2020 Lexus RC F vs. 2019 Dodge Challenger

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

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

The RC F’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Challenger doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The RC F has standard Pre-Collision System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Challenger offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The RC F’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Challenger doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The RC F offers optional Intuitive Park Assist to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The Challenger doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The RC F’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Challenger doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Lexus RC F is safer than the Challenger:

RC F

Challenger

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Restraints

GOOD

GOOD

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

8 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

20 cm

26 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

POOR

Tibia index R/L

.56/.43

1.46/1.01

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) performs roof strength tests. In that test the RC F earned the top rating of “Good” because its roof supported over four times the RC F’s weight before being crushed five inches. The Challenger was rated lower at “Acceptable.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the general design of front seat head restraints for their ability to protect front seat occupants from whiplash injuries. The IIHS also performs a dynamic test on those seats with “good” or “acceptable” geometry. In these ratings, the RC F is safer than the Challenger:

RC F

Challenger

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Restraint Design

GOOD

GOOD

Distance from Back of Head

16 mm

61 mm

Distance Below Top of Head

21 mm

28 mm

Dynamic Test Rating

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Seat Design

Pass

Fail

Neck Force Rating

Low

Low

Max Neck Shearing Force

0

83

Max Neck Tension

340

456

(Lower numerical results are better in all tests.)

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 F the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Challenger was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

The RC F comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Challenger’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC F 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Dodge covers the Challenger. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Challenger ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The RC F’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the Challenger’s (6/unlimited vs. 5/60,000).

Reliability

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

For smoother operation, better efficiency and fewer moving parts, the RC F has an overhead cam design, rather than the old pushrod design of some of the engines in the Challenger.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the RC F’s reliability 45 points higher than the Challenger.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 72 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 28th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Dodge is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The RC F’s 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 167 more horsepower (472 vs. 305) and 127 lbs.-ft. more torque (395 vs. 268) than the Challenger’s standard 3.6 DOHC V6. The RC F’s 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 100 more horsepower (472 vs. 372) than the Challenger R/T automatic’s standard 5.7 V8. The RC F’s 5.0 DOHC V8 produces 97 more horsepower (472 vs. 375) than the Challenger R/T manual’s standard 5.7 V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the Lexus RC F is faster than the Dodge Challenger V6 (automatics tested):

RC F

Challenger

Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

6.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.9 sec

16.3 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.7 sec

6.7 sec

Quarter Mile

12.8 sec

14.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

114 MPH

95 MPH

Top Speed

171 MPH

131 MPH

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lexus RC F higher (5 out of 10) than the Dodge Challenger (1 to 3). This means the RC F produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Challenger every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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

RC F

Challenger

Front Rotors

14.9 inches

12.6 inches

Rear Rotors

13.5 inches

12.6 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

14.9 inches

The RC F’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 Challenger SXT are solid, not vented.

The RC F Track Edition has standard 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 Challenger doesn’t offer ceramic brake rotors.

The RC F stops much shorter than the Challenger:

RC F

Challenger

70 to 0 MPH

154 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

107 feet

109 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

For better traction, the RC F has larger tires than the Challenger (F:255/35R19 & R:275/35R19 vs. 235/55R18).

The RC F’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Challenger SXT’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RC F has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Challenger SXT.

Suspension and Handling

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

The RC F handles at .95 G’s, while the Challenger SXT pulls only .86 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The RC F executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Challenger Scat Pack (24.7 seconds @ .77 average G’s vs. 25.5 seconds @ .81 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the RC F’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Challenger SXT/GT/R/T’s (35.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The RC F’s turning circle is 3.3 feet tighter than the Challenger SRT Hellcat’s (35.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Chassis

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

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

The design of the Lexus RC F amounts to more than styling. The RC F has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Challenger (.337 to .398). A more efficient exterior helps the RC F go faster and keeps the interior quieter. It also helps the RC F get better fuel mileage.

For excellent aerodynamics, the RC F has standard flush composite headlights. The Challenger has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

The RC F uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Challenger doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the RC F is quieter than the Challenger SRT Hellcat:

RC F

Challenger

At idle

43 dB

59 dB

Full-Throttle

85 dB

87 dB

70 MPH Cruising

72 dB

76 dB

Cargo Capacity

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/21

With its coupe body style, valet key and remote trunk release lockout, the RC F offers cargo security. The Challenger’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Dodge. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 77% lower rating, Dodge is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

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When three different drivers share the RC F (except Track Edition), the optional memory system makes it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver and front passenger’s seat positions, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle. The Challenger doesn’t offer a memory system.

The RC F (except Track Edition)’s optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Challenger doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RC F’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them, but the driver can still raise and lower both of them with the lock engaged. Dodge does not offer a locking feature on the Challenger’s power windows.

The RC F’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The Challenger’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

If the front windows are left open on the RC F the driver can close them at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Lexus service department.) The driver of the Challenger can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RC F has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Challenger doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The RC F’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Challenger’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

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 F offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Challenger doesn’t offer headlight washers.

When the RC F with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Challenger’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The RC F offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Challenger has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

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

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