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2015 Lexus RC Review

The 2015 Lexus RC ranks in the top half of the luxury small car class. Although it has a distracting infotainment system and some of the highest ownership costs in the class, this coupe has top-notch safety scores, athletic handling, and a classy cabin.

Pros & Cons

  • Robust available V8 engine
  • Sharp handling
  • High ownership costs
  • Small trunk
  • Tight rear seats

8.0

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 7.7
Safety: 10.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2015 Lexus RC Overview

Is the 2015 Lexus RC a Good Used Car?

The 2015 Lexus RC is a good luxury small car. There’s a lot to like about it: a stylish cabin, lively handling, and a potent engine (especially with the V8 in the RC F variant). However, it has high ownership costs and some frustrating infotainment controls. Additionally, many coupe and sedan rivals have larger trunks and superior fuel economy estimates.

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Why You Can Trust Us

Our Lexus RC review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 20 sources and combined them with concrete data like reliability ratings, safety scores, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2015 Lexus RC?

Based on listings for the 2015 Lexus RC on our site, the average list price is $33,900, which is high for the class. Prices range from $27,800 to $46,800 and vary based on the vehicle’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2015 Lexus RC Cost to Own?

Expenses for fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs for the 2015 RC are estimated to be around $33,990 over five years, or $6,798 per year. Those are some of the highest ownership costs among luxury small cars.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Lexus RC?

Compared to the 2015 model, a 2019 RC has refreshed exterior styling, a retuned suspension, a turbocharged four cylinder base engine, and more standard safety and tech features, including Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. Pricing for the new model starts at $41,145.

Read about the new RC »

The price of a 2015 RC ranges from $27,800 and $46,800. Every new luxury small car falls within that range, though most come near the upper end of it.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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Which Model Year of the Lexus RC Is Best?

Lexus introduced the RC as an all-new coupe for the 2015 model year. For 2016, the RC gained a new base 200t trim with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an additional V6 engine option. The 2017 model received minor tweaks, such as performance dampers for the base RC and an adaptive sport suspension for the RC F.

For the 2018 model year, Lexus gave the RC several more standard features. The 200t trim was renamed RC 300, and it has several safety and tech features unavailable in older Lexus models, such as a Wi-Fi hot spot, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and automatic high beams. The 2018 RC also got a 5-horsepower bump for each of its optional V6 engines.

If none of these updates are important to you, you may want to consider shopping for an older model to potentially save some money.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 RC »

How Reliable Is the 2015 Lexus RC?

J.D. Power gives the 2015 RC a reliability rating of three out of five, which is about average.  

Read more about RC reliability »

2015 Lexus RC Recalls

As of this writing, no recalls have been issued for the 2015 Lexus RC 350, but there is one recall for the RC F involving a fuel pump that may crack and leak fuel. Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all issues have been addressed.

See more information on Lexus RC safety recalls »

Which Used Lexus RC Model Is Right for Me?

This two-door luxury sports coupe comes in two trim levels: the base Lexus RC 350 and the high-performance Lexus RC F. The RC can also be had with an F-Sport package that includes a series of sporty enhancements.

The base RC 350 luxury car comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine. You can choose between an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive or a six-speed automatic and all-wheel drive.

Inside, you’ll get a 7-inch display, a 10-speaker stereo, HD Radio, satellite radio, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, two USB ports, push-button start, proximity keyless entry, NuLuxe synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, and a rearview camera.

Lexus offered the RC with several packages when it was new. Because of that, you might find a model equipped with a navigation system, a console-mounted Remote Touchpad controller, the Lexus Enform App Suite, a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium surround-sound system, heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, a moonroof, and several safety features. Some of these include blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking system, a pre-collision warning and braking system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and adaptive cruise control.

F-Sport models gain an adaptive variable suspension and unique exterior styling, as well as many of the options listed above.

The RC F has a 5.0-liter V8 engine. It can only be had with rear-wheel drive and the eight-speed automatic transmission. Otherwise, it’s outfitted similarly to the base RC, with many of the same features and options.

See 2015 Lexus RC trims and specs »

Certified Pre-Owned Lexus RC Warranty

Lexus offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 70,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale’s date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Lexus extends its original new-car warranty to cover six years or unlimited mileage. From the day you purchase or lease your Lexus Certified Vehicle, you receive complimentary maintenance covering the next four factory-recommended services for two years or 20,000 miles, whichever comes first. Lexus puts its CPO vehicles through a 161-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Lexus warranty page carefully.

