1992 Lexus SC 400 4.0L EFI V8 from North America
A fun, attractive car with a good blend of performance and economy plus excellent value for money.
1) Two alternator failures, one (factory) at +/- 60K the second (re-man) at +/- 90K took the battery with it.
2) Interior trim deterioration. Rear seat (leather) and both interior door panels showing their age. The car is black and has spent its whole life in central CA with long spells parked outside during daylight hours so IR/UV abuse has been quite severe, but my dark blue Legend had the same treatment for 10 years and the interior held up much better. Rear seat back leather has cracked and split despite regular use of OTC preservatives. The moulded plastic interior door panels are literally crumbling to pieces, despite being completely covered (and shaded) with a mix of leather and vinyl materials. If not IR/UV related maybe some sort of age related degradation due to something in the plasticisers used?
3) Sun/heat burn-out in the LCD climate controller window. Still works OK, but mode/status icons now illegible.
4) Passenger side window lift failed at 50K. Motor OK, but plastic window carrier snapped in two.
5) Oil filter access difficult without removing plastic belly tray. I had to replace my tray after it was trashed by Jiffy-Lube "technicians"!
6) Rear shocks/struts blew out at +/- 80K. Not an easy DIY fix and very expensive at dealer.
Great 'curb appeal', it looks like its doing a 'ton' even when its parked. Could very easily become a 'classic' in years to come, particularly the early models with the front air dam & rear spoiler.
Effortless power and very smooth transmission with good ratios. A joy to drive on the open road or in commuter chaos.
Very comfortable for two adults, but back seats cramped and not much room in trunk/boot.
8 way driver seat is excellent.
18 x 8 rims with LP rubber improved the looks and handling, but made the ride a bit harsh.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st February, 2006
20th Feb 2006, 16:17
That's interesting, because I have the same problems, but the car is amazing :)
7th Jun 2006, 23:56
There is a lot to like about this car! Take a look at how many awards it won the year it came out. Maybe the most ever for a luxury sports coupe.
Mine is production number 065 and now 15 years later it still performs very well.
The strengths that first come to mind are the drive train. It's one thing to have power, but it's another thing to have it for 15 years and 155,000 miles without glitch one in the engine or transmission. Another thing I like about this car is that it allows you to control the pace you move at rather than being forced into the rolling roadblocks created by other drivers.
I've replaced the alternator, battery, shocks, tires and brakes and performed the recommended maintenance cycle and that is it. The guy's at Lexus dealer service even said that they couldn't believe how great the original pearl white paint looked.
OK, it's time for some new leather seat covers. In particular the drivers seat, but nothing lasts forever.
As we approach the 20 year anniversary for this 1991 Luxury sports Car Of The Year among many other awards I will look to have it completely restored like new.
Anybody know a company who can handle that please let me know.
Great car in my opinion.
You hear about how expensive dealer service is, but let me say that you do get more for the additional costs. I tried an independent brake repair company and within weeks was hugely disappointed with the quality of the brakes and the amount of wheel grime in comparison to the originals.
I don't think I will make that mistake again.
San Mateo, Ca.
29th Apr 2007, 21:42
I own a 1995 SC400 (bought it new) with 98,000 miles on the odometer. It is the best car I have ever owned; I intend to pass it on to my eldest son who has admired it since the first time he saw it and drove it. My only regret is that it is only 2.7 miles from my home to my office, but it always puts a smile on my face!.
10th Sep 2007, 17:45
Truly a pleasure to drive. Eleven years old, and runs well. The bearings grind a little at idle, and the brakes squeal (less than the non lexus brake pads, though). The part that lifts the window (plastic) broke recently. I have to replace it soon, as my window keeps sliding down. I replace the CD changer. The cell phone (analog) no longer has service available.
All in all, it has held up well. I hope it lasts me a long time.