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Lexus SC 430



  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting that your XK has been trouble free, pathdoc. I've owned a '98 XK8 and currently own a '00 XKR. Beautiful cars, best in class trunk space, but my cars have hardly been without problem. The XK8 was the worst of the two. It had frequent electrical troubles, for example, the seat motors broke, and my wife needed the car and could not drive it because her feet couldn't reach the pedals :) Also, the check engine indicatior liked to go on and off at its whim, and the airbag warning light would also come on every now and then, which made me nervious.

    Aside from that the '8 never really had any major problems, but I've not even been remotely pleased with my experiences with the Jag dealer in Carlisle, PA. On more than one occasion, they would call the house when the car was in on maintanence or electrical repair to say that it was ready to be picked up, and after the 45 minute drive to the dealer, it turns out that it was in fact NOT ready, and needed several more days for some unnamed part to show up from England. Each time they could not explain why the call was made, most of the time this was just really annoying, driving the 45 minutes back home with no car. However, one particular time this happened, I had a meeting I needed to be at in Harrisburg, and leaving empty handed was not an option. The dealer was not only completely unaplogetic as to my situation, but also basically acted as though it was my problem, and I had to figure out someway to get to Harrisburg. After a 20 minute "discussion" on this, one of the sales guys begrudgingly allowed me to take his Ford Taurus for the day, as though he were doing me the worlds greatest favor.

    The R hasnt been as bad, but the supercharger failed and had to be replaced. Fortunately it was under warranty, as I wasn't about to shell out $5K+ for another one. Both cars have been eons better than my '94 XJS-V12, but this R is going to be my last Jaguar. Though its got a fresh (well for '97) face, the XJS DNA is still there. The steering is numb, the body rolls significantly during cornering, and even with the traction control and the Pirelli tires, grip is pretty poor, and the brakes are average at best. Also my R's 5-speed is pathetically slow to act. When you hit the floor with 370hp on tap, what you would expect is some wheelspin, followed by a rocket rush foward pinning you to your seat. What you get is a mild take off at best. My LS430's 5-speed is much better.

    I've driven the newer XKs with the 4.2 engine and the ZF six speed, but its the same old story. The gearing is too tall, and the J-gate is still the worst interpretation of a manumatic that I have ever used. What was holding me back from buying an SC430 were those terrible manhole cover wheels, but after seeing how good it looks with the new 5-spokes in the '04 autoshow pictures, I am definitely making the switch. Also, Jaguar has really got to stop sharing Alpine audio sytems with Ford. Even BMW's old HK systems are better. My daily driver LS430's ML sytem makes the supposedly "premium" Alpine system in the XK seem like listening to an Edison phonograph. Jaguar also has what has got to be the worst residual value in the entire luxury car business. I buy my Jags 3 years used, and pay 1\2 the new MSRP. At least I can be confident that the SC430 will be worth something when I go to sell it. This SC will be our third Lexus. My wife loves her RX, and the LS430 and 400s that I've owned over the previous few years have been so much better than the Benzes and BMWs I used to drive. I bought my first LS in '93 after tiring of BMW and M-B customer service, and they literally bent over backwards to make sure I was happy with my car. The reason I think Lexus has become so successful in this country is that they continue to treat their customers like royalty, even after firmly establishing themselves as a world class luxury nameplate. I'll take my SC in black, please.
  • ron36330ron36330 Posts: 69
    I've owned an 03 SC 430 for 15 months and have not had the first problem. Dealer service is exceptional. Although the only time I've been in is for routine maintenance. A Lexus loaner is always available and the car is returned washed and on time. I only have three words for you, quality, reliability and dependability.
    The difference between the BMW and the SC 430 depends on what you want from a car. The BMW is sportier but the SC430 is NOT a sports car. It is a personal luxury car. It handles very well but is meant for cruising with a softer ride than a sports car. Very comfortable and quiet with the top up. The folding hard top is great feature if you have ever owned a rag-top you will notice the difference immediately. I have owned a Porsche and it nearly put me in the poorhouse with repairs and regular maintenance prices were out of sight.
    Good Luck
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I'm not even remotely interested in the new 6. Everything Chris Bangle has touched has been the ugliest car to date. (I bet he had something to do with the Aztec). Also, the 6 is going to have "Active Steering" which is something cars just dont need. Like most German cars, its technology for the sake of technology. Speed sensitive power steering boost adjustment is a good idea. Changing the steering ratio according to speed is a bad idea. Also, Lexus has the best, easiest to use Nav system in any car. (Though Acura's is pretty close.) BMW's iDrive has to be the worst, most complicated thing ever devised by man. If you buy the 6, I hope you like wading through menu after menu with a joystick to try and figure out how to move the seat, or change the radio station.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    hehehe. The 3 series convertible, (especially the M3 convertible) is a great car. It's still the only way to get a sequential manual gearbox for under $100K, and the nice thing about a Motorsport BMW is you can buy one new, and sell it 5 years later and get back 90% of what you paid for it. Its on the complete opposite spectrum of what the SC430 is though. Certainly if you want to tear up some back country roads, the M3 convertible is unbeatable. For top down highway crusing though, SC430 is the car.
  • sms353sms353 Posts: 3
    My car was shaking a bit at 55MPH and I took it to the dealer thinking it needed a balance or alignment - but it needed 3 new rims! Price 1800! I went over a few potholes, but never had a flat. Nothing that a usual car could not take. I never drove the car when it was snowing or icy. I've heard a few other stories about sc430 owners needing rims and the dealer service person said it happens all the time. I'm not sure these tires/rims can take the northeast. Anybody have similar experience? Is Lexus responsible for this at all?
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    In my experience with my Black LS430, the paint has held up extremely well. My car is an '01, I wax it occasionally, and it beams like it just came off the line. As for the interior, TREAT THE LEATHER! You wouldnt believe how many people spend $120,000 on S600s and 760iLs, and let the seats rot. Every few weeks I treat all my cars with McGuires, and it keeps the sun from ruining the leather. Also, anything you spill comes off with a paper towel.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually the Audi TT 3.2 and Toyota MR2 both offer sequiential manuals for much less than 100K or the BMW M3 Convertible.

