HERE are few things worse than being shown up by your younger sibling. The Lexus RC F is only three years old, but compare its interior to that of the new LC500 and youíd think the gap between the two is an entire generation. Granted, the LC is a good $50K-plus more expensive than the RC F in its basic form (though our longtermerís optional carbon pack narrows that gap to $25K), but it also looks and feels it.
Not that the RC F is terrible, it just lets itself down with some baffling control interfaces, while some areas of the cockpit smack of the corporate accountants having too strong of a say. There are positives, such as the comfy, supportive seats, widely adjustable driving position, build quality and fit and finish, equipment list and the way certain functions are operated by the press of an obvious button.
Heating or cooling the seats in the RC F, for instance, takes one second to press a button, whereas in the LC500 it takes about 10 minutes and a degree in neuroscience to find the appropriate sub-menu buried in the infotainment system.
The infotainment controller is by far the biggest problem in the RC F, or any Lexus for that matter Ė itís an ergonomic disaster.
Perhaps itís slightly easier for left-hand dominant people, but operating the tracking pad diverts significant attention away from the road and selecting the desired button is often little more than pot luck.
Liked Disliked Cooled seats in a Melbourne summer Trying to operate the damn track pad FUEL THIS MONTH 12.35L/100KM AVERAGE 12.35L/100KM DISTANCE THIS MONTH 1506KM TOTAL 7017KM
Want to adjust the temperature? Simply slide your finger up or down the silver bar. Lights are touch sensitive, too. Cool
The triple decker design theme works well enough, though the centre dash is very bland, but hopefully some of the LCís swoops and curves are incorporated come update time
Seats are comfy, well-bolstered and offer welcome heating and cooling functions, though a number of passengers have commented how the red leather clashes with Lexusís signature blue F model stitching. Rear seats will accept adults for short journeys, but itís pretty squishy
Track pad (slightly) easier to use than old mouselike system, but thatís the ultimate example of damning with faint praise. Screen is small compared to opposition (though 2018 IS sedan receives a much bigger unit), and functions like sat-nav input and phone pairing are disabled on the move Ė ARGH!
A number of cost-cutting measures are evident inside the RC F. The cruise-control stalk is straight from a $18K Toyota Yaris, requiring the adaptive functions to be moved to the steering wheel.
Turn the wheel and screws are visible in the boss Ė not ideal in a premium car
We donít mind retro touches, but a foot-operated park brake is not what we had in mind Ė what is this, 1989? Equally redundant is the tiny analogue speedo, rated to an irrelevant and unachievable 340km/h