2007 Toyota Scion tC Review

Expert Reviews Scion

First Impressions: 2007 Toyota Scion tC

by Scott Mosher

I’ve been driving an SUV for so long; I forgot how much fun a small car can be! I was asked to help give a review of the Toyota Scion tC. It was a bit of a change going from a 4WD Jeep Grand Cherokee with a bike rack on the back to a small, sporty get-you-there-looking-cool kind of car.


  • Small, very maneuverable with a tight turn radius
  • Interior very clean looking
  • Exterior has clean lines, looks very “aerodynamic”
  • Shifting/transmission is smooth
  • Sound from the sound system is well balanced throughout the car
  • When the car is unlocked, trunk is unlocked automatically. No “Pop the trunk, please.”


  • Small cargo space
  • Very little headroom in the back seats
  • Rear headrests block a good amount of the rear view
  • Driving position was either too close to the wheel and knees hitting the steering wheel or too far back to comfortably reach the pedals and steering wheel


The tC felt solidly built when I first got in to drive it. The doors have a little heft in them; no feeling like they’ll snap off if you close them too hard. The dashboard was a nice hard plastic; it didn’t look like it was going to scratch easy. The plastic trim was snapped in very cleanly, with no edges poking out. The car has a plastic cover that goes over the stereo, so you can hide it while driving or while parked. The cover felt pretty flimsy, and the first time I moved it I felt like I was going to snap it if I pulled too hard.

The car I test drove has a sunroof in the front, and a partial one in the back. The interior cover is retractable, and is spring loaded so when you start to pull it open, the cover snaps open. It’s a nice feature for when driving you don’t have to have your hand off the wheel that long to open it, but it took a little bit of time to close it, since it has to snap into place.

The engine compartment looked clean and empty. It wouldn’t be a problem for a mechanic to reach different parts of the engine, or for checking/replacing fluids.

Interior Comfort and Ergonomics

My first impression at looking at the interior was this car is perfect for someone in the 16-30 crowd. The way the interior was designed seemed to call out to the younger generation.

The interior has a nice, thought out feel, unless you are tall with long legs. I am 5’ 11”, and I had a hard time adjusting the seat so I could reach the pedals without having my knees hit the steering wheel. Once I got the seat back far enough, I was having a hard time reaching the steering wheel. The instrument panel is well laid out; everything is laid out clean & easy to read.

The mirror/window controls on the door handle were easily usable while driving and it didn’t take a lot of pressure to move the switches. The windows in the car were nice and big, which allowed you to see more vehicles around you. The version I drove had a 5-speed manual transmission and the shifter was in the perfect place for shifting. For someone who hadn’t driven a stick shift in 6+ years, it was very easy for me to re-learn it and get acquainted with manual shifting. I like that the car is a little forgiving when you either forget to shift or you are learning to shift for the first time (or after a couple years!).

The big issue that I had with the interior was seeing through the rear window due to the height of the rear headrests. We lowered them as low as they could go and they still blocked a good portion of the rear window. Also, with the low roof line, I don’t know how a tall person could sit in the back seat. I crawled back there for a second and kept bumping my head against the glass.


The car handles very well. I did a few “brake checks” and it stops pretty much on a dime without even squealing tires while stopping. The acceleration is wonderful; I was able to get up to speed with no problems on flat ground, though the car did have to work a little bit getting up to speed on a pretty steep hill. Accelerating to pass someone on the freeway took little effort from the car as well.

We took it on a drive down a twisty country road, and the car was very responsive. It hugged the turns very well, and it was making me feel like a race car driver. Going downhill the car braked well, such that it didn’t feel like more powerful brakes were needed to stop it.


I love the handling of this car! It’s great when you can slightly turn the wheel, and the car responds. My Jeep doesn’t have that type of steering in it. The tC hugs the turns and has a very responsive suspension system. I felt completely in control of the car during both fast acceleration and fast braking. This is coming from a driver who doesn’t do both of those very often. The Scion tC has a nice tight turn radius enabling it to make U-turns on residential streets quite easily.


The car looks very sleek and has a low profile. The way the tC’s interior and exterior are designed makes the car look like one beautiful machine. Everything is rounded out and looks nice and smooth.

The first thing I noticed when I walked up to the Scion was how low it was to the ground. With a ground clearance of 5.5 inches, the body seemed to be levitating just above ground level.


I would consider the Scion tC a great value depending on what use you are buying it for. The cargo are will probably fit a small/medium sized suitcase. Using the tC on a road trip with your friends will require everyone to travel light. This car would seem at home on a college campus or parked at your local Starbucks. I can imagine it would be tough for someone to put in car seats for the little ones in the back, but is perfect for pulling out your backpack/laptop/suitcase off of the back seat. Your friends who get to sit in the rear seat will have plenty of leg room, but watch out if they have tall torsos.I gave this car a 4.5 for value, because for what it’s designed for and marketed for, it does the job. It’s not a “Do everything” car, which is where its limitations really come out.


The great thing about Scion tC is it really excels in the performance and handling category. In my current situation where I haul around a bunch of mountain bikes and camera equipment, this vehicle doesn’t work very well for me. In terms of my wife, who needs a car to get from place to place and doesn’t need the room of an SUV, I would get this car for her. I do wish the the roof had an extra 1 – 2 inches of clearance for the rear passengers. That would make a huge difference in headroom.

The interior is comfortable and looks great and the outside looks just as great. The younger 20-30 something crowd would be the ones I see driving this car to work, to the club, to school, and anywhere else in the city they plan on going.
















An appreciative thank-you goes to Stevens Creek Scion for graciously providing the Scion tC demo car. This review would not have been possible without their support and help.

stevens creek scion

stevens creek scion contact


Review and photos of the Scion tC were submitted Scott who is a fellow car enthusiast and regular visitor to CarReview.com. Given the amount detail and energy that was put into the review, we decided to separate the article from the normal consumer reviews and feature it along with our expert reviews. (Editor)

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  • Sasha says:

    I love scion tc. I am a 19 year old girl and had my tc since my brother handed it down 2 yrs ago. Its absolutely amazing car, the way it hadles and feels. Even tho it probobly has been the most unluckiest car of mine, i got hit 3 times so far i think because its so small and low people have a hard time seeing me. but other then that car is awesome for any age group especially if its a 5speed(if u put more expensive gas in it it picks up and goes in seconds)

  • T. Ryes says:

    I certainly do not in the age group either. I am a 72 year old male and I saw this car in a parking lot. I could not resist walking around it, and I made my decision right then and there. On looks alone!

  • L. Voels says:

    I just got a Tc last week…and I love it. It is sporty-looking and has terrific handling…The only thing is I do not fit into the recommended age group for the tc….I am a 55 year old woman and this car suits me fine on many levels! Great car!

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