Car Comparison

2017 Infiniti Q60 vs. 2017 Lexus RC: Which Is Better?

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author photo by James Riswick October 2016

The luxury-coupe segment was withering on the vine for a while there, with few and/or aging choices. But not any longer: It's been rejuvenated in recent years, with a spate of great new additions that includes a pair of truly distinctive 2-doors hailing from Japan: the 2017 Infiniti Q60 and the 2017 Lexus RC. Which might be better for you? Let's take a look to help you decide.

2017 Infiniti Q60

2017 Infiniti Q60

The Q60 is all-new for 2017, a ground-up replacement for the previous model (originally known as the G37 Coupe) and essentially the 2-door coupe version of Infiniti's Q50 sedan. Highlights include sleek new styling, a tech-focused cabin, more feature content and three new engines.

2017 Lexus RC

2017 Lexus RC

Although the RC shares components with other Lexus models, there's more difference between it and a Lexus IS than there is between the Infiniti Q60 and Q50. There's not much to report for 2017 beyond some minor equipment changes.

2017 Infiniti Q602017 Lexus RC


There isn't much reliability data for either of these cars. Not many customers have logged complaints about the Q60's 4-door Q50 cousin, however, and the Lexus reputation for reliability is well-earned.

2017 Infiniti Q602017 Lexus RC


Both the Q60 and the RC are available with multiple engines corresponding to different models. The base Q60 2.0t comes with a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder. It produces 208 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque, which is a perfectly average figure -- but most competitors better it, and Infiniti's acceleration estimates suggest that it's a bit pokey. So too is the base RC 200t, but the culprit there is the fact that it's heavier than the Q60 and other competitors. The extra weight counteracts its 241 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque.

Next up for the Q60 is the 3.0t (including the Silver Sport trim level), which has a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 that produces 300 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. This is a newer, smoother and more advanced engine than the two 3.5-liter V6s Lexus offers: The all-wheel-drive RC 300 produces a rather modest 255 hp and 236 lb-ft of torque, while the RC 350 has a more muscular 306 hp and 277 lb-ft of torque. Again, the Lexus's weight doesn't do it any favors here, so expect the Infiniti to be the stronger performer at this level.

Then there are the top dogs. The Q60 Red Sport 400 has a retuned version of the 3.0t's V6 that pumps out 400 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque. It should hit 60 miles per hour in just under 5 seconds. The top-of-the-line RC F should match or outdo it -- unlike the other RC models, it packs additional power to counteract its extra pounds. Its 5.0-liter V8 produces 467 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque.

Finally, every Infiniti comes standard with a 7-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive (RWD), with all-wheel drive (AWD) an option with every engine. By contrast, every RC has an 8-speed automatic, but it gets complicated from there. The RC 200t and RC F are RWD-only, the RC 300 AWD features only AWD, and the RC 350 can be equipped with either.

2017 Infiniti Q602017 Lexus RC

Fuel Economy

Although the RC's weight dulls its performance, fuel economy is pretty good. According to Environmental Protection Agency estimates, the RC 200t returns 22 miles per gallon in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. The RC 350 returns 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy, while both the AWD models return 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy. The V8-powered RC F (no surprise here) has the weakest fuel economy of the lineup at 16 mpg city/25 mpg hwy.

The Q60 2.0t returns 22 mpg city/30 mpg hwy with RWD and 21 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with AWD. The 3.0t equals the RC 350 at 19 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with RWD and 19 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with AWD. However, for those looking for a better balance of thrilling, high-powered acceleration and fuel economy that won't break the bank, the Q60 Red Sport is probably the better call, since its estimates of 20 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with AWD are actually a bit better than the 3.0t version of the same engine and considerably better than the RC F. The AWD version is still comparatively thrifty at 19 mpg city/26 mpg hwy.

2017 Infiniti Q602017 Lexus RC

Driving Experience

Neither the Infiniti Q60 nor the Lexus RC deliver the sort of engaging driving experience some expect from a luxury sport coupe. This is especially true of the range-topping Red Sport 400 and RC F models, which are a bit conflicted about whether they should be comfortable cruisers or high-powered sports cars.

