2020 Lexus RC vs. 2020 Ford Mustang

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 2020/09/29

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 Ford Mustang 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 Mustang doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The RC offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Mustang doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

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

Both the RC and the Mustang have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee 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 is safer than the Mustang Fastback:

RC

Mustang

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

105

147

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

20 cm

25 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.56/.43

.74/.66

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 Mustang was not even a “Top Pick” for 2016.

Warranty

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

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

The RC’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Mustang’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

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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 52 points higher than the Mustang.

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 Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 40 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Ford is ranked 16th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The RC has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mustang EcoBoost’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 15.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The RC has 1.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the Mustang GT’s standard fuel tank (17.4 vs. 16 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Lexus RC higher (5 out of 10) than the Ford Mustang (3 to 5). This means the RC produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Mustang every 15,000 miles.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The Lexus RC comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Mustang.

All wheel drive, available in the RC, provides the best traction for acceleration in wet, dry, and icy conditions. In corners, all wheel drive allows both outside wheels to provide power, balancing the car. This allows for better handling. The Ford Mustang is not available with all wheel drive.

Brakes and Stopping

© 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 2020/09/29

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

RC

Mustang

Front Rotors

13.2 inches

12.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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The RC’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Mustang’s standard 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the RC has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Mustang.

Suspension and Handling

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For better maneuverability, the RC’s turning circle is 2.3 feet tighter than the Mustang’s (34.2 feet vs. 36.5 feet). The RC AWD’s turning circle is 6.9 feet tighter than the Mustang GT Fastback Performance Pack 2’s (34.8 feet vs. 41.7 feet).

Chassis

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The RC is 3.5 inches shorter than the Mustang, making the RC easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The RC has 1 cubic foot more passenger volume than the Mustang Fastback (83.8 vs. 82.8).

The RC has 1.4 inches more front headroom and .3 inches more front legroom than the Mustang Fastback.

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 Mustang’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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The RC uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Mustang 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 Ford. J.D. Power ranks Lexus second in service department satisfaction. With a 70% lower rating, Ford is ranked 24th.

Ergonomics

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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. Ford does not offer a locking feature on the Mustang’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 Mustang can only close the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The RC 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 Mustang doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

The RC’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford only offers heated mirrors on the Mustang Premium.

When the RC 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 Mustang’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The RC 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 Mustang has an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The RC has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning costs extra on the Mustang.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the RC has standard rear a/c vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Mustang doesn’t offer rear vents.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the RC is less expensive to operate than the Mustang because typical repairs cost much less on the RC than the Mustang, including $500 less for a muffler and $55 less for front brake pads.

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