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2014 Lexus RC350 F Sport
Mike Costello
By Mike Costello
Quick Specs
RC350 F Sport
3.5-litre V6
$74,000 plus on-rod costs
Read the full review
Mike Costello
By Mike Costello

So, where did you go on your date?

Given the RC350 F Sport was just launched last week, and that our man Dan had given it a proper fang on some twisty roads, a more subdued trip around Melbourne seemed appropriate.

Let’s be honest, most commutes for this car will feature a busy executive negotiating peak-hour traffic on their trip from the office to their home in the (nice) suburbs. Can it cut the mustard here?

Ideal first date?

The RC is as much about ‘show’ as it is ‘go’. Surely leaving it out the front of the Marriott while you dine inside with another is the ideal… which, we concede, might be unusual first-date behaviour.

Perhaps a nice trip together to wine country?

Hot or not?

How big do you like your grilles? That maw is polarising, but also menacing in a way that we commend. Your call.

The stance otherwise is classic, and that low-slung profile with the high waistline gives it the sort of presence you want from a flagship model. It’s a muscular proposition with a hint of BMW 6 Series somewhere in there.

It's what's inside that counts, what do you think of the interior?

If you like the IS you’ll like this. As with all Lexus models, it’s beautifully crafted and uses high quality materials. That said, the navigation system is low rent and there’s the odd bit of Toyota switchgear (*cough* Corolla cruise control switch *cough*).

Loved those armchair seats with plenty of support but also supple-ness, and there’s excellent head- and knee-room as well. In the front, anyway.

Finally, that touchpad between the seats to control the multimedia is an interesting idea. I think I prefer BMW's iDrive dial, since imitated by Audi and Mazda among others. But kudos to Lexus for being different.

Standout features?

Dan called the 3.5-litre V6 “burly”, which is an excellent word. It’s also raucous and revvy and linear and all that good stuff. That said, this is one date that likes a drink if you put your foot down.

As mentioned, those seats are superb, as is the ride quality at lower speeds on its 19-inch alloys. You simply waft over cobbles without ever feeling floaty or imbalanced. Some trick, that.

The 845-watt Mark Levinson audio system is a beast, while the four-wheel steering and faster-ratio steering rack make it darty and nimble even at a roundabout.

Annoying habits?

Aside from the slightly off-the-pace nav, there’s not much inside to dislike, unless of course you were envisaging useable rear seats. Tyrion Lannister might be at home, but I sure wasn’t.

Ready for a family?

See above. A baby capsule perhaps could fit, and there are ISOFIX anchors.

High maintenance?

Lexus ownership is among the very best in the business. The Lexus Encore program last for the duration of the four-year/100,000km warranty. You get free loan cars, taxi fares and breakdown assistance thrown in, car detailing each service and invites to swanky events.

Any deal-breakers?

As a cushy, quick and eye-catching executive express, we thought the RC was outstanding. I’d seriously look at one over an Audi A5.

So, is it serious or just a one night stand?

I’d take it home to meet the folks…

Keeping your options open?

Well, naturally, there are those Germans. But this $74,000 plus on-road costs F Sport gives you more power and features by far than any of those at its price point.

That said, a BMW 428i at $86,500 is a delight, and the A5 3.0 TFSI at $98,400 has some great credentials too.

If it's not for you, who would you recommend it to?

All your colleagues on the top floor have Benzes, BMWs and Audis.