To help make backing safer, the RC’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the RC and the C-Class Coupe have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front and rear seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RC its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2016, a rating granted to only 77 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The C-Class Coupe has not been tested, yet.
Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the C-Class Coupe. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the C-Class Coupe ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
The RC’s corrosion warranty is 2 years and unlimited miles longer than the C-Class Coupe’s (6/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 9th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 14th.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 30 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 7th.
The RC 300 AWD’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 14 more horsepower (255 vs. 241) than the C-Class Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The RC 350’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6 produces 65 more horsepower (306 vs. 241) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (277 vs. 273) than the C-Class Coupe’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.
The RC’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs standard on the C-Class Coupe are solid, not vented.
For better traction, the RC has larger standard tires than the C-Class Coupe (235/40R19 vs. 225/45R18). The RC’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the C-Class Coupe (F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. F:225/45R18 & R:245/40R18).
The RC’s optional 235/40R19 front and 265/35R19 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series front and 35 series rear profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the C-Class Coupe’s 45 series front and 40 series rear tires.
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the RC is 1.2 inches wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the C-Class Coupe.
For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the C-Class Coupe’s (34.2 feet vs. 36.8 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the C-Class Coupe’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.8 feet).
The RC’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Mercedes does not offer a locking feature on the C-Class Coupe’s standard power windows.
In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The RC offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer headlight washers.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RC has standard extendable sun visors. The C-Class Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.
The Lexus RC won three awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.