2019 Chevrolet Camaro vs. 2019 Lexus RC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the Camaro and the RC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available collision warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

There are over 12 times as many Chevrolet dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Camaro’s warranty.

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Camaro’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the RC’s camshafts. If the RC’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Camaro has a standard 700-amp battery. The RC’s 580-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the Camaro is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Camaro’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RC’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

The Camaro has more powerful engines than the RC:

 

Horsepower

Torque

Camaro 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

275 HP

295 lbs.-ft.

Camaro 3.6 DOHC V6

335 HP

284 lbs.-ft.

Camaro SS 6.2 V8

455 HP

455 lbs.-ft.

Camaro ZL1 6.2 supercharged V8

650 HP

650 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

RC 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the Chevrolet Camaro is faster than the RC 350 (automatics tested):

 

Camaro V6

Camaro SS

RC

Zero to 60 MPH

5.2 sec

3.9 sec

6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

12.5 sec

8.9 sec

14.5 sec

Quarter Mile

13.8 sec

12.3 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

104 MPH

116 MPH

100 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Camaro Auto turbo 4 cyl. gets better fuel mileage than the RC 300 RWD (22 city/31 hwy vs. 21 city/30 hwy).

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the Camaro V6/V8 Auto’s fuel efficiency. The RC doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Chevrolet Camaro uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The RC requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Camaro has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the RC (19 vs. 17.4 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

The Camaro has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The RC doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

The Camaro offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The RC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

A 10-speed automatic is available on the Chevrolet Camaro, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the RC.

The Camaro’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RC doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Camaro’s brake rotors are larger than those on the RC:

 

Camaro 1LE

Camaro SS

Camaro SS 1LE

Camaro ZL1

RC

RC F Sport

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

15.35 inches

13.2 inches

14 inches

Rear Rotors

12.4 inches

13.3 inches

13.3 inches

14.4 inches

12.2 inches

12.2 inches

The Camaro stops much shorter than the RC:

 

Camaro

RC

 

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Camaro has larger standard tires than the RC (245/50R18 vs. 235/40R19). The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RC (F:305/30R19 & R:325/30R19 vs. F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19).

The Camaro SS 1LE/ZL1’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 30 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the RC’s optional 40 series front and 35 series rear tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Camaro offers optional 20-inch wheels. The RC’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Camaro can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RC doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Camaro’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the RC (110.7 inches vs. 107.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Camaro is 1 inch wider in the front and .4 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the RC.

The Camaro ZL1 1LE Coupe handles at 1.18 G’s, while the RC 350 pulls only .85 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Chevrolet Camaro may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 400 pounds less than the Lexus RC.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Camaro Coupe a Compact car, while the RC is rated a Subcompact.

The Camaro Coupe has 9.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RC (93 vs. 83.8).

The Camaro Coupe has .6 inches more front hip room, .3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 2.6 inches more rear legroom than the RC.

Servicing Ease

The Camaro has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The RC doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

The Camaro offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The RC doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

Model Availability

The Chevrolet Camaro comes in coupe and convertible bodystyles; the Lexus RC isn’t available as a convertible.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Camaro owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Camaro with a number “1” insurance rate while the RC is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Camaro is less expensive to operate than the RC because typical repairs cost much less on the Camaro than the RC, including $202 less for a water pump, $453 less for a starter, $191 less for fuel injection, $15 less for front struts, $647 less for a timing belt/chain and $985 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Camaro second among midsize sporty cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The RC isn’t in the top three in its category.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 4 years. The RC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

Motor Trend selected the Camaro as their 2016 Car of the Year. The RC has never been chosen.

The Camaro was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2013. The RC has never been an “All Star.”

The Camaro was selected by Automobile Magazine as their 2010 Car of the Year. The RC has never been chosen.

The Chevrolet Camaro outsold the Lexus RC by over 15 to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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