I bought a 1993 SC300 with 135k miles from its original owner for $5000. It's black with a tan interior and a 4 speed Automatic. The overall build quality shows after 20 years. It's solid, everything works, and the materials withheld form and finish throughout the years. The paint is shinny and the engine is very, very strong.
We plan on keeping it for at least 2, 3 years and then pass it on.
The engine, the build quality as I said, this car is fully functional and has some sort of timeless body style, a bit on the conservative. The interior materials are nearly perfect. Japanese interiors/clusters are not the best looking but in this car, Lexus kept it pretty basic and simple. The leather is thick, and soft, and the carpet is soft. Road noise is minimal and rattles are kept to a minimum as well. We only drive this car about 20, 30 miles a week and on occasional weekend trips of about 400 miles and we love it.
Gas mileage! This car is a 6 cylinder 3.0 engine with a 4 speed automatic transmission and we get about 21 mpg hwy. I think it's pretty low given that we don't race or speed over 70, 75 miles per hour. We don't mind it too much as I stated above, we drive this car about 200 a month therefore we don't fill up the 20 gal tank too often.
Trunk space is a joke; it's shallow and a few items will fill it very quick.
Rear seat space is below coupe's standard, but I don't think this car was designed to be a family hauler. On the other hand, the driver and front seat passenger have plenty of space and comfort.
These are great cars if you can find one with a factory 5-speed manual (or perform a manual swap).
I had read about SC300's years before buying one and knew of their extremely close lineage to the fourth generation Toyota Supra sports cars and especially the much better equipped Toyota Soarers (same exact car except for the engine).
I got my chance a year ago when I found a higher mileage 5-speed model.
It only had one prior owner and had no accident history.
Save some expected cosmetic wear (replaced/fixed easily through parts channels/forums) and the need to do routine maintenance to a used car it has been an excellent drive and totally reliable.
Beautiful, TIMELESS styling.
I changed the front bumper to a factory Lexus '97+ bumper and now it looks like a real muscle coupe.
Rear wheel drive, 5-speed manual transmission, drivetrain and chassis being identical to the non-turbo '93-'98 Supra means anything that will mechanically work for that car will work on this one.
Inline six engine.
It's got enough power and torque to be a lot of fun to drive fast and aggressively.
Overbuilt and refined enough to behave when driven conservatively.
Of course, a turbocharger kit, 1JZGTE engine swap or 2JZGTE engine swap would really change things.
Then you'd have a real muscle car.
My car has more equipment than a standard 5-speed model:
Larger Supra Turbo wheels and tires, Bilstein aftermarket suspension, Supra Turbo rear sway bar, Turbo four-piston front calipers, Turbo leather seats and aftermarket clutch.
All of these things don't take away from the Lexus style but do everything to change the docile SC300 into a great aggressive handler with impressive stopping power.
Suggested improvements: all above modifications, plus the large brakes should have been standard from the factory.
15mpg/21-22mpg is the usual fuel economy but it is a 90's sports touring coupe, not an economy car.
Should have come from Lexus with the overseas 1JZGTE twin turbocharged I6.
I purchased my SC300 5 speed manual in 1999 from the wife of a former general manager of a major Toyota/Lexus dealer. It had about 85,000 miles at the time. Now has a smidge under 250,000 miles on the odometer and still runs with the big dogs. I'm one who likes power and speed and the speed of my car still surprises me and those who challenge it...even an SC430. I've replaced the clutch, air conditioner, radiator and recently discovered I need to replace the harmonic balancer, But it's still a definite keeper. Oh, I've finally decided to start babying it.
I've wanted this Lexus for the past 12 yrs and finaly bought this one owner, well taken care of SC 300. It has 147K and I know with routine oil changes it'll go another 250K plus. I know I'll have normal wear and tear but for the price I paid everything works now and I have a luxury drive. Nicest car I've owned and I've had 20 in the past 30 yrs..
leather seats are so comfortable, nice handling on the interstate.
The only complaint I have is the keyless remote has to be bought from the dearship @ $400. No thank you.
I've been wanting an SC 300 for 10 yrs now and finally bought this near mint 13 yr young one w/ auto and dark Brisith green. I've owned about 15 cars and this by far feels the safest and all around great car to drive. I feel like the SC 300 was made for me... love the interior and everything works perfectly. I know this engine will last another 100k plus, so I'm keeping until the end.