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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 Porsche 911 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
The RC’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The 911 doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.
The RC’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 911 doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.
To help make backing safer, the RC’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 911 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
The RC’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 911 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.
Both the RC and the 911 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear parking sensors.
For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and its standard front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the RC the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 180 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The 911 has not been tested, yet.
Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the RC 2 years and 20,000 miles longer than Porsche covers the 911. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the 911 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.
There are over 26 percent more Lexus dealers than there are Porsche dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the RC’s warranty.
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’s reliability 45 points higher than the 911.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 6 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked 15th, below the industry average.
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 Porsche vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Porsche is ranked second.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Porsche vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Porsche is ranked fourth.
In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lexus RC higher (5 out of 10) than the Porsche 911 (1). This means the RC produces up to 39 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 911 every 15,000 miles.
The Lexus RC comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the 911.
An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Lexus RC rear-wheel drive, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a seven-speed automatic is available for the 911.
To facilitate fast shifting and allow the driver to focus on the road, the RC F Sport has a standard up-shift light to indicate when to shift, based on a value pre-entered by the driver. The 911 doesn’t offer an up-shift light.
For better stopping power the RC’s standard front brake rotors are larger than those on the 911:
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 911; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the RC’s wheelbase is 11 inches longer than on the 911 (107.5 inches vs. 96.5 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the RC is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.2 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the 911.
The RC’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (54% to 46%) than the 911’s (40.1% to 59.9%). This gives the RC more stable handling and braking.
Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the RC a Subcompact car, while the 911 Coupe is rated a Minicompact.
The RC has 13.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the 911 Coupe (83.8 vs. 70).
The RC has 1 inch more front headroom, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 3.8 inches more rear headroom, 2.3 inches more rear legroom and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the 911 Coupe.
The RC has a much larger trunk than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat up (10.4 vs. 5.1 cubic feet). The RC has a much larger trunk with its rear seat folded than the 911 Coupe with its rear seat folded (10.4 vs. 9.1 cubic feet).
With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the RC offers cargo security. The 911’s non-lockable folding seat and non-lockable remote release defeat cargo security.
The RC 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 911 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The RC’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. Porsche does not offer a locking feature on the 911’s standard power windows.
If the front windows are left open on the RC 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 911 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
Smart Access standard on the RC allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Porsche 911’s available Porsche Entry and Drive doesn’t unlock the trunk.
To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the RC has standard extendable sun visors. The 911 doesn’t offer extendable visors.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the RC has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The 911 doesn’t offer rear vents.
Insurance will cost less for the RC owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the RC will cost $6090 to $10320 less than the 911 over a five-year period.
IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Lexus RC will be $79218 to $93689 less than for the Porsche 911.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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