We drive the Scion tC

Scion tC

The Scion tC has been overshadowed lately by the sportier Scion FR-S. While the FR-S is definitely the sportier Scion, the tC has its own virtues and should not be forgotten. It has been freshened up for 2014 with some small changes and it was exciting to see how our old friend had grown up.

The tC will surprise you in many ways. It is a lot roomier on the inside that you would think. There are only two doors so access to the back seat is a bit difficult but once you are there, there is adequate room for two adults back there.

Scion tC front seats

The front seats are also very comfortable and because of the large windows, vision is excellent. The driver is faced with a rather simple interior but a few sporty touches such as a thick and flat bottom steering wheel and supportive seats really make the difference.

The tC feels like a sporty Corolla at first sight so we were really surprised when we started driving it on twisty roads. The 225/45-18 tires provided a pretty good amount of grip and the MacPherson strut front suspension coupled with the double wishbone rear suspension work well together.

The spring rates are much higher than you would think and the car turns in really quickly. Overall it handles well and was a pleasant surprise. It is not as aggressive as some of the competition but the benefit is that the ride is very smooth for a sporty car.

All tC’s use the Toyota 2AR-FE 2.5 cylinder four cylinder engine that puts out 179 hp. This is the base engine that comes in the Toyota Camry. The tC only requires regular unleaded and gets pretty decent fuel economy with an EPA rating of 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The engine is smooth and has good power especially at the lower rpm but it is not a sports car engine. There are times when you wish for more power but most of the time there is just enough to keep the driver smiling.

The exterior of the tC is sporty but the boxy shape is not appealing to everyone. At least that was our opinion until we started driving the tC and noticed that the car attracts a lot of attention. Everywhere you go, it seems like people are staring at you. The side benefit of the boxy shape is that the hatchback opens up to reveal a huge cargo area that can swallow a month’s worth of Costco shopping.

The tC may not be very fancy but the price is very easy on your wallet. The manual transmission tC will only set you back just about $19,000. Order the automatic transmission and the price goes up by $1000. That is a great deal and the only question that comes to mind is what else can you buy.

There are cars such as the Ford Fiesta ST that are sportier and more hard core but cost more money and offer a stiffer ride. The tC actually feels like a traditional Toyota product, not very flashy but does its business and will run forever because it is a simple car with a proven engine. That actually seems like a pretty good deal.

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