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$41,145 - $64,750
$41,145 - $64,750

2019 Lexus RC Review

The 2019 Lexus RC finishes in the bottom half of our luxury small car rankings. It boasts a posh cabin and plenty of features, but many competitors have more cargo space and more intuitive infotainment systems.

Pros & Cons

  • Classy cabin
  • Lots of standard features
  • Potent engines
  • Excellent predicted reliability rating
  • Less agile than rivals
  • Below-average fuel economy ratings
  • Small trunk
  • Cramped rear seats

New for 2019

  • Retuned suspension
  • Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa introduced and made standard
  • Refreshed exterior styling




Critics' Rating: 7.5
Performance: 6.8
Interior: 5.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.1
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2019 Lexus RC Overview

Is the 2019 Lexus RC a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2019 RC is a good used luxury small car. It’s available with several powerful engine choices, and it has decent handling. Inside, you'll find a stylish, well-built cabin and plenty of tech features. The RC also has a stellar predicted reliability rating.

But this small Lexus isn't without its flaws. It has below-average fuel economy ratings for the class, and some rivals have more agile handling. The RC also has a small trunk and undersized rear seats.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 31 Lexus RC reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much is the 2019 Lexus RC?

Based on listings for the 2019 Lexus RC, the average list price is $35,060. Prices range from $41,145 to $64,750 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 Lexus RC Cost to Own?

The 2019 RC’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $43,450, or $8,690 per year. That’s well above average for the class.

2018 vs. 2019 Lexus RC: What's the Difference?

For 2019, Lexus retuned the RC’s suspension, updated its exterior styling, and added Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa to the standard features list.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 RC »

Here are key changes for the Lexus RC since it was introduced for 2015:

  • 2016: base RC 200t trim with 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and AWD RC 300 trim with 3.5-liter V6 engine joined lineup
  • 2017: smartphone navigation became standard; performance dampers made standard in RC 350 models; adaptive suspension became standard in RC F models
  • 2018: standard Wi-Fi hot spot and Lexus Safety System+ added; V6 engines received small power boost; RC 200t renamed RC 300
  • 2019: refreshed exterior styling and upgraded suspension; standard Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa introduced

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 RC, 2017 RC, and 2018 RC reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 Lexus RC?

The 2019 Lexus RC has a stellar predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five.

Read more about RC reliability »

2019 Lexus RC Recalls

There have been 2 safety recalls issued from NHTSA.

