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Lexus SC 430



  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,787
    interior IMO shows the most. It will stain from a leather belt and dirt will almost "absorb" into it. The saddle, however, doesn't seem to show as much but people either like it or find it garish.
  • if you're serious, i know that a couple of south florida dealers have been selling them for around $60K - interior colours based on availability and all. that was the negotiated price we had worked out at one point. if you want, let me know and i'll give you the name of the guy i worked with.

    by the way, have any of you ever used "slick stuff" to polish your sc430? i tried some on my black/saddle. it's amazing, the car looks like it just got off the showroom floor when you're done with it.
  • leebroleebro Posts: 8
    All the 300M owners swear by Zaino stuff. I've never polished my 3 year old tho. All my previous silver cars didn't really look a whole lot better polished or unpolished. So I just take mine out of the garage when we get one of those good stiff No. FL driving rains. The only reason I got it washed on it's second birthday was the brake dust started to make the alloy wheels look a little shabby. No chrome wheels for a guy who doesn't wash his car. Plus the $400 went for the package with better tires, brakes and suspension and NO governor. Altho I've never gone over 118 to see if they really left it off. The one time I was going try I winked out about 115 when I saw some traffic ahead.
    As for the 60K price maybe I'll pay a visit to the local guy to see what he'll do. But in JAX, he's the only game in town. I think the next closest dealer is in Savannah, GA. Anytime I give my zip code to one of the buying services they come back not available.
  • Just bought my SC 430 25 Jan. Paid 60K,red/saddle,spoiler,trunk mat, wheel locks,gold pkg,RFT's. Tried all around the SE and that was the best deal I could find. Had same experience w/buying services, whenever I entered my ZIP the reply was always "no participating dealer in your area". Had trouble with e-mail. Some dealers wouldn't even respond. Whatever the deal I am very happy with the car. No squeaks, rattles or manufacturing defects. Nothing but pleasure. Can't wait until spring/summer/fall.
    A very happy camper
  • that's surprising. there are actually three or four lexus dealerships within 30 miles of me in the miami area.

    so leebro, you don't have to wash a dark green car very often? i'm jealous. i clean my black exterior almost weekly!

    by the way - governor or not, please, please be careful. a good friend from years ago, promising young heart surgeon, was killed in july going 120 just testing a jaguar xk8. left a widow and four children. it's not worth it, my friend.

    congratulations, ron. you'll love it. i bought this car thinking i'd have the top down every day - and now it's been the coldest winter in miami history. proof that god exists, and enjoys toying with me (well, the weather and about a hundred other reasons)...
  • Allow me to clarify that statement. The response I got from the auto finder sites was "No PARTICIPATING dealer in your area". I live in SE Alabama and the dealers in Alabama usually sell everything they can get. On e-mail I did survey dealers from Palm Beach to Atlanta, only about 1/2 responded and the best deal I could get was in Montgomery,AL.
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    Bought mine May 2002 (slvr/blk). Anyone know about what time they started using newer rear bushings? How much are they (installed)? Also, how much are 4 new Dunlop run-flats (installed)?

  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,787
    when the car was made. I think the older bushings are on the cars made before Nov. '01. I don't know the technical info. on installation but it involved an overnight "stay". As far as the Dunlop RF's, sorry I can't answer that.
  • If you complain about the ride, I believe most dealers will install the new bushings under warranty. An overnight stay was not required when they changed the bushings on my car.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    The dealer will replace the older bushings with the newer ones at no charge to you. This takes quite a lot of time and work, as they have to "pull out the rear end," whatever that means.

    In my case, they wanted to keep the car overnight and gave me a free loaner car to use, which beats sitting around the dealer's place for hours and hours.

    The new bushings improve the ride and soften the impact you feel when hitting bumps and potholes in the road. It's worth the time to get it done if you have the original bushings.
  • Just got news from my dealer that there will be a hard top only version of the SC with a six cyl engine for the 04 model year. He had no other specifics but says it is due this fall. Pricing would probably be in the low to mid 40's. WOW...If they keep everything else the same as the SC430 as far as interior quality and materials this will be one hot car that should sell really well and give people a choice of the convertible version or the hardtop six. If anybody else hears anymore info please post.
  • anyone know when this upgrade will be put in?

    they already have it in the ls430 - and yesterday i saw an ad for the voice-activated system in the new accord...
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    Voice activation for phone and Nav Systems are a great idea, but still have some operational problems. Every year, of course, they get better.

