Performance » 7
PERFORMANCE | 7 out of 10
luxury takes precedence over sportiness
Takeoffs seem sedate, but offers good midrange punch
blistering acceleration, razor-sharp handling aren't a part of the pedigree
muscular V8 engine, [but] performance is not its strong suit
According to the reviews examined by TheCarConnection.com, the 2008 Lexus SC 430 may be fun to drive, but it won't provide the same thrills as a Porsche or a Maserati.
The 2008 Lexus SC 430 is not built for high performance--it's simply meant to look that way. Edmunds points out that "on paper, a V8-powered hardtop convertible might seem like a real sports car, but in actuality the Lexus SC 430 is primarily a luxury tourer," adding that "the car makes an obvious performance sacrifice in the name of comfort." ForbesAutos' assessment is similar: The 2008 Lexus SC 430 "puts comfort far above performance."
The SC Lexus's V-8 engine, which displaces 4.3 liters, puts out 288 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque at 3,400 rpm and is mated to the six-speed sequential automatic transmission. This "six-speed sequential-shift ECT-i transmission" allows the Lexus SC 430 to go from 0-60 in under six seconds, according to Autoblog. ConsumerGuide describes the SC Lexus's initial acceleration from a stop as "sedate," but reports "good midrange punch and relaxed highway cruising," with a "transmission [that] delivers smooth, prompt shifts."
MyRide.com reports slightly better-than-average fuel economy: 16 mpg in city traffic and 23 mpg on the open road.
"Dynamic handling is accomplished with standard features that include an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist, traction control (TRAC) and Vehicle Stability Control (VSC)," reports Autoblog. ConsumerGuide adds that the Lexus SC 430 is "Agile for a luxury-tourer, despite slightly numb steering." As far as braking goes, "one test SC wandered slightly in simulated panic stops, but stopping distances were short with the car showing minimal nosedive." Family Car agrees that the tires provide decent grip and that the SC Lexus's "powerful brakes leave little to be desired."
Edmunds says that "the suspension filters out every bump in the road, making the plush [Lexus] SC 430 a great road trip choice." Edmunds also reports that the suspension "soaks up bumps like a new sponge but the drive isn't very entertaining." ConsumerGuide calls the 2008 Lexus SC 430 an "easy rider," but reports "hard-edge jitters on patchy pavement" and some drifting along grooves. However, the available run-flat tires have very stiff sidewalls that "make the ride borderline harsh." Kelley Blue Book is in agreement: "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 run-flat tires are fitted."
This 2008 Lexus SC 430 has good acceleration, but handling is tuned for comfort, not sport.