For the past seven years, I have owned the rare five-speed manual transmission version of this exceptional car, a combination which results in weight savings that improve handling, performance, and ga...
For the past seven years, I have owned the rare five-speed manual transmission version of this exceptional car, a combination which results in weight savings that improve handling, performance, and gas mileage over the automatic version (and particularly over the SC 400 V8).
This is the most beautiful design ever produced by LEXUS — but its beauty is more than skin deep. The car combines exceptional braking and handling with a very comfortable, compliant ride — a true GT car, especially a pleasure on long journeys. It is absolutely reliable: nothing ever goes wrong, everything is built to the highest standards.
The sound system — particularly the premium Nakamichi with subwoofer and 12 cd changer in the trunk — is truly exceptional.
Caveats: trunk is modest in size, particularly given the size of the car; it is fine for two people who pack carefully, but this is a car that would have benefited from a fold-down rear seat back. The power steering is precise but typical over-assisted TOYOTA. The rear seat is comfortable, even for adults, but a bit claustrophobic for long journeys.
The engine's torque is good but not exceptional at lower rpms (below 3000); if it is brisk acceleration and performance you want, keep the revs up in the 3500 to 5000 rpm range. Don't worry, this engine loves to run.
I drive the car vigorously, and get 19 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the road.
Summary: this is the equivalent of the highly regarded TOYOTA SUPRA in performance and handling (which should be no surprise since the SC 300 and the SUPRA share power trains, suspensions, and brakes — and people have been known to bolt on the SUPRA turbocharger for an additional hundred horses), but a LEXUS in its luxurious interior, comfortable ride and beautiful design.