  • Summary: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) is recalling certain 2018-2019 4Runner, 2019-2020 Avalon, 2019 Corolla Hatchback, 2017-2019 Highlander, 2018-2020 Camry, 2020 Corolla, 2018-2019 Land Cruiser, 2017-2020 Tacoma, 2019-2020 RAV4, 2019-2020 Sequoia, 2017-2020 Sienna, 2019-2020 Tundra, 2018-2020 Lexus ES350, 2017 Lexus GS200t, 2017-2019 Lexus GS350, 2019 Lexus GS300, 2018-2020 Lexus LC500h, 2019-2020 Lexus LS500, 2018-2019 Lexus GX460, 2017 Lexus IS200t, 2019 Lexus IS300, 2019 Lexus IS350, 2018-2020 Lexus LC500, 2018 Lexus LS500, 2019 Lexus LS500h, 2018-2019 Lexus LX570, 2017 Lexus RC200t, 2019 Lexus RC300, RC350, 2017 and 2019-2020 Lexus RX350, 2018-2020 RX350L, 2019 Lexus UX200, 2018-2019 Lexus NX300 vehicles. The low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank may fail.
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 1525742
  • Consequence: If the fuel pump fails, the engine can stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel pump assembly with an improved one, free of charge. Interim notices informing owners of the safety risk were mailed beginning November 23, 2020. Owners will receive a second notice when the remedy becomes available. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987. Note: This recall is an expansion of recall 20V-012. Toyota's number for this recall is 20TA02. Lexus' number for this recall is 20LA01.
  • Manufacturer Recall Number: 20TA02, 20LA01
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 20V682000
  • Summary: Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (Toyota) recalled certain 2018-2019 4Runner, Highlander, Camry, Land Cruiser, Sequoia, Sienna, Tacoma and Tundra, and Lexus RC 300, RC 350, GS 350, GX 460, IS 300, LC 500, LS 500, LX 570, RX 350L, and 2019 Toyota Avalon and Corolla, and certain Lexus NX 300, and ES 350 vehicles on January 13, 2020. On March 4, 2020, Toyota expanded the recall to include certain 2014-2015 Toyota 4Runner and Land Cruiser, 2018 Avalon, Corolla, 2014 FJ Cruiser, 2017 Sienna and Lexus 2018 ES 350, 2018-2019 GS 300, 2013-2014 GS350, 2014-2015 GX 460, IS 350 and LX 570, 2014 IS F, 2018-2019 IS 350, LC 500H and LS 500H, 2013-2015 LS 460, 2015 NX 200T and RC350, 2017 RC 200T and RX 350. Toyota also removed the 2018-2019 Toyota 4Runner and Land Cruiser and 2018-2019 Lexus GX 460 and LX 570 and 2019 NX300 from inclusion in this recall. On March 19, 2020, Toyota expanded the recall to include 2015 Lexus GS350 vehicles. The low-pressure fuel pump inside the fuel tank may ...
  • Potential Number of Units Affected: 1830752
  • Consequence: If the fuel pump fails, the engine can stall while driving, increasing the risk of a crash.
  • Remedy: Toyota will notify owners, and dealers will replace the fuel pump, free of charge. The recall began May 4, 2020. Owners may contact Toyota customer service at 1-888-270-9371 or Lexus customer service at 1-800-255-3987. Toyota's numbers for this recall are 20TB02 and 20TA02 for Toyota vehicles and 20LB01 and 20LA01 for Lexus vehicles.
  • Manufacturer Recall Number: 20TB02/20TA02/20LB01
  • NHTSA Campaign ID: 20V012000

See more information on Lexus RC safety recalls »

Which Used Lexus RC Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Lexus RC comes in four trim levels: RC 300, RC 350, F-Sport, and RC F. The biggest difference between these trims relates to their powertrains. RC 300 and 300 F Sport models with rear-wheel drive have a turbocharged four-cylinder engine. RC 300 models with all-wheel drive have a V6 engine. All RC 350 coupes have an even stronger V6 engine, and the brawny RC F has a V8 engine. Rear-wheel-drive coupes have an eight-speed automatic transmission, while all-wheel-drive coupes use a six-speed automatic.

Most shoppers should look to either the RC 300 AWD or RC 350 trim. They’ll get the more potent V6 engine without breaking the bank.

Each model offered additional features or packages for an extra cost at the time of sale. That means you may be able to find Lexus RC models with features in addition to those listed here.

  • Lexus RC 300: The Lexus RC 300 comes with a 241-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It's available with a V6 engine paired with all-wheel drive. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, a USB port, a 10-speaker stereo, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, Siri Eyes Free, HD Radio, satellite radio, the Lexus Enform App Suite, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. The standard Lexus Safety System+ suite of safety features includes automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning system, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, and lane departure alert.
  • Lexus RC 350: The RC 350 has a 311-horsepower V6 engine. Otherwise it's basically the same as the base RC 300.
  • Lexus RC F Sport: The Lexus RC F Sport is available with the turbo-four and rear-wheel-drive, a 260-horsepower V6 and all-wheel drive, or a 311-horsepower V6 and all-wheel drive. Each comes standard with heated and ventilated front seats, blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, a 10.3-inch infotainment display, navigation, and Lexus’ Remote Touch controller, as well as larger alloy wheels.
  • Lexus RC F: The RC F is the brawler in this lineup. Its interior equipment closely resembles the entry-level RWD RC 300, but the RC F adds a 467-horsepower V8 engine, Brembo performance brakes, and an adaptive variable suspension.

