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Lexus SC 430



  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I would agree with you completely if Lexus had decided not to offer the IS300. The fact that it was branded Lexus rather than Toyota makes me think that Lexus doesn't really know what they want to be. Maybe the IS300 was a test offering to gauge how the company feels about moving into the 'sport' side of the sport/luxury business.
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    Sphinx, are you saying that the 1992-2000 SC300/SC400 weren't sporty? From sporty luxocoupe to entry-level sports sedan and overindulgent luxoconvertible. Lexus's image is fine.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sphinx - Personally, I don't view the IS300 as a serious sports coupe that Lexus intended to compete head to head with BMW. Whether it was Lexus own advertising or the majority of drivers of IS300's that I see around town, it appears like its a "20-something chick car". That may compete with a small segment of the market for a 3-series coupe, but not much. If I'm not mistaken, Lexux didn't even offer a manual in it when it was first introduced.

    Verozahl - I won't answer for Sphinx, but in my opinion the SC300/400 may have been "sporty" Lexus offerings, but they were not serious driving enthusiasts cars. Again, if I'm not mistaken, only the SC300 was offered with a manual. My former boss had an SC400 for 5 years and, although he loved it for quality and luxury, he now owns a 528i that he claims is more fun to drive (even with its 4 doors and 100 fewer horsepower).

    When the GS400 first came out, I thought perhaps Lexus was finally moving into serious driver's territory. But the suspension was so luxo-oriented that Lexus had to print a warning label that the optional 17" tires might last less than 7,500 miles under more spirited driving. Apparantly, the body roll tendencies of the car was eating up the side walls of the tires. Again, I have an associate who traded a GS for a 540i 6-speed and has never looked back.

    My point is that I agree with Verozahl that Lexus image is fine. They make some of the best near and full luxury cruisers out there. And their quality control appears well ahead of Mercedes as of late. They just don't make a car that excites my 40-something driving senses. So be it. I'll buy their stock, just not their cars.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I try to avoid driver demographic as the benchmark for a car's sport-oriented nature because in some markets the demographic can be very misleading. Of the many BMW owners I have met around here I have yet to meet one who bought his or her car because of its "sport" nature. Without fail, all of them bought them for the badge appeal, build quality, looks and luxury content. If I didn't know more about the engineering and had to go off of sample driver alone, BMW would be a non-sport brand. With that in mind, I threw out the IS300 because I do believe that it has all the underpinnings and mannerisms of a top-notch sports sedan. It's quick and nimble, extremely responsive, and provides an amazing amount of road feedback to the driver. You feel every bump in the road. Some would say that based on athleticism alone it's the best sports sedan out there - even better than the 3-series. And the fact that it has the luxury of a Corolla while wearing the Lexus badge makes me raise an eyebrow. I agree that Lexus does one thing extremely well, and they have focused on this one thing almost exclusively.

    However, I am not sure whether even Lexus is sure whether that one thing is enough, and the IS300 is evidence that they're thinking about something else.

    verozahl - I don't have much seat time in SCs, but from what I have read they tend to be heavy tourers that focus on luxury over sportiness, as with most Lexi.
  • whothemanwhotheman Posts: 169
    Lexus can't give us a "fourth option", a Sport Package, with performance tires, better anti-roll bars, upgraded spring and shocks, and a tighter steering rack. That's what options are for! To prevent alienating drivers who desire a certain feel from the car you make. This car is obviously gorgeous and luxurious, but it is missing the one thing that would make it a legend. The ability to truly bond with it's owner, not just impress him, or win his admiration. What is the "Passionate Pursuit of Perfection" mean if they short their most passionate design? Give me a car that wants to be loved over a lovely car anytime......
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Sphinx - you caught me committing a cardinal sin - expressing an opinion about the IS300 without ever having driven one. Time permitting, I will remedy that shortcoming - albeit the car doesn't appeal to me for a variety of other reasons (style, extremely tight back seat, etc.) Whether the IS300 really can match the 330is as a driver's car is questionable, but I will keep an open mind.

    Whotheman - back to the topic - the SC430. You ask "why not?", I ask "why?". I am not sure Lexus will sell that many more SC430's by offering to equip them with a sport package. IMHO, you can't take a luxury car that has a highly refined "Buick" ride and handling dynamics and turn it into a sports car by adding a sports package. That may sound a little harsh, but I think it would really need to be designed ground up with a different philosophy and approach, for the SC430 (or any car) to appeal to the true driving enthusiast.

    Lexus has elected to let Mercedes, Audi, BMW and even Honda invest heavily in their racing divisions. They make "Super Toyotas". Nothing wrong with that, since they do it as good or better than anyone else. And as a highway tourer, the SC430 appears to be right up there with the best. Just not as much fun to drive as my S2000. But a lot quieter.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 2,053
    ...Go-Karts are also fun to drive. It depends what one wants. I for one, will take the SC....
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    I know the SC300/400 weren't "sports cars." I want a luxosport coupe with an automatic. Thus, I either want a Subaru SVX or a Lexus SC300.

