2006 Lexus SC 430 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Lexus SC 430 Convertible

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Lexus SC 430 Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 4.3 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Rear Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 288 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Lexus SC 430

  • Though not particularly invigorating to drive, the 2006 Lexus SC 430 counters with a serene top-down experience for a price considerably less than the competition.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Long list of comfort and convenience features, beautifully finished interior, silky V8 engine, retractable hardtop, Lexus quality.

  • Cons

    Sparse cargo space, cramped (and nearly useless) rear seats, doesn't inspire anything more than leisurely cruising.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, the Lexus SC 430 receives a new six-speed automatic transmission and adaptive front headlamps. Updated exterior styling includes a new front fascia, wheels and taillamps. Inside, the SC gets a new gauge cluster, shift plate and revised trim.

Full 2006 Lexus SC 430 Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, the Lexus SC 430 receives a new six-speed automatic transmission and adaptive front headlamps. Updated exterior styling includes a new front fascia, wheels and taillamps. Inside, the SC gets a new gauge cluster, shift plate and revised trim.


Now in its fifth year, the SC 430 is the first and only Lexus convertible. The SC name dates back to 1992, when the first Lexus coupe debuted. The SC 300 and SC 400 coupes were decent cars, though sales decreased alarmingly over the years as the platform aged and younger and more modern luxury coupes sprang up. Beyond that, consumers shopping competing models could choose between a two-door with a solid roof or a ragtop for open-air motoring on sunny days. The Lexus SC came only with a fixed roof. After nearly a decade on the market, during which time precious few updates were made, the car was allowed to fade quietly into the sunset.

The Lexus SC 430 is far from bland, though not quite as palatable to conservative tastes. A radical departure for the normally staid manufacturer, the SC 430 has been dubbed the "jewel of Lexus," and has been penned to appeal to your emotional right-brain side. Designers drew inspiration by lolling about France's Cote d'Azur, studying the architecture and familiarizing themselves with the lifestyle of their target customers. The normally reserved automaker has taken a risk here, and the SC is the most radical styling exercise ever to wear a Lexus nameplate.

On the inside, the Lexus SC 430 presents a glorious display of perfectly crafted wood trim, supple leather and all the high-tech features you would expect in a high-end luxury vehicle. The Mark Levinson audio system, in particular, is a delight. For top-down motoring, the SC's power-operated hard top can be quietly lowered in about 21 seconds and is perfectly airtight when raised. Our only real problem with the SC's setup is the miniscule trunk. With the top down, there's not much room for anything in back, so be prepared to travel light. Despite having gone five years without a major redesign, there's a lot to like about the 2006 Lexus SC 430. Those who like the car's exterior styling and leisurely approach to handling dynamics will likely be smitten. Other luxury convertible shoppers, however, might find more athletic competitors to their liking.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Though available in just one body style and trim level, the Lexus SC 430 convertible comes packed with luxurious amenities. Standard features include 18-inch wheels, adaptive HID headlights, a navigation system, supple leather seats with driver and passenger memory functions, an astounding 240-watt nine-speaker premium audio system, a sophisticated climate control system and either bird's eye maple or walnut trim. With a press of a button, the aluminum-alloy roof rises to provide shelter from the vagaries of the environment. Once closed, the top seals tight to transform the SC 430 into a hardtop coupe possessing superior structural rigidity and little wind noise while cruising down the freeway. Options on the SC 430 include run-flat tires, a rear spoiler and a limited-edition Pebble Beach package that includes unique exterior and interior-trim coloring and a custom two-piece luggage set.

Powertrains and Performance

The Lexus SC 430 is powered by a 4.3-liter V8 engine.. It produces 288 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. It's connected to a six-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels. Zero-to-60-mph acceleration comes in at around 6.5 seconds.


