The 2018 Lexus RC coupe has earned a Top Safety Pick Plus crash rating, the top award in testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. And in a refreshing departure from the usual in these reports: That rating is for the RC as equipped with standard equipment.
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Often the top rating applies only to the vehicles in their higher trim levels or with expensive option packages. In this case, the RC actually is rated lower if you spend more for the premium headlight package. The standard LED headlights, which come with a high-beam assist, got the top rating of good in testing; the fancier triple beam LED headlights earned only a marginal score. IIHS noted that they might have come from the factory badly aimed, which it said is a common problem.
The RC's front collision system with automatic braking, meanwhile, was made standard equipment for 2018 and was upgraded, with its IIHS score rising from advanced to the top rating of superior.
To qualify for the top rating from IIHS in 2018, a vehicle must earn a good rating in five crashworthiness tests — driver-side small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — and a good or acceptable score in the new passenger-side small overlap front crash test. It also must have a front collision system with automatic emergency braking that earns a superior or advanced score and headlights that rate good.
The RC rating beats the notch-lower Top Safety Pick score (due to a marginal headlight rating) for the rival Audi A5 coupe. Other rivals, including the BMW 4 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class coupes, have not been tested for 2018.
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