2008 Lexus SC 430 Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2008 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 16/23 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Lexus SC 430

  • The 2008 Lexus SC 430 is built for comfort and leisurely weekend jaunts. For a luxury convertible that's also entertaining to drive, you'll need to look elsewhere.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Retractable hardtop, quiet V8 engine, bulletproof Lexus quality.

  • Cons

    Miniscule cargo capacity, virtually unusable rear seats, more luxury cruiser than sporting roadster.

  • What's New for 2008

    Now entering its seventh year, this generation of the Lexus SC 430 sees just a few detail changes for 2008. Among them are redesigned and illuminated scuff plates, a black license plate accent and new wheels for the Pebble Beach edition.

Full 2008 Lexus SC 430 Review

What's New for 2008

Now entering its seventh year, this generation of the Lexus SC 430 sees just a few detail changes for 2008. Among them are redesigned and illuminated scuff plates, a black license plate accent and new wheels for the Pebble Beach edition.


The 2008 Lexus SC 430 is something of a rarity for this luxury automaker -- a product that has run past its expiration date. When it debuted for 2002, the SC 430 charmed luxury drop-top shoppers with its retractable hardtop, pleasant personality, fastidious attention to detail and the company's ironclad reputation for quality and reliability.

Those attributes still hold true, but sadly so do the car's drawbacks. The trunk is miniscule, and with the retractable hardtop stowed, what minimal capacity there is shrinks even more. The cramped rear seats are decorative at best -- even little kids will be annoyed at the lack of legroom. And although the SC has a V8 engine, rear-wheel drive and a sport-tuned suspension, it won't appeal to driving enthusiasts due to its boulevard-cruising nature.

Several new or redesigned competitors have arrived since the SC 430's debut, and they offer a more entertaining drive as well as greater performance and practicality. We strongly suggest that those shopping the $50,000 to $70,000 four-place convertible segment also consider the BMW 335i and the Mercedes-Benz CLK550 drop tops. Both Germans offer considerably more fun behind the wheel as well as functional rear seats, and the BMW, besides being less expensive, also sports a retractable hardtop.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Lexus SC 430 is a luxury convertible with a retractable hardtop design. The standard features list is extensive and includes 18-inch wheels, adaptive HID headlights, a navigation system, leather seating, driver and passenger memory functions, a premium audio system, automatic climate control and either bird's eye maple or walnut trim. With a press of a button, one may enjoy the open-air excitement of a roadster or the quietness of a closed coupe.

There are but a handful of options, which consist of a rear spoiler, run-flat tires, different wheels and the Pebble Beach edition. The latter features special paint, unique interior finishing and 18-inch alloy wheels.

Powertrains and Performance

A 4.3-liter V8 engine that produces 288 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque powers the SC 430. Sending the power to the rear wheels is a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. The SC 430 can hit 60 mph in just 5.8 seconds.


Antilock brakes with brake assist, traction control, stability control, front-seat side airbags and knee-protecting airbags are all standard on the 2008 Lexus SC 430.

Interior Design and Special Features

It takes less than a half minute to transform the SC 430 from a coupe to a convertible. As expected of a Lexus, the cabin is handsome and finely finished, with an abundance of supple leather and lustrous wood throughout. Sadly, just two people can soak in this luxurious ambience, as the two rear seats are essentially a leather-lined package shelf. The trunk is also light on capacity, as it's rated at just 8.8 cubic feet. Choosing the run-flat tires increases that volume to 9.4 cubic feet. Retract the roof and that cargo space decreases even more.

Driving Impressions

Despite its aging design, the 2008 Lexus SC 430 is still one of the best luxury convertibles for general cruising. The engine spins up to redline effortlessly and the exhaust note is extremely subdued. The suspension filters out every bump in the road, making the plush SC 430 a great road trip choice. The downside, however, is an isolated driving experience that discourages spirited driving on one's favorite curvy roads.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Wonderful to drive

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

This car is a complete joy. Two of my best friends also drive the Lexus SC430, and we all agree. It's the most fun, feel-good car we've ever driven! I enjoy the ease of the retractable hardtop and love the design/look of this car. People stop to compliment this beautiful Lexus.

Sc 430

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

This is a great reliable car. Workmanship is excellent. Our last car was a 2005 Corvette and it spent many days at the repair shop. This car has never had any repair problems and it has 36,000 miles on it. I would strongly recommend this car.

Lexus sc 430-2008

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

I have owned as many as 50 cars in my time. My lexus sc 430 convertible out wins them all. The leather is so soft and inviting that I can ride in the car all day. The sound system is tops, and the driving experience is like none other. The paint on the car is beautiful and I am trying to preserve this car because I do not think that there will be another like it. The body style commands attention, what can I say except that this car has earned the number one place from me!

A classy ride

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Lexus SC 430 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)

I'm now 72 years old and have owned many fine nameplates in the past including BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and Audi. This car is an engineering masterpiece and a joy to own in its own right. I love top down cruising in the countryside with that smooth V-8 under my right foot. Turning on the Mark Levinson to my favorite tunes adds to the pleasure. It's a style that grows on you not unlike the new Mercedes SL, and for a lot less money. When it is replaced next year I doubt there will be another quite like it.

Talk About The 2008 SC 430

2008 Lexus SC 430 Discussions See all Started By

SC 430: The retractable-hardtop coupe gets a redesign in summer 2007, sharing the IS/GS platform. The 2008 model also will share the 4.6-liter V-8. Lexus is looking at proportions and stance similar t...

Hi there ... I'm new to the SC 430 too--got a 2008 in tigereye a few months ago. My antenna does the same, so I guess it's normal. The weird thing, though, is that it also moves up or down when I push...

Gas Mileage


  • 16
  • cty
  • 23
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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