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Lexus SC 430



  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    you were quoted an "out the door price" of $54k for a BMW 330cic? That's within a couple of grand of a new full MSRP 2002 M3 converible I briefly considered. I ended up getting a great deal on a new M5 instead. However, if you are seriously interested in a 330cic, I determined that a well equiped one can be had for about $40k new (n/i taxes, if you go the discounted European Delivery route. Check out and add about $1,500+/- to the ED invoice price.

    The 330cic is a very different car than the SC430. My next door neighbor just took delivery of an SC430 which he bought at his wife's insistence (she couldn't drive his 6-speed Honda S2000 and threatened to run it over with their SUV). Now he's already asking to borrow my M5 to play around with. While I don't consider the 330cic a sports car, it's much more of a "drivers" car when equiped with a manual transmission and sport suspension. The SC430 is much more of a luxury convertible.
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    Squidd99: I drove one yesterday and could feel the road quite a bit...maybe not a deal-breaker, b/c i love the car otherwise. They TELL me that 100% are being produced with runflats and it's 4-5 months to order one w/o them. I didn't ask about replacing the tires on the spot.

    But, is there some way one could tell if the rear bushings have been replaced with the current/better ones (besides asking the dealer)? Thanks for you time in answering these questions.
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    I pick it up after work! Very excited.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,717
    Please tell us color,etc. and share the love.....
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    I think, from his heading, that is car is silver with the black interior, which, I understand, is the most common color combination. My dealer says silver, used in almost all the ads, is the most prevelant color by far, and few come with the white -- excuse me -- ecru interior.

    I do have a friend who has a silver/white, and it looks very good indeed, but I may be biased because mine is black/white -- ooops I did it again -- ecru.

    As the color choices pretty well exhaust the option list, I think we have a pretty good idea about the car, unless he is going to -- let's say it all together now -- get new wheels !!! That changes the car big time.

    I'm still considering that.
  • brewsterflbrewsterfl Posts: 1
    I've got 7K miles on my black SC430 and I thought I would give readers an update on my experience.
    I'll start by saying this is my 2nd SC -the first was a 95 SC300 with 5 speed. I didn't want to get rid of it but my son was drooling over the car so he got it.

    Immediately after picking up the SC430 I started having troubles with the top. It would open sometimes and then it wouldn't. It would close sometimes and then it wouldn't. Sometimes it would function correctly for the dealer mechanic, sometimes it wouldn't. Yes it went into the shop- 4 times! Sometimes they would say they fixed it- (motherboard chip replaced), sometimes they would just shrug their shoulders. It worked fine from October to December and then it got the gremlins again.

    Solution: They finally tore out the wiring harness- (Yes the whole thing) and then discovered a bent connecting pin. Yes they got all the parts back in and the top has gone up and down fine for the last three months.

    For my trouble Lexus is giving me a free 10K service and sent me a check for 1 month of lease. I thank the service manager at the FT Myers Lexus dealer going the extra distance for me.

    I recently picked up a nail in my front left tire. It was replaced at no charge. The sensor never came on, the run flat never went flat. I just noticed the nail head one day.

    Posting # 259 mentioned bushing repair. My old SC300 need rear bushings at 60K. I noticed a squeak over speed bumps and that cost me a nice piece of change because it was no longer under warranty. I will keep an ear alerted to squeaks and will jump on it if I start to hear anything.

    I seriously considered a MB 430 but I couldn't get 2 sets of golf clubs in the trunk. I couldn't even get 1 set of clubs in a traveling hardcase into the trunk. Yes its true the backseat is worthless (except for insurance discount).

    Would I buy something else instead? Probably not. The SC430 is a lot of car for the money. To me it's every bit as nice as the new SL 500 and the pocket change paid for a trip to Italy.
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    that really is some exceptional service on part of your dealer...not only did they give you a free 10k service, but also 1 month lease payment. Im impressed. How long did it take to fix the top?
  • esse22esse22 Posts: 2
    Has anyone read about any changes for the 2003 model which will be out in Oct.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I'm assuming you were refering to the CLK430 Cab. My question is: "where do you place the 2 sets of golf clubs in the SC that you couldn't in the CLK?" (There is less room in the SC than the CLK!) Believe that if the golf club test is a barometer for cabs, very few would pass. I find the SC to be much more of a personal driving experience... a terrific weekend droptop for the well-heeled, not something for a couple of guys to take to the golf course with their clubs.

