Lexus RC200t F Sport 2017 review
Peter Anderson road tests and reviews the Lexus RC200t F Sport coupe, with specs, fuel consumption and verdict.
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Some cars are built to be practical, swallowing suitcase after suitcase for family trips and laughing in the face of a weekend run to Bunnings. Others are built to be capable, powering through deep pools of standing water and mud, and charging to the top of mountains without breaking a sweat.
But some cars are just made to be beautiful above all else. Take Audi’s A5 Coupe 2.0 TFSI S tronic - a sleek two-door stunner that makes as much sense as a family hailer as your average bicycle.
Let’s face it, though, when you look as good as the A5 Coupe, attributes such as practicality are largely a moot point. Here is a car designed with the driver’s needs firmly in mind.
This new 2017 model retains the foundations of its perfectly sculpted two-door predecessor and adds sharper styling with more creases and more attitude, including a lower-set front end and reworked grille and headlights.
For your $69,900 investment you get a decent amount of standard kit, including 18-inch alloys, LED head- and tail-lights and Audi’s stand-out 12.3-inch 'Virtual Cockpit' in the driver’s binnacle. The cool Manhattan Grey colour of my weekend driver is complemented by a striking LED package (a favourite feature), which adds pulse indicators and an ultra-thin light strip above the rear windscreen.
With three kids under 11, though, I’m afraid good looks only go so far. So how will this new A5 Coupe cope as the family taxi for the weekend?
Beauty is a funny thing, particularly where kids are involved. Where I see the A5 Coupe’s stunning design and refined interior, my kids see a car with four wheels, two doors and a backseat best suited to a contortionist.
I arrive home to be greeted by the kids, with my youngest daughter the first to voice her thoughts. Obviously still somewhat scarred by the memory of S5 Coupe I reviewed previously, she yells “Oh no! This car is a nightmare”.
A little naively I ask what the issue is. “I can’t see out of the windows in the back seat,” she says. “This is not happening!”
“Err, yes it is,” I reply. “I suggest you get in as this taxi is leaving.”
We’re up and out the door by 7.15am. I press the unlock button which triggers the cars LED daytime running lights up front and LEDs at the rear, and I genuinely pause for a moment to appreciate how good looking this car is.
Stunning design follows you wherever you look in this car, and that’s absolutely true of the cabin – the materials, look and feel are top notch. The place to be in this car is up front, where I’m joined by my son who directs his attention toward the nav-equipped 8.3-inch centre screen (standard kit). He’s playing this morning’s football game away and is keen to plot our course.
He quickly discovers how to use the sat-nav, only to program our route in completely the opposite direction of where we need be going. Given he’s only eight years old, I don’t hold it against him.
At this point I take over and locate our destination with little effort, and beam the directions onto the Virtual Cockpit - a 12.3inch digital screen that replaces the traditional dials in the driver’s binnacle. It’s a stand out piece of tech, providing key driver information in an incredibly thoughtful and well laid-out manner with navigation between menus both intuitive and effortless.
Once at the ground we learn the opposition is a no-show for our scheduled 8.30am start, prompting a game of parents versus kids. After suffering an unexpected loss to my son's team we set off to my eldest daughter's netball to do battle for a parking spot.
Getting the kids in and out of the backseat was relatively painless – the front seats fold down easily by lifting the leaver at the top of either seat. Adjacent to the lever are two buttons which move the seat forward and backward.
The two-door coupe makes a commendable effort on the practicality front, with cup holders two-a-piece, front and back, while the kids in the rear score their own air-con controls and power outlet. For those like me who end up always carrying the bags, a motion-activated boot also comes as welcome standard kit.
The rest of the day is spent between traffic jams and parking lots. Thankfully the snug leather seats (which adjust in more ways than I thought possible) combine beautifully with car's the 10-speaker stereo and customisable ambient interior lighting to make this car an incredibly pleasant and enjoyable place to spend time sitting idle.
After a lazy start to the morning I take the kids down to the park to stretch their legs. The eldest daughter wins the rock-scissor-paper match and scores the front seat and precedes to make sure her siblings know all about it.
Whilst reversing out of the drive, a bird flies past the reversing camera and we suddenly jolt to a stop care of the car’s cross-path detection tech. A nice little reminder of the safety stuff Audi has loaded this car up with that also includes six airbags (dual front, side and curtain), parking sensors, forward collision warning with AEB and a driver-fatigue detection system. All of which resulted in the A5 being awarded the maximum five-star ANCAP safety rating.
We arrive at the park and bundle out. It’s a beautiful winter’s day and a perfect opportunity to exhaust some of the kids pent-up energy, which I spend the next two hours doing. Unsurprisingly, my energy is spent long before theirs and we call it quits and jump back in the car.
Powering the entry level A5 Coupe is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder producing 140kW / 320Nm that drives the front wheels only. The claimed 0-100km/h time of 7.3 seconds is more than a second faster than its predecessor. With three kids in the car, though, it’s a claim I didn’t get close to verifying. That aside, this engine delivers adequate punch.
Towards the end of Sunday afternoon we pack up the ample 465-litre boot with the kids’ gear and we head off back to their mum’s place.
Driving in a mix of Comfort and Dynamic modes, the Coupe is refined and incredibly comfortable cruising around the back streets. The lack of road and engine noise created an air of calm in the cabin (only noticeable when the kids weren’t arguing) further aided by the efficient and smooth seven-speed 'DSG' dual-clutch automatic gearbox, which was barely noticeable.
The ride on the 18-inch alloys is still pretty supple, with the sports suspension soaking up the numerous speed humps and pot holes. Steering is light and responsive, though we spent more time cruising motorways and back streets than twisting mountain blacktops.
Over the course of the weekend I managed to clock up around 448km and averaged 10.1 litres per 100kms of combined suburban and city driving, not quite the claimed 5.5L/100km for the combined cycle.
So does the A5 Coupe fill the family taxi brief? It’s fair to say after living with the two-door coupe for the weekend, we all started to crave rear doors and a little extra space to spread out. This is car is built for driving pleasure and should not be sentenced to a life of taxiing around three kids
But when you're not driving it, you're admiring it. The A5 Coupe is a beautifully designed car that makes even the most mundane of journeys feel a little special.
|1.8 TFSI||1.8L, PULP, CVT AUTO||$50,270 – 57,750||2017 AUDI A5 2017 1.8 TFSI Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI Quattro||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$56,320 – 64,680||2017 AUDI A5 2017 2.0 TFSI Quattro Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI QUATTRO S TRONIC SPRT||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$44,988 – 74,900||2017 AUDI A5 2017 2.0 TFSI QUATTRO S TRONIC SPRT Pricing and Specs|
|2.0 TFSI S TRONIC SPORT||2.0L, PULP, 7 SP AUTO||$62,040 – 71,280||2017 AUDI A5 2017 2.0 TFSI S TRONIC SPORT Pricing and Specs|