skills, the final offer price of the Lexus RC 350 will vary. 

States

Cost

Washington

$43,396

Florida

$43,593

California

$43,260

New York

$43,280

Arizona

$43,685

After you have bought the car, you know it will be reliable, but even then it will need some caring and maintenance to make sure it remains in pristine condition. And that care and maintenance will extract some costs. 

The following are the 5-year cost of ownership of the Lexus RC 350:

Year

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Total

Tax Credit

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

$0

Insurance

$1,061

$1,098

$1,137

$1,176

$1,218

$5,690

Maintenance

$236

$984

$561

$2,752

$3,505

$8,038

Repairs

$0

$0

$0

$341

$521

$862

Taxes & Fees

$4,177

$21

$69

$21

$69

$4,357

Financing

$2,909

$2,340

$1,731

$1,084

$392

$8,456

Depreciation

$12,405

$3,890

$3,177

$3,562

$3,113

$26,147

Fuel

$2,015

$2,075

$2,137

$2,201

$2,268

$10,696

Real Cost of Ownership

$22,803

$10,408

$8,812

$11,137

$11,086

$64,246

In the first year, the depreciation is a major factor and eats up about 25% of the value of the car. Add to that the financing charges and you get the bulk of the cost of ownership in the first year. Thankfully these reduce to less than half in the following years to make sure you have a fulfilling experience in owning this dependable steed. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Warranty

While Lexus might not outshine its competitors when it comes to warranty, they do make it up for it with their top of the class reliability. The warranty statement is comprehensive yet very basic considering the price you pay for the ride. The warranty figures are mentioned below:

Criteria

Period

Limited warranty

2 years/ 50,000 miles; whichever is earlier

Powertrain warranty

6 years/ 70,000 miles; whichever is earlier

24-hour roadside assistance

2 years/ unlimited distance

When compared to its rivals, the Infiniti Q60 offers a better warranty statement of 4 years/60,000 miles warranty, while Audi S5 and BMW 4-Series both offer 4-years/50,000 miles warranty. Though Lexus has a lot of ground to make up, the sturdy build and the reliable characteristics make sure that you will not need to use the warranty. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Miles Per Dollar

The annual fuel costs of the Lexus RC 350 are about $2,100. Considering you make it your daily driver and run it around 15,000 miles in a year, you will get an average of 7.15 miles per dollar. Consequently, you will be paying $0.14/mile or 14 cents/mile for the same duration. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Buying Advice

While the Lexus RC 350 is a drool-worthy vehicle as-is, we recommend you get the AWD model and add the Navigation/Mark Levinson Premium Audio Package and Premium Package since they will add a horde of functionality and safety tech to the ride and make it one complete and encompassing package. 

Is buying a used Lexus RC 350 a good idea?

Like most Lexus cars, the Lexus RC 350 retains its value quite well after a couple of years or so. That being said, depreciation is the sad reality about buying a new car, and like any other vehicle, the Lexus RC 350 loses about 15%- 25% of its original value in the first year itself. 

However, if you want to get a great deal without spending a whole lot of money, you can pick up a pre-owned or used Lexus RC 350 and use the depreciation as a tool to get a great deal. According to the depreciation value, the 2018 models are the ones to put your money down on since it is fairly new and yet cost-effective to own.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Engine and Performance

7.7/10

Under the hood, the Lexus RC 350 is a 3.5L V6 engine that produces a decent 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque. The transmission of choice is a 6-speed automatic unit that can happily tame all the power from the powertrain. 

The power can be put either on the rear wheels or on all the wheels depending on your choice. The numbers are acceptable, not exactly head-turning, but given its price point, it’s fair. You get three drive modes, normal, sport, and a new snow mode for traveling through those slippery days conveniently.

Models

2021 Lexus RC 350 AWD*

2020 Infiniti Q60

2020 Audi S5 Quattro

2020 BMW 4-Series xDrive

MSRP

$47,215

$47,500

$52,400

$46,950

Engine

3.5 L V6

3.0L Turbo V6

3.0L Turbo V6

2.0L Turbo Inline-4

Drivetrain

AWD

AWD

AWD

AWD

Transmission

6 speed automatic

7 speed automatic

8 speed automatic

8 speed automatic

Power

311 hp@6,600rpm

300 hp@6,400rpm

349 hp@5,400rpm

248 hp@5,200rpm

Torque

280 lb-ft@4,800 rpm

295 lb-ft@1,600 rpm

369 lb-ft@1,370 rpm

258 lb-ft@1,450 rpm

*figures from 2020 model for reference

In a world where turbochargers are mainstream, the naturally aspirated approach is started to take a toll. The Audi S5 with a smaller turbocharged unit takes the top spot while the Lexus RC 350 follows in next. The Infiniti Q60 comes in at a close third spot while the BMW 4-Series is clearly out of its depth with its performance numbers. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe Acceleration and Braking

