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The Lexus RC Coupe contains enough gadgets to keep the gents happy. But is it striking enough to impress the ladies? June Neary reports.
Added 16th November, 2018
The Lexus UX positions Lexus optimally in the compact part of the mid-sized premium brand SUV sector. Jonathan Crouch drives it
The fourth generation RX was certainly a much improved product - primarily to look at but also in terms of luxury, safety and technology. Less telling, we think, are the handling changes Lexus claimed to have made here: the car itself remains an SUV for the Riviera, rather than the racetrack. For most potential buyers though, that's as it should be. As one writer observed, 'the RX replaces dynamism with the calming aura of whale music and scented candles'. There's something in that.
We still like it though. Forget what the magazines tell you: buyers in search of a large luxury SUV typically prioritise luxury, style and tax-friendly efficiency above almost everything else, these elements being things that this Lexus can here nail more effectively than ever before. According to the brand, it's all about 'sharpened sophistication' and 'seductive strength'; we'd prefer simply to call this a more sensible way to own what remains a very indulgent kind of car.
The Lexus LC Convertible offers the potential for a fresh direction for this premium Japanese brand. Jonathan Crouch reports.
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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