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2008 Lexus SC

Overview
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2008 Lexus SC Review

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A pioneering entry in today's luxury retractable-hardtop segment, the SC 430 enters its seventh year of production by continuing to offer both a sporty character and a comprehensive array of features. Arguably the most evocatively styled vehicle in the entire Lexus portfolio, this V-8-powered, rear-wheel-drive 2+2 boasts the ability to transform itself from coupe to convertible at the push of a button. While the overall genre of high-end open cars continues to expand, true upper-echelon competitors for this distinctive Lexus remain few. Heading the list are the two-seat Cadillac XLR and Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, with the BMW 335i Convertible offering a more affordable alternative for those willing to accept a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine in return for legitimate four-passenger capability.

You'll Like This Car If...

Buyers who demand the security of a coupe with the style and open-air exhilaration of a convertible in one finely crafted sport luxury package will find plenty to love in the SC 430 -- all of it backed by one of the world's best dealer networks.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The SC 430's exterior styling won't please everyone, and its rear seating exists in name only. While impressively quick and nicely balanced, it also lacks the precise and crisp responsiveness of the BMW 335i Cabriolet, Cadillac XLR and Mercedes-Benz SL550 or SLK55 AMG.

What's New for 2008

Sole change for the SC 430 is the introduction of the fifth iteration of its signature Pebble Beach Edition that includes specific exterior and interior colors and trim and special 18-inch chrome wheels.

Driving the SC

Driving Impressions In addition to its overt luxury cues, the SC 430 is an extremely capable traveling companion, whether you prefer leisurely freeway cruising or a brisk run down a twisty two-lane....

For an open car, the body structure is reassuringly solid. Overall grip from the tires is fairly high, handling is quite good and the steering feels positive, if not quite as precise as that of a BMW. Backing its potent engine and transmission package are driver-selectable stability and traction controls and formidable disc brakes bolstered by Brake Assist (BA) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Although the ride is decently compliant over most surfaces, it can become slightly choppy on rough or broken pavement and definitely picks up a little harshness when the optional, and firmer, run-flat tires are fitted. Serenely quiet with the top up, the SC 430 maintains a surprisingly large measure of that composure even in the open-air mode.

Mark Levinson Audio System
With the power and clarity to please the most demanding audiophile, the SC 430's standard 240-watt nine-speaker Mark Levinson sound system performs superbly, with the top up or down.}

Power Retractable Hardtop
Made of lightweight aluminum, the SC 430's articulated two-piece power top is fully lined and incorporates a glass rear window with defroster. It provides the soundproofing and security of a conventional coupe, can be raised or lowered at the touch of a button and tucks away neatly under the decklid when you opt for the open-air mode.

2008 Lexus SC Details
2008 Lexus SC photo Interior

The SC 430 provides a grand touring environment for two, starting with well-bolstered 10-way power seats covered in supple leather, loads of Walnut or Bird's-eye maple and brushed aluminum and chrome accenting. Although the instrument panel's center stack is slightly busy, style-wise, the navigation system, with its glare-limiting variable-angle display, and front, front-side and knee airbags typify the thoughtful attention to detail you'll find here. Alas, vertical seatbacks and micro-munchkin legroom make the SC 430's rear "buckettes" suitable only for stowing small briefcases and preventing the dreaded two-seater insurance-premium bump. Choose the run-flat tire option and the capacity of the diminutive trunk increases from 8.8 to 9.4 cubic feet.

Exterior

Lexus designers traveled to the French Riviera to draw styling inspiration for the SC 430, quite literally from the lifestyles of the rich and famous. The result is a retractable-hardtop coupe with organic bodywork contours and a host of high-end flourishes. Its well-rounded sheetmetal is accented by expressive projector-beam High-Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps that incorporate an adaptive corner-following feature, super-bright and quick-activating LED taillamps, heat and UV-ray-rejecting glass and tasteful chrome highlights. Completing the SC 430's aggressively upscale stance are flared fenders that wrap over Z-rated 245/40 performance tires on 18-inch five-spoke alloy wheels.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The SC 430's expansive list of standard equipment includes virtually everything a proper grand touring machine should have -- from a powerful V-8 engine, six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission and stability and traction controls to a leather- and wood-trimmed cabin with a Mark Levinson premium audio system and voice-activated navigation package. Crowning its array of power assists and comfort and convenience touches is a slick one-touch retractable hardtop.

