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Lexus SC 430



  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I was just about to ask where I could find a SC430 for $36,000.

    I think the SL500 market price is high due to the huge demand encouraging everyone to mark it up. It is a highly desirable car with a long waiting list.

    The SL500's interior is nice, check out one with the light cream interior (called stone) with the darker walnut wood, much better than the SC430's light interior with the yellow wood.

    I think the difference between the two cars is significant, the active suspension and electronic brakes (automatically drying the pads in the wet! and offering the first true 4 wheel individual braking vastly improving active safety, etc). With all the safety technology which happens to also enhance performance, the $25,000 is totally worthwhile in my opinion.

    Of course, YMMV and it all depends on how much you value safety and performance.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,718 Esclipse also? You guys(Merc1 and you) really enjoy trashing the SC430, don't you? Well, have fun, while I enjoy the car.
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I think the SC430 is a great car, the stereo is great and I like the fact that it has two rear seats, regardless how small they are.

    Fact of the matter is, I wish the SC430's light cream interior is offered with their rich, dark wood, that would be a really nice colour combination.

    Too bad you feel that I'm trashing the SC430, I just wanted to share some of the virtue of the SL500 which one would not realize unless one has the opportunity to go through an extensive test drive (which is rare given the long waiting list). What I enjoy about the SL500 is the handling, much more so than the looks or engineering of the roof.

    You have fun with your SC430, if its stereo sounds as good as my friend's GS430, it's the best out there in the market.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Typical Lexus snobbery. What you drive, type coments. Anyway I never trashed the car I simply stated the SL500 is better. Period. The SC430 is a good car, it's just out of it's league when comparing it to the SL.

  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,718
    ...entitled to your opinion.

    your friend, the Lexus snob,

  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 412
    I have some question to those who feel that the sl is a better car. Has any of you test drove the car or own the car??? I had only saw magzie article descibing the feature of the SL but I live with my SC for about 6 months now (and made 6 monthly payments already). The sl is 90K base + options and out the door msrp is probably about 100k-110K. We paid MSRP for our SC also and it is out the door at about 62K. For those who feel SL is superior, can you share with us your personal experience with the car? And may be you can describe why SL is worth 40k more of your money? Please don't quote the arcticles, I read them all and they don't do a thing for me. The problem is that those authors don't need to make car payment and don't live with the car day to day. More expensive car should be better but is it a better value for the money? For 30k or 40k more, SL should be better than SC (if they are not, Mercede has a big problem). It is equivlent of saying SC is better than a Miata (they are about 40k apart also).
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    I know I am, thank you. Your lowly Mitsu driver.


    I'll say I haven't driven the newest SL. I'm stating it's better based purely on it's specs and engineering achievements over the old SL, of which I have driven. I thought the old SL was a better car than the SC430, and the new one is a better car going by the people I know that have driven it and/or own Mercedes. The SC430 vs Miata really doesn't apply here because they aren't aimed at the same group, the SC and SL are. No I don't think the SL is worth 40K more than the Lexus. Some of that is pure Mercedes fluff, but based on the waiting lists for the SL I'd say the price difference hasn't even been noticed. Afterall neither of these cars are "bargains" or "value" purchases. Nobody needs a 2-seat car for 60K or 90K. They're indulgent items, negating the "value" question for many.

  • w210w210 Posts: 188

    I picked up my 2003 SL500 a few weeks ago at MSRP with zero option (I put my name down on the list over a year ago). My comparison with the SL500 and the SC430 will be flawed as I have not had the chance to test drive the SC430. I'm obviously a car enthusiast, not only do I frequent many message boards similar to this to hear out others experience, I often like to take cars out for extensive test drives as a weekend hobby when I have time.

    I feel that the SL500 is of excellent value as I'm the performance oriented driver and I can take full advantage of the latest active safety enhancements in the new SL.

