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Co-workers were unanimous in their praise: Everyone liked the look of the 2015 Scion tC, a stylish coup that is technically a hatchback.

One thing Scion has never backed away from is trying to manufacture unique looking vehicles. Introduced by Toyota in 2002, the cars have often been viewed as quirky. However, there’s nothing peculiar regarding the latest Scion tC.

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⤥ Summer Fun Starts Here ⤦

⤥ Summer Fun Starts Here ⤦

The second generation Scion tC features a flat roofline, a wide lower grille, panoramic sunroof, accessible cargo area (i.e. – hatchback), is roomy for a coup, fun to drive, has a sizable list of standard features, and can be bought for a reasonable price – starting at approximately $19,210.

The front-wheel drive Scion t/C has only one engine, but it’s a good one. It features a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder that produces 179 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque and elicits a sports car-like feel. The manual version of the tC has been clocked going 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds, which is a half second quicker than the automatic transmission.

Although there are now paddle shifters with the automatic, even drivers who have never shifted gears should consider purchasing the six-speed manual transmission version because it really adds a fun factor. It doesn’t take long to get the hang of shifting gears, especially in the tC, which has a user-friendly light clutch that results in quick shifting.

Even though it’s a four-cylinder, the tC offers surprising power on flat surfaces and is energetic when climbing hills. Don’t expect it to compare to the more powerful Scion FR-S, but the tC engine has an appealing little hoarse roar as it zips along.

2015 Scion tC

  • Performance: 2.5-liter, four-cylinder, 179 horsepower
  • Mileage estimate: 23-31 mpg
  • Estimated price: $19,210-$23,190
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 2 years/25,000; corrosion: 5 years/unlimited

The steering is solid and the t/C has the ability to take corners a little faster than normal, which makes for a more exciting driving experience. What’s not so cool is bumps tend to vibrate the tC. Another knock is several competitors get better gas mileage than the Scion tC’s 23-31 mpg.

There are some enviable qualities to the tC interior, most notably the roomy cabin. The seating is comfortable for all four passengers, which is rarely the case in most coups. There’s above-average leg room for back seat passengers and lots of cargo space as well – 14.7 cubic feet – and much more when the back seat is folded down.

I’m personally a fan of the simplistic gauges and controls that the tC offers. Other folks who like the latest technology might not be as enamored with the interior. The interior does have its share of cheap plastic, but let’s face it, that’s typically the case when a car comes with a $20,000 or less price tag.

Even at a low price, the Scion still offers a generous list of standard features that includes panoramic sunroof; leather-trimmed tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel; reclining and folding 60/40-split rear seats; Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity; eight-speaker Pioneer sound system with 6.1-inch touchscreen display, a CD player, HD radio; auxiliary audio jack, and iPod/USB interface.

Note that a rearview camera, which many people favor these days, is not available, even as an optional buy.

The tC has some drawbacks, but overall it’s a fun-loving vehicle that can be purchased for a reasonable price. Scion has produced a value-oriented coupe that’s a good substitute for a traditional sports car.

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