2006 Lexus SC430

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2006 Lexus SC430 Review

An attractive, reliable hardtop convertible.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The Lexus SC430 was introduced in 2001 and very little has changed. It is a different creature from the other SC models introduced in the early 1990s. Those had fixed hard tops and were available in both two-door and four-door varieties. The 2006 Lexus SC430 is a convertible with four seats, although those so-called back seats don’t serve much use.

The 2006 Lexus SC430 isn’t the most practical of vehicles. It is, however, an exciting little car to drive. The exterior styling is a bit bolder than other Lexus vehicles, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the consumer. There is no question, however, that the V-8 engine and easy-to-retract hardtop makes the SC430 desirable.

The Range

Body Styles: Sport convertible
Engines: 4.3-liter V-8
Transmissions: Six-speed automatic
Models: SC430

What's New

The 2006 Lexus SC430 receives a six-speed automatic transmission that greatly improves performance. The vehicle also gets adaptive front headlamps that swivel through turns. Other exterior changes include a new front fascia, new wheels, and redesigned tail lamps. Interior changes include new gauges and layout, a new shifting plate, and a new trim design.

Exterior

The 2006 Lexus SC430 is a very attractive vehicle. It has smooth, aerodynamic contours that one could almost call voluptuous. The 2006 Lexus SC430 is one of the most radically designed cars in the Lexus fleet.

The convertible hard top is attractive up or down. The top is motor driven and will retract in an impressive 21 seconds. The top is airtight, so you will not hear any wind noise when driving down the freeway.

The 2006 Lexus SC430 comes equipped with 18-inch wheels, adaptive HID headlamps, and an aluminum alloy top. Options include run-flat tires, a rear spoiler, and a special Pebble Beach package that adds some exterior trim variations.

Interior

The interior of the vehicle is truly something to marvel. It is covered in hardwood trim and supple leather. Wooden covers with springs are attached to the dash to hide unnecessary gauges that consumers will not use regularly.

Of course, the SC430 is a convertible, so it isn’t the most practical of vehicles. Although legroom and headroom are comfortable for the front passengers, there isn’t space for anyone else. The cargo area is also slim. With a spare tire in the back of the vehicle, the trunk only provides 8.8 cubic feet of space. Adding the run-flat tires to the vehicle will bump that space up to 9.4 cubic feet. However, this space is cut nearly in half when the hard top is retracted into the trunk.

Standard features for the interior include power-adjustable seating, lumbar support, heated driver’s seat, power accessories, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, leather steering wheel, leather-covered doors and dash, wood-covered steering knob, memory settings for the seats, and a 240-watt Mark Levinson stereo system with nine speakers and an in-dash six-disc CD changer.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Lexus SC430 comes equipped with a 4.3-liter, V-8 engine that produces 288 horsepower with 317 lb-ft of torque. The engine is connected to a six-speed automatic transmission that hooks up to a rear-drive system. The 2006 Lexus SC430 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds.

The 2006 Lexus SC430 seems to leap off the line. Consumers will be surprised how effortless acceleration is. There isn’t any excess exhaust noise either, a fact that may discourage gear heads who like the roar of V-8 engines. The suspension is supple, taking all bumps without a word of complaint.

Top down driving is also pleasant with little effect on performance. The cabin is extremely quiet with the top up. No wind noise at all.

Safety

The 2006 Lexus SC430 has all the standard safety features drivers have come to expect from a sports vehicle. Included are four-wheel anti-lock brakes, dual front side-mounted airbags, a child seat anchor, ventilated front disc and solid rear disc brakes, daytime running lights, Xenon high-intensity discharge head lamps, and multi-adjustable headrests.

The brakes also have a panic assist feature and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Seatbelt pre-tensioners are also included. Traction and stability control come standard.

EPA Fuel Economy

SC430: 17/23 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Lots of standard performance and comfort features
  • Wood and leather interior
  • V-8 engine
  • Great hardtop
  • Easy-to-retract hardtop
  • Reliability

You Won't Like

  • Impractical
  • No cargo space
  • Cramped rear seats
  • Uninspiring ride quality

Sum Up

An attractive, reliable hardtop convertible.

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