    What I most appreciate in the new SL is that with 'regular' 17 inch tires, the car has very little body roll. Even without the harsh riding wide low profile tires and stiff suspension, the SL handles extremely well. I smile every time I take a corner quickly always impressed by the car's stability. The current active suspension technology really makes a huge difference, I test drove the new BMW 745i and it also has very little lean. I enjoy the fact that I can enjoy the brilliant cornering power yet don't have to live with the ill side effects of an aggressive suspension/tire setup (car too easily affected by road irregularity, harsh and noisy ride, etc.)

    Another amazing technology I appreciate in the SL is the brake by wire set up. When braking in a turn, the new SBC brake system is intelligent enough to give the outer brakes more boost at the same time reducing the braking power of the inner brakes to balance the car's deceleration dynamics. What it means is that the car is much more stable when braking in a turn especially in marginal conditions. I have tested this (in the wet) and can vouch its effectiveness. The SBC brakes are also supposed to automatically dry the wet brake pads making them more effective in the rain.

    Regardless, after all this discussion, I think I must try to arrange a test drive of the SC430 tomorrow..
  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    I suppose for those who like to push a car to its limit every now and then and do value highly active safety, the price difference is worthwhile. And the difference for me was not $40k but $24k. I also believe the cost of ownership (depreciation) will be lower on the SL due to the popular demand. My dealer kept reminding me that since I paid the car in full, they are most willing to take back my SL anytime, even a few months down the road at cost as there are just too many interested buyers willing to pay MSRP or higher for even a slightly used one?! If that is true, even after factoring in the opportunity cost of the $86k, the SL will be cheaper for me to own at least for a few months than leasing the SC430 for the same period of time.

    The SC430 is a great car and I failed to order one in advance back then. I think when it first came out a few months ago, it could command the same premium like the SL now, although the interest has somewhat quiet down recently. If I were to use cash to buy the SC430 at this moment, I suspect I would lose more money in depreciation than the SL500, making it actually more expensive to own.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,718
    ...the last generation SL500, which I bought new ('98), as I did two other MB's. All I can say is that it doesn't come close to the SC430 in all categories. To name a relatively few....egonomics, interior materials, performance, the stereo system, and looks (admittedly, this is subjective), reliability, and service. In fact, the car was the most disappointing car I've ever owned! I do not apply these principles to the new redesigned SL which I think is beautiful and better in every respect than the previous generation. My opinion is based on ownership of both, and of course the snobbery factor that you enjoy pointing out.
  • gigisqrdgigisqrd Posts: 11
    I lusted for the SC as it is bargain priced. I was ready to buy and got a test drive(at my wifes insistance). It was very disappointing. It didn,t feel connected to the rode. Like driving on ice. I didn't care for the pudgy styling but loved the luxury/roof/price. I tested a 911 Carrera and loved the drive. was 20K more for less features but what a ride. I then saw the price on SL. Was equivalent to 911 if comparably equiped. Drove one and it was only slightly less good driver than 911. Put deposit for a year wait on SL.
  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 412
    W21, Merc1 & Gigisqrd, I don't have any problem if someone like SL better than SC. It is great to see you guy has try out both cars and decided SL is better for you. That why we have different cars for different taste and different budget.

    But my point is that car price should reflect the feature, drivability etc. about a car. When you pay more for a car, you should expect it to be better. If not, why bother. So my expectation is that SL should be better than SC given the price differential. Sharing personal experience about the SL is great. I think that is how we learn if SL is a good car to own or not (but is it more appropriate to be in SL forum?). I just don't believe what the auto magazine said since they have no 'skin' in passing the judgement. And I don't see any reason to repeat them in the forum. I think most of us read them and already decide if we believe their words or not. Repeating them does not give me any additional information.

