2002 Lexus SC 430 Road Test Specs | Edmunds

2002 Lexus SC 430 - Road Test Specs

2002 Lexus SC 430 Convertible

(4.3L V8 5-speed Automatic)


Model year2002
ModelSC 430
Style2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 5A)
Base MSRP$58,750
As-tested MSRP$61,590


Drive typeRWD
Engine typeV8
Displacement (cc/cu-in)4.3
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)300 @ 5,600
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)325 @ 3,400
Transmission type5-speed automatic


Suspension, frontCoil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers
Suspension, rearCoil springs, gas-filled shock absorbers
Steering typeSpeed-sensing rack-and-pinion steering
Tire brandBridgestone
Tire modelPotenza RE040
Tire size, frontP245/40ZR18
Tire size, rearP245/40ZR18
Brakes, frontFour-wheel power-assisted disc brakes

Track Test Results

0-45 mph (sec.)4.4
0-60 mph (sec.)6.7
0-75 mph (sec.)9.8
1/4-mile (sec. @ mph)15.1@95.0
Braking, 30-0 mph (ft.)29
60-0 mph (ft.)121
Slalom, 6 x 100 ft. (mph)62.9
Skid pad, 200-ft. diameter (lateral g)35.4
@ Full throttle (dB)82
@ 70 mph cruise (dB)80

Test Driver Ratings & Comments

Acceleration commentsAcceleration was not quite up to par for our press vehicle, especially given Lexus' claims of 5.9 seconds from 0 to 60 miles per hour. We tried several combinations to match or get close to the numbers Lexus claims, but came up short on all accounts. Our best run to 60 came on the very first run with the "VSC" switched off, the power button engaged and shifting at 6,100 rpm. That was also where we recorded the best time to 45 mph. Our best run to 75 mph came on the third run, using a brake torque start and manually shifting the transmission near the 6,400-rpm rev limiter. Finally our best 0-to-30 and quarter-mile runs were achieved on the very last try, showing that we got good numbers by using different combinations of starting techniques and shift points. One other note is that the transmission does seem lazy on the first- to second-ear shift, whether automatically or manually shifting.
Braking ratingExcellent
Braking commentsBraking in the Lexus SC 430 is eerie. There is no nosedive, no tire noise, no ABS system noise;it just plain stops, no muss, no fuss. The numbers we generated and the way it performs are inspirational. Put this vehicle up on a platform and let others try to match its superb braking abilities. Our best run was our second, but the third was nearly identical with a difference of only 0.04 feet. The second run was shorter than the first by about 2 feet, so fade was not an issue, and the brakes actually worked better with a little heat in them. Even though the Mercedes-Benz SLK320 generates better braking numbers, the manner in which the Lexus generates the numbers is outstanding.
Handling ratingAverage
Handling commentsHandling was not bad, it's just not as good as the SC 430's main competitor, the Mercedes-Benz SLK320. We got the best runs with the VSC switched off. It intrudes too much for serious performance driving, but let's face it, this vehicle was designed to be more cruiser than canyon runner. You get more cowl movement and shake than expected for a vehicle in this price range. Steering inputs are quickly sent down to the suspension, but somehow this information gets lost in the translation and reaction is slower than expected. Maybe it has something to do with the 3,840 pounds of weight that is shifting around. — Neil G. Chirico

Testing Conditions

Elevation (ft.)85
Temperature (°F)70
Wind (mph, direction)0 mph

Fuel Consumption

EPA fuel economy (mpg)Auto 18/23 Manual /
Edmunds observed (mpg)20
Fuel tank capacity (U.S. gal.)19.8

Dimensions & Capacities

Curb weight, mfr. claim (lbs.)3,840
Length (in.)177.8
Width (in.)72
Height (in.)53.1
Wheelbase (in.)103.1
Legroom, front (in.)43.6
Legroom, rear (in.)27.1
Headroom, front (in.)37.2
Headroom, rear (in.)33.9
Seating capacity4
Cargo volume (cu-ft)8.8
Max. cargo volume, seats folded (cu-ft)9


Bumper-to-bumper4 years / 50,000 miles
Powertrain6 years / 70,000 miles
Corrosion6 years / unlimited miles
Roadside assistance4 years / 50,000 miles
Free scheduled maintenanceNot Available


Front airbagsStandard
Side airbagsStandard
Head airbagsNot Available
Antilock brakesStandard
Electronic brake enhancementsbraking assist
Traction controlStandard
Stability controlStandard

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