One thing Scion has never steered 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 appearance of the 2015 Scion tC.
The second generation Scion tC features a flat roofline, a wide lower grille, panoramic sunroof, and accessible cargo area with its hatchback design. The tC is fairly roomy for a coup and it’s fun to drive. Reasonable priced at a starting point of approximately $19,210, the tC provides value and comes with a rather long list of standard features.
The front-wheel drive Scion tC features just one engine, a 2.5-liter, inline four-cylinder that produces 179 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque. The manual version, which was test driven here, has been clocked going 0-60 mph in 7.3 seconds, reportedly a half second quicker than the automatic transmission.
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
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. The tC has a user-friendly light clutch that’s easy to master.
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.
The steering is solid and the tC possesses the ability to take corners a little faster than many coupes, which makes for a more exciting driving experience. What’s not so cool is bumps tend to vibrate in the tC. Another negative 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 often not the case in most coups. There’s above-average leg room for back seat passengers and good cargo space as well – 14.7 cubic feet – and much more when the back seat is folded down.
Many drivers will like the tC’s simplistic gauges and controls. 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 that’s typically the case when a car that comes with a price tag of $20,000 or less.
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 CD player, HD radio; 6.1-inch touchscreen display; 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 value-oriented coupe that can be purchased for a reasonable price.