2010 Lexus SC 430 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Slick retractable hardtop, smooth V8 powertrain, attractive cabin with top-quality materials.
  • Limited trunk space, cramped rear seats, so-so performance and handling.
Other years
List Price Estimate
$16,915 - $30,966

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2010 Lexus SC 430 is getting a little dated, but its combination of a retractable hardtop, smooth ride and luxurious interior still make it a fine choice for sunny climates.

Vehicle overview

If you've reached that stage in life where you're considering buying a luxury convertible, you may have been around long enough to know the phrase "oldie but goodie." This is an apt description of the Lexus SC 430. While this midsize four-seat convertible wowed us with its newfangled retractable hardtop when it debuted back in 2002, it hasn't received a significant update since. Meanwhile, the world of upscale drop tops has changed dramatically. Still, the SC 430 may satisfy buyers looking for a more relaxed and luxurious hardtop convertible experience.

To be sure, the 2010 Lexus SC 430 still has a number of good qualities, including a highly refined powertrain, a smooth ride, excellent build quality and rock-solid reliability. It can also be viewed as a relatively affordable alternative to super-luxury soft tops like the BMW 6 Series and Jaguar XK. Whether those strengths balance out the car's weaknesses -- including limited trunk space, cramped rear seats and uninspired handling -- is ultimately up to individual buyers to decide.

As such, we recommend that anyone considering an SC 430 also take a look at some of the newer four-place luxury convertibles on the market. Notable rivals with retractable hardtops include the BMW 335i, Infiniti G37 convertible and Volvo C70, all of which offer a sportier driving experience, improved rear-seat comfort or both. The Audi A5 and S5 cabriolets are also enticing alternatives to the oldie-but-goodie 2010 Lexus SC 430.

2010 Lexus SC 430 models

The 2010 Lexus SC 430 is a luxury convertible with a power-retractable hardtop. It's offered in one well-equipped trim level. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels with performance tires, adaptive xenon headlights, foglamps, heated auto-dimming outside mirrors with integrated puddle lamps, leather upholstery, wood trim, power-adjustable heated front seats, driver memory functions, Bluetooth cellular phone connectivity and dual-zone automatic climate control. On the infotainment front, the SC 430 features a standard voice-activated navigation system with real-time traffic and weather, as well as a Mark Levinson audio system with a six-CD changer, an iPod/USB input and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Given the extensive array of standard features, it's not surprising that the SC 430's options list contains just two items -- run-flat tires and a rear spoiler.

2010 Highlights

The 2010 Lexus SC 430 gets fresh 18-inch alloy wheels, puddle lamps in the exterior mirrors, and an updated navigation/audio interface with a tweaked display, real-time traffic and weather, satellite radio, iPod/USB connectivity and Bluetooth audio.

Performance & mpg

The 2010 Lexus SC 430 is powered by a 4.3-liter V8 that puts out 288 horsepower and 317 pound-feet of torque. That power gets to the rear wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission with manual control. Peering back through the mists of time to 2001, we see that we clocked a SC 430 test car at 6.7 seconds from zero to 60 mph. EPA fuel economy estimates are 16 mpg city/23 mpg highway and 19 mpg combined.

Safety

The SC 430 comes standard with antilock brakes with brake assist and stability control, and front-seat occupants get side and knee airbags.

Driving

Though the 2010 Lexus SC 430 is ancient by modern automotive standards, it still has a silky-smooth powertrain and good acceleration. The exhaust note isn't exactly aggressive, but it's loud enough with the top down to let you know that you've got a V8 under the hood. The softly tuned suspension enables the SC 430 to soak up pavement irregularities like a luxury sedan. All told, this Lexus is still a great choice for leisurely afternoon drives or full-on road trips (provided you can pack light). However, its comfort-biased ride means that those in search of a sporty driving experience should look elsewhere.

Interior

While it's no longer the unique spectacle it once was, the 2010 Lexus SC 430's retractable hardtop is still a nice piece. With a complex mechanism that stacks the three aluminum sections neatly under the rear deck lid in less than 30 seconds, it allows owners to enjoy both the comfort and security of a coupe and the pleasures of open-air motoring. A standard wind deflector fits behind the front seats and helps keep top-down buffeting to a minimum.