    My other choice would be a Prelude or a 240SX. Driver's coupes. Maybe an old MR2, too.

    And then, you have the Supras, Z-Cars, and RX-models of the world.

    SC430 is just another luxoconvertible with strange looks, and it's not as sporty as the Benzes it envies. It's a little too Lexus for Lexus, that is, it doesn't do much for Lexus image other than say "hey! we wanna be Benz!"

    I'm not aware of any Corollas with Lexi badging. Altezzas, Integras, and Primeras are not Corollas, Civics, or Sentras.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I disagree, the more I see the car the more I think that "jewel of Lexus" really is apt. It's a beautifully finished car, and looks nice with the top up or down. The hardtop also appears to be a generation ahead of the SLK. (Though not ahead of the SL.) If I had a high dollar stiff sports car in my garage and wanted the perfect desert to it, I'm not sure I could do better than the SC430.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 2,053
    ......don't buy an SC430...
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    Good idea, carnaught.

    Actually, I think when I'm talking about the styling, we should focus on the rear end. The front is sleek, but the back??
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    The back's a little weird. Ugly doesn't come to mind, just weird. I'm just repeatedly stunned by the overall fit and finish of the car.
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    "I'm just repeatedly stunned by the overall fit and finish of the car."

    Compared to what?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    How is the SC430's hardtop "ahead" of the SLK's?

  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I think it goes up and down faster, more quietly and looks a lot cooler. If you don't believe me, go find a blurb.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You think(?), you never ever know anything unless it's on a blub......pleeezzz. Always basing statments like "more advanced than this, better than that" on nothing.

  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    Who really cares. The top takes 24 seconds to go up or down. That's faster than the SLK, according to my friend who has one, and is slower than the new 500SL, according to the magazine reviews.

    From what I can tell, the SC430 top and the SLK top are identical in operation. The trunk of the SC is larger, so there is more storage room with the top down, but that's not an "advanced top," that's a larger car.

    That's my blurb.
  • alpedhuezalpedhuez Posts: 4
    Has anyone had to buy a new tire after having had a puncture? Are punctures with RFT's easily repairable? Also has anyone tried to mount a bike carrier on the trunk of their SC 430?
  • kvsm3kvsm3 Posts: 32
    I have heard rumors that Lexus might introduce the Lexus SC 330. Has anyone heard of these rumors?
  • dh50dh50 Posts: 5
    The Bridgestone run flat tire can't be repaired and must be replaced if punctured or damaged. I recently changed from Bridgestone run flats to Goodyear Eagle F1 GSD EMT run flats and have been impressed with how much more quiet they run. The ride is also better, although they still aren't great over bad roads.
  • devokedevoke Posts: 33
    This is a great discussion that I can't resist diving into.

    I owned a BMW 525i for 7 years. The reason I owned it so long is I could not find a new car that I liked better. I owned a Porsche 944 previous to the BMW and I thought I would miss the "throw it around" steering/road feel of the car. I never missed it! And, I also got a car that was superb on the highways at 80+ mph. It was extremely quiet and comfortable, nimble, quick, and well built. However, my lovely wife and I decided we wanted a convertible and (with serious buyers remorse - stopped twice on the way to pick up the new car) we bought a SLK solely due to the benefits, which are many, of the convertible hardtop.

    To make a long story short. 2 yrs later, we ended up in arbitration (over 50 problems) with MB over the windows in the SLK. It was declared a "lemon." For the poster who stated the SLK convertible top was equal to the SC, that could not be more wrong. Lexus has the advantage of coming in second for introducing the convertible hardtop, so they took the original, cut it up, and did it better. Mostly what they did better were the window units. The SLK has problems with the windows coming off track because it uses a pressure system to push it under the seal rim of the top. Lexus' windows however fit under a wider seal with no need for the top of the window to push against, then pass by the window seal when the door closes. There are literally thousands of these SLK window problems documented on the internet. And, by the way, the BMW drove better and handled better although I have to admit the smaller MB was no slouch.

    Next came the SC430. We did enjoy the convertible hardtop of the SLK, but missed the BMW ride and quality. So we narrowed our decision down to the BMW 530i and the $15k more SC430. We both liked the SC more, but it was a lot more money and we truly enjoyed our previous BMW experience. We went with the Lexus because it offered both luxury and the sportiness of the convertible hardtop. It's almost like having two cars (which we also considered as an option). It has been an outstanding choice. The fit and finish is at least as good if not better than the BMW and leaps and bounds better than MB. In my opinion (maybe not so humble), the interior is the nicest available in any price range. The convertible top is truly smoother, seals perfectly, and I don't spend all my days off at the MB dealership trying to get the top and/or windows adjusted/repaired. The highway ride and quiet of the car are at least equivalent to the BMW. The BMW did handle the twisties a bit better, but the SC is no slouch and creates a bigger smile due to the convertible hardtop and extremely solid feel of the car. And, if the car doesn't do it the Mark Levinson stereo will put a smile on any music lover's face. Man, IT IS AWESOME and might be better with the top down.

