Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Auto Reviews & News

March 10, 2011

It's top-down fun in a Lexus

It's the most fun you can have in a Lexus.

Let's say you've been successful in life and want a new car — a Lexus, of all things.

But you don't just want any Lexus. You want a Lexus convertible, the kind of car that lets you work on your tan while sitting in sublime comfort and never breaking down.

Until last year, that means you'd be taking home the SC 430, a $67,000 dream machine with stunning styling, a retractable hard top, and a V8 engine made from maple syrup. It was the Lexus designed for California cruisin'.

Today, though, you can't get the SC because it died and went to Lexus heaven, where it swims in pools of leather conditioner while listening to harp music played through Mark Levinson stereo systems.

It is survived by a different convertible, called the IS C that is in many ways better than the pricey SC ever was.

And, most shockingly, it's also $27,000 cheaper.

The IS C is a drop-top version of the two-door IS coupe, and — like the pricey SC — it has a hard top that folds away when you press a button. That means with the top up, it's almost as quiet as an ordinary Lexus sedan. And when you want the top down, it does a robotic dance to fold the roof into the trunk where no one can see it.

Pretty slick.

In fact, it's hard to find much to criticize in a car like this. Some people might want it to feel more like a hard-edged sports car, but we call those people BMW drivers.

Other people might not like how small the back seat is, but it's actually a lot roomier back there than the SC was.

Most of all, you get a sense of perfection in the IS C that's hard to find in other brands. Audi might make more exciting cars, and Mercedes might make more noble vehicles. But those German cars don't

seem like they'll last forever. This Lexus does.

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