The Lexus SC 430 falls under the category “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” When the folks at Lexus finally addressed the problem that they did not have a luxury convertible, production began in 2001 on the all-new SC 430, and they were so pleased with the results, evidently, that they have hardly modified the original model after all these years.
The end result was one of the first luxury convertibles with a retractable-hardtop design. What you have in the SC430 is a luxurious ride powered by a fully-capable V8 engine that offers all the luxury that Lexus is known for. What you don’t get is a sporty ride usually associated with a convertible. If you can live with that distinction then the SC 430 is the car for you.
When it was offered to the public in 2002 it was advertised as the “Jewel of Lexus,” a possible misnomer but not far off the mark. The powerful 4.3 Liter V8 engine is capable of 288 horsepower and can take you from 0-60 in 5.8 seconds. The six-speed automatic transmission, which is standard, offers smooth transition going uphill, downhill, or tooling around town or across the country. The trademark Lexus standard for quality gives you all you expect from that automaker, an extremely smooth and uncommonly quiet ride. And seated in the SC 430 you will instantly feel special because of its 10-way power-adjustable heated seats, a navigation system, 18-inch wheels, and handsome interior features. All of those superlatives and more are true as long as you are seated in the front seat and you are not looking for an aggressive drive.
Lexus has always praised this model as a sporty, four-passenger luxury coupe and even J.D. Power and Associates put it in the sporty sedan category. The only way this is true is if you are a munchkin sitting in the cramped rear seats. Luxury first and foremost, that is the Lexus SC 430. If what you want is to drive aggressively along winding roads, to test a vehicle with quick turns and demand instantaneous response, then look elsewhere. But if what you want is luxury with the top down on a wonderful cruise, then check out the SC 430.
This is first and foremost a Japanese import car and all that that entails. The Lexus name means comfort and luxury and that is exactly what you get with the Lexus SC 430. Retract the roof, settle into this beautifully crafted two-seat convertible, and experience the joy of driving a product of fine craftsmanship. Just don’t invite two other people to ride along with you.