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Lexus RC200t 2015 review

EXPERT RATING
7
Chris Riley road tests and reviews the Lexus RC200t with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch.

Lexus is going after younger buyers with a cheaper version of its RC coupe.

The new RC200t coupe is just $3000 cheaper than the V6 but Lexus expects that will be enough to entice buyers as young as 25. It wasn't long ago the average age of a Lexus buyer was 60-plus.

The 200t comes in three grades — Luxury ($64,000), F-Sport ($73,000) and Sports Luxury ($83,500) — with a number of option packs.

It joins the V6 RC350, priced from $67,000 and the hero of the range, the V8-powered RC-F, priced from a whopping $133,000.

The entry Luxury model is no stripper, with leather and climate aircon, power adjust front seats that are heated and cooled and power adjustment for the steering wheel.

It also gets LED headlights, smart entry and start, eight-inch infotainment screen with satnav, rear parking sensors and premium 10-speaker audio with digital DAB+ radio.

Lexus hasn't skimped on safety either, with eight airbags, a rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control and pre-collision safety with autonomous emergency braking.

The new model is powered by the same 2.0-litre four cylinder twin-scroll turbo that Lexus has been rolling out across other models, with 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque, the latter from a low 1650rpm.

It features the latest version of the Lexus intelligent variable valve system, labelled VVT-iW (the W is for Wide) and the maker says special attention was paid in development to minimising turbo lag.

The end result is a claimed 0-100km/h time of 7.5 seconds, which is almost a second slower than the 3.5-litre V6, which is just 5kg heavier and produces 233kW and 378Nm.

The 200t is more economical, though, sipping fuel at the rate of just 7.3L/100km (compared with 9.4L for the V6), with the help of auto stop-start which shuts the engine down when idle to save fuel. That is offset to a degree by its preference for premium unleaded.

Driving

The four-seater was developed from the ground up as a dedicated performance coupe.

The entry model rolls on 18-inch alloys. There are Normal and Eco drive modes, coupled with a smooth eight-speed auto that blips the throttle on downchanges.

Data from the vehicle's G-sensor is used to determine the optimal gear during spirited driving.

The engine is smooth, it's fun to drive

As a bonus, the 200t is fitted with a performance damper that links the left and right underfloor braces. It's designed to improve handling and steering response as well as reducing noise, vibration and harshness.

So, how does it drive? Less demanding drivers will find throttle response more than satisfying, while the steering is direct and cornering prowess is suitably sporty.

The ride strikes a happy balance between firm and comfortable and the car feels more connected to the road than any Lexus we've driven before.

Verdict

It's good but never quite great.

The engine is smooth, it's fun to drive and the price is relatively sharp, although the punchier V6 is tempting for just $3000 more.

 

What do you think of Lexus adding a four-cylinder to the lineup? Tell us in the comments below.

Click here to see more 2015 Lexus RC200t pricing and spec info.

Pricing Guides

$44,900
Based on 26 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$36,900
Highest Price
$72,990

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
RC F 5.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $69,990 – 72,990 2015 Lexus RC 2015 RC F Pricing and Specs
RC F Carbon 5.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $80,080 – 92,070 2015 Lexus RC 2015 RC F Carbon Pricing and Specs
RC350 F Sport 3.5L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $36,900 – 48,850 2015 Lexus RC 2015 RC350 F Sport Pricing and Specs
RC350 Luxury 3.5L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO $37,400 – 44,000 2015 Lexus RC 2015 RC350 Luxury Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7
Pricing Guide

$35,970

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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