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Lexus SC 430



  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    "vetlex" accused me of LOVING my CLK which most certainly is not true. I am very fond of its styling, handling ect., but as is the case with these new breed Benz's it's very unreliable and i doubt there'll ever again be a Benz in my garage. That said, this new CLK is very seductive as it's superior in styling handling and ride to the last generation CLK. I'd also suspect that it will be even less reliable, but that won't stop most from taking one home. I wish Lexus could simply raise the bar on syling and performance to where I'd buy one. We've had an ES in the garge for the past 10 years ( 2 cars actually) and Lexus clearly produces a higher quality, more reliable products that just don't do it for my eye or soul. The ES belongs to the bride and she drives me to and from my far too regular Benz service appointments.
  • vetlexvetlex Posts: 24
    Once again...........................just enjoying the debate for the heck of it.

    I think your message pretty much capsulizes Mercedes and Lexus strengths. No accusations.
    I love my sc430 for it's style, solidity, luxury and reliability. When this car can stir the soul like a porsche Boxster then it will have TRULY arrived.

  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    You first must realize what type car is an SC 430.
    Auto magazine classified it as a "Prestige Car" and it got best buy accolades. The SC 430 is a personal luxury car. It was not intended to be a sports car or GT. Ergo it does not compete with Porsche, SL's, SLK's, Jags or BMW. It is a quiet, luxurious,quality and smooth riding car. If you are looking for a sport or GT then don't even consider an SC 430 because it doesn't pretend to be one of those. But if you are looking for reliability and quality then the SC 430 should be first on your list.
  • kamily1kamily1 Posts: 5
    Caring members, both vehicles arrived today. We are simply elated. The gX 470 and the sC 430 arrived in pristine condition. Although the shipper suggested he "confronted inclement weather for a segment," the cars reflect very few water markings. Needless to say, our confidence became tweaked after your email concerns. Your assorted blatant skepticism did challenge our commitment..... Nevertheless, we remained confident and per the Lexus Franchise Owner's intervention. FYI, my father called the area Police, BBB and several franchise affiliates it seems. As a team, we both exhausted ourselves with investigation.

    Well, as advised by a few Club Lexus members, I immediately examined the under-chasis as the vehicles sat high above my height. Our careful analysis revealed no leaks or inferior parts. Most important, no rust existed in or around the exhaust system and etc..... I was told by a few club members to examine the bottom closely. As the shipper removed both automobiles from the truck, the keys were then given. We then slowly inspected each bumper, light, mirror and window for cracks, chips, scratches, stains and scuff marks. We meticulously inspected both vehicles from the front bumper to the quarter panels and to the rear bumper. We found no defects again. As we entered the interior cabin, the odor of fresh high grade leather tickled our noses. The seats and carpets immediately met our expectations. We then proceeded to examine the ceiling, activated the on and off features for the navigation system, radio, air conditioner system and more. Everything seemed operational and we performed these inspections while the shipper stood nearby obviously intrigued with our investments. He was a very nice guy. Members, we could not find any faults. Of course we anticipated none. Our confidence remained firm since both cars are brand new revealing 12 miles and the other revealing only 15 miles per the odometer readings. Members, this VolumeSeller guy delivered. 'He is the man,' if to utter a popular phrase.

    Excitement flows in our veins. We must exit for another extensive drive and before our wives snatch these 'toys' from us, smile.

    Ty and father.
  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    I'm trying to convince myself to buy an SC for reliability and that great interior, but my test drives have left me somewhat cold. I understand that the run flat issue can be cured by buying non-run flats, but the low end issue continues to baffle me. The Lexus literature specs 0 to 60 at sub 6 seconds, but the car feels closer to a 7 second vehile to me. I've only read one review that claimed to actually run it on track and i think they did 6.7 seconds. Although not an end of the world issue, I was very disappointed when I discovered too late that my CLK cab runs at 7 seconds versus 6 for the coupes. MB at least confirms this is their literature so shame on me for not reading the foot notes. I found nothing from Lexus that says anything other than 6 seconds. Anyone have a link to a reliable test?
  • pathdocpathdoc Posts: 126
    The latest issue (July) of Motor Trend does a comparison of the SC 430, SL500 and Cadillac XLR. There are performance numbers as well as other specs. Their subjective rankings were #1 500SL, #2 XLR and #3 SC 430. No consideration was given to pricing. While some mention was made re the small trunk in the SC430 no such mention was made of the totally inadequate space in the XLR with the top down (~4 ft3).
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    I can refer you to Car & driver test results at 6.7 secs. I know the car feels slow off the line but it really scoots from 30-100mph.
    In my opinion the SC is really more of a personal luxury car rather than a "sports car".
    However, as for appeal. I get compliments every time I drive mine on what a great looking car it is.
    Anyway, just my . 02.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    Your observation about the SC430 feeling slow off the line is a common one.

    On paper, the SC430 should perform comparably to (or better than) the SL500. Same (rated) horsepower and the SL's slight torque advantage is offset by the SC's 200 lbs lighter weight. Why there is such a noticable difference in immediate responsiveness between the SC and SL isn't clear to me. Perhaps the transmission? Perhaps Lexus overstated the SC's real power ratings?

