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Test Drive: Lexus RC 350 F Sport Review

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I’m driving the 2015 Lexus two-door RC 350 F Sport north on New York City’s West Side Highway, where commuting in and out of the city means enduring long periods of frustration relieved by brief moments of driving joy.

As I wait for those moments, getting the sense that the car is waiting just the same, the cabin feels like a command center, and there is that sense of oneness with the vehicle that sport car enthusiasts equate with a good ride. We’re both itching to go, but while I crawl along, I’ve got time to appreciate the well-appointed interior with comfortable, bolstered seats and a touchpad on the center console for controlling the sound and navigation systems.

Finally, traffic thins and I shift into Sport+ mode to swing through a series of tight curves at a speed that finally challenges the 306 horsepower V-6 engine. The massive grille that gives this car its distinctive look sucks in air like a baleen whale feasting on krill. The car’s suspension system normally adjusts the shock absorbers at each wheel to reduce body lean in and out of turns, but in this driving mode the suspension tightens up for better handling while the throttle and gear shifting quicken their response time for a more dynamic ride.

I’m having so much fun, I decide to reverse my commute back into Manhattan, avoiding the bumper-to-bumper traffic coming across the Hudson River from New Jersey by searching for a side street that runs parallel to the highway. I’m twisting and turning to get on the right road, maneuvers that highlight the RC 350 F Sport’s dynamic rear steering system that turns the front and rear wheels in the same or opposing direction as required for better agility; what might have been an aggravating experience is instead another moment of joy.

I’m smiling as I zip along on Riverside Side Drive, keeping an eye out to my right to monitor the West Side Highway. Sure enough, highway traffic starts moving again at the 72nd Street entrance and I get back on to finish my drive into Manhattan. Even the prospect of facing heavy congestion once more doesn’t dampen my spirits. The RC 350 F Sport offers speed when I want it and responsive handling when I need it, with comfort to boot. Who said commuting to Manhattan by car is a bad idea?

From $47,375;

For more from Lexus, read our reviews on the Lexus LX 570 SUV and the Lexus RX 450 Hybrid SUV.


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