For some, appearances are everything, especially when it comes to cars. Aesthetically, the Lexus RC presents a spirited façade that effectively disguises the luxury car hiding beneath the surface. None of the RC’s three engine choices provide neck-snapping acceleration, but all of them feature a comfortable ride and a lavish cabin with plenty of space for two adults. Its communicative steering is a shining point for the RC, but otherwise performance is more blah than huzzah. Technologically speaking, the Lexus lags behind rivals such as the Audi A5 and the BMW 4-series, both of which offer better smartphone connectivity and a superior repertoire of active safety features.

HIGHS

Striking exterior, plush ride, spacious front seats.

LOWS

Cramped rear seat, infuriating infotainment touchpad, lackluster acceleration.

VERDICT

This luxury coupe’s performance doesn’t match its eye-popping styling.

What’s New for 2017?

The RC slides into the 2017 model year with only a few updates, which are mostly cosmetic: updated 18- and 19-inch wheel designs, a new grille finished in metallic black paint, and the addition of a tenth exterior color called Caviar. Inside, Lexus has added an app called Scout GPS Link to cars without the optional in-dash navigation system. The app allows compatible smartphones to project turn-by-turn directions to the dashtop infotainment screen.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

We’d step all the way up to the RC350 F Sport, which starts at $48,110—$4105 more than the standard RC350 and up a whopping $6960 from the base RC Turbo (badged RC200t). But, in addition to the RC350 model’s silky 3.5-liter V-6, the F Sport package also adds:

• Adaptive suspension with sport settings
• Summer tires
• Reconfigurable digital gauge cluster

Of the RC350’s many stand-alone options, $500 for both automated emergency braking and adaptive cruise control is a stellar value, so we’d happily check that box. We’d also add front and rear parking sensors for an extra $500 to help us keep our Lexus coupe free from scrapes and bumps. All in, we’d be writing a check for $49,110 for our rear-wheel-drive RC coupe.

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