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By Jonathan Crouch
Added 9th June, 2017
, updated 1st May, 2020
The Lexus LC luxury coupe opened a fresh chapter for this premium Japanese brand and has been thoughtfully updated. Jonathan Crouch reports.
This is a refreshing car in so many ways. Instead of simply copying its competitors in the full-sized executive saloon segment, Lexus continued to take a different approach with this fourth generation GS. You could ask why there's no diesel engine - but in doing so, you'd also have to answer the question as to why one might be needed when in hybrid form, this car can match the fuel and CO2 returns of any direct comparably performing V6 diesel rival you care to name, and do so with greater refinement and less poisonous emissions from cheaper fuel.
Hybrids like this one aren't a total solution to the automotive pollution we're inflicting on our planet, but the technology this Lexus pioneered in its sector represents an important step forward that some rivals are still struggling to match. Add in excellent equipment levels, famed reliability and a dealer network that makes you feel special and you can see why this car attracted so many satisfied and high profile owners. If you're buying in this sector and haven't owned a Lexus before, you probably won't be considering it. Perhaps you should be.
The ES is the most important full-Executive-class saloon the Lexus brand has yet brought us. Jonathan Crouch takes a look.
The Lexus UX positions Lexus optimally in the compact part of the mid-sized premium brand SUV sector. Jonathan Crouch drives it
Sometimes, first impressions count and we'd wager that this car, parked alongside a comparable BMW, Mercedes or Audi coupe, would be seen by most as the classier, more up-market proposition. That'll matter to potential coupe customers, as will the fact that this car is not only good looking but also beautifully built, agreeably rapid, lavishly equipped and everyday-usable.
Of course, the fact that it's a little larger and a little heavier than its rivals has an effect in the form of ultimate handling prowess. An RC isn't quite as agile to chuck around as coupe versions of the BMW 4 Series, the Audi A5 and the Mercedes C-Class would be. Nor is it quite as frugal in terms of up-front fuel and CO2 emission stats. Does that matter? We think probably not. The business buyers being targeted here don't want to drive like Fernando Alonso. And the hybrid version of this car that almost all of them will choose easily makes up for any slight efficiency shortfall with Benefit-in-Kind taxation savings that are hard to ignore. And in summary? Well ultimately, this is not only a more interesting, individualistic choice in this segment, but arguably a rather clever one. A certain kind of buyer will like this RC very much. And we can understand why.
The Lexus RX isn't the most capable luxury SUV you can buy. It isn't the sportiest to drive. And it's not the most affordable to buy. But despite all of that, it will continue to attract a significant following in this segment. Once you've bought the thing, after all, its running costs can be usefully less than even the most frugal of its diesel competitors.
While other manufacturers dithered over hybrid technology, Toyota's Lexus division got on and developed it. Their first hybrid RX was an impressive achievement and this one has added more stylish looks and extra technology to existing strengths of comfort, refinement and a high specification. There's also a slightly lengthened RX L seven-seat bodystyle if you want it. Overall , the reasons you'll want to buy this car really haven't changed very much. Comfort, efficiency and class. As ever with Lexus.
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