According to our analysis, Lexus has one of the most comprehensive CPO programs among luxury vehicle manufacturers.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Lexus certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the RC?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the RC a 2015 Top Safety Pick+, giving it the highest rating of Good in six crash tests. Properly equipped models earned the second-highest rating of Advanced for front crash prevention. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not evaluated this coupe.

A rearview camera comes standard in this coupe. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert are available.

See RC safety scores »

2015 Lexus RC Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2015 Lexus RC or 2015 BMW 2 Series?

The 2015 BMW 2 Series is one of the best luxury small cars you can buy. Its turbocharged powertrains feel energetic, and its athletic handling makes it fun to drive. The 2 Series also has a larger trunk and a more intuitive infotainment system, as well as lower select ownership costs and a better reliability rating. On top of that, buying the BMW costs around $7,200 less on average. In this case, the 2 Series is number one.

Which Is Better: 2015 Lexus RC or 2015 Infiniti Q60?

Available as a coupe or convertible, the 2015 Infiniti Q60 is another sporty small luxury car. It has a peppy V6 engine, sharp steering, and firm brakes. Also like the Lexus, the Infiniti has tight rear seats and a small trunk. However, the RC is the better vehicle in this comparison. The Infiniti has a coarse-sounding engine, a slow-shifting transmission, and a firmer ride, especially when outfitted with its sport suspension. Its cabin materials, while nice, are also outdated compared to the RC’s. On average, buying the Q60 will costs around $7,100 less. If you can swing the higher price tag, the RC is the better pick.

Compare the RC, 2 Series, and Q60 »

2015 Lexus RC Performance

How Does the 2015 Lexus RC Drive?

The Lexus RC 350 comes with a 3.5-liter V6 engine that makes 306 horsepower. RC F models get a 5.0-liter V8 engine rated at 467 horsepower. Models with rear-wheel drive come equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and those with all-wheel drive have a six-speed automatic.

The V6 engine is adequately powerful but feels more relaxed than brawny. Acceleration doesn’t come as quickly as in some rivals. The V8 engine is a lot more enthusiastic. The standard eight-speed automatic drew praise for its smooth shifts, but the available six-speed feels a bit less refined.

The RC strikes a good balance between athleticism and comfort. It rides smoothly over most roads, and its responsive steering and sharp cornering help make this sports coupe agile and fun to drive. Rear-wheel drive comes standard, and all-wheel drive is available.

Does the 2015 Lexus RC Get Good Gas Mileage?

According to EPA estimates, the RC gets up to 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive models lose 2 mpg on the highway. The performance-oriented RC F gets fuel economy estimates of 16/25 mpg city/highway. All those figures are low for the class, but many rivals have four-cylinder base engines while the RC starts with a V6.

Read more about RC performance »

2015 RC Interior

How Many People Does the 2015 RC Seat?

This Lexus seats four people on standard synthetic leather upholstery. Genuine leather upholstery is available, as are ventilated and heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.  

The front seats are comfortable and spacious. As is common among coupes, the rear seats are more cramped and best suited for kids. The cabin is stylish and full of high-end materials, including wood and carbon accent options.

How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2015 Lexus RC?

The 2015 RC has two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this setup the second-lowest rating of Marginal for ease of use because the lower anchors are set deeply in the seats and can be hard to maneuver around.

2015 Lexus RC Features

The base Lexus RC 350 features a 7-inch display, satellite radio, HD Radio, a 10-speaker stereo, two USB ports, and Bluetooth, proximity keyless entry, and push-button start. Options include a navigation system, a 17-speaker surround-sound Mark Levinson stereo, the Remote Touch interface, and a moonroof.

The base infotainment system is easy to use, though the display is recessed back in the dash, making it hard to see for some. The available Remote Touch controller is frustrating to use, as it is too distracting to use while driving, even for some simple functions.

See 2015 Lexus RC specs »

Read more about RC interior »

2015 Lexus RC Dimensions

Lexus RC Cargo Space

The RC 350 and RC F Sport have 10.4 cubic feet of space in the trunk. RC F models have slightly less room: 10.1 cubic feet. Both figures are a bit below average in the luxury small car class.

2015 RC Length and Weight

This coupe is about 15.4 feet long. The curb weight ranges from 3,748 pounds for the base RC to 3,958 pounds for the RC F.

Where Was the 2015 Lexus RC Built?

Lexus built the 2015 RC in Japan.

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