2019 Porsche 718 Cayman vs. 2019 Lexus RC

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the 718 Cayman 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 crash mitigating brakes and blind spot warning systems.

Warranty

The 718 Cayman’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RC’s (12 vs. 6 years).

Reliability

A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the 718 Cayman’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.

The battery on the 718 Cayman is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 718 Cayman’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 Porsche vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Porsche fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 5 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 8th.

Engine

The 718 Cayman has more powerful engines than the RC:

 

Horsepower

Torque

718 Cayman 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

300 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman S 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

350 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

309 lbs.-ft.

718 Cayman GTS 2.5 turbo 4 cyl.

365 HP

317 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 Porsche 718 Cayman is faster than the RC 350 3.5 DOHC V6 (automatics tested):

 

718 Cayman 2.0

718 Cayman S

RC

Zero to 30 MPH

1.5 sec

n/a

2.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

3.9 sec

3.6 sec

6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.6 sec

n/a

14.5 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

5.1 sec

n/a

6.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.9 sec

n/a

3.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

3.1 sec

n/a

4.1 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

12 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

113 MPH

n/a

100 MPH

The flat cylinder configuration of the boxer engine in the 718 Cayman lowers its center of gravity, enhancing handling stability. The RC doesn’t offer a boxer engine configuration.

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the 718 Cayman’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 718 Cayman’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RC doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Transmission

The 718 Cayman offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The RC doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The 718 Cayman offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The RC doesn’t offer an SMG.

The 718 Cayman PDK’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

The 718 Cayman offers optional heat-treated ceramic brake rotors, which last ten to twenty times as long as conventional cast iron rotors, don’t rust, don’t fade during repeated high speed braking, and their lighter weight contribute to better braking, handling and acceleration. The RC doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The 718 Cayman stops much shorter than the RC:

 

718 Cayman

RC

 

70 to 0 MPH

141 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the 718 Cayman’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the RC (F:245/35R20 & R:305/30R20 vs. F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19).

The 718 Cayman’s optional 245/35R20 front and 305/30R20 rear tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear 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 718 Cayman GTS has standard 20-inch wheels. The RC’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Chassis

The Porsche 718 Cayman may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 800 to 850 pounds less than the Lexus RC.

The 718 Cayman is 1 foot shorter than the RC, making the 718 Cayman easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Cargo Capacity

The 718 Cayman has a much larger trunk than the RC (14.9 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 718 Cayman’s available trunk can be opened just by holding your hand near the emblem on the trunk, leaving your hands completely free. The RC doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Servicing Ease

The 718 Cayman 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.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Porsche service is better than Lexus. J.D. Power ranks Porsche second in service department satisfaction. With a 3% lower rating, Lexus is ranked third.

Ergonomics

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the 718 Cayman offers an optional rear wiper. The RC doesn’t offer a rear wiper.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the 718 Cayman offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The RC doesn’t offer cornering lights.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the 718 Cayman owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the 718 Cayman will cost $807 to $3555 less than the RC over a five-year period.

The 718 Cayman will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the 718 Cayman will retain 55.27% to 55.4% of its original price after five years, while the RC only retains 48.32% to 49.27%.

Recommendations

The Cayman was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 13 of the last 14 years. The RC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 718 Cayman was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 3 of the last 6 years. The RC has never been an “All Star.”

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

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