  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I stand corrected. Thats pretty amazing that Toyota can offer an SMG for that little money. Now if only Honda could offer it in the S2000, or Volvo in the S60R...
  • hermann2hermann2 Posts: 6
    sms353, Lexus is partly responsible for this. The bad Bridgestone 040 RF tires most likely caused the rim damages because of the poor cushioning. The earlier models carry bad, bad tires which Lexus is still in conscious denial. Most of these road accidents has to be looked at very closely. You may have these OEM original BS 040 RF tires. Change to Dunlop DSST 5000M with 36 psi pressure and you will see a different car. Talk to the lexus customer service department and demand a refund on the rim and tires. If you have an accident and want to see if this is related to the tires, have a professional to look into this.
  • jbradbjbradb Posts: 39
    Just to clarify, I have an '02 with the Bridgestone Potenza RE 040 runflats. They ride very rough. Are these different from the OEMs? are the REs the Bridgestones they used AFTER they realized the OEM's were bad? or are the RE 040s just as bad?

    I plan to change to Dunlops soon, but only have 14000 on these and they look fine.
  • rcf8000rcf8000 Posts: 619
    Those are the original tires. We got about 21000 miles out of them on my wifes car. There have been several versions of them, with supposed improvements, but I don't see anything wrong with the original version, except for the somewhat hard ride and tramlining. (We now have Michelin Pilot Sports A/S tires and HRE wheels on the car, which corrected these shortcomings.)
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30

    An elongated & less rounded version of the SC430, with what looks like more usable backseats, and more space-saving retractable roof
  • Is this concept a replacement for the IS300?
    I like the fur-covered steering wheel!

  • Not SC430

  • You refer to your SC430 as a 2001, but Lexus did not ever sell this car until it was intoduced as a 2002...did you make an honest mistake, dont know how to type well or what??
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    The SC430 was introduced spring 2001 as an early 2002 model, so my guess is that in his mind, he bought it in 2001, although it's a 2002 model.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    The LF-C is meant to show an example of what the next coupe\convertible IS may be like. The first IS was an expermiment, Toyota took the JDM Altezza late in its life and imported it as a Lexus. I think it would've worked much better if they had lowered the price and sold it as a Scion flagship. The new IS should be pure Lexus. Considering the production run of the first SC, I would not expect a complete replacement until 2010. With a possible '07 refresher.
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    Lexus boss Danny Clement already said that the entire line of Lexus cars will be redesigned by 2007, so I expect that a new redesigned SC will come out in 2007 as well. I also think there's likely to be a mid-cycle refresh/facelift for the 2005 SC430, with possible upgrades such as six-speed auto transmission as found in the 04 LS430 etc.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Interesting, but somehow I really doubt the SC will be an all new design by '07. Its just too fast. The average life cycle of a car is around 6-7 years. The RX was six years, and the GS will be seven years old for its '05 replacement, and the LS will be at least six years old before its complete redesign. The first SC's run was 9 years. A 5 year '02-'07 run would be extremely short. Plus with the new IS, GS, LS, and RX400h, that seems like a whole lot of cars to get to in just a few short years, and that doesnt even include the new Toyota cars that will be introduced also.
  • maxhonda99maxhonda99 Posts: 1,289

    The average life cycle of a car is about 5 years.

