2009 Lexus SC


2009 Lexus SC Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Lexus SC was new.


Performance: 6.8

Reviewers find that the 2009 Lexus SC handles well enough for a boulevard cruiser, but falls short of the competition in terms of sports performance.

Acceleration and Power

Auto critics report that the SC's powertrain is smooth and powerful, albeit sedate. It features a 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 288 horsepower at 5,600 rpm and 317 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 rpm. A six-speed sequential-shift automatic transmission is standard. According to Lexus, the SC has a top speed of 149 mph and can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds. The EPA estimates that the SC has a city/highway fuel economy of 16/23 mpg.

  • "Quiet, smooth and responsive, the 2009 Lexus SC 430's all-aluminum 4.3-liter V-8 makes 288 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Takeoffs seem sedate, but the refined SC offers good midrange punch and relaxed highway cruising. The transmission delivers smooth, prompt shifts." -- Consumer Guide

Handling and Braking

Test drivers assert that the rear-wheel drive SC handles well for a grand tourer, but lacks the characteristics of a real sports performer.

  • "Generally an easy rider with the standard tires, but SC 430 gets hard-edge jitters on patchy pavement and wanders some along grooves. The run-flat tires with their stiff sidewalls make the ride borderline harsh. There's minor top-down body quiver, but SC 430 is closed-coupe solid with the top up." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Better suited to slow trawling of the avenues of South Beach than serious driving, the SC430 shakes and rattles over bumps and rolls in the twisties." -- Car and Driver
  • "Practically every road imperfection is smoothed over by its compliant suspension, and the engine readily and quietly spools up to redline with minimal drama. These qualities make for a great road-trip coach (as long as you don't have much luggage) or boulevard cruiser, but they also reduce any sporting capabilities. The SC 430's lack of feedback and lethargic handling are likely to disappoint driving enthusiasts." -- Edmunds
  • "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)." -- Kelley Blue Book

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