1998 Lexus SC 400 Review

Used SC 400 for sale
List Price Estimate:$2,285 - $4,908
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Lexus SC 400 model years
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Edmunds' Expert Review

  • Attractive, premium sports coupe is well put together.
  • High price. Loss of manual transmission this year.

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 creamy V8 was implanted in the SC 400 driving the rear wheels and giving the car excellent acceleration. Then, a cozy interior with first-rate ergonomics and traditional Lexus opulence was created, making the car more like a 2+2 than a coupe capable of carrying four in comfort. Much different from the Cadillac, Lincoln and even Acura entries.

Once the car was introduced to the public, the automotive press elevated the SC 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 400 in the form of a more sophisticated engine. The SC 400 now comes with a four-liter four-cam V8 that features variable valve timing technology. The first-ever application of variable valve timing on an eight-cylinder engine. The SC also receives a five-speed automatic transmission that further improves acceleration.

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.

1998 Highlights

An engine immobilizer, depowered airbags and a sophisticated five-speed automatic transmission are standard this year as well.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 1998 Lexus SC 400.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

4.88 out of 5 stars
One Happy Camper
Happy Jack,03/17/2009
2dr Coupe
I really enjoyed owning my Lexus. I didn't have any problems with it. This car was worth every penny that I spent to get it. They don't make cars like this one any more. One day my daughter was driving it when a lady in a Dodge Magnum slammed into the back of her. The insurance company totaled it and I was stuck trying to replace it. I would love to have another one. I miss my car.
4.88 out of 5 stars
2dr Coupe
best car i Ever bought
5 out of 5 stars
pure fun
2dr Coupe
this is my second sc300, my first 1995 drove to 105,000, no major problems, leather on each side door cracked/apparently a bad seam design. 1998 has been perfect, i'm now looking for a 2000sc300/400 to cap off my collection. lexus really screwed up when they dropped this car.
5 out of 5 stars
Lexus Kickin' it Old School
Les George,01/27/2019
2dr Coupe
We've owned this vehicle for over 5 of it's 20 years and we're still enjoying it at 126,000 miles. It accelerates nicely and was a safe car for my teenage son. The car has now recycled back to me and I love driving it. Because of it's timeless styling, it get's many second looks and a few thumbs up. I'm surprised how well it hugs the road. In that respect, it's very similar to a German luxury brand. The only down score is for braking. This is a heavy vehicle and it takes a little more distance to bring to a stop.


IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 1998 Lexus SC 400

Used 1998 Lexus SC 400 Overview

The Used 1998 Lexus SC 400 is offered in the following submodels: SC 400 Coupe. Available styles include 2dr Coupe. The Used 1998 Lexus SC 400 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed automatic.

What's a good price on a Used 1998 Lexus SC 400?

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Which used 1998 Lexus SC 400s are available in my area?

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Can't find a used 1998 Lexus SC 400s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Lexus SC 400 for sale - 12 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $18,547.

Find a used Lexus for sale - 1 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,454.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus SC 400 for sale - 7 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $24,179.

Find a used certified pre-owned Lexus for sale - 7 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $15,320.

Should I lease or buy a 1998 Lexus SC 400?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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