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2023 Lexus RC: Choosing the Right Trim

The 2023 Lexus RC coupe is a good car with an excellent reputation for reliability, build quality, and a driving experience best described as enjoyable but not thrilling. The RC has been around for a while, essentially unchanged.

Lexus offers the RC in five configurations: RC 300, RC 300 F Sport, RC 350, RC 350 F Sport, and RC F. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) comes standard, with all-wheel drive (AWD) optional on all but the RC F, which is rear-drive only. Other premium performance 2-door coupes to consider include the BMW 4 Series, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, and the Audi A5.

Complicating matters is how Lexus equips each trim. For example, the RC 300 RWD derives power from a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine good for 241 horsepower, but the RC 300 AWD upgrades to a 3.5-liter V6 pumping out 260 hp.

The RC 350 models have the same 3.5-liter V6, only now with 311 hp.

Rear-drive models feature an 8-speed automatic, while the AWD cars get a 6-speed automatic.

The rear-drive RC F delivers raucous performance courtesy of a 472-hp 5.0-liter V8.

The first four RC models are relatively similar in features and options, making the deciding variables when purchasing the RC the engine choice and price.

2023 Lexus RC 300 RWD: $45,470
2023 Lexus RC 300 AWD: $48,160

Every Lexus RC comes standard with the Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 driver-assist suite. The package includes forward collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, a blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert.

All-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control is also here, which automatically adjusts vehicle speed to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead, all the way down to a stop if necessary. Similarly, lane-keeping assist helps keep the RC safely in its lane. Road Sign Assist displays road sign information, such as the posted speed limit, while Intelligent High Beam headlights automatically dim themselves when sensing oncoming headlights or upcoming taillights.

Other safety systems include a rear backup camera, a tire-pressure monitor, and Lexus Enform Safety and Service Connect apps.

The RC 300 features 18-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, bi-LED headlights, LED taillamps, and the SmartAccess system that allows unlocking and starting the car without having to remove the key fob from your purse or pocket.

The RC’s cockpit features a 10-way power driver’s seat, an 8-way power passenger seat, and a 60/40-split folding rear seat, all covered in NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery.

Standard amenities include dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel, power windows and door locks, a color multi-information display, and a 10-speaker Premium sound system.

New for 2023 is an 8-inch multimedia touchscreen, although the previous system’s touchpad controller remains a backup. The system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, and voice command.

Through the Lexus Enform app, you can remote start or lock the vehicle, access the climate controls, and use voice prompts via Alexa or Google. This service is free for the first three years of ownership. A Wi-Fi hot spot is available and comes with a 3-month trial subscription.

The RC offers numerous upgrades, most bundled into packages and some as standalone options.

The Navigation/Mark Levinson combo package adds a 10.3-inch touchscreen, GPS navigation, Dynamic Voice Recognition (understands casual voice prompts), upgraded Enform apps, and an 835-watt 17-speaker Mark Levinson Premium Surround Sound audio system.

The Premium Package brings heated and ventilated front seats, heated auto-dimming outside mirrors, rain-sensing wipers, and memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors, and power tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

The All-Weather Package adds windshield wiper de-icers, headlight washers, water-repellent side glass, a fast-response interior heater, and rain-sensing wipers.

Additional upgrades include a power moonroof, Intuitive Parking Assist (front and rear parking sensors), triple-beam LED headlights, and a heated steering wheel.

Also offered as a standalone item is the Mark Levinson audio system.

The RC 300 AWD gets upgraded with heated front seats.

With the $1,150 delivery charge already figured into the price, the 2023 Lexus RC 300 starts at $45,470. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment works out to approximately $817. See 2023 Lexus RC 300 models for sale near you

2023 Lexus RC 300 includes:

  • Dual-zone climate control – Automatic dual-zone climate controls allow individual air temperature settings for the driver and passenger.
  • Lexus Safety System+ 2.5 – This comprehensive suite of standard driver aids helps the driver avoid potential accidents and can reduce fatigue by assisting with driving duties.
  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto – Provides integrated access to compatible smartphones for easy access to the phone’s apps for music, navigation, and messages.

2023 Lexus RC 300 F Sport RWD: $50,090
2023 Lexus RC 300 F Sport AWD: $52,380

The RC 300 F Sport builds off the RC 300, adding a few more sporty features while retaining the same engines and transmissions.

The F Sport brings a revised front fascia with a mesh grille, Smoked Chrome trim, 19-inch alloy wheels, and rain-sensing wipers.

On the performance end, the F Sport gains adaptive dampers, Sport S and S+ drive modes, and a performance-oriented instrument cluster with a turbo boost gauge (RWD only) and G-force display.

The F Sport interior features an F Sport leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated and ventilated F Sport front seats with enhanced bolsters, a black headliner, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and memory for the driver’s seat, mirrors, and steering wheel.

The F Sport gains Active Sound Control that uses the audio speakers to counteract unwanted sound waves and quiet the cabin.

Options include the Navigation and All-Weather packages, the Mark Levinson audio upgrade, F Sport heated steering wheel, power moonroof, and Intuitive Parking Assist.

Options unique to the F Sport RWD include orange-painted front brake calipers and a Torsen limited-slip rear differential.