    Still, I doubt you will see one in a convertible since, in my experience (with a voice activated phone) ambient noise renders the voice recognition virtually useless.

    How dumb would you look driving down the street in your swell new convertible yelling at the dashboard?

    It won't answer back.
  • probably no more ridiculous than i do now, yelling at the dashboard for no apparent reason with the top up. ahh, the joys of losing one's patience in traffic.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    But, adjustable suspension (like on LS and ES) would be perfect for the SC...would help to smooth out the ride with runflats.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I'm not sure who would buy a hardtop 6 cylinder version of the SC priced in the low to mid 40's.

    The only positive thing going for that car would be a nice interior. But it would otherwise be an underperforming, overpriced hardtop coupe with extremely limited appeal. A nicer interior than the Infiniti G35 coupe, I am sure, but an inferior driver's car.

    Having casually test driven the SC430, SL500, 911 and a few other more sporty copes/roadsters over the past few months, I think Lexus would be well advised to put their effort into improving the driving dynamics of the current SC430 rather than fool around with an underpowered hardtop coupe version. As I see it, the SC430, does serve a niche for those wanting a reasonably priced hardtop convertible with quality fit and finish and Lexus reliability. But if Mercedes brings an SL350 version to the States at a competitive price, the SC430 will face stiff competition for buyers who do not appreciate it's uninspired Buick like ride and handling, in spite of all it's other attributes. It's just too damn boring to drive, in my opinion, and Lexus should put more substance behind the style.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    "But if Mercedes brings an SL350 version to the States at a competitive price, the SC430 will face stiff competition for buyers who do not appreciate it's uninspired Buick like ride and handling, in spite of all it's other attributes. It's just too damn boring to drive, in my opinion, and Lexus should put more substance behind the style."

    Bear in mind that your idea of substance is not everyone's. Personally, I think the SC430 is just fine and doesn't need to be a "driver's" car. Everyone whines about a lack of pure sports cars, and loves to point to a S2000 or Elise and exclaim, "oh, it's nice to see that someone still wants to build a sports car." Well, isn't it equally refreshing to see that someone still wants to build a nice, old-fashioned luxury car? I grew up in and around some of those old uninspired Buicks, and there was something to be said for them--sumptuous seating, lots of room for the intended passengers, and a smooth, quiet, refined ride. Now it seems that every "luxury" car has to have lots of road feedback through precise steering, a bumpy ride with a "sport" suspension and low profile rubber wrapping big alloy wheels, a great sounding "engine note" and so on. That's great--I love those kinds of cars, but I recognize that there are many people who don't. These people are going to see the SC430 being the perfect car for them--more perfect than a SL, a 911, and the rest.

    Who would buy a SC300? A fair number of people, I think, because right now while everyone and their dog has a luxury sport coupe, there aren't any luxury coupes left for the people who want them. There's the base Jag, I suppose, and the soon-to-be-killed Caddy Eldo. That's it. EVERY other luxury coupe on the market is a pretend sports car, with the big rims and the sport packages and the stiff seats and the optional "performance" model which offers extra juicy drag racing or road racing track times. SC430 fan to these coupes: "yawn."

    So if I want a quality coupe with serious luxury, and I want a soft suspension, a great sound system, a lot of quiet, and elegant but not "exciting" looks, there's the $70k Jaguar and, uh, that's it. Give me a Lexus that looks ok, drives smoothly, lasts forever, and has all the luxury of the $60/70k cars but without the V8, and doesn't try to be a "sport" anything, and sell it to me at $40k, and I just might take it if that's my cup of tea.

    I think there's a pretty solid niche for this vehicle, and I doubt a SL350 would take it simply because the SL350 (like its big brothers) will try to be equal parts sport and luxury. Plus, Mercedes would have a real problem trying to get anyone to buy a CLK or SLK if they started selling a SL350 for anywhere near $40k. That gem will be priced like a Boxster S, and therefore put it well out of the range of many who might be interested in a $40s Lexus coupe.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    A 350SL for $40k? Even I would be forced to buy one at that price. I believe the previous poster was suggesting that an SL350 priced competitively with the SC430 ($60k) would give Lexus a run for their money. And I agree. Although no one will mistake it for a sports car, I can personally attest that the new SL is a vast improvement over the previous platform in BOTH driving dynamics and comfort/luxury. Same with the new E-class. So one does not necessarily need to aspire/revert to a Buick if comfort is their priority.