Optional Equipment

The SC 430's short list of options is headed by the Pebble Beach Edition. For 2008, this semi-exclusive package matches Smokey Granite Mica paint with a unique two-tone Carmel and Ecru leather interior, Espresso Bird's-eye maple wood and special 18-inch chrome wheels. Other options include V-rated all-season run-flat tires, a rear decklid spoiler and dealer-installed Lexus Link, a 24-hour live support system that provides real-time emergency help, information, directions and concierge services.

Under the Hood

Quiet, smooth and responsive, the SC 430's all-aluminum 4.3-liter V-8 makes 288 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. Continuously variable valve timing helps this high-tech motivator optimize performance across the entire rev range, although it does require a diet of premium unleaded gas. The transmission is an equally sophisticated six-speed automatic, complete with a sequential-shifting mode for those who prefer manual-style gear changing. It's a well-matched combination that helps the SC 430 sprint from zero to 60 miles per hour in about six seconds while earning EPA fuel economy numbers of 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. While those figures are admittedly modest, they're on par with the Cadillac XLR and better than those of the Mercedes-Benz SL550.

4.3-liter V8
288 horsepower @ 5600 rpm
317 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

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2008 Lexus SC Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.6
Out of 10

Based on 129 Ratings for the 2002 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.5/10
    Quality
    9.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.7/10
    Performance
    9.5/10
  • Comfort
    9.5/10
    Styling
    9.7/10

Awesome and fun to drive

By on Friday, July 18, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive!"

Cons: "Back seat is useless."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought used with 18,000 miles and 10 years old. Really a great vehicle and use on weekends. Look forward to driving on the weekends."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Excellent overall quality, handling, condition

By on Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,600

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "beautiful, easy handling, fun."

Cons: "none"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

absolutely beautiful!

"This car is my dream car. Unfortunately my work schedule, out of country, out of state did not allow me to enjoy it much. I have recently retired and relocated. This car is no longer practical for me. This car has less than 23,000 actual miles. It is pristine."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

absolutely beautiful!

Old reliable

By on Saturday, June 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,800

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"No one believes my SC430 is 13 years old and over 200K on the odometer. The paint job is amazing and the car looks pretty new. Only major repair has been both front wheel bearings. Besides the hideous stock wheels and stock run flats which I replaced; this car is like a reliable girl friend. I put two inch wider wheels on the back and it really changes the stance and appearance of the car. Very bulletproof vehicle for those that like understated luxury and reliability over unusable performance."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

great quality

By on Wednesday, April 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great quality and style. nice touring car."

Cons: "Run flat tires"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I have truly enjoyed this car. Quality is outstanding. It is not a true sports car. It is more luxury than sport. Top up or down it is fun to drive. Styling is unique. I enjoy that I don't see many on the road. There are however two negatives. The trunk is useless with the top down. Don't hit a pot hole, the run flat tires are a disaster."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

Awesome car. Handling could be better.

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,212

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"It is a luxury car and handles as such, kind of mushy in the corners. But, it will get up and go, and comfortably. Always have the top down, weather permitting. Love this car."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Love this car. The best of Lexus quallity.

By on Thursday, April 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive. Like a new car for a used price."

Cons: "Needs satellite radio. Had to add a spare tire."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Great style. Looks like a brand new car and people think it is new even though it is 9 years old. Drives and performs like new too. Averaging 24 mpg with 2/3 freeway driving. Our 3d Lexus vehicle. We own two now, the other an RX 350. I wanted a hardtop convertible and it works beautifully"

7 people out of 7 found this review helpful

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