2016 Lexus RC F Review

The 2016 Lexus RC F is a performance car that combines luxury, horsepower and torque into a beautiful body with more curves, vents and accents than you’d expect. The interior materials and style are top notch.

After putting nearly 800 miles on the 2016 Lexus RC F, we are impressed by the handling, driving modes that will grow with your skill and the power that this 5.0L V8 delivers.

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Lexus’ RC F turns heads on its own, but the Molten Pearl paint job with a carbon roof and speed activated spoiler complete a look that commands attention on the highway, on main street and in your own driveway.

The Lexus RC F demands attention thanks to aggressive styling and a throaty exhaust.

The Lexus RC F demands attention thanks to aggressive styling and a throaty exhaust.

One of the only real downsides to the Lexus RC F is that the infotainment touchpad controls are awkward to use and ultimately clunky. One other issue is that the RC F is heavier than the competition, which comes into play when accelerating and cornering.

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You can buy the Lexus RC F starting at $62,805. But if you want the infotainment package and all the features included on our Lexus RC F review vehicle, including the performance package, premium Mark Levinson audio package plus infotainment center, upgraded wheels, triple beam LED headlights and driver assist features like Blind sport monitor, park assist and pre collision system with radar cruise control, then you’re looking at a $79,355 price tag.

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What is the Lexus RC F?

The Lexus RC F is an upgraded version of the Lexus RC that mashes together parts of the Lexus GS, Lexus IS and Lexus IS C Convertible to form what is effectively a Lexus hot rod with a refined interior.

This two-door Lexus includes a small back seat with car seat restraints and a decent size trunk so you can grab groceries in between flaunting local speed limits.

With a 5.0L naturally aspirated V8, the Lexus RC F not only delivers the power drivers demand, but sounds great while doing it.

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2016 Lexus RC-F Performance

Thanks to the 5.0L V8 under the hood, the 2016 Lexus RC F 0-60 is clocked at 4.4 seconds. We didn’t have a track to test this out on with official measurements, but the car accelerates fast and definitely came close to that on the open road in our hands.

At speed the rear spoiler glides up.

At speed the rear spoiler glides up.

A curb weight of 3,958 pounds is the only thing holding this car back. While the competition is lighter and a touch more nimble the RC F is still a thrill to drive.

Drivers can choose between four driving modes. There are multiple settings for the rear differential and they can turn traction control off, as well as turn off other safety features for more freedom. This is essential, since traction control kicks on earlier than we like.

Choose the driving mode and traction control needs to fit your skill, mood and the driving conditions.

Choose the driving mode and traction control needs to fit your skill, mood and the driving conditions.

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When you switch between the multiple driving modes the display changes to show you the mode that you are on. In eco mode the tachometer becomes a blue circle with no numbers to encourage more eco-friendly driving.

The car supports eco, normal, sport, sport+, sport+ expert and, if you toggle all the safety features off, one more driving mode. With these options the car can grow with your skill level and adjust to road conditions and your familiarity with how it handles.

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The Lexus RC F sounds marvelous thanks to the four exhaust pipes that sit at the rear. The sound is muted in the car with the windows up, but outside the throaty exhaust note is a joy to listen to. When you depress the gas pedal, people will take note of the raucous noise that comes out of the 2016 RC F.

The car handles well, cornering easily at speed and the orange Brembo brakes will bring you to a stop quickly when you need to. Overall ride quality is good, but on poor roads you will feel the ride more than in other cars.

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Even on wet roads the car handles itself well when traction control is engaged. A snow mode could help you make this an all season car, but we could not test that performance.

During our time with the 2016 Lexus RC F we averaged 20.9 miles per gallon, even while driving spiritedly for much of the week and rarely toggling the car into ECO mode. That’s better than the 19 estimated mixed fuel economy rating. Prepare to pony up at the gas pump as you’ll need to put premium in the Lexus RC F.

2016 Lexus RC F Interior & Luxury

When you open the door to the 2016 Lexus RC F there are immediate signs that this is not just a car that goes fast and looks good on the outside. Lexus combines soft materials on the door and across the dash with carbon fiber and subtle blue and white stitching throughout the interior.

The inside the the 2016 Lexus RC F looks and feels like what you expect on a high-end Lexus.

The inside the the 2016 Lexus RC F looks and feels like what you expect on a high-end Lexus.

Two firm, but otherwise comfortable seats wrap the driver and passenger with large bolsters to hold you in place. During a four-hour round trip drive, the seats were comfortable, but on a longer drive they may prove too stiff for some passengers. The Premium Package adds heat and cooling to the seats, which came in handy during a hot and sticky summer in the midwest.

The backseat is small, and not fit for traveling long distance with an adult. It is possible drive with kids in the seat and there are multiple anchors for car seats. The trunk is spacious for the car and fit a week’s worth of groceries as well as a backpack and drone with no issues.

Lexus RC F Technology

In the center of the 2016 Lexus RC F is a 7-inch display and a touchpad that you use to control in-car infotainment, apps and navigation.

The display looks nice and it includes features we expect like navigation, support for apps and satellite radio. It is not a touchscreen, so you need to use a small trackpad near the driver to move a cursor around the screen. This isn’t intuitive and it is distracting while at speed.

The 2016 Lexus RC F infotainment screen is easy to see, and offers information drivers want.

The 2016 Lexus RC F infotainment screen is easy to see, and offers information drivers want.

Lexus Enform supports voice control, so you are able to handle some of the tasks without taking your eyes off the road or a hand off the wheel, but even that is cumbersome compared to other in-car systems.

Navigation can detect traffic jams and road closures while on your route and suggest alternate routes. This saved us from getting stuck twice, but it is not as real-time as Waze and we ended up trapped in one traffic jam behind a recent accident.

This touchpad is how you control the system. It's an awkward control system at any speed.

This touchpad is how you control the system. It’s an awkward control system at any speed.

The Lexus also supports Siri Eyes free, so if you have an iPhone capable of this you can hold the phone call button to use Siri while you are driving without picking up your phone.

The Pre-Collision System and Radar Cruise Control are absolutely necessary upgrades. While there are plenty of times you want to be in control of your speed, cruising down a construction laden highway is not one of them. Toggle on the radar cruise control and the car will keep you moving with the flow of traffic even if it is eight miles slower than your desired speed.

2016 Lexus RC F Review Summary

Stunning looks, a fun ride and great exhaust note all come together to deliver a vehicle that stands out, even if there are lighter alternatives on the market.

The Lexus RC F is a fun car that can adapt to your skill level.

The Lexus RC F is a fun car that can adapt to your skill level.

A refined interior fits the class, while convenience features like radar cruise control are there as well as app support and navigation. The touchpad is a definite area where you will need to make an adjustment to how you control navigation, music and apps. If you go to a BMW you’ll still be using a control down on the center console, so switching to the competition isn’t a clear upgrade in that area.

Ultimately the 2016 Lexus RC F is a fast, fun car that drivers can dial in to their skill level. It’s not going to scare off someone who is making the jump into a sports car for the first time, and after a few months and learning how to drive it, you can dial-up to a new skill level.