The Lexus brand is Toyota’s strategy to tear into the luxury market that is controlled by Germany’s BMW, Mercedes and Audi. Although the brand is slowly catching up with the German models, it still faces some challenges that Toyota must work on to rival the German brands. The Lexus RC 200t is an entry-level luxury coupe that is quite impressive but needs a host of improvements. Many buyers have complained about its less powerful engine, little storage space, and little space for rear passengers as well as a complicated infotainment interface. Lexus needs to improve on these areas for its next-gen 2017 Lexus RC 200t.
2017 Lexus RC 200t Exterior
The RC 200t has all the looks of a sporty luxury coupe characterized by an attractive hourglass grille, a low, sloping roofline and sharp lines all over the body. LED headlights flank the unique grille. An all-weather package adds headlight washers, water repellent front door windows and a windshield wiper de-icer.
The F Sport package adds various appearance features such as mesh grille, sport-tuned adaptive suspension dampers, 19-inch wheels wrapped in summer tires and enhanced brake pads.
Interior of new RC 200t
The cabin is well-trimmed with standard luxury features. The front has bucket seats while the F Sport package adds sport seats with an attractive contrast stitching. The seats are heated and powered; they are wrapped in premium vinyl upholstery. The model has a 2+2 seating arrangement but truth be told, the rear seats are only ideal for a small child. The rear seats have a 60/40-split-folding capability that comes in handy when extra cargo space is needed; which is often considering the trunk has a mere 10.4 cubic feet of space.
Heated front seats, cruise control, automatic climate control, Siri Eyes Free, HD Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, a7-inch center display and a 10-speaker audio system that integrates satellite radio are offered as standard. The Lexus Enform Service Connect is also standard.
Additional features are available via an array of packages including a premium package that adds ventilation to the front seats and auto-dimming side mirrors. The luxury package adds a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, automatic wipers, memory settings for the driver’s seat, and perforated leather upholstery. The navigation package, on the other hand, adds a navigation system, Smartphone app integration as well as console-mounted touchpad controller. The Mark Levinson package features a surround-sound audio system with 17 speakers. The F Sport adds a unique instrument cluster.
On matters safety, the model features a rear-view camera, hill-start assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring.
Engine and performance
The 200t is the base model in the Lexus RC lineup meaning the least powerful engine of the lineup powers it. The unit is unchanged for 2017; it is a turbocharged 2.0 L, 4-cylinder engine. It produces 241 horses and 258 lb-ft of torque. All the juice is channeled to the rear wheels courtesy of an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
The coupe hits 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds, which is a bit slow compared to competing models. What it lacks in speed it compensates in fuel economy. The model returns 22 mpg, 32, mpg and 26 mpg in city, highway and on combined drives respectively. Many customers have reported a throttle lag during periods of hard acceleration. This problem is however solved when you opt for the F Sport package that comes with a Sport mode.
Price and release date
The Lexus RC 200t is the base model of the RC lineup; it has an MSRP of $40,155. To add more flair to the model, buyers can spend an extra $5,000 for the F Sport package. The Lexus coupe is already available in Toyota and Lexus dealerships.
Toyota launched the Lexus RC brand to compete with the German luxury establishments in the likes of Audi A5, BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.