    Unfortunately, we don't drive on paper and most people I know who have driven the SC430 expecting it to perform like a sports car have not purchased it after a test drive. On the other hand, it is a beautiful car that cruises the boulevard with the best of them.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    When I bought the car, I thought that 0 to 60 was about 6 seconds, and now that I hear that it's more like 7 seconds, I'm not too disappointed, because I, for one, have that kind of time to waste. Besides, when I travel between cities and cruise at 80 to 95 mph, and still have lots of power to pass when I need to, somehow that lost second getting up to 60 seems insignificant.

    I still like the car, despite all its many shortcomings.
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,327
    ....the car is that after a year, I fully realized it was just not FUN to drive, and it should be. The interior and quality are first rate, but it just wasn't quite enough IMO.
  • zuma13zuma13 Posts: 35
    I understand that Lexus will make the LS model available in a LS 500 next year. Does anyone know whether this displacement increase will extend to the SC model? If so, imagine what the possibilities would be. Added horsepower, a beefed-up suspension, and better brakes. WOW!!
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    If a 500cc engine were put into the LS, then Lexus would probably put that into the SC also. Historically, and I owned an SC400 for 10 years before I got my SC430, so I followed this a little, the changes to the LS engine were usually put onto the SC engine pretty soon thereafter. As a result, the two cars have always had the same engine, after a little transition time.

    They do not, however, upgrade your old car like Mr. Valentine does with his radar detectors. You have to buy a whole new one.
  • vetlexvetlex Posts: 24
    I think it is reasonable to criticise any over
    $50 K car that misses the mark on some front. So in all fairness it is just criticism to expect a 64K sc430 to handle much better than it does. I think Lexus would have done well to push the limits more in terms of visceral thrill and ultimate handling aspects of this car. While it is both fast and rewarding to does feel a bit bloated and isolated from the road.

    All that said...............Is it worth $60K?
    If you think of this car as an LS430 with far more
    style, open air thrills and a large dash of porsche/SL prestige..............YES. And unlike mercedes and porsche you can expect this "toy" to be "trouble-free". Reliability and luxury are always STRONG reasons to consider any LEXUS.

    Despite all the automag dis of this cars handling........I drive this car on twisty mountain roads often! Even under spirited and fast driving the cars reflexes are reassurung and the wheels (20" pirrelli's on mine) never screech or leave the road.

  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    For those curious why on paper (including the paper stats issued by Lexus) the SC should perform better than it does the answer could be they have electronically dumbed it down. MY CLK cab is almost a second slower than its coupe counterpart. Benz finally admitted they dumb the soft top down owing to the loss of strucural integrity inherent in the loss of the solid roof. They feel the car can't take the same amount of twist off the line as as the coupe. In the case of the CLK you can remove the electronic control box in the car and ship it off for reprogramming. The after market guys simply reset everything to coupe standards. You lose the car for 10 days and shell out $1200. A friend of mine's GM at a Lexus dealer and he says he knows of noone doing the same at present for the SC...but acknowledges that Lexus does dumb the low end down for the same reasons.
  • Looking at an 02 40 w/ 7000 miles for $51k. I am concerned about the run flat tires, and the future expense of replacing them. I live in Houston and the roads are pretty bad and get extremely hot in the summer. What are the replacement costs and how many miles should i expect to get from them?

    Thanks in advance, Tim
  • Looked at an 02 w/ Ecru Leather and Birdseye Maple trim. was not crazy about it but like the Birdseye w/ Dark leather. Any comments on this would be appreciated.

    Tim in Houston.
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    TIRES: Replacement costs vary depending on whether you decide on RF's or non-RF's. As for mileage most owners are reporting at least 20K miles. For more in depth discussions go to the SC 430 board and you can see what most owners are doing.
    LEATHER: I have read some discouraging comments about the ecru as regards stains and keeping it clean. I would stay with the darker leathers. I have saddle in mine and have had no trouble with either stains or cleaning. Again for more info go to
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    The maple wood trim comes only with the ecru leather. The two darker interiors, the "tan" and the black, both come with a very dark red/brown walnut wood trim.

    My 430 is black with ecru, and I really love the light wood trim. It only took me a day to get used to it, but it always gets positive comments from others.

    The almost white leather is a bit harder to keep clean, but it's worth the very small extra effort. Remember that the darker leathers are just as dirty, it's just harder to see it.
  • intmed99intmed99 Posts: 485
    I thought this was more due to the electronic drive-by-wire with strict emission control.
  • vetlexvetlex Posts: 24
    I purchased my 2002 sc430 used about 3 months ago.
    For reference , I paid about $45K with 30K miles. WHile I still have reasonable warranty left on the car.....I am considering buying the extended warranty good for 100,000 miles and 7 years (from orig purchase) for about $2200 (platinum plan). I was told that I must purchase the plan BEFORE the car reaches 36K miles. Seems like a good idea knowing how many "minimotors" and tech go into this car and the potential costs to fix. I also found out that the runflats would run about $450 each to replace at the dealer.

