2020 Lexus RC F vs. 2020 Nissan GT-R

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 2019/10/18

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 Nissan GT-R 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 GT-R 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 GT-R doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

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 GT-R doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The RC F’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The GT-R doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the RC F’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 GT-R doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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 GT-R doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The RC F has standard Safety Connect®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The GT-R doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the RC F and the GT-R 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available 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 F the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 157 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The GT-R has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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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 GT-R’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 Nissan covers the GT-R. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the GT-R ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The RC F’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the GT-R’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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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 Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the RC F gets better fuel mileage than the GT-R Auto with its standard engine (16 city/24 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Lexus RC F, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the GT-R.

Tires and Wheels

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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 GT-R’s standard 40 series front tires.

The RC F 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 GT-R; 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

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For better maneuverability, the RC F’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the GT-R’s (35.4 feet vs. 36.6 feet). The RC F’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the GT-R NISMO’s (35.4 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Passenger Space

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The RC F has .8 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, .9 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear hip room than the GT-R.

Cargo Capacity

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The RC F has a much larger trunk than the GT-R (10.1 vs. 8.8 cubic feet).

Servicing Ease

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The RC F uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The GT-R uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Nissan. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 49% lower rating, Nissan is ranked 17th.

Ergonomics

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The RC F has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The GT-R doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 GT-R 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 GT-R doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the RC F and the GT-R have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the RC F is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The GT-R prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 GT-R can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

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 GT-R’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 GT-R doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the RC F detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The GT-R doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RC F has standard extendable sun visors. The GT-R doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The RC F’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The GT-R’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.

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 GT-R’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 GT-R has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the RC F (except Track Edition) keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The GT-R doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

On extremely cold winter days, the RC F’s optional (except Track Edition) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The GT-R doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the RC F and the GT-R offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the RC F has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The GT-R doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the RC F has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The GT-R doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the RC F owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RC F will cost $4145 less than the GT-R over a five-year period.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RC F will be $49330 to $53333 less than for the Nissan GT-R.

Recommendations

© 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 2019/10/18

The Lexus RC outsold the Nissan GT-R by over six to one during 2018.

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

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