Let's start with the Lexus. The RC F's weight (sensing a pattern here?) dulls its agility, despite responsive steering and commendable road-holding. It feels more like a large, grand-touring coupe in that regard, which would be fine, except that its ride can be punishing. Essentially, it's a worst-of-both-worlds scenario. The other RCs are better-resolved, since their softer suspensions are more in keeping with the car's character but still control body motions well (especially the sport-tuned F-Sport submodels).

The Q60 is a similar story. The Red Sport 400 has a swell engine, but you can't really hear it. There's virtually no exhaust note or anything that might excite -- the RC F puts on a better show. The Q60's somewhat unengaging steering might be acceptable in a more luxury-oriented car, but it has a too-firm suspension given the rest of the car's character. It's nowhere near as leaden as the RC F, but some would probably prefer the adaptive suspension's standard and sport settings to be further apart on the comfort-sportiness spectrum. Lower trims are probably a better call, and given the Infiniti's lighter weight and greater agility, they should be more enjoyable to drive than the RC.

2017 Infiniti Q602017 Lexus RC


Besides the expected array of safety equipment standard on both, the RC stands out by including front-knee airbags and a 1-year subscription to Lexus Enform Safety Connect, which includes automatic collision notification, an emergency-assist button and a stolen-vehicle locator.

Both cars are available with a blind spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning, but the Infiniti's systems are more advanced. The Q60 can slam on the brakes when a rear collision is imminent, and its frontal system can detect an accident beyond the car ahead of you. You also don't need to get adaptive cruise control with it, which the Lexus requires with its system. Both cars can fully operate the brakes in the event of driver inaction.

The Q60 has not been crash-tested, but the RC received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top rating of Good in all tests.


Aside from the previously mentioned safety technologies, the Q60 and RC are essentially offered with the same infotainment features. How they control those features differs considerably, but in short, the Infiniti does a much better job. Admittedly, its dual-touchscreen setup may be confusing for some, and it doesn't do anything for the cabin's visual appeal. However, Lexus Remote Touch is one of the most distracting and frustrating interfaces on the market. Operating like a laptop touchpad, you slide your finger over it to move among various on-screen icons. It requires a level of dexterity and concentration that isn't ideal when driving.

Interior Space, Comfort and Quality

The Lexus RC's interior is truly top-notch, with excellent materials and construction. The design itself is modern and distinctive, and like the Infiniti, it's at its best in available 2-tone color schemes. While the Infiniti looks and feels suitably luxurious, the Lexus is just that much better.

In terms of space, the Q60's back seat has slightly more headroom and legroom, but only someone about 5 feet, 6 inches tall or shorter will fit comfortably. The front seats of both cars are very comfortable and offer a wide adjustment range. The Q60's available sport seats might have a slight advantage for some, though, since its side bolsters are adjustable. The fixed bolsters of the RC F's sport seats may be too snug.

Finally, the Q60 has a bigger trunk than the RC (12.1 versus 10.1 cu ft., coming closer to what's offered in sedans.


The base Q60 and RC 200t models are almost identically equipped, but the Infiniti costs about $1,200 less. The reverse is true of the V6-powered RC and the Q60 3.0t Premium trim. Perhaps the Lexus's superior interior and the Infiniti's superior performance wipe out that difference. Besides whatever value can be found in fuel economy, reliability and resale value, the difference doesn't really become apparent until we get to the top-of-the-line models. The RC F is considerably more expensive than the Red Sport 400 -- its base price is almost $13,000 higher, and similarly equipped models aren't much better. Another reason to think twice about the RC F.

Autotrader's Advice

Despite falling short in terms of driving experience, both the Infiniti Q60 and Lexus RC offer fresh, distinctive takes on the luxury-coupe segment. They're compelling alternatives to models hailing from Germany while being more stylish than the sedans upon which they're based. Which one is better really depends on your own preference and which models and engines you're comparing.

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2017 Infiniti Q60 vs. 2017 Lexus RC: Which Is Better? - Autotrader