    Okay, sorry for the long winded response, but I have owned several of the cars we are talking about and had to throw in my 2 cents. Bottom line is I suspect I will proudly own this Lexus for 10 years or more or maybe more or maybe more . . . It might be the perfect car for my wife and I.
  • devokedevoke Posts: 33

    Hi. Why did you switch versions of your run flats? Did you wear them out and what was your mileage if you did? Thanks.
  • dh50dh50 Posts: 5
    To: devoke. I switched to Goodyears because they were the only runflats available from the Lexus dealer. The Bridgestones were backordered. I didn't like the Bridgestones anyway because they were so noisy that the car sounded like it had brake problems when it came to a stop. They were not worn out but one had a knot in the sidewall (possibly from hitting a curb). Hold onto your shorts when you get ready to have runflats replaced. They cost $1870 to replace at the dealership (that included 4 hours of labor). I went to one of Goodyears "Certified Runflat Installer" stores and they had no clue that the tires existed. In fact, their documentation did not list tires for any 2002 and later cars. The car is now even more enjoyable to drive.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    FOUR hours of labor???? holy cow.... considering it probably took them no more than an hour, to do all 4, that's robbery...

  • gearhead7gearhead7 Posts: 15
    Must have been replaced at a MB or BMW dealer. My local lexus dealer wouldnt do that to their customers. (Get in big trouble with the mother company)
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    nah, lexus charges "book" just like everyone else... my old man has an es, i've seen his bills from the dealer... just seems like their book might be WAY out of line on this one, versus just somewhat out of line like everyone else for everything else...

    that number still amazes me... figuring 90 an hour for labor, they charged him 360 bucks to mount and balance 4 tires... wow...

  • gearhead7gearhead7 Posts: 15
    There is no way Lexus is listing "book" at $360.00 to change 4 tires. Maybe that is normal wherever you live, but around here, in my experience, that would be a serious problem for the dealer if that was brought to the attention of the district manager.

    I had my SC serviced at the dealer for years, also repaired after collision. I promise you I know how expensive this can be.

    In a nutshell, that is what makes lexus service superior to the Euro brands. There really is an organization that takes customer complaints seriously. The net result can be a big cost to the dealer. (allotments go down, unit prices rise, etc... with bad service record.) They are not like the older dealerships.
  • ccotenjccotenj Posts: 610
    as usual, YOUR personal experience is more valid than MY personal experience... :) i bow down most humbly to your superior knowledge...

    yea right... lexus service isn't any more "superior" than any other... try 2 weeks to get an appointment (fwiw, never more than 2 days at my local "unnamed to protect it's innocence but not a lexus" dealer)... they may (or may not) have more "perks" (such as loaners, and so on), but as far as the actual work on the car, they are no better or no worse than anyone else, and they are godawful expensive (and owning a bmw, i can speak to godawful expensive!!)...

    fwiw, ALL of them take them seriously... i'm even getting little stickers on my service invoices from bmw now reminding me that when the survey guy calls, i'm rating the SERVICE, not the CAR...

    in either case, my original point is valid... he got killed on this bill... whether or not it's the book or not... i'd be really curious to see what the district guy would say if the original poster called him/her up and said, "is it really your policy to charge 360 bucks for 1 hour of labor?"....

  • When was this car first manufactured and when will they start to come off lease? ($40K more in my price range than $60K+.....)
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    The SC430 first went on sale in Mid-March of 2001. (By that time, I had been on the waiting list for 18 months; I passed on the first one offered to me because I did not like the "saddle" interior, and took delivery of a black/ecru by the first of April.)

    Supplies were limited for the first 6 months or so, depending on what part of the country you were in. I don't know how many of them were out on lease, because I've never leased a car, but my guess is that not too many of them were on short term (2 yr.) leases.

    So they have been on the road about 15 months at the most; when they come off lease depends on the length of the lease and whether the lessee exercises the purchase option.

    Consider also that the prices have been raised since April of '01, and used SC430's sell for a lot -- for a while, used ones cost more than new ones due to the waiting list.

    THe shortest lease I know of is two years; three or four is more like it. Of course, used ones are around and are available, but it looks now like the car will hold a lot of its resale value.

    If you only have 40K and want a hardtop convetible, you might want to look at the MB SLK; new they go for about 40, I think, and they were on the road for almost 2 years before the SC430, so used ones might be more plentiful and quite reasonable. (Of course, it's not a Lexus.)

    I know mine's not for sale.
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