Used 2000 Lexus SC 400 Review

An expensive luxury coupe that is past its prime.




what's new

The 2000 Lexus SC 400 is unchanged except for paint selection; Cinnabar Pearl replaces Baroque Red Metallic.

vehicle overview

Way back in the day (early '90s, actually), the then-new Lexus SC 400 was a huge hit with both the public and the automotive press. It offered features and pricing that no other car could match. But like an aging rock band, the SC Coupe still had the same moves and songs as it did when it was new. This has opened opportunities for younger stars (like the Mercedes-Benz CLK430) to steal its fan base.

When Lexus came out with the SC Coupe, it did things a bit differently. First, a stylish, sexy body was penned that didn't look much like the mini chrome-barges that usually populate the personal-luxury segment. Aggressive and lacking a traditional grille, the SC looked like nothing else. But that basic shape remains today, and it has grown a bit tired.

There's nothing wrong with the goodies under the hood, however. The SC 400 uses the same V8 that is found in the Lexus LS 400. It puts out 290 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 300 pound-feet of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine is super-smooth and features a variable valve timing system (Toyota calls its system VVT-i). This system optimizes valve overlap throughout the engine's speed range and in operating conditions, eliminating the traditional compromise between low-end torque and high-rpm horsepower. The engine also uses an electronic throttle control system (ETCS).

The interior is exceptionally quiet. Special materials are used to filter out noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) to give the SC Coupe a serenely quiet ride. Heat and UV-reducing light-green tinted glass helps keep the interior cool on bright days and also helps reduce premature aging of interior materials. Those luxurious interior materials include sumptuous perforated leather seat inserts and trim wood and leather shift knob, plus elegant wood trim around the center console, doors and instrument panel. There's also amenities such as automatic climate control, 10-way power front seats and a Lexus/Pioneer audio system. A premium 280-watt Lexus/Nakamichi unit is optional.

While the SC 400 is a good car, the truth is that the SC platform is a nine-year-old design that simply can't compete in today's market. For the money, you'll find better personal-luxury coupes elsewhere.






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.