    The ES is every 5 years,
    92-96, 97-01,

    the RX was five years.

    The first LS was 5 years,

    They let the first generation SC go on for 9 years and look what happened, sales were about a couple thousand a year after the 5th yr of production. I think they know they can't let the current SC sit around in showrooms for that long a time before a redesign.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    I know of absolutely no plans to change the look of the SC for the '05 model year. Lexus had no announcements at the NYAS, and the SC430 there looked exactly the same as the '02 car (except for a great looking new 5-spoke wheel option, instead of the manhole covers). Even if there was a new design for '05, most dealers will not have all of their '04s gone by then anyway, so you could get an '04, most likely at a discount when the '05s hit.

    A 5 year cycle is not normal. BMW's Mercedes, and Audi's arent updated at 5 year intervals. Neither are Jaguars, or Volvo's or just about all other luxury cars.
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    A midcycle facelift for a model is almost always subtle, with virtually no change in the sheet metal and the overall shape of the car. It usually involves slight modifications of the head &/or taillights, the grille & bumpers etc., which are virtually unnoticeable to the average observer. See the difference between a 01-03 LS430 and the 04 LS430, or the difference between the 00-02 S class and the 03-04 S class, & you will get the idea.
    Lexus may not have announced that there will be a facelift, but manufacturers usually won't until the last minute so as not to affect the sales of the current year's model.
    Look at the current generation LS430, introduced as a 01 model late in 00, gets a facelift in 04. The SC430, introduced in spring 01 as an early 02 model, should be due for a facelift for the 05 model, especially as Lexus has announced that all models will be redesigned by 07. I expect the facelifted SC430 will look similar with only subtle changes, but with other upgrades such as possibly a 6 speed auto transmissions and other goodies.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Im not so sure about that. I knew about the '04 LS430 long before it hit. Lexus wasnt trying to protect sales of the current '03 car when they plastered the NEW '04 LS430!! All over the site. They were too busy boasting about the new agressive headlamps, the 18" wheels and sport suspension, and the six speed. If Lexus planned to majorly upgrade the SC as early as Sep. of this year, we would definitely know by now.
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    That we'll have to wait and see. Remember Spring is the time where they should be promoting the sales of convertibles, not announcing you'll get something better by fall.
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    Indeed. What do you think of the new 5-spokes by the way? I have always liked the SC except for its wheels, and I didnt really like the idea of spending another $2 grand on BBS replacements from the Tirerack. These new wheels seem to complement the car much better.
  • gscoupegscoupe Posts: 30
    The new 5 spoke wheel covers do make the car look better, but they have been quoted for $250 - $500, too much just for 4 pieces of plastics. I would rather spend more for a set of lighter, quality aftermarket wheels. Prices of BBS wheels aren't too bad. There are members in the ClubLexus forum putting $5000+ custom HRE wheels on their SC430 - they look spectacular. It depends on how much one wants to spend to dress up their car.

    BTW - regarding redesign, the previous CLK only had a 4 year run, unusual for Mercedes. So there are always exceptions. With a redesigned new S class coming out sometime next year, the current generation S class will have a shorter production cycle than the previous generation S class of the 90's.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Actually the previous CLK had a 5 model-year run (not counting the carried over Cabriolet model for 2003), but like you said that still is short for a Mercedes. The current S-Class is about normal. Fall of 1998 in Europe, spring of 1999 for the U.S., and a fall of 2005 intro (rumored) for Europe and a spring of 2006 U.S. intro. All told the current S will have either a seven or eight model year run.

  • newienewie Posts: 15
    How much do you think the new 2005 price will jump from the 2004 (SC) ? is there a general rule of thumb percentage? and assuming it may only get a few small face lifty items changed. am just wondering if it would be worth getting the newer model, for resale value, since the new one will be out shortly...............
  • lexusguylexusguy Posts: 6,419
    If there is a price jump, it usually isnt more than a couple hundred dollars, 1% or less. I dont remember hearing about a hike for the SC though. I think the better deal is to get an '04 as the '05s hit, can save you $3-4 grand up front.
  • newienewie Posts: 15
    ongoing tire i am waiting until summer to purchase (or lease) my first Lexus, SC, i am still enjoying researching all of the forums. The club Lexus consensus seems to be the opposite of here in that they almost all say "ditch the run flats" soooooo, now i am really confused. i have figured realistically that to own this car it will cost $1,000 per year just for the tires. ( worth it) run flats that is. in the club Lexus forums there is much talk about even the slightest "bump" into a curb or tiny pothole cause enough damage to need replacements averaging at $ 5,000 per year. why would these two SC forums be so different?
This discussion has been closed.