Son's Automotive Group Compares 2017 BMW 2 Series VS 2017 Lexus RC Near Duluth, GA

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2017 BMW 2 Series

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2017 BMW 2 Series

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2017 Lexus RC

Safety Comparison

Both the 2 Series and the RC have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all-wheel drive, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.

Warranty Comparison

The 2 Series’ corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RC’s (12 vs. 6 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 2 Series for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the RC.

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the 2 Series’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the 2 Series’ engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The RC Turbo 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the RC’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

The battery on the 2 Series is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the 2 Series’ battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RC’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 2 Series second among small premium cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The RC isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Lexus vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 2 more problems per 100 vehicles, Lexus is ranked 7th.

Engine Comparison

The 2 Series has more powerful engines than the RC:




230i 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

248 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl.

335 HP

369 lbs.-ft.

RC Turbo 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

RC 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

255 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

RC 350 3.5 DOHC V6

306 HP

277 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Car and Driver the M240i 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. is faster than the RC 350 3.5 DOHC V6 (automatics tested):


2 Series


Zero to 60 MPH

4.3 sec

6 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

10.3 sec

14.5 sec

Quarter Mile

12.7 sec

14.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

111 MPH

100 MPH

Top Speed

155 MPH

146 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 2 Series gets better fuel mileage than the RC:



2 Series




2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

24 city/35 hwy

22 city/32 hwy

2.0 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


3.0 turbo 6 cyl./8-spd. Auto

21 city/32 hwy

19 city/28 hwy

3.5 V6/Auto


2.0 turbo 4 cyl./8-spd. Auto

24 city/33 hwy



Regenerative brakes improve the 2 Series’ fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RC doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the 2 Series’ engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The RC doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the 2 Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the RC:



2 Series

RC Turbo

RC 350/F Sport

Front Rotors

12.3 inches

13.4 inches

11.7 inches

13.1 inches

Rear Rotors

11.4 inches

13.6 inches

11.4 inches

12.2 inches

The 2 Series stops much shorter than the RC:


2 Series



70 to 0 MPH

155 feet

178 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the 2 Series can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The RC doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Chassis Comparison

The BMW 2 Series may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs up to about 400 pounds less than the Lexus RC.

The 230i is 10.1 inches shorter than the RC, making the 2 Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the 2 Series Coupe is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the RC is rated a Subcompact.

The 2 Series Coupe has 6.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RC (90 vs. 83.8).

The 2 Series Coupe has 1.1 inches more front headroom, 1.7 inches more rear headroom, 5.7 inches more rear legroom and 2.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the RC.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The 2 Series Coupe has a much larger trunk than the RC (13.8 vs. 10.4 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The 2 Series’ 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 RC’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 2 Series to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The RC doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 2 Series detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The RC doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 2 Series offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RC doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 2 Series also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The 2 Series has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The RC doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The 2 Series’ optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The RC doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW 2 Series, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The M235i/M240i was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 3 of the last 2 years. The RC has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 2 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” in 2015. The RC has never been an “All Star.”

The BMW 2 Series outsold the Lexus RC by 36% during the 2016 model year.

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