    By the way, I use my monthly ownership cost not the msrp to determine if a car is expensive or not. We lease our SC for $810 a month. I figured if I were to lease an SL, it would be about $1,400 or so a month for 48month 15K/yr lease. I also owned a 2000 Olds Alero and a 2001 Deville DTS. The Alero cost us about $500 per month (cash perchase) and the caddy is about $790/month (0% finance). With this kind of ownership cost, I think the SC is by far the most fun per dollar of all 3 cars we own. I am not sure how much SL has to be better before I think that I should have an SL rather than an SC (is SL 70% better than an SC???). Anyhow, I will go check out the car and the SL forum. Who know may be we can get out of the SC lease without paying anything out of our pocket 8-)
  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    In reverse order, having driven both cars, the SL is better. Is it 50% better, hell no. By the same token the the $60K SC isn't 50 % better than $40K comparitives. Once, you've spent over $25K for any car the utility value on the added dollar decreases and it keeps decreasing as you go north. Long term the SL will depreciate more slowly as there will be fewer of them getting into the country. I'm told by Lexus that the reason for the mini rear seat is they were going to be limited to importing 2500 cars annually w/ no back seat, 12,500 if they installed one.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288

    I am confused by what is perceived as truth. Topgun says he reads the reviews in the automotive magazines (as opposed to the newspaper articles, which are reprints of the manufacturers' press releases), but he does not "believe" them for reasons that are not clear (skin??).

    I read the auto magazines because they contain factual information, much of it objectively determinable, about new cars that is not available elsewhere. Road & Track and Car & Driver, to mention two widely read magazines, have a high credibility factor. (They often point out when their tests do not match published manufacturer specs, such as 0-60 times.) These guys do not want to get their facts wrong. So if they say one car has more horsepower or bigger brakes, I believe it. And if comparison tests show higher cornering ability in the stock configuration, I believe it. When one of those publications said the new SL was one of the most sophisticated examples of automotive engineering on the road today, even though the sound system was average, I believe it, and all of this information helps me determine if I am interested in owing (or even respecting) the car.

    Subjective expressions concerning styling are obviously judgments which are not subject to a true/false test, except, of course, as to whether the stated opinion is in fact the actual opinion of the author. I may not always agree with him, but I believe him when he says he does not like the looks of the Aztec.

    Therefore, what I think topgun means is that he does not always agree with the opinions expressed, or maybe he means that the opinions expressed are of no use to him due to his circumstances. I don't think he really means he thinks the stats are fabricated.

    Then, as I read down the page, I see inmate #4381007 indicate a belief that in a statement made by "Lexus" which indicated that the rear seat in the SC is to allow it to import more than 2500 cars annually. Where did this come from? Is there a new import (or export) limit on 2 seaters that someone imposed when we weren't looking? Does Porsche know about this? Someone should tell BMW to stop selling Boxters right now.

    (I was under the impression that insurance rates, for reasons that few understand, are lower for even high powered cars with marginal back seats as in the SC, and that the space was configured as a seat rather than as just a shelf to save us some money.)

    So here we have two loyal readers who, as a team, do not believe the mainstream automotive press, but buy whatever story du jour pops out of the showroom.

    Help. Now I don't know what to believe.
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    did BMW sell boxsters?
  • verozahlverozahl Posts: 574
    Ugh, nothing is worse when German car acolytes invade other forums.

    The number one comparo I would do here is the SC430 to the SC300. Fair?! NOT EVEN! A used SC300 is right up there with the SVX and 240SX and other schweet coupes from the 1990s.

    Lexus vs. Benz? Not even a road I wanna take, especially with Benz styling these days.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    So who does make that Boxter deal?

    Is that another Porsche 911 look-alike?

    And then what's that little BMW? Is that the Sprite?

    I'm having trouble and need help.

    I shoulda boughta Buick like my dear old dad.
  • 43810774381077 Posts: 31
    How about a Corvette. Shorter money and it will run rings around the SC SL and I believe even the 911. Haven't given the car a thought since owing a horrible one in the 70's. Anyone driven one lately, or is everyone here Lexus Benz BMW snobs? BTW I believe Porsche makes he Boxster and I've been miserable since giving up my 911 two years ago...yes, there's no substitute. Why even think Lexus and Benz? It's the golf club thing, isn't it.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    It's not a snob thing, really, it's just that my neighbors wouldn't talk to me any more if I bought an American car. (Corvette is made here, isn't it???)
  • wishnhigh1wishnhigh1 Posts: 363
    that would be making it a snob thing, ESPECIALLY if people wont talk to you unless your car is imported.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    Excellent point in #224. Discussing value at this price range is tricky because the cars are so much closer to the point of diminishing returns.
  • topgun7topgun7 Posts: 412
    when I read all those comparison report in the auto magazine, I always has problem understanding the premise of their comparison. It seem like the faster the car, the better it is. I know a lot of it has to do with the auto writer love driving and they are looking for a certain attributes from the car. Some real world factors like reliablity, ownership cost, quietness of the interior, the creature comfort available are seldom discussed in their comparison. I found myself constantly has to remind myself the factors that is important to me not the author. And the judgement that they passed is the one that I have to evaluate and not just taking it in blindly. As far as the test result. Don't know who or what to believe. Each magazine do their own test and most of the time the result don't agree with each other. Most important of all, I don't (or not capable) to drive like they do. So those statistic are not very useful to me. Recently, I read a comparison on protege5, matrix and WRX wagon in one of the magazine. Not sure what exactly is the purpose of the comparison. The price point are different and the usage are different.