Four-wheel antilock disc brakes with a panic-assist feature and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) are standard, as are seatbelt pre-tensioners and side-impact airbags. The Lexus convertible also comes with traction control and stability control. The optional run-flat tires allow the car to be driven up to 100 miles at 55 mph without air pressure.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior is the highlight of the Lexus SC 430. Beautiful to look at, the cockpit is filled with real wood and leather, and spring-loaded wooden covers can hide much of the center stack. From a more practical standpoint, however, the SC falls a little short. Owners will find that the trunk doesn't offer much room, as it holds just 8.8 cubic feet of cargo. Ordering the optional run-flat tires and ditching the spare bumps the trunk size up to 9.4 cubic feet. Keep in mind that these numbers are with the top up; with the top retracted, luggage space is very scarce. Additionally, the SC's undersized rear seats are basically just for show rather than actual use.

Driving Impressions

The 4.3-liter V8 allows the 2006 Lexus SC 430 to leap from nearly any speed. It climbs to redline with no discernable strain. The exhaust note is nearly imperceptible, a trait that's either pleasing or disappointing depending on your point of view. The suspension setup echoes the traits of the drivetrain, filtering out every bump and ripple in the road in an attempt to maintain civility at all times. This, in turn, results in less road feel and reduced driver confidence when pushing the SC 430 hard through corners.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Great & it's not even

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

I think the GPS is very intuitive and I've never used one. I activated the bluetooth without the manual and it definitely works when the car in moving. Hearing the other party is much better than my other car's bluetooth hook up. I even like the token back seat that holds my son until he'll move to the front. I love the headlights that go around the corner and the seats that fit like a glove. I'm not thrilled that it asks for premium fuel but that's not a big deal. I can't wait to drop the top this summer but love the fact that the PA winters are not harming a soft top while waiting for summer to come.


by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

We got this car mostly due to the hardtop convertible feature. The design and comfort are very nice while the performance and drive are lackluster. The car seemed to have been designed for an older driving population who want the look of a convertible in a Lincoln Town Car frame. The technology and nav system is very counter intuitive with the entire system disabled while driving, so you'd have to park the car before using your nav system or Bluetooth phone. Be careful of Lexus dealers lying to you about this feature. All in all, this car is somewhat disappointing but if you're looking to have a convertible look that drives like a sedan, then it's the right car for you.

Dream car

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

Super vehicle. Amazingly quiet even with top down. Acceleration and braking are great, as billed in the literature. A real lux sport coupe on winding roads. A fantastic ride.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Your only decision will be

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

This is my first Lexus, and driving the SC 430 goes well beyond my most extreme expectations. It has the silkiest shifting transmission I have ever experienced on a car, and the ride is like floating on air. Ultra-comfortable front seats, and plenty of power help to complement the other features of this car. Test one, and compare it to the other cars in this segment. Your only choice will be which color combination to get.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful


by on
Vehicle: 2006 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

Everything about this car has been perfect!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

My fantasy fulfilled

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Vehicle: 2006 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

This car has always been a dream car for me, never thought i would own one. We purchased two Lexuses at the same time, my SC 430 and my partners GS 450 Hybrid. We chose Lexus again because of design/build quality but also equally because of customer service. The fit and finish of both vehicles is outstanding, and the driving performance is awesome. I wanted a luxury convertible, but my requirement was HARD TOP. That leaves me with either the Lexus or the Mercedes. I chose Lexus.

Talk About The 2006 SC 430

2006 Lexus SC 430 Discussions See all Started By

I am trying to purchase a 2006 sc430 without the run flat tires. My dealer tells me the are not available but that they will change the tires (for a price). I have not found one person that likes the?...

I'm also going to be taking the plunge on an '06 SC 430. Since it's been about two years since your posting, I was wondering how you've enjoyed or not enjoyed your car the last two years. Any regret...

You are incorrect. Denny Clements has again stated that most Lexus vehicles will offer AWD but some will not. The SC 430 was one example he gave. No competing luxury two-seat convertibles offer AWD (l...

Gas Mileage


  • 17
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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