With the $1,150 delivery charge already figured into the price, the 2023 Lexus RC 300 F Sport starts at $50,090. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment works out to about $900. See 2023 Lexus RC 300 F Sport models for sale near you

2023 Lexus RC 300 F Sport includes:

  • Variable adaptive damping – The F Sport’s adaptive shock damping helps improve comfort or performance, depending on the situation.
  • F Sport seats – The F Sport’s front seats feature additional side bolstering for better lateral support during spirited drives.
  • Heated and ventilated front seats – The F Sport’s front seats feature multistage seat heaters to keep you warm in winter. Come summer, cool air circulating through the perforated NuLuxe keeps occupants cool and dry.

2023 Lexus RC 350 RWD: $48,400
2023 Lexus RC 350 AWD: $50,565

Beyond its more powerful engine, the RC 350 has features and options lists identical to the RC 300.

With the $1,150 delivery charge already figured into the price, the 2023 Lexus RC 350 starts at $48,400. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment works out to about $870. See 2023 Lexus RC 350 models for sale near you

2023 Lexus RC 350 F Sport RWD: $53,020
2023 Lexus RC 350 F Sport AWD: $54,745

Like the RC 350, the RC 350 F Sport features the same equipment as the RC 300 F Sport, with one exception.

The rear-wheel-drive RC 350 F Sport offers the Lexus Dynamic Handling System with Dynamic Rear Steering and Variable Gear-Ratio Steering in the optional equipment list.

With the $1,150 delivery charge already figured into the price, the 2023 Lexus RC 350 F Sport starts at $53,020. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment works out to about $953. See 2023 Lexus RC 350 F Sport models for sale near you

2023 Lexus RC F: $67,845

The RC F is a true performance coupe powered by a 5.0-liter V8 sending power to the rear wheels. It’s loaded with additional performance hardware geared toward the true driving enthusiast.

The RC F features an adaptive variable suspension, Torsen limited-slip differential, launch control, high-performance Brembo brakes, and 19-inch matte black alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 S tires.

Exterior enhancements over the RC 350 include a color-keyed speed-activated rear wing, a lower front spoiler, and a rear bumper diffuser.

The RC F’s cabin gains high-back sport seats and a performance-inspired digital instrument cluster with a built-in lap timer and G-Force display.

Optional equipment beyond the Premium, Navigation/Mark Levinson, and All-Weather packages include a $17,775 Carbon Package. That’s right, $17,775.

Check this box, and you’ll get the Premium Package plus a generous serving of expensive black carbon fiber applied to the interior trim, roof panel, front spoiler, rocker panel splitters, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler. The package also brings 19-inch BBS alloy wheels in Gloss Black.

The Premium and Carbon packages also offer extra-cost exterior paint choices beyond Ultra White and Caviar.

With the $1,150 delivery charge already figured into the price, the 2023 Lexus RC F costs $67,845. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment works out to $1,219. See 2023 Lexus RC F models for sale near you

2023 Lexus RC F includes:

  • Torsen limited-slip differential – Helps keep power flowing to the rear wheel with the best grip.
  • 5.0-liter V8 – A triumph of Lexus engineering, the RC F’s 5.0-liter V8 sounds as good as it performs and can propel the car to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds.
  • Speed-activated rear wing – The RC F’s rear spoiler rises above 50 mph, helping keep downforce on the rear wheels.

2023 Lexus RC F Track Edition: $100,720

As the ultimate RC, the Track Edition builds off the RC F by adding Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, lightweight titanium mufflers, lightweight BBS alloy wheels, additional carbon-fiber components, and a fixed rear wing.

Together, these upgrades result in less body weight, allowing the Track Edition to reach 60 mph in just 3.96 seconds.

Additional upgrades include suede-like Alcantara and blue carbon-fiber interior trim.

The Track Edition doesn’t offer the option of a power moonroof or the Premium Package, leaving only the Navigation/Mark Levinson Package, All-Weather Package, triple beam LED headlights, and Intuitive Parking Assist. It is also available exclusively in Incognito gray body color.

With the $1,150 delivery charge already figured into the price, the 2023 Lexus RC F Track Edition tips into six-figure territory, starting at $100,720. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, the monthly payment works out to about $1,810. See 2023 Lexus RC F Track Edition models for sale near you


What is the best 2023 Lexus RC trim?

The RC 350 is the best choice, with the F Sport version for those who prefer more athleticism in their daily drive. We’d opt for AWD as it improves traction on both wet and dry surfaces.

We’d then load our RC up with every available option, including the Mark Levinson/Navigation, All-Weather, and Premium packages.

How many miles per gallon does the 2023 Lexus RC get?

The RC 300 RWD is rated by the EPA at 21 mpg city/31 mpg highway/25 mpg combined. The RC 300 AWD and V6 engine get 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg combined.

Moving to the RC 350 RWD, EPA fuel economy comes in at 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway/23 mpg combined, while the AWD version sees figures drop to 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway/22 mpg highway.

The potent Lexus RC F is rated by the EPA at 16 mpg city/24 mpg highway/19 mpg combined.

Which 2023 Lexus RC trim offers the most safety?

In private-party crash testing performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Lexus RC earned good marks in every category. As all the RC trims feature the same standard and optional safety systems, they should all perform equally well.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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