    To the actual SC430 owners here, what has been your experience with the roof mechanism in various weather/temperature conditions? My sister in law is looking at a pre-owned SC430 for sale in Chicago and the roof seems to have some slight squeeking noises. The car owner claims the roof noise only occurs at very low ambient outside temperatures. My sister in law lives in Phoenix, so perhaps this would not be an issue. Any comments / experience from cold climate owners?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    You make some good points. However Mercedes-Benz USA has given up on selling 6-cylinder cars in the premium segment here. The S350 and SL350 are no-go's for the US. Though if Mercedes did sell the SL350 here it wouldn't do a thing to the CLK. The CLK is a totally different car/group of buyers. Just like the current CL isn't affected by the SL, they both post record sales each month. No SL model would ever sell for 40K so the SLK wouldn't be affected either.

    I do understand what you're saying though, the CLK isn't trying to be a sports car either. Automobile Mag pointed that out a few months ago when the did a story about the G35 Coupe vs the 330Ci. While not as soft as a Lexus, the CLK isn't as stiff as the others. BTW, the Eldorado has been out of production for almost a year now.

  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288

    I have had my SC430 through two winters in Ohio with no ill effects. I have a good friend who has had an SLK since that car came out (4 years?) and he reports no problems with the top on that car.

    I lowered and raised the top several times last weekend for various reasons, even though the temperature was in the 30's and everything is working fine. I watch these boards a lot and all SC430 comments I have seen are to the effect that the top is quite weather tight.

    Finally, this car sells best in California and Florida, for obvious reasons, and I'm sure the car from Chicago would enjoy retiring to Phoenix.

    Who wouldn't?
  • EPN;
        Have washed and driven my SC 430 and have had no "0" leakage problems. Nor is there any wind noise at the windshield or the mid roof joint. I have not noticed any squeaks but then again I live in Alabama and the winters are quite mild.
         I have been totally satisfied and have had no problems with the car whatsoever.
         Although not a sports car it is still fun to drive, especially with the top down.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Thanks for your input. My sister in law called me yesterday evening to tell me that, after being parked in a heated garage for 2 hours, the squeeking noise has indeed gone away. She's buying the car at a very good price and having it trucked back to Phoenix.

    Thanks again.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    That's a waste of a very good opportunity to drive a great car across the country. Why don't you volunteer to drive it to Phoenix in exchange for an air ticket back?

    I would.
  • Had my car in for service today and word at the dealership is that 04 will bring in SC330 but with a hardtop only (non-retractable). Next will be the IS convertible which will be out in 05 to compete with the BMW 3 series convertible. Seems Lexus is aiming at all the right targets.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    I bought my SC430 because it was a convertible, and especially because it was a hardtop convertible which would be much more quite on the road than a rag top.

    Even with the swell interior, I am not sure if this car would interest me at this price range as a coupe.

    I'm no marketing expert, but I have my doubts.

    But I could be wrong.
  • gekko2gekko2 Posts: 87
    6 cylinder hardtop SC330 for $40k? I'd bite.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    I think an SC330 coupe would be a big seller at $40K, especially if it has a roomier back seat.
  • Gents;
          I was told that the price would be much lower than an SC 430 due to the car having a 6 cylinder engine and a non-retractable top. No price range was quoted but I would suspect it would be around 50k +- a few K.
  • gekko2gekko2 Posts: 87
    SC430 = ~$62K
    - $10K for No Convertible
    - $10K for No 8 Cylinder
    - $2K for No Navigation/Runflats Option
    = ~$40K SC330

    A 2004 model with an April 2003 intro date to coincide with the 2 year anniversary "refresh".
  • I own a 1992 lexus sc300 and have been looking to replace it this year.
    The cars of interest are the jag xk8/xkr(very expensive at 70-85k)the sc430(odd styling, no back seat even for just luggage ,poor handling response, but great quality,features,interior and
    mb clk500(low rent interior, high price w options)
    Infiniti g35 coupe(excellent handling and power nice exterior stying low price but lacking interior quality and features such as seat memory,power tilt telescope wood leather lexus/jag quality)
    I would be interested in a 45K sc330 hardtop especially if it had more of fastback to accomodate rear seat room as well as give a sleeker style.better handling and sportier wheels would be a big plus(lose the cheap pie plate look of the current wheels)
  • I'm curious -- how many of you would be interested in a package compartment that would replace the rear seats?

    Toyota offers a soft luggage enclosure, but it's just something that stretches over the rear seats. Fine as it goes, but not secure and not nice-looking.

    (See small picture only here or in context here).