Once situated in the cabin, you can expect to find a handsome dashboard design and top-quality materials, including luxurious leather upholstery and wood trim in bird's-eye maple or walnut. The front seats are quite comfortable, but the cramped rear seats are really only suitable for transporting small children, and then only in a pinch. Out back, the relatively accommodating trunk ranges from 9.4 cubic feet with the optional run-flat tires to 8.8 cubic feet with the standard spare tire in place. Drop the top and room in the cargo hold all but disappears, meaning you'll likely have to resort to using the backseat to stow your shopping bags or suitcases.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2010 Lexus SC 430.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Amazing LUXURY hardtop convertible
ShayRae,11/01/2019
2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)
The sports car “purest“ will not like this car. BUT those who desire a luxury ride with sexy, clean, sports car lines will love this car. My hubby and I have a 2004 in the true red. Being 16 years old, she is still eye candy and we get compliments and gawkers every time we drive her. The car is amazingly quiet with a comfortable ride. We’ve done numerous road trips and purchased aftermarket luggage that is designed to perfectly fit in the trunk with the top down. Works like a charm with room to spare. The “backseat” is virtually nonexistent, but our two 28 pound dogs fit back there and that’s all we really need. My hubby added an aftermarket backup camera, bluetooth connectivity, interior LED lights, and rear tail and reverse LEDs. We had to replace tires and considered all seasons, but decided to stay with runflats and bought Michelins. The ride is terrific. This car is a joy to own and drive. If you want a sexy sports car at an affordable, used price and don’t want to sacrifice comfort and ride, this “oldie but goodie” is an excellent choice. We couldn’t be happier. (We’ve owned four Corvettes—still have one antique—and this little Lexus blows them all out of the water as far as comfort and quietness. She’s a keeper!)
Amazing LUXURY hardtop convertible
ShayRae,11/01/2019
2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)
The sports car “purest“ will not like this car. BUT those who desire a luxury ride with sexy, clean, sports car lines will love this car. My hubby and I have a 2004 in the absolute red. Being 16 years old, she is still eye candy and we get compliments and gawkers every time we drive her. The car is amazingly quiet with a comfortable ride. We’ve done numerous road trips and purchased aftermarket luggage that is designed to perfectly fit in the trunk with the top down. Works like a charm with room to spare. The “backseat” is virtually nonexistent, but our two 28 pound dogs fit back there and that’s all we really need. My hubby added an aftermarket backup camera, bluetooth connectivity, interior LED lights, and rear tail and reverse LEDs. We had to replace tires and considered all seasons, but decided to stay with runflats and bought Michelins. The ride is terrific. This car is a joy to own and drive. If you want a sexy sports car at an affordable, used price and don’t want to sacrifice comfort and ride, this “oldie but goodie” is an excellent choice. We couldn’t be happier. (We’ve owned four Corvettes—still have one antique—and this little Lexus blows them all out of the water as far as comfort and quietness. She’s a keeper!)
52 cars 51 years, our 2002, 2010 SC430 BEST!
DAVEZEE,05/22/2020
2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)
WE TRIED THEM ALL nothing was more dependable, longest lasting, than the 8 lexus cars and toyota trucks...best of the best is still our daily driver, 2010 sc430
Great value - top down fun
Dan Stutz,11/01/2020
2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A)
A great value on the used car "fun" market. Sure there are more expensive converts, but this one has been a fun, affordable and reliable. All good - thumbs up!

More about the 2010 Lexus SC 430

Used 2010 Lexus SC 430 Overview

The Used 2010 Lexus SC 430 is offered in the following submodels: SC 430 Convertible. Available styles include 2dr Convertible (4.3L 8cyl 6A). The Used 2010 Lexus SC 430 comes with rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 6-speed shiftable automatic. The Used 2010 Lexus SC 430 comes with a 4 yr./ 50000 mi. basic warranty, a 4 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 6 yr./ 70000 mi. powertrain warranty.

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Should I lease or buy a 2010 Lexus SC 430?

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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