Has our publishing editor seen the error of his ways with our long term Lexus RC 350 F-Sport?[Not a valid template]
|Date acquired:||June 2015|
|Kilometres this month:||1112|
|Costs this month:||$0|
|L/100km this month:||13.2|
Regular readers may remember that, when our long term RC 350 F-Sport first joined The Management Fleet, it had just gone mano-y-mano against the BMW 435i and Cadillac ATS Coupe, ultimately bowing to the Beemer. Not the best of starts then to its crankandpiston tenure….
Still, having spent a few weeks with Yazan and AJ, both m’learned colleagues were subsequently keen for me to get back behind the wheel: “take it for a run James,” quoth one then the other, “and concentrate on the comfort and usability.” And I will admit that, with more mileage under my belt and some time spent look pensively through a window in deep thought, my opinion has softened slightly.
Boot space, for example. This may seem a strange place to start for such a dynamic model, but there’s no doubting Lexus has worked wonders creating this much room with such a limited area to work with: our current theory is some kind of black hole, but NASA has yet to find anything definitive, despite numerous phone calls. Then there’s the cabin design, which is truly a work of art. The rear seats are pretty pathetic, but build quality across the board is very strong, the style of the dashboard is fantastically ornate, and the infotainment – once you get the hang of the ‘mousepad’ control – is nice and intuitive. And, yes I will say this, the RC 350 F-Sport is probably the best looking fleet model we’ve ever had at crankandpiston.com. Argue all you like, you’re not going to change my mind about that….
There’s no doubting the comfort either, the suspension both taut for impressive road holding yet providing enough give to stop our kidneys rupturing across more rutted asphalt. Okay, fine, the seats coolers are not Lexus’ finest work (“are they on?”, [cups hands to shield button from the glare of the sun], “yeah, they’re on,” “oh…”), the sports seats themselves offer good lumbar support. Their high-mounted position can be a bit disorientating though: you can quite even forget just how low the RC truly is, the occasional graunch over road humps reminding us with teeth gnashing alacrity.
I’ve tried my best to be objective about the performance, but sadly those of you looking for RC F levels of performance for a smaller budget are going to be disappointed. It’s not bad. It’s just a little underwhelming. The 306bhp 3.5-litre V6 could use more guts, the eight-speed gearbox – though offering beautifully smooth gearshifts – could be more alert, and body roll through the corners is more than we’d expected from a sports car that stands less than five-feet tall.
Even despite its day-to-day practicality then, I probably won’t be forking out a deposit cheque any time soon, though we may invest in a poster for the office wall. And check with Lexus if that black hole in the boot could also be put to good use in our equipment cupboard.
Technical specifications available on page 2