2020 Lexus RC vs. 2020 BMW 4 Series Coupe

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/02/29

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 4 Series Coupe 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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the RC and the 4 Series Coupe 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

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 4 Series Coupe has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 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 2020/02/29

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 25 points higher than the 4 Series Coupe.

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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 20th, 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 BMW vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, BMW is ranked 7th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. BMW is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The RC has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4 Series Coupe (17.4 vs. 15.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

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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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an up-shift light.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the RC’s standard brake rotors are larger than those on the 4 Series Coupe:

RC

4 Series

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.8 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the RC has larger standard tires than the 4 Series Coupe (235/40R19 vs. 225/45R18). The RC’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the 4 Series Coupe (F:235/40R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. F:225/40R19 & R:255/35R19).

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 4 Series Coupe; 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. Some tire options on the 4 Series Coupe don’t have a run-flat feature, either.

Suspension and Handling

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For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the RC is 1.3 inches wider in the front than the track on the 4 Series Coupe.

For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 2.9 feet tighter than the 4 Series Coupe’s (34.2 feet vs. 37.1 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the 4 Series Coupe xDrive’s (34.8 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Cargo Capacity

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With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the RC offers cargo security. The 4 Series Coupe’s non-lockable folding seat defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than BMW. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 34% lower rating, BMW is ranked 11th.

Ergonomics

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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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The RC’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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The RC’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The 4 Series Coupe does not have an oil pressure gauge.

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. BMW does not offer a locking feature on the 4 Series Coupe’s standard power windows.

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 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer extendable visors.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the RC keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The 4 Series Coupe doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

Economic Advantages

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The RC will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the RC will retain 48.24% to 49.88% of its original price after five years, while the 4 Series Coupe only retains 43.18% to 43.76%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RC is less expensive to operate than the 4 Series Coupe because it costs $145 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the RC than the 4 Series Coupe, including $118 less for a water pump, $473 less for a muffler, $95 less for front brake pads and $291 less for front struts.

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

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