Used Lexus SC430 Open 2001 - 2009 review

Category: Convertible

It's a bland, cumbersome car with limited rear space

Lexus SC430 Open (01 - 09)
  • Lexus SC430 Open (01 - 09)
  • Lexus SC430 Open (01 - 09)
Used Lexus SC430 Open 2001 - 2009 review
Star rating

What's the used Lexus SC sports like?

The SC430 is a low-key offering. Its bulbous shape tells you that this is something Americans might like, but it's less likely to be the choice for Brits who prefer more sleek lines from their coupes.

With that in mind, it's odd that space is limited, particularly in the rear. The rear seats are virtually upright and so small as to be all-but useless.


It's a bland, cumbersome car with limited rear space

  • It's quick and reliable, with strong residuals
  • It's a real disappointment to drive - and very cramped in the back

The SC430 is powered by a smooth and refined 4.3-litre, 282bhp V8 and it will take you from 0-60mph in 6.2sec, which is plenty quick enough. But, other than that, the driving experience is bland and far from engaging. The automatic gearbox feels lazy and reluctant, and the engine note is a little disappointing.

On the open road, the suspension is too stodgy, the turn-in to corners lacks precision and you can feel the chassis flexing on bumpy roads. The dashboard controls, however, are easy to use, but the whole feel of the car is a little boring for an open-top that you might have expected to be a bit more sporting.

Ownership cost

What used Lexus SC sports will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Lexus SC sports?

Lexus' reputation for strong reliability has kept second-hand prices high. And, these strong residuals should continue, so if you do invest in a SC430 you won't be too disappointed when you come to resell.

Servicing costs are not prohibitive: parent company Toyota has tried to keep its hourly labour rates down, but you can expect Lexus parts to set you back a pretty penny. And, with carbon dioxide emissions of 287g/km, it's in the highest band for Vehicle Excise Duty.

Fuel consumption is what you might expect from a 155mph, 4.3-litre engine: if you're lead-footed, you get 17.3mpg; on long stretches, you might get over 30mpg, but the combined fuel consumption figure of 24mpg is more realistic.

Our recommendations

Which used Lexus SC sports should I buy?

There's only one to pick from. But, as you would expect from a car that cost £50,000 when new, it has a more-than decent level of comfort and equipment.

Eight-way adjustable seats, dual-zone climate control, touch-screen sat-nav and electric memory front seats are all standard. There's also an impressive stereo created by hi-fi expert Mark Levinson, that even adjusts itself when the roof goes down to provide a superior sound.

Later models got incremental revisions - with upgraded alloys and emissions reductions - but the differences were minimal. Non-metallic colours are less desirable; try to avoid flat red, but black examples are still sought after.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Lexus SC sports?