2019 Lexus RC vs. 2019 BMW 8 Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus RC have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision. The BMW 8 Series doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the RC and the 8 Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RC its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 36 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 8 Series has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than BMW covers the 8 Series. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 8 Series ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 28 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 8th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Tires and Wheels

The RC has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the 8 Series; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 4.8 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (34.2 feet vs. 39 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 4.2 feet tighter than the 8 Series’ (34.8 feet vs. 39 feet).

Chassis

The Lexus RC may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 850 pounds less than the BMW 8 Series.

The RC is 6.2 inches shorter than the 8 Series, making the RC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Lexus RC amounts to more than styling. The RC offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .29 to .3 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the 8 Series (.32 to .33). A more efficient exterior helps the RC go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the RC get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

The RC has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 8 Series (83.8 vs. 81).

The RC has .1 inches more front headroom, 3.3 inches more front legroom, 1.2 inches more rear headroom and 3.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the 8 Series Coupe.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 14% lower rating, BMW is ranked 8th.

Model Availability

The RC is available in both rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive configurations. The 8 Series doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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

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