    My car is Black ext. with saddle leather.....I was VERY impressed by the unique look of this combination. But given the high fit and finish of these cars (and I have no estrogen in my system) I think ANY of the color combinations would grow on you.

  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
      As a point of reference I paid $1800.00 for the Platinum plan when I bought my SC 430 new in January. Point is I think you can negotiate that price lower. I also purchased the plan because of the complexity of the car and high cost of repairs,ie,replacement of starter @ Lexus dealer $1000.00. But if you want to play you got to pay.
      As for tires, most owners replace them with non-runflats when it's time for new shoes. If you go that route Lexus has a kit that converts the trunk to carry a mini-spare or you can carry a can of fix-a-flat or just take your chances on not getting a flat. We report you decide!
    Hope this helps.
    Enjoy the car it's a great cruiser and problems will probably be minimal.
  • vetlexvetlex Posts: 24
    Thanks for the info on the platinum warranty. I am going to try for that $1800.

    The previous owner already put 20" MoMO rims and Pirrelli tires on this sc430.This set him back over $3500 but the rims do make the car look more like a "hot rod " Lexus. With Black exterior and the gold trim package I was immediately sold on this car. He also gave me the 18" factory rims with run flats.

    I have noticed that this car STICKS to the road maybe even better than our Miata. I assume the tires add to the cars performance. I think the ride is a little less composed (unlike my prev LS400) and some tire noise is apparent with these tires. I would be interest to see how the run flats change the ride
    (whenever I get to it).

  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,094
    So, has anyone actually used the back seat for people? While waiting for my evil wife's RX to be washed, I fit my 7 year old daughter in the back seat, with the front passenger seat all the way forward, she seemed to fit fine. Next, I'll have to see if my 4 year old son fits on his booster seat behind me at the wheel. If he does, could someone mail me a check for $60,000 so I can buy a new Indigo Blue w/Saddle interior SC430? Much apprecitated...

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    My kids are a little too big to sit back there, but I have had my friends' grade school children back there from time to time. They seem to fit well and enjoy the ride, up to about age 10.

    For a short ride when there is no alternative readily available, an adult can squeeze in there and sit sideways. Shoes go on the seat, so the leather can take a beating, but it's fun, especially if the top is down.

    Generally, only the groceries ride back there.
  • vetlexvetlex Posts: 24
    When we test drove this car my wife sat in the
    back seat. It can accommodate one adult for short stints (albeit with the front passenger seat too far foward to be really comfortable).

    In our case the back seat is perfect size for our
    Golden Retriever who insists on joining us on trips to our mountain vacation home. This seat is a profound improvement over the back window of a Miata (where she used to pout). Interesting enough this was a real reason for us buying the Lexus over the Boxster (which has less space than the Miata). WE cover the back seat with thick material for doggy trips. NO! car is that good that it shouldn't be enjoyed by all!!!

  • Boy, am I tired of reading comparison messages with Mercedes Benz models! Enough is enough! How about help with a real-life problem? I have a 2002 SC430 with 9500 miles. Sometimes, not all the time, when I turn my car off and remove the keys from the ignition you can hear the sound of a small motor running somewhere in the rear of the car. The sound of the motor running is SO silent you have to listen for it. To silence the motor, you put the key back into the ignition and turn the key to the "on" position. Turning the key and removing it once again usually solves the problem, but... If you leave the car in a hurry and then don't drive the car for a few days, you come back to a dead battery. The motor is much quieter than the motor that runs the antenna up and down. The car easily starts again after the car is jumped but it is a major inconvenience and very embarassing given the type of car it is. Has ANYONE else experienced a problem like this and what was the solution? I have run it by three different Lexus dealership service advisors and none of them had ever heard of this problem before. Your help would be very much appreciated.
    Frank O'Donnell
    Aiken, SC
  • ipsadoodleipsadoodle Posts: 35
    I bought the car over 2 years ago..have l0,000 miles on it..but do not like the run flats..they pull at will at anytime..I do not think they are safe.but do not see many complaints on line about this..have complained many times to dealer..they say it is normal..baloney..I have owned over 50 cars.most exotic..never never had them pull at all..this car..runs swell.but the pulling is unbelieveable..wrote Lexus in Cal about it..they ignored me..the dealer ignored me..svc mgr politely told mme they could no nothing but I could buy another kind of car.did complain in writing to NHTSA last week..lets see if they look into it..does anybody out there agree?? should I live with it or buy new set of regular tires?? (probably Michelin) would appreciateyour feedback...Irv
  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,327
    like me, buy another car. I had it with the ride and handling of the run-flats to the point that it soured me on the car.
  • I have owned only 20 cars in my lifetime, but don't sell the car, toss the run flats and get regular 18" tires. It's not the car, it's the tires, simple as that. Anyone willing to pay $60,000 for a car can afford $1000 worth of tires. Don't buy from the dealer, buy from The Tire Rack at the discount price (plus shipping), and then have an experienced local tire company install the tires correctly on the rims. You WILL have to use your other car to transport the new tires to be installed, however! Join AAA, use your insurance policy or extended warranty to fetch a tow truck in the unlikely event of a flat tire. Trust me, it will solve the problem.
    Regards, Frank
This discussion has been closed.