    The service experience proves that sometimes, it's not the fact that a defect is found, but how it is resolved that matters. Shows a classy respect for the consumer that just spent a tidy sum of money.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    I don't play golf, but I've had my SC430 for about a year and often read that sets of golf clubs is sometimes used as a measure of luggage capacity. For the 430, I think that a set would fit in the trunk with the top stored (and run flats), and you probably could get two sets in there with the top up.

    One thing about that trunk, is that it is far taller than it first appears. With the top up, I can fit in plenty of luggage for 2 for a week at the beach, including 2 beach chairs, if we pack in canvass bags, and use a few small bags that fit into the corners. I was quite surprised.

    I consider the back seat storage space, and on a vacation drive, when the top would be up all the way anyway, theres room for stuff there, as long as the leather is protected.

    Now I saw a TV show this weekend which showed the MB 500SL, and I was disappointed with the trunk and top arrangement. Even the car is about the same size as the SC430, and has no back seat, and even though the top folds into 3 pieces (the rear window breaks loose from the top and folds inself into the space between the folding top panels), the top still takes up all the space, front to back, in the trunk. (Much like the SLK.) Now what they think is so clever is that you can press a button in the trunk and the folded top lifts up so you can store stuff UNDER the top. This is better than nothing, but what do you do with the groceries? I love the fact that I have that tall space between the folded top and the back bumper to put my groceries or other small purchases, maybe my briefcase or gym bag, or the kitty. The MB makes it a very big deal to get to that space, and makes the car a lot less useful for running errands about town.

    And you guys didn't think the SC was practical.
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    The SC is a "style" statement, not a practicality statement! Having driven the SC... and it is a nice ride... it screams weekender to compliment the sedan. I live with a CLK right now and it swallows a fair amount of luggage, golf clubs, etc. - especially when the rear seats are folded down.

    None of these cars will win a practicality contest... SC, SL, etc. Guess we should get back to the "fun" observations regarding this car and its competitors.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    When you one one car, especially one on the edge, there's nothing more fun than pointing out to your friends where other, and more expensive cars, don't measure up.

    Same thing with women.
  • mike10mike10 Posts: 5
    I disagree with "lovemyclk". I purchased the sc430 for a number of reasons and practicality was definitely one of those reasons. The sc is my daily communter and weekend car. I find the car to be quite comfortable and a pleasure to drive. The ability to drop the top on nice days for the drive home is a very nice added bonus. (Living in southern California there are far more nice days than not.) I have just over 17,000 miles on the car and do not see why a two seat hard top convertible would not be practical for quite a number of people.

    As for being a style statement, I believe this is way over stated. No matter how nice a car may look to you, it has to meet your overall driving needs first.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    The car is practical in that it fits your needs (and mine, which is why I bought it).

    It's not versitile, which is why it will be sold only to a few.

    I don't think it's practical for most people, but if your needs are comfort and luxury on road trips for 1 or 2, and sporty, conspicuous zipping around town, then this is the car for you.

    A Navigator is versitle, but I don't want one.
  • twaite2twaite2 Posts: 1
    Have had my 430 for 11 months and have had a very sporadic problem with the volume going to max when you simply touch the volume control on either the steering wheel or the stereo. The dealer replaced the original stereo last month but it still occasionally does it. Has anyone else experienced this?
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    I'd agree on the "practical" vs. "versatile" comment. It's very practical for the reasons cited, as most people who can afford these cars are not forced to drive a "one size fits all" solution. It's practical in that it satisfies the personal driving experience, not the "let's haul the family with luggage on vacation" experience.

    Decision criteria at this level tend to lean either toward the luxury or sportiness quotient, then the intangibles play a role... which are unique for each buyer.