    Rather, I'm thinking of a manufactured item that would entirely replace the rear seats; like the pictured soft item, but sturdy, hard-walled, looks like a factory or dealer option. The seat bottoms and back pop out pretty easily; I'm thinking of a hard-walled complete replacement of them, lockable, etc. (Any of you who've wanted to car-trip with two carryons and still be able to put the top down know what I'm thinking.)

    Who would be interested? What would you pay?

  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Considered the 330ci/M3? Based upon your other contenders, I'm guessing these may lean too much towards the enthusiast side of the sport vs. luxury meter for you, but at least they have better interiors than the G35c.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    I have a few comments regarding the above posts.

    First, I don't know what bill means when he says no back seat, even for luggage. The back seat was made for luggage (and little kids). If you mean a 27" suitcase, that's probably going to sit sideways, but any kind of soft luggage travels well back there.

    As for wanting to travel AND put the top down, I have taken a lot of trips in the car, several times with two people, and I have never yet wanted to put the top down while traveling on the highways. With the top up, the trunk can hold a large amount of stuff, if you use soft luggage and canvas duffel bags, and that kind of thing. The trunk is high, and more things can fit toward the front of the car than you think at first. There's room for garmet bags to sit unfolded.

    Years ago, a good friend of mine got an MB SLK and took off on a trip out west (2,000 miles) with his wife. They packed carefully so as to be able to put the top down while traveling. (The SKL is much smaller than the SC430.) He said that the top went up less than 100 miles from home and hardly ever went down again.

    It's a convertible in town and a coupe on the highway.

    That's why I like it.
  • ok, i'll bite. i went through the same process and looked at almost the exact same cars.

    the xk8 and xkR were awesome. but they're a heck of a lot more expensive, and i think the interior quality is lacking for the price. and i do have some concerns about the reliability. i found i'd have to get a 2001 to get in the price range of the 2003 sc430.

    infiniti g35 - fun car, but no comparison to any of those others. of course, it's a lot cheaper. buddy of mine has one - actually blew me off the line one day.

    the clk500? oh yeah. great car. if you have that kind of cash to drop, it's probably a great acquisition. or you could adopt a full-grown adult son and will me the money instead.

    and those last two aren't convertibles, depending on how important that is to you. it was a must for me in south florida.

    oh, the back seat? it's a very nicely coach-leather-appointed luggage rack, and that's about it. unless you have any double-amputee midgets with you. but it fits two pieces of luggage comfortably.

    oh, one last thing: the m3 (hardtop or convertible) is *amazing*, if you're willing to put up with the very aggressive ride - it's noisy, loud, and pretty physically taxing. but man, does it drive. i couldn't take it after about 10 minutes, i needed a massage - not my kind of daily driver. but wow, what a car!

    hope that helps.
  • I have read the board and am aware of rough ride issues. If the dealer just took delivery, will the car have the proper bushings? What tires do I insist on? Any other suggestions?
  • Jim;
        I just took delivery (25 JAN) of an SC430. The 03s DO have the new bushings. As for tires, I assume the car of your interest has run-flats, all cars ordered for stock have them. You would have to special order a car with the spare (120 days). In any event my car came equipped with Bridgestone Potenza's. I find the ride very good and quiet. That said, when crossing RR tracks, pot holes,etc the ride is jolting. On normal roads the ride is quite acceptable.
            Now here is the catch. Lexus has issued a TSB increasing tire pressure in the run-flats to 38 psi. The owners manual and door sticker indicate 32 psi. The increased pressure actually improves the ride. I know what you are saying increased pressure=harder ride, but it ain't so!
    I can't explain it, but at 38 psi the ride actually improves. Hope this helps.
  • Thank you for your reply. I will take your advice re: tire pressure. Feb arrivals in my area all have Dunlop run flats. Now I just can't decide between black/saddle w/ chrome or black/black w/ chrome. I take it that you are happy with your decision...
  • jim & ron - according to the service manager when i took my car in for the 1000 mile checkup, they always inflate the tires now to 36-38 based on the TSB. they no longer do 32 because i asked specifically.

    i got a black with saddle interior - it's very striking. as a surprise, my girlfriend at the time bought a pair of knee-high boots from Coach which matched the saddle interior perfectly. they looked awesome.
  • Thanks for the advice.What price range were you able to get the sc430 for?
    JImw12: Are the chrome wheels a factory or a dealer option? do they have the lexus "L"in gold?
  • squid99 wrote:
    First, I don't know what bill means when he says no back seat, even for luggage. The back seat was made for luggage (and little kids). If you mean a 27" suitcase, that's probably going to sit sideways, but any kind of soft luggage travels well back there.