See 2019 Lexus RC trims and specs »

What Does Lexus' Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

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

According to our analysis, Lexus has the best CPO program in the industry.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the RC?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2019 RC the highest rating of Good in all six crash of the organization's crash tests. The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The RC earned the highest rating of Superior for its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not crash tested the 2019 Lexus RC.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Lane departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control

Available advanced safety features:

  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert

See RC safety scores »

2019 Lexus RC Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2019 Lexus RC or 2019 BMW 4 Series?

The 2019 BMW 4 Series has a lower predicted reliability rating than the RC, but otherwise, the BMW is a better car in most ways. The 4 Series is available in coupe, convertible, and four-door Gran Coupe models. It offers some of the best driving dynamics and engine performance in this class, and its high-tech iDrive infotainment system is user-friendly. The 4 Series also gets great gas mileage.

Which Is Better: 2019 Lexus RC or 2019 Audi A5?

The 2019 Audi A5 is a better luxury small car than the Lexus RC. It's available in coupe, convertible, and hatchback body styles. The A5 boasts an exceptionally luxurious interior along with a cutting-edge infotainment system. It outclasses the RC in terms of ride quality, handling ability, and fuel economy. Both models rate highly for safety, but the RC has a slightly better predicted reliability rating.

Compare the RC, 4 Series, and A5 »

2019 RC Performance

How Does the 2019 Lexus RC Drive?

The RC handles decently on winding roads, but it still isn't as athletic as some other cars in the class. Ride quality is generally good. The RC F is a bit sportier than the rest of the lineup, but it also has a firmer suspension, which means the ride isn't quite as cushioned.

The turbo-four engine propels the RC around town with ease, but it doesn't exactly turn this Lexus into a race car. The available V6s are more energetic and deliver quicker acceleration. As you might guess, the V8 delivers the most power and best acceleration in the lineup, and RC F models have a zero-to-60 time of 4.4 seconds.

  • Base engine: 241-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (RC 300 RWD)
  • Available engines:
    • 260-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 (RC 300 AWD)
    • 311-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 (RC 350)
    • 467-horsepower 5.0-liter V8 (RC F)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic in RWD models; six-speed automatic in AWD models
Does the 2019 Lexus RC Get Good Gas Mileage?

The RC gets its best gas mileage when equipped with the turbocharged four-cylinder base engine, but even then, many rivals are more fuel-efficient.

  • RC 300, RWD: 21/30 mpg city/highway
  • RC 300, AWD: 18/24 mpg
  • RC 350, RWD: 20/28 mpg
  • RC F, RWD: 16/25 mpg

Read more about RC performance »

2019 RC Interior

How Many People Does the 2019 RC Seat?

The 2019 RC seats four people in two rows. The RC's cabin is handsome and stylish, and it's replete with top-notch materials. The front seats have plenty of head- and legroom, and they're comfortable. As is the case with many coupes, the rear seats will feel cramped to most adults.

Standard seating features:

  • Synthetic leather upholstery
  • Power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • Genuine leather upholstery
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 Lexus RC?

The 2019 RC has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the highest rating of Good for ease of use.

2019 Lexus RC Features

The standard infotainment display is a bit tough to see, so you may want to upgrade to a model with the larger display. Either way, you're stuck with the Remote Touch controller, which is not a good thing. It's a laptop-style trackpad on the center console that's unintuitive and distracting to use while driving.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 7-inch display, a USB port, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker premium sound system, HD Radio, satellite radio, Siri Eyes Free, the Lexus Enform App Suite, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and smartphone-integrated navigation
  • Available infotainment features: a 10.3-inch display with a navigation system and the Remote Touch interface, and a 17-speaker Mark Levinson premium sound system
  • Additional standard features: push-button start, proximity keyless entry, dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Other available features: a moonroof

See 2019 Lexus RC specs »

Read more about RC interior »

2019 Lexus RC Dimensions

Lexus RC Cargo Space

Most luxury small cars have more cargo space than the RC. Its trunk only provides 10.4 cubic feet of space.

2019 Lexus RC Length and Weight
  • Length: 15 feet, 6 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,737 to 3,902 pounds

Where Was the 2019 Lexus RC Built?

Lexus built the 2019 RC in Japan.


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