    The SC is definitely a "statement" car, as is the SL and others in this price range and up. I don't look at an SC driver and say "damn, bet he can't take that to Home Depot to pick up lumber!"
  • kdudekdude Posts: 22
    I too had the same problem. The dealer changed the amp and all has been fine since (over 4 months since the repair). Others had also complained about this with some of the early production cars. Note: They may keep the car overnight! Something about the audio system finding the new amp, or the otherway!! I never got a good explanation. The result was what was important to me.
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    I adore this car! Yes, it is silver with black interior, exactly like the '00 GS300 I got rid of. Only thing I added was tinted windows. Both my old GS3 and this one are flawless cars. I don't have a problem with the wheels. No demons so far!
  • THERE IS AN SC430 FOR SALE IN NJ. IT HAS 9500 MILES ON IT. THE DEALER IS ASKING $59K. He says the price is justified because he added a "$3000 radar system", it has never been titled, a car cover, and most importantly, the car is in hot demand. Is this a good deal. Am I missing something here? I am in desperate need of FEEDBACK
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    That car has already adapted to that driver's driving style and heaven knows how it was treated. Plus, between the 3 dealers I checked with in the Houston, Texas area, there were a total of no less than 15 NEW SC430s available in a variety of colors (not to mention many used ones). I'd opt for a new one, if I were you.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,717
    ....for a car with lower mileage. The car may have been beaten up. As for the "$3000 radar system", I don't believe it and I'd pass on it. It shouldn't be too hard to get a low mileage pristine car, in the same price range and save taxes over the new car.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    . . . and besides, there is no such thing as a $3,000.00 "radar system." If you want the best radar detector out there, get a valentine. I've had one for years (it's been updated twice) and I don't leave home without it.

    And it's not 3 grand.
  • Great feedback. I feel better knowing that I wasn't missing anything. It seemed a bit over priced. But when your shopping and you really want the car.... lets just say all rational thinking sometimes goes out of the window. With that said..... If I did decide to purchase the car what would be a reasonable price to offer. Edmunds does not have it priced yet.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    I'd suggest you pick out a color combo (that's really the only option around) and tell the dealer you want that car and will pay the sticker price. That seems to be what most people have paid for the first year of sales. I've read here that Lexus will not let a dealer sell a NEW one for more than sticker (which is probably why you are getting screwed on this used one -- a $3,000 radar "system" my [non-permissible content removed]).

    I agree that you should get a new one, as the used market for this car is all over the place, and you are really not saving much money, if any.

    If you want extras, radar detectors and car covers are readily available, as are spiffy wheels and anything else you want to add.

    Take your time, as you will probably have the car for quite a while.

    I waited patiently for 18 months and got the colors of my choice, and have had no troubles of any kind. I expect to keep this car for at least as long as I had my SC400, which was about 10 years.

    Plan B: try another dealer.
  • karklinkarklin Posts: 15
    Could anybody tell me how many miles I can get out of my run flat tires on my SC-430
    Thanks Leo-K
  • mike10mike10 Posts: 5
    I am at just over 18,000 and the tires look fine. Will measure the actual tread depth this weekend and let you know.
  • dh50dh50 Posts: 5
    I have 19100 miles and the the threads look fine also. However, the tires seem to be getting noisier and the ride rougher. Also, I have noticed a bubble or knot in the sidewall of my front right tire. Be sure to check your tires for this condition. I was told that this might be caused if a curve or pothole is hit. I have ordered new tires for fear of a potential blowout. By the way, check you tires at several different rotational positions. I can't see the knot when the threads at that part of the tire is touching the ground
  • karklinkarklin Posts: 15
    Thank you all for the info on th run flat tires it was greatly appreciated Leo-K
    [email protected]
  • karklinkarklin Posts: 15
    I own a C-320 and nothing but a pain in the neck.
    I purchased it new in March 2001 and I counted 6 different problems.Water in the fog lights water in the trunk mulfunction in the fuel gage tail light problem, problem with belts,frozen front wheel.Some of the promblems they did not want to fix.I owned Acuras 2 no problems. I also own a 2002 lexus SC-430 not a single problem.
    I think Benz is going to hell.Later on this year this bundle of problems is going to be traded.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    I have become convinced that Lexus just doesn't want to compete for the "driving" enthusiast.

    I finally got an opportunity to drive a friend's two month old SC430. Although I haven't yet driven the new SL, the Lexus interior has to be right up there in terms of quality/luxury. But, IMHO, the car doesn't handle or feel nearly as precise as the BMW 530i that I am considering for this fall. And I don't think a "sport package" is going to help that much. The entire vehicle dynamics, weight, etc. were more in line with a luxury sedan than a sport coupe. Even my friend acknowledged that the SC430 wasn't much different to drive than the E430 he traded.

    Lexus has certainly given Mercedes a run for it's money in the luxury segment. I just don't see any evidence that they want to take on BMW for prospective buyers like me. And perhaps there is nothing wrong with that. Amoung my mid-40's peer group, I am the only one I know that cannot bring myself to buy an automatic - even on a family sedan or SUV. So I'm the "niche" not the "masses".
This discussion has been closed.