    I know when my wife and I leased the SC, I read every post in the old SC430 forum in Edmunds and the forum in clublexus. I test drove the car twice and since we have 4 lexus before, we kind of know what the dealership experience is like. The personal experience that we shared here help me a great deal more than the car magazie articles. I am going off to read the SL forum to see how the SL do. May be the SL is 70% to 80% better than a sc. In which case, I better find an additional job to pay for the difference. Who said mid life crisis is terrible..Heh Heh!
  • hvan3hvan3 Posts: 630
    Our local dealer is offering $2,500 off MSRP on the SC430. My sister wants one but decided to see if she can get a pre-own SC430. I told her it'll be hard to find a used 430 since it only been in the market for about a year.

    Anybody here want to sell their SC430? We're in Orange County, CA.
  • sphinx99sphinx99 Posts: 776
    I'm seeing a bunch of these on the roads lately (I have seen three in the last three days, and I don't exactly live in posh neighborhoods) and they look very sharp. I like the use of what looks like exterior chrome to accentuate the car's lines. I'm also warming up to the wheels. I still think it looks ugly in photographs, but on the open road the SC430 is a rather pretty car.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Desert SWPosts: 2,718
    Just asking how much to expect to pay for either factory chromes or after-market chromes, and pros or cons of each.

    I'm one who doesn't mind the "garbage can lid" wheels which come with the car, but at least would like them chromed or in chrome.
  • jim254jim254 Posts: 1
    I just wanted to illustrate how ridiculous it is to compare SC430 to SL500. According to Edmunds, the SC430's TMV is 62K, a comparably equipped SL500's TMV is about 95K. The SL is over 50% more expensive. Just to give you an idea of what this means in relative terms, a 360 Modena coupe is about 50% more expensive than an SL. Would anyone seriously compare the SL 500 Mercedes to a Ferrari?
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081
    Good point, but the SC430 and SL500 are aimed at the same buyer more than the SL500 and 360 Modena are. Now the SL55 would be *somewhat* closer to the 360 market, but they're such different cars in philosophy, role and mission.

  • w210w210 Posts: 188
    2003 Mercedes-Benz SL-Class Luxury Convertible (2002)

    Consumer Rating
    True Market Value:
    $79,143 - $122,816

    What Edmunds Says: The most technologically advanced two-seater currently sold (despite its navigation system).
    Pros: Seductive style, retractable hardtop, commendable performance, ride and handling.
    Cons: Heavy for a "sports car", limited cargo capacity, nav system is old-tech CD-rom format.
    2002 Lexus SC 430 Luxury Convertible

    Consumer Rating
    True Market Value:

    What Edmunds Says: This is the bragging rights car du jour, and if you're willing to sacrifice a bit of driving dynamics for the latest cool gadgetry, this is the car for you.
    Pros: Luxurious comfort and convenience features, avant-garde styling, wonderful engine performance, retractable hard-top, Lexus quality.
    Cons: Sparse cargo space, cramped (nearly useless) rear seats.
  • squidd99squidd99 Posts: 288
    After almost a year, I must say that I find the cramped, nearly useless rear seats highly preferable to no rear seats at all.
  • merc1merc1 Posts: 6,081

This discussion has been closed.