If you’re in the market for a luxury coupe, then your options are somewhat slim nowadays. You can choose the Audi A5 coupe or perhaps the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. But if you’re looking for something in the lower $40,000 range, then you’re left with either the 2021 Lexus RC or the Toyota Supra.
I have had the chance to test out both of these cars in the past month, and I found that they are similar in a few ways. But if your comfort is what you value the most, then the Lexus RC is the way to go.
2021 Lexus RC 350 versus the Toyota Supra
My 2021 Lexus RC 350 test car is the F Sport trim level, which means that it comes with a V6 engine complemented by a host of F Sport upgrades. Among them include an F Sport front grille, dark 19-inch wheels, bolstered heated and ventilated seats, and ash wood trim on the door panels and center console.
All said, it’s a sleek look and the F Sport add-ons give the luxury coupe an edgier appeal. However, they only slightly add to the car’s comfortable ride and driving dynamics. All of that can be amplified by the car’s adaptive suspension that stiffens up when you put it into “Sport +” mode, but I found that it only modifies it slightly.
On the other hand, the Toyota Supra is geared toward the enthusiast crowd. Even in its base 2.0 form, the Supra provides sharp steering response, composed and responsive handling, and an eager turbocharged engine that feels more powerful than its 255-hp rating. That being said, the Supra is still comfortable to drive every day and offers a spacious and well-appointed cabin.
The Lexus RC 350 is more comfortable than sporty
If you have ever driven any Lexus vehicle, then you’re probably familiar with how soft they are. It doesn’t matter how large or small the vehicle is, if it’s a Lexus, then you know it’s going to have some kind of pillow-like softness tuned into its ride and handling characteristics.
The Lexus RC is no exception. Although it is meant to unleash the wild child within you, that child will come out with a skinny tie and pocket protector as the RC 350 exudes a sense of safety and numbness to the outside world. It’s not a bad thing, in fact, that type of comfort and disconnectedness with the road adds to the luxurious appeal. It also makes long trips a breeze.
The Supra felt largely the same way, although the car had a lot of fake engine noise piped in through the speakers. Additionally, I could hear the tires at any speed, but it wasn’t unbearable by any means. I wouldn’t hesitate to take the Supra on a long trip either, but if I had to go cross-country, or even sit in stop-and-go traffic every day, I would choose the Lexus RC any day.
That doesn’t mean that the Lexus isn’t fun to drive
That all being said, there’s a lot to like about the 2021 RC 350 F Sport. Its 3.5-liter V6 engine produces 311 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque, which can scoot the car up to 60 mph in just 6.0 seconds, according to Lexus. That’s a little slower than the Supra 2.0 that I drove, but then again, you probably won’t be stoplight racing in a Lexus.
Also, the six-speed automatic transmission that the V6 is mated to is pretty good, although I found that it downshifts slow when you need to peg the throttle. It’s also not as smooth as the ZF eight-speed transmission in the Supra. But if you want sportiness, then pick that car. If you want comfort, check out the 2021 Lexus RX 350, you might like it.