Thankfully the naturally aspirated unit packs enough grunt to get down to business when needed. Put the ride into sport mode and put the pedal to the metal, and the RC literally gallops from 0-60 mph in just 5.7 seconds. It finishes the quarter-mile in 14.2 seconds.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe accelerate 0-60 mph just in 5.7 sec

Thankfully the show does not stop there, the braking performance is equally great. The brakes inspire confidence and do not need much getting used to. When it comes to it, the brakes are capable enough to stop the Lexus RC 350 from 60-0 mph in 115 feet which is pretty decent for a ride of its stature.

Models

2021 Lexus RC 350 AWD* 

2020 Infiniti Q60

2020 Audi S5 Quattro

2020 BMW 4-Series xDrive

0-60 MPH

5.7 sec

6.1 sec

4.4 sec

5.5 sec

Quarter Mile

14.2 sec

14.4 sec

13.1 sec

14.3 sec

Top Speed

168 MPH

155 MPH

155 MPH

155 MPH

60-0 MPH

115 ft

163 ft

105 ft

162 ft

*figures from 2020 model for reference

In comparison to the rest, the Audi S5 is the most well-tuned in both acceleration and braking while the BMW is only good for the 0-60 sprint. The Lexus comes in third in the 0-60 but second overall. The Infiniti Q60 disappoints with its mediocre performance in both aspects.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Fuel Economy

8.1/10

With an eye to luxury and performance, the Japanese have tried to keep an eye on fuel economy as well, however have failed in this aspect. The Lexus RC 350 offers 19 MPG in the city, 26 MPG on the highway and 21 MPG combined. 

The fuel tank is average-sized at 17.4 gallons and hence offers an average of 366 miles overall.

Model

2021 Lexus RC 350 AWD* 

2020 Infiniti Q60

2020 Audi S5 Quattro

2020 BMW 4-Series xDrive

MPG (City)

19

19

20

21

MPG (Highway)

26

28

27

31

MPG (Combined)

21

22

23

24

Fuel Capacity

17.4 gallons

20 gallons

15.3 gallons

15.8 gallons

Range (City/Hwy/Combined)

311/452/366 miles

380/560/440 miles

306/413/352 miles

332/490/379 miles

*figures from 2020 model for reference

When compared to the others, the BMW 4-Series shines thoroughly owing to a well-refined smaller sized engine. The only caveat is that it has a smaller fuel tank as compared to the rest. The Audi S5 takes the second spot and suffers the same issue of a smaller fuel tank. The Infiniti Q60 is pegged in the third spot and thanks to its large fuel tank, it offers the best range as well. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Interior

6.6/10

The 2021 Lexus RC 350 has an interior that feels very posh and beautiful. The seats are wrapped in leather and the black roof has contrasting colored trims at the door and along the lines of the dashboard. The quality feels very premium, as is expected of Lexus. The front seats are heated, spacious, and cozy, with power control. Seating is comfortable with ample moving rooms and offers a very decent field of sight for the driver.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe front seats

The same cannot be said for the rear seats as they are cramped and only fit for seating children at best.

Model

2021 Lexus RC 350 AWD* 

2020 Infiniti Q60

2020 Audi S5 Quattro

2020 BMW 4-Series xDrive

Seating Capacity

4

4

4

4

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

39/54.7/45.4

37.4/54.6/43.1

39/55.3/41.3

40.4/55.3/42.2

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

34.8/50.8/27.3

34.5/52/32.4

36.1/50.7/32.7

37.1/49.8/33.1

*figures from 2020 model for reference

The BMW 4-Series is the most spacious up front and also at the back, providing decent interior spacing for a coupe. The Audi and Infiniti also offer comparable rear legroom which can suffice to fit an average-sized adult as opposed to the cramped rear seating of the Lexus.

Further, the RC 350 offers a lot of cubby spaces like spacious door pockets, cup holders, and storage in the armrest. It also offers 10.4 cu-ft of cargo space which is just about enough to carry a month of household supplies if you do use it for that purpose.

How’s the 2021 Lexus RC 350’s infotainment system?

