Sedans & Coupes

Why Is Lexus Falling Behind the Competition in Luxury Cars?

When you think of luxury cars, one of the first brands that come to our minds is the Lexus. Over the years, they’ve produced some pretty impressive vehicles that ranked high in reliability ratings

However, the 2020 model has fallen far short of where they used to be. US News & World Report ranked the segment’s small luxury cars, and the two Lexus sedans are at the bottom. Each car’s reviews hold a few clues as to what made them fall so far down in the rankings. 

What Lexus vehicles are on the luxury small car list?

In the No. 11 spot, you can find the Lexus IS. This sedan impressed reviewers with its comfortable ride, high-quality cabin materials, and above-average predicted reliability ratings. They made many improvements with the IS over the years. 

 It comes in two different packages, the 300 and the 350 trim. Both can upgrade to an F version, which is a sportier trim donning an all-wheel-drive power train. 

The Lexus RC sedan comes to rest on the No. 13 spot on their list. Like the IS, this model has an outstanding predicted reliability rating and comes with many standard features. With premium cabin materials and a dreamy ride, you’d think it would land much higher on the list. 

This four-seater, rear-wheel-drive sedan comes with several options for engines. You can choose from a four-cylinder, one of a few V6 motors, or a 5.0-liter V8 engine. All-wheel-drive is an option for the V6 engines. 

You can find the RC in several trims. The RC 300 is the base trim, followed by the 300 F sport package. There’s also the 350 and the 350 F sport package. The highest trim level is their RC F with the Track edition being their special package. 

What made Lexus fall toward the bottom?

The Lexus IS received a score of 7.5 because US News & World Report felt there were too many shortcomings with this sedan compared to its rivals. One area where they found themselves disappointed was the interior. Its trunk is too small to be useful, and the styling is more than a bit outdated. 

When it comes to using the infotainment system, they felt the IS failed miserably. The controls were just too difficult to use, which is disappointing since competitor vehicles offer more user-friendly versions. Its EPA ratings also failed to impress. Fuel economy on the IS sedan doesn’t hold a candle to what their rivals can do. 

The Lexus RC received a score of 7.4 on their list. Like the IS, it has a tiny amount of trunk space that renders it barely useful. While the cabin materials are higher quality than the IS, seating isn’t nearly as comfortable as possible, especially with the rear seat. 

The infotainment system is far from being user-friendly, and the standard motor doesn’t have very much torque. Performance is on the weaker side with this one. The most disappointing feature has to be the starting price, which begins at $41,000. It seems a bit over-the-top for what you get with this car. 

What cars rank the highest on their list and why?

Tied for the #1 spot is the BMW 2-Series, and the Genesis G70. Each one scored an incredible 8.7. The BMW has a premium interior with ultra-comfortable seating and easy-to-use controls on the dash. It has a powerful motor, kicking out 228 hp for the low-end, and 335 for the high-end engines.

The Genesis G70 has peppier motors, which can put out 252 to 365 hp, depending on which engine you have installed. It has quick acceleration times, excellent ride and handling, and high-quality cabin materials. It also comes with several standard features, which you don’t see with on too many of the other vehicles on the list. 

We have always known the Lexus for its luxuriousness, but the 2020 models seem to have disappointed this year. If they want to find themselves higher on the list, they must step up their game to their competitors’ level. 

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