Lexus RC 300h F

Sport

Lexus RC F, side, action
Lexus RC F, exhaust
Lexus RC F, boot
Lexus RC F, front seats
Lexus RC F, rear seats
Lexus RC F, action
Lexus RC F, front
Lexus RC F, front, action
Lexus RC F, rear, action

THE Lexus RC 300h offers an unusual blend of attributes - striking good looks and amazing economy.

The two might not seem like customary bedfellows but in this particular instance they combine perfectly and prove a winning combination.

The RC 300 is probably the best looking coupe in its class, with the kind of classic design lines that leave its German rivals produced by BMW and Mercedes well and truly in the shade.

It is also available in hybrid form which means owning one can be extremely cost-effective in terms of running costs.

Essentially there are two RC 300s - a conventional petrol-powered 200t and this petrol/electric hybrid.

Given a choice between the two it's hard to imagine plumping for the petrol as the hybrid really does make perfect sense in so many ways.

Before you get over-excited though, those sporty and svelte good looks suggest a lot but don't opt for one if you're after performance above all else.

The 300h offers more of a traditional laid-back grand tourer experience to be savoured and enjoyed rather than a white knuckle ride.

That said the multiple driving modes offer a degree of variety, ranging from Eco thorough to Standard, Sport and Sport Plus.

The sports setting on the CVT gearbox combined with the Sport Plus driving mode offers the most dynamic drive and to be fair it is fun enough - certainly for the kind of driving one is most likely to be doing on UK roads.

Power comes courtesy of a 2.5-litre petrol engine and a battery working in tandem, which combine to produce 220bhp.

Lexus and Toyota have spent a lot of time, effort and money investing in hybrid technology, hence the reason it's rolled out in a car like this.

Consequently it's no surprise the two work seamlessly, effortlessly and economically.

When pootling around town it's capable of getting you around in full EV mode, making for a silent and very smooth experience.

It's heavier than the more performance focused 2.0-litre turbo-powered petrol model but it trumps it when it comes to running costs and it's worth stressing that even the pure petrol version isn't really the kind of car aimed at thrill-seekers.

The RC 300h has a combined economy figure of 56.5mpg, which really is impressive.

Real world economy might be closer to the 40mpg mark, which isn't bad, though perhaps doesn't compare as well to the Germanic desel-powered coupes which have become popular.

But with diesel currently very much in the spotlight and serious questions being raised about the kind of running costs diesel owners might be expected to endure going forward, a petrol hybrid all of a sudden has added attraction.

On the inside the RC 300h is luxurious and comfortable, with a feeling of quality throughout.

Materials, instrumentation and switchgear are all top notch and the sculpted sports seats ensure driving around in it on short or long journeys is a joy.

Probably the only drawbacks are the fact rear seat passengers are a little less comfortably catered for and the infotainment system is characterised by a slight awkwardness that makes it tricky to use on the go. Oh, and the boot isn't the biggest either (340 litres) - the hybrid having even less room than the petrol-powered version in order to accommodate those batteries.

All versions come fairly generously equipped with dual-zone climate control, LED headlights, parking sensors, leather seats, an automatic gearbox and cruise control.

FAST FACTS

Lexus RC 300h F Sport

Price: £39,495

Mechanical: 220bhp, 2,494cc, 4cyl petrol engine/battery hybrid driving rear wheels via automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 118mph

0-62mph: 8.6 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 36

C02 emissions: 113g/km

Bik rating: 21%

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