Less for more: 2018 Lexus RC earns Top Safety Pick+ award, unless ordered with pricey optional headlights

April 27, 2018

There's almost always a caveat when it comes to car safety, and the 2018 Lexus RC is no exception. RC models fitted with standard LED projector headlights earn a "Good" rating for how well those units point the way forward in the IIHS' testing. That's enough to merit Lexus' coupe a coveted Top Safety Pick+ award, the IIHS said Wednesday.

Spend $1,150 for optional triple-beam LED projector headlights, however, and the IIHS says their light output is just "Moderate."

MORE: Here's what it takes to earn a Top Safety Pick+

2018 Lexus RC coupes fitted with the Premium Triple-Beam LED Headlamp package earn a Top Safety Pick award. Without the extra-cost headlights, the two-door is a Top Safety Pick+ The good news is that those headlights are a stand-alone option and should be easy to avoid on a dealer lot.

Lexus RC Premium Triple Beam Headlamp Package

Lexus RC Premium Triple Beam Headlamp Package

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Otherwise, the RC aced its evaluation, earning a "Good" score in all of the IIHS' instrumented crash tests and the insurance industry-funded agency heaped praise on the RC's newly upgraded collision-avoidance tech.

Thanks to some internal upgrades to its automatic emergency braking system, the RC's collision-avoidance gear was upgraded from an "Advanced" rating to "Superior" this year, the IIHS said.

DON'T MISS: Read our 2018 Lexus RC review

Lexus, like parent company Toyota, now fits automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control as standard equipment on nearly every 2018 model. Last year, that gear was a $500 option.

The 2018 RC has not been crash-tested by the federal government. That's not unusual for lower-volume premium cars like the Lexus coupe, however.

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