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From the IS300H to the F-SPORT RC300H: impressions

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First of all, excuse me in advance for my English, in these cases, the use of a couple of online translators to support my lack of knowledge of English terms is very useful.

I find myself writing the first post in this section because after four IS, I have now switched to an RC.

My first IS was an IS200 Sportcross, I think it was the best Lexus ever owned, after a few years I switched to the IS250: it was a total change, and therefore being fascinated by the design and the technological and safety upgrade that Lexus implemented with that total change of the IS platform, I decided to change.

The same happened with the first IS300H: I waited for the hybrid all that time, eventually, it also came for IS and it LED me to a total change in my approach to driving. The last one I had until a month ago was an IS300H MY2017 which marked a technological and detailed improvement compared to the first version. At home, we also have a CT MY2018, still a very good car.

At the end of my payment plan, as always, I found myself in the dilemma of keeping, changing, returning the car.

The big problem, as read here: Is that Lexus has canceled the IS, RC, CT range for the Italian and European markets

If this had not happened, I think I would have ordered the new IS300H recently presented, but this has not happened, because, in the end, I decided to buy a RC300H The path that LED me to this was a little complicated because I had to thought a lot.

The dealer wanted to sell me an ES at all costs, but this car, after careful analysis, even if beauty, was not open to me: too big, too "old" (although I'm not a kid, that type of car didn't make me feel well when I tried) therefore I have also looked for alternatives at other dealers, I am lucky to have three dealers at a few tens of km. from my village.

One thought immediately struck me: why not completely change the paradigm? Why not try a sportier car that still lets me experience a "real" Lexus?

This thought LED me to study the history of Lexus in the field of sports cars, I started from LF-A, then LFA, then LF-CC, and LF-LC to understand that the line from which RC was born is inherited from those beautiful designs,I realized this even more when during the wash I caught myself looking at the car from the side.

I can say that this convinced me, the idea of an RC, in the F-SPORT configuration (I've always had the "luxury" version) was taken.

Defined that it was impossible to get it now as a new car, I was lucky enough to find a 2019 DEMO car with 7000 km. Sonic Titanium, full optional, sunroof, and Mark Levinson who since the first IS have been mandatory for me, I had seen one from 2000 with almost km. zero, but without ML and a sunroof I wouldn't have taken it, in a compact passenger compartment like that of the LC, without a sunroof I felt a little "oppressed".

It is my first “used” Lexus: I confess that the choice was not easy. but I had decided, after the test drive I fell in love, returned my perfect four-year-old IS300H, and got on the new RC.

I feel ready, after a month, to give some impressions, which can be interesting, because as a calm and relaxed driver, I found myself more dynamic and had fun driving a car.


The design convinces me in every single detail, I can consider it a classic.

The heritage of the LFA and LC is breathed in well, the F-SPORT version in my opinion is the best. A car that still makes people looking at: I think a Lexus owner is also looking for a certain exclusivity.

I realized that when Lexus in Europe changed its commercial strategy, investing only in what the market commands (SUVs and MIni-SUVs) it lost a certain exclusivity.

The driving is dynamic: it is easy to understand the difference in chassis, suspension, the set-up: before driving an RC I did not understand any of these things, the IS300H was a quiet car, which drove itself, a little bit "boring"? Maybe.

The RC made me understand that yes can still enjoy driving a car, which I had kind of forgotten with hybrid IS300H

I have nothing to say about these aspects, I am very happy.

Here the consumption aspect also comes into play: in my opinion, the RC consumes more than the IS.

With IS I had an average consumption of 6.5/100 while with RC I absolutely cannot go below 7.5/100 I realized that the RC, in "normal" mode, is the same as the IS in "SPORT" mode” I, therefore, think that this is the point: a more dynamic, more reactive and therefore more expensive calibration.

I notice that while with the IS the electric mode is activated with a certain frequency with the RC it is activated less.

Ok, this doesn't change my life, but it should be noted.


It seems to me that the RC MY2018 / MY2020 (as it appears written in the registration document) has substantially the same preventive safety system as the IS, I think that some aspects have changed and improved in the calibration of the cruise control and pedestrian detection systems: I find the very smooth adaptive cruise control acceleration, more fluid than the IS300H


For me the weak point of all Lexus.

The car has the Multimedia with the software updated to 2018 or the so called "second generation" which is substantially identical to the 2019/20 version with the difference that it does not support apple CAR or ANDROID CAR and I do not think it is even upgradeable: if someone know something about it, please let me know.

The real problem with this multimedia system is the navigation system, I think that if Lexus could have done worse than the previous one, it has succeeded, in fact, I am sure that the version we have in Europe is perhaps one of the worst ever made.
In fact, in Japan they updated the speed of the software, they modernized it: but they rigorously kept the graphics as in the 2017 version, that is, readable, clear, understandable.

Attention, I am not referring to aspects such as music, Bluetooth management, climate, and other functions of the car that I find well configured, but to the actual navigation.

The screen, although it is 10.3 inches, has been reduced considerably, bringing a black frame all around by more than a centimeter, which makes no sense other than to reduce the space of the maps: they used this space to add unuseful titles like "Navigation" and so on, meaningless.

This forced Lexus to shrink the font size of the streets name, cities, information and it is not possible to enlarge them, furthermore, they have surrounded them with a white "outline", which confuses them with the background: basically, everything is illegible, the night version is even worst.

Of course, there are some improvements: the system automatically connects to the "my lexus" profile when you switch on, allows a dynamic update of traffic conditions, weather conditions, etc. whereas before it was a bit difficult to configure the connected services.

But be careful: I have discovered that after three years the connected service packages expire and must be purchased.

One bad thing, previously Lexus offered those packages included forever, now you need pay for them after three years.

The cost is not high, it is about € 20 per year (while other brand are so much expensive)  but it is still something that reduce the "plus" that old Lexus owner will remember so well and that the new owners, don't know.

I summarize my impression by saying that in trying to enter more information, and to update their technology, they created confusion on the screen, I am quite tech-savvy and have had no problem, in an hour, figuring out how to best use the multimedia system, but I believe those who are less accustomed find it very complicated to extricate themselves in the maze of the settings, but above all the navigation screen is a well-defined example of what should not be done: confusion, information that is not immediately evident, slowness, illegibility.

I believe that if I could use apple Car in my RC I would certainly have switched to Google, apple, or Waze maps: clear, dynamically updated, legible, and functional, note also  that the car is not updated to use the Lexus link application which here in Italy only works with NX and UX.


I am very happy, despite the multimedia system that has greatly disappointed me, I find the RC a truly special car.

I like the chassis set-up, the feeling of steering that reacts to the slightest touch, I love driving it, I would never get off if I could, I like the interior design which is like the IS, but with an extra touch of modernity.

It made me savor the heritage of Lexus sports cars and made me understand that the choice to stay in Lexus was the right one.

We will see in the future, in four years when the financing plan will expire if the next step will be that of an electric Lexus, but for now, I believe that, at the moment, the Lexus Hybrid Synergy Drive is the best choice ever.

Thank you for your patience in reading my impressions.


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Welcome Cris and what an excellent first post.

Our Motor Expert, Linas will, I am sure, enjoy reading all you have said.

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1 hour ago, royoftherovers said:

Welcome Cris and what an excellent first post.

Our Motor Expert, Linas will, I am sure, enjoy reading all you have said.

I agree John. This could be very interesting.

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