2008 Lexus SC

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2008 Lexus SC Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Lexus SC was new.

Pros & Cons

  • Outstanding build quality and reliability
  • Luxurious interior
  • Rear seat is almost unusable
  • Trunk is small when top is up, useless when top is lowered
  • Unimpressive performance for a V8
  • Comparatively poor fuel economy




Critics' Rating: 8.4
Performance: 7.0
Interior: 7.6
This model has never been fully tested for safety. Its overall score is being calculated without safety.
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2008 Lexus SC Overview

The 2008 Lexus SC is one of the most refined top-down cruisers you can buy.  "It is hard to find this much luxury, power, quiet, and smoothness all together in a two-seater," comments the Boston GlobeBut isn't the SC 430 a four-seater?  The Globe adds, "(There is a back seat, but that's where you park the toy poodle and your Gucci bag, not human beings.) And the trunk is useless if you want to travel top down and also carry luggage."  The SC430 is distinctive in appearance -- reviewers either like it instantly or they don't like it and are unable to shake that perception.  It offers a sumptuous interior of leathers and woods.  But it gets about as much power out of its V8 engine -- at 288 horsepower -- as many competitors do out of smaller powerplants…and this one gets only 16/23 mpg. 

That places the SC near the bottom of the luxury four-seat convertible class for fuel economy.  As gas prices reach record highs in 2008, that fact alone might encourage shoppers to look elsewhere.  The BMW 3-Series Convertible, for instance, squeezes significantly more miles per gallon out of its engine, and bests the SC in acceleration and handling.

The 2008 SC carries over largely unchanged from 2007.  One engine (the aforementioned 4.3-liter V8) is offered, and it's exceptionally quiet, but reviewers are a bit disappointed by its lack of power relative to its huge size.  Most equipment is standard, with only a few options available, including run flat tires and a spoiler to change the look.  A Pebble Beach Edition is available, which has larger wheels and exterior and interior colors not otherwise available.

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  • "The leather-and-wood interior is impeccably done. The ride is smooth, the handling is crisp enough. The 4.3-liter V-8 is whisper-quiet, and nicely matched to the five-speed automatic transmission. And with the retractable top, you have the joys of a convertible without the hazards of a cloth roof," but, "A little more soul would be nice."  - Orlando Sentinel
  • "It sounds like a sports car, and in many ways behaves like one. So is it? Maybe it's a sports car trimmed in mink.  But for the right person, in the right mood, and with the correct size wallet, the SC 430 is a perfect car."  -- Boston Globe
  • "The Lexus SC 430 attracts attention wherever it goes. Its richly rounded styling is upscale and refined. Its interior, freshened for 2006, is luxurious and comfortable, trimmed in leather and a choice of rich woods. .. It's stable at high speeds and offers excellent control on winding roads and freeway on-ramps. And it's easy to live with around town, with a smooth, relatively soft suspension."  -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The SC is now the oldest model in the Lexus product line, so expect a replacement in a year or two. It's likely the new car will have hybrid power, sharper-edged styling as well as some serious sporting potential." -- Road and Track

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