Lexus SC 430

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Lexus SC 430 SC430

Driven March 2005

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This is the engineering equivalent of a hip replacement. The old tart that is the SC430 is battling the ageing process with an 11th-hour suspension revision. The refined if improbably vulgar Lexus roadster has always been criticised for its clumsy ride, so in a bid to delay entry to the automotive knacker's yard, the bods have fiddled about and made it much smoother.

And it really does the job. The SC is now phenomenally slick, and with such a complete absence of road and wind noise, has become the sort of car in which you could happily cross continents. It's still a fine engine too, and the controls are set up to encourage the bare minimum of driver input.

But shut the stable door as smoothly as you like; for Toyota's premium two-plus-two the horse has long since bolted. Negative impressions of this South Beach special are ingrained, and it'll take more visible changes to reverse that. En route to pick up your BMW 630i convertible, ask yourself this: can a car that still packs a tape deck really command a £52k price?

Matt Master

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