The infotainment system in the Lexus RC 350 is a 7-inch display screen that is still not touchscreen capable. In an era where touchscreens are offered in even the most basic vehicles, Lexus infotainment is still controlled by the Lexus trackpad that can get tedious many times. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe infotainment system 

The standard features of the infotainment system are:

  • HD Radio
  • Satellite Radio with Real-Time Traffic
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Navigation System
  • 10-speakers with 256 Watts output
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Speed-Sensitive Volume Control
  • AUX and USB connection

The system is pretty basic but you get the option to upgrade this to a 10.3-inch navigation enabled system with Mark Levinson sound system for an additional $2,800. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Exterior

9.9/10

In recent years, Lexus has made sure that its vehicles are spectacular looking. The RC 350 is no different. The large blackened spindle grille along with the sleek LED headlamps. For the price you pay for it, the Lexus RC 350 is a true feast for the eyes and is the manifestation of “you eat with your eyes first”. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Coupe side view

The sloping roofline that meets at the far end on the rear gives it a very sporty vibe and makes sure that its presence is felt anywhere it goes. It’s the exterior styling that Lexus always seems to get right. 

Model

2021 Lexus RC 350 AWD*

2020 Infiniti Q60

2020 Audi S5 Quattro

2020 BMW 4-Series xDrive

Curb Weight

3891 lbs

3950 lbs

3847 lbs

3697 lbs

Length

185”

184.4”

184.7"

182.7”

Width

72.4”

72.8”

72.9"

71.9”

Height

55.1”

54.9”

53.9"

54.8"

Ground Clearance

5.3”

4.9"

N/A

5.7"

Wheelbase

107.5”

112.2”

108.8”

110.6"

*figures from 2020 model for reference

As you move to the rear, the modern taillamps with the dual exhausts give off a very Lexus LFA inspired look to the car. That being said, in comparison to the rest, the RC 350 is of comparable weight while the Infiniti Q60 is the heaviest. The Lexus RC 350 is also the longest and tallest among the lot. 

For 2021, it is pegged that the Lexus RC will see minor facelifts or even a new generational change, however, it is yet to be seen what is held in store.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Safety

9.0/10

The Lexus RC 350 is one of the best in the business and with the factor of reliability, it has kept a wary eye out for the safety of the passengers. Like its founder, Toyota, the Lexus RC 350 comes with an elaborate safety suite that encompasses most features you would need in long term use as well. 

The NHTSA has not tested the Lexus RC 350, but the IIHS has and granted it an overall Good rating which is the best they offer for any vehicle. So, you can rest assured that every ride will be a safe one.

2021 Lexus RC 350 Competition

7.0/10

2021 Lexus RC 350 vs Infiniti Q60

The Infiniti Q60 comes from the same home turf as the Lexus. Japan. Both of the vehicles are pretty reliable, however, the Infiniti Q60 is plain bland and underpowered in comparison to the Lexus.

 2021 Infiniti Q60

It is more tended towards a “tried and tested” safe approach and does not do much to excite. And with the price being higher than the RC 350, the case of the Q60 only becomes weaker. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 vs Audi S5 Quattro

The biggest German automaker Audi has the Audi S5 Coupe competing with the Lexus RC 350. And when pitted against each other, the Lexus bites the dust.

2021 Audi S5 Quattro

The S5 also looks pretty neat and stylish, with a much higher price tag as the only con. However, if you’re willing to pay, you will definitely not regret it.

2021 Lexus RC 350 vs BMW 4-Series 

The underdog of the arena is the BMW 4-Series. The coupe is decently powered, adequately spacious, and has great fuel efficiency but does not have much else to offer besides these.

2021 BMW 4 Series

The design for the 2021 model is either a hit or a miss depending on your taste, and the rest is pretty much average. With the price similar to Lexus, the only upside of the 4-Series is the superb driver assistance tech and the tag of being a Bimmer. 

2021 Lexus RC 350 Final Verdict

8.2/10

If you’re in the market for a visually appealing and unquestionably reliable car, then the Lexus RC 350 would be a great pick. It does not soar the skies in terms of performance but offers a touch of everything in luxury, technology, class, and style for its price bracket.

Used Lexus RC 350 for Sale


Car Name Deals Starting Price Number of Listings
2019 Lexus RC 350 0 Great Deals Out of 3 $36,672 3 Listings
2018 Lexus RC 350 0 Great Deals Out of 13 $33,000 13 Listings
2017 Lexus RC 350 2 Great Deals Out of 87 $21,500 87 Listings
2016 Lexus RC 350 1 Great Deals Out of 58 $22,300 58 Listings
2015 Lexus RC 350 7 Great Deals Out of 143 $16,995 143 Listings
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