Lexus SC430 Dies Next Month

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Good night, sweet luxo-barge. After nearly 10 years in production, the 430’s sales have fallen from about 14k in its first several years on sale to 720 units last year and about 2k units the year before that. Which, for a rather ungainly and quite expensive boulevardier, is not half bad at all. It will never be a car that enjoys enthusiast or collector cachet, but cougars and their plastic surgeons alike appreciate its smooth power, anonymously ostentatious looks, and old-school personal luxury coupe style. In short, it’s been the closest thing to an old-school Buick Riviera on the US market in decades. And as of July it will be gone forever.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Poot Poot on Apr 23, 2013

    I think this party must still be going :-) Bought my 2002 last fall and have put 10K not-a-problem-miles on it already. Only 'fix' was to replace tires with Bridgestone - Potenza RE050A's run-flats, which I believe are 3rd gen, so not as harsh as 1st gen, and handle quite nicely. It cruises smooth at 100mph, sound system is top flight, solid Lexus quality. I debated this car over a 928 GTS, and choose the SC430 because it honestly looks better to me, has the same stright line performance as the 928, and the interrior luxury and Mark Levinson sound system are unparalleled. Oh, and it's a hardtop convertible... in short, the SC430 rocks!

    • Bklynguy Bklynguy on Apr 24, 2013

      I bought our 2006 used with 18,000 pampered miles on it (for my wife), and it has the beautiful Tiger Eye Mica paint. I shipped it from Arizona to Florida and paid the Carmax shipping fee. It was worth every penny for shipping and the $34,000 paid after four years wasn't bad either. Initially the ride was like a Flintstone vehicle with stone wheels, but a change to new Michelin run flats made a remarkable difference. The ride is now soft but firm, the engine is flawless and powerful. Acceleration is rocket like and quiet, and in general the car is bullet proof and there will definitely be another Lexus in our future. Forgot to mention the sound system is amazing and the top storage operation smooth as butter. The compliments never stop, so I don't get the sour grapes, and comparing it to a Buick Rivera is like comparing a Timex watch to a Dag Hauer. I wish the Audis I've owned were as reliable and cheap to maintained. No matter what else we buy in the future, this sweet car will always be in our family.

  • GenuineRide GenuineRide on Oct 11, 2016

    Recently bought a used 2008 SC430 w only 34K on it for only is NICE..ride is great! Drove to Oregon from LA across mountain ranges etc..whoever said it doesn't handle is high...these cars are a STEAL in the market right now considering this one was 70K new..the production figures are very low so you won't see yourself driving down the street like all you BMW and Mercedes boy and girl ahead and drive what EVERYBODY else has..I'll stick to my 430...and looking forward to the new 2017 SC coupe coming soon...see ya in the fast lane...

  • Stagepony Stagepony on May 23, 2017

    Holding a drink, I could be the last one at this party but the comment about, 'cougars and their plastic surgeons alike' stirred my senses. I suppose that cougars will fancy just about any car that's stylish, that draws a man's attention. And plastic surgeons will likely drive Porsche's and Mercedes since these are upper-crust, more expensive cars. Like Bill Viverette, I've worked hard most my life and have recently rewarded myself to a 2004 white/saddle SC430 with 73,000 miles, 13 years after it had left the showroom. My SC430 with original paint and leather is like new. The drive train whispers thru the freeways, the suspension is like straddling on a big cat, agile and supple over bumps and along curves. Just so you know, I acquired the SC430 for the hard convertible top, the 4 seats, the V-8 power, the Lexus/Toyota reliability. The rear seats are perfect if I desperately need them, say picking up several people from the airport with luggage. The V-8 power is exactly the what's needed on the Florida Gulf freeways, maneuvering thru the byways in an open-top, breezing past the brawling Harleys, the flashy Bimmers, outguessing the clever Priuses. Without being said, driving slow with inability to accelerate quickly is unsafe to today's roads. Today's cars with their awkward noses and angular lines look arrogant and showy. The SC430 has aged well. Ostentatious? Perhaps 15 years ago, but not now. The body lines are smooth, the paint colors are modest. The car is a natural beauty and doesn't show wear or wrinkles. Therefore, I couldn't see a plastic surgeon driving in one of these cars.

  • Suedr Suedr on Aug 14, 2017

    I'm neither cougar nor plastic anything except perhaps last through the door on this. I've been hugely fortunate to have grown up with a dad who loves luxury and sports cars, so we always had sexy autos to drive. My fav of all time was what he just parted ways with - his original '73 Jaguar XKE v12 convertible. Of course, it's strictly a two-seater with no small back seat, but we didn't mind the (cough) hardship. I mention car history only to indicate I was trained well to appreciate good cars and yet I'm currently a PROUD and appreciable owner of a 2002 Lexus SC430 NM Silver Belle edition, 1 of the only 100 made. I purchased it used when it had barely two years and 10K on her shapely but not overly-designed, psuedo-looking something chassis. She's adorable in her candy cane red hand-stitched leathers and unique Thundercloud Grey-colored outerwear and I especially love the looks she gets when she drops her top. We've been paired for 15 years now, she's never let me down, her maintenance is low, and I still get excited taking her places. I'm petite and have allowed myself to ride passenger in the back seat and we've also tucked a couple of nieces/nephews there, too. And many are the times that *worthless* back seat has come in handy for transporting non-people items! I couldn't care less if Silver Belle never merits collection status. And I love there aren't 50 of the same looking vehicles remotely near me on any given drive. The amount of abuse dumped on the SC430 here is so surprising to me, the thrill of the put-down, seemingly each trying to be more clever than the next. It leaves this female thinking the men on board with the "cougars and their plastic surgeons" description are perchance "beer-bellied bullies with wallets emptier than their heads." Hmmm, while having been raised by a car snob, I was also taught not to trash other people's things. To each, their pleasure.