    As for wanting to travel AND put the top down, I have taken a lot of trips in the car, several times with two people, and I have never yet wanted to put the top down while traveling on the highways. With the top up, the trunk can hold a large amount of stuff, if you use soft luggage and canvas duffel bags, and that kind of thing. The trunk is high, and more things can fit toward the front of the car than you think at first. There's room for garment bags to sit unfolded.
    It's a convertible in town and a coupe on the highway.

    That's why I like it.

    Well, different opinions are what makes a horserace.

    I would tend to respond that you have much too narrow a concept of "road trip" -- if I have to go somewhere that will put me on a highway for more than a couple of hours, the car was the wrong choice in the first place. That's what flying is for, and if you can take scheduled service on Southwest, it's cheaper than driving as well.

    On the other hand, if you're taking lazy backroads, or the coast highway, where driving from night-1-stay to night-2-stay would take an hour if you tried, but it takes you 8 because there's 3 wineries, the ostrich farm, the World's Largest Rubberband Ball, and two nice places that you just felt like stopping and hiking for a while, well then that's more my kind of "road trip". By the time we're done, we'll also need room not only for two rollybags and two briefcases, but for 3 cases of wine as well.

    Do I want to have my cake and eat it too? You bet -- I want to be able to put the top down and leave it down for extended periods including occasional stops, I want to use that otherwise useless backseat space for secure storage, and I want to do so without marring the nice leather seats.

  • I paid 60K even, excluding tax. That included run-flats, spoiler, gold package and wheel locks.
    Color is Absolutely Red with Saddle interior.
    I only drive the car in the summer, consequently whenever I take her out the top is always DOWN. I have taken trips on the Interstate (to Casino's) and love driving at highway speeds with the top down. The SC is great with nominal wind buffeting compared to other convertibles. Nothing like cruising at 80, top down, sun shining and running through the CD's. Can't wait!!!!!
  • Chrome wheels are not listed in the catalog as an option. They are avaiable through the dealer. I was quoted a price of 18K. I chose not to get them, just as a preference as I like to install only options listed in the brochure and keep my car as delivered from the factory.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288

    At 18K I bet they weren't chrome, but gold.

    I'd pass on wheels at that price myself.

    And I buy all kinds of crap.
  • Squidd;
           Sorry, I meant to say 1.8K($1800.00).
  • While I also have a Land Cruiser, occassionally may need to use in snow and possibly with a child seat in back. Can anyone provide me with feedback on how this performs in snow and whether you can fit a car seat in the small back seats?
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    In the snow? Ha, ha, ha, heeeeeeee, haaaaaaa . . . that's a good one!
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    Even in light rain, if you're not careful, the back end slides around some in corners. I can't imagine what it's like in snow or ice.
  • KThomp100KThomp100 Posts: 62
    Man...all of a sudden this topic has died. I can't believe nobody has anything to say about the car. I am contemplating buying one and would love to continue reading the forums
  • leebroleebro Posts: 8
    Nothing. Nothing for over a month. I'm in the same boat as you are and would love (well not love - but like alot) to see people posting.
    I wonder how many people get faked out by the fact that if you ask for "Lexus" and "SC 430" before hitting "GO" you find there are not Lexus SC +430 boards. It seems the board monitor either hasn't got it figured, or hasn't enuf pull to get it fixed, or hasn't given it a shat.
  • mmobmmob Posts: 1
    Well I'll add to the discussion. A few days ago I decided that after 4 years it was time to trade in my 1999 SLK so I headed over to the M-B dealer. While I was there I saw a 2002 SC430 on the lot that had just been traded in and I fell in love. It was silver with a black interior. As I had never bought a used car before I was a little leary so I didn't buy it right away. First I came here and read all 512 messages, lol. After getting quotes from 3 local Lexus dealers on a new silver/black int. 2003 ($59,5k, $59,9k, and $60,450), I decided on the 2002. It only had 6500 miles and I saved about $8k. I got it last night for $51,700. (Actually, I saved even more than that because the Mercedes dealer offered me a couple thousand more as a trade in on my SLK than the Lexus dealerships were going to give me.) Thanks to the info on this board, the first thing I did was inflate the tires to 38psi. Next, I'll make an appointment with a Lexus dealer to have the rear bushings replaced. Down the line, I'll also replace those horrible pie-plate wheels. (What was Lexus thinking?!) Thanks again guys for all the info here.
This discussion has been closed.