Grand Tourer: The 2019 Lexus RC 350

Front 3/4 view of 2019 Lexus RC 350
The 2019 Lexus RC 350.
There's a time and a place for everything, and I'm one of those guys who can't quite see a brute-force beast as a daily driver.  Regular readers will recall that about a year and a half ago,  Mrs. TireKicker and I took the 467-horsepower Lexus RC-F to Yosemite and had a blast hammering the winding, twisting roads of California's Gold Country that lie between that beautiful national park and TireKicker World Headquarters in Folsom (suburban Sacramento).

Day in, day out, the styling of the RC-F with a less-frantic personality sounds just right.  Which brings us to the 2019 Lexus RC 350.  I likened the RC-F to the Batmobile.  This is Bruce Wayne's tux.

Rear 3/4 view of 2019 Lexus RC 350
2019 Lexus RC 350.
Let's face it, the styling is a knockout.  Maybe not the astonishing "omigodineedtohavethatcar" that the Lexus LC 500 inspires, but it's really, really nice.  And Blue Vortex Metallic is very much the RC 350's color.

Engine of the 2019 Lexus RC 350
2019 Lexus RC 350.
If you are among the group of people who believe that 300 horsepower is plenty for everyday driving, good news---The RC 350's 3.5-liter V6 makes 311.  And, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the EPA estimates it'll get 20 miles per gallon in the city and 28 on the highway.  For 2019, there have been updates to the suspension with new springs and shocks as well as revised steering software and engine tuning.  There's also new front and rear styling, including much sleeker headlamps, that emphasizes the family connection with the LC 500.

$44.075 is the base price for the 2019 Lexus RC 350.  That brings a ton of standard features, including:

  • Drive mode select (Normal, Sport and Snow).
  • Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters.
  • 18-inch alloy wheels.
  • Anti-lock braking with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology.
  • Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management.
  • Lexus Safety System.
  • Pre-collision system with pedestrian detection.
  • High-speed dynamic cruise control.
  • Lane Departure Warning with Steering Assist.
  • Intelligent high-beam headlamps.
  • Auto on/off LED low and high-beam headlamps with daytime running lights.
  • Ten-way power driver's seat (including two-way lumbar).
  • Eight-way power passenger's seat. 
  • Smart access with pushbutton start/stop.
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror.
  • HomeLink garage door opener.
  • Genuine wood interior trim.
  • Lexus multimedia system with seven-inch color display.
  • Ten-speaker Lexus Premium Sound system with Apple CarPlay.
  • Lexus Enform Safety Connect and Service Connect complimentary for the first ten years of ownership.
  • Lexus Enform Wi-Fi (one year trial).
  • Lexus Enform Remote Link (one year trial).
  • Smart Watch and Alexa skill integration.
  • Amazon Alexa compatibility.
  • Scout GPS link.
  • TurnStream and MapStream compatible.
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio (three-month trial).
  • First aid kit.
  • Carpeted floor mats.
Interior view of 2019 Lexus RC 350 interior.
2019 Lexus RC 350 interior.
Our tester also came with some extra-cost options:

  • 19-inch split ten-spoke alloy wheels ($795).
  • Triple-beam LED headlamps ($1,160).
  • Navigation/Mark Levinson audio upgrade with a 10.3-inch color multimedia display, a 17-speaker, 835-watt, 7.1 channel surround system with Clari-Fi audio processing, three years free of Lexus Enform Dynamic Navigation, one year free of Lexus Enform Destination Assist and Dynamic Voice Command ($2,725).
  • Premium Package with Lexus Memory System for driver's seat, outside mirrors and steering column, blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, electrochromic heated outside mirrors with auto tilt-down in reverse, power tilt and telescopic steering column, rain-sensing wipers, heated and ventilated seats ($2,190).
With $1,025 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line reads $52,670.  Which is actually something of a bargain for the styling, handling, power and features combined with Lexus' legendary reliability and re-sale value.