Used 1998 Lexus SC 300 Review

Edmunds expert review




What's new for 1998

An engine immobilizer, depowered airbags and a sophisticated five-speed automatic transmission are standard this year as well. The SC 300 loses its five-speed manual transmission.

Vehicle overview

When Lexus decided to expand its lineup into the sport luxury coupe class, it did things a bit differently. First, a smallish, sexy body was penned that didn't look much like the mini chrome-barges that usually populate the personal luxury segment. Next, a smooth inline six-cylinder engine was implanted in the SC300 -- driving the rear wheels and giving the cars excellent acceleration. Then, a cozy interior with first-rate ergonomics and traditional Lexus opulence was created, making the cars more like a 2+2 than a coupe capable of carrying four in comfort. It's a much different car from those being offered by Cadillac, Lincoln and even Acura.

Once the car was introduced to the public, the automotive press elevated the SC Coupe to Rolling Stones status, proclaiming it another of a string of Lexus-engineered miracles. They were right to do so; however, the past three years have seen improvements by the competition, and the escalating yen has vaulted the SC's price to the top of the heap.

1998 brings some improvements to the SC 300 in the form of a more sophisticated engine. The inline-six cylinder motor under the hood of the SC 300 gets variable valve timing this year.

Yes, this Lexus is an outstanding example of modern carmaking art, and it offers a fantastic blend of style, luxury, performance and reliability. However, the Cadillac Eldorado Touring Coupe, with its brilliant Northstar V8, full load of accessories and interior room for four full-size adults, starts to look pretty good, especially with its $53,500 base sticker.






Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.