2016 Scion tC Review

Tuesday January 5th, 2016 at 1:11 PM
Posted by: D.Colman

2016 Scion tC

By David Colman

Hypes: Serious Drivers Car
Gripes: Poor Rear Quarter Sightlines

When it comes to torque, Scion’s vaunted FR-S sports car, with 151lb.-ft., takes a distant back seat to its less celebrated, but punchier brother, the tC coupe, with 172lb.-ft. That’s because the FR-S makes do with Subaru’s anemic 2.0 liter flat four, while the tC offers a much healthier 2.5 liter in-line four mounted sideways in the engine bay.

Our test tC coupled that willing engine to a beautifully calibrated 6-speed manual transmission, with gearing splits designed to extract maximum performance without sacrificing gas mileage. This shift it yourself combination returns 31MPG in highway driving.

2016 Scion tC

In an era when most manufacturers have chosen to cover their engine bays with boring black plastic modesty shields, Scion gets high marks for letting it all hang out for you to see. Here, the basic components are on clear view, with the intoxicating sparkle of aluminum flashing everywhere. The dashboard layout is also clear, concise and handsome. A pair of oversize aluminum rings draw your attention to adjacent 8000rpm tachometer and 140mph speedometer nacelles. Matching aluminum door pulls are new for 2016. In the center of the dash sits a new, larger 7 inch touch screen with an updated Gracenote database. Unfortunately, the former CD receptacle has disappeared to make room for the upsized display panel. Scion has also seen fit to eliminate XM satellite radio from the option list, so you’ll have to make do with standard HD radio choices, or supply your own tunes from a remote device or available Aha.

The tC’s rear seats are a bear to access. The all enveloping front chairs must be slid and folded, which is no easy exercise. You must then wiggle your way arrears, where you will discover that comfort is good, though the same can’t be said for visibility. An open sunroof panel helps ward off claustrophobia. Another saving grace is the fact that the rear seat backs can be tilted for adjustment. The same lack of vision that affects back seat passengers also impinges on front seat occupants. The chunky C pillar occludes rear quarter vision, so safe reversing maneuvers are difficult.

2016 Scion tC

The tC is really fun to drive. Scion has equipped it with no nonsense, performance oriented suspension that does little to mask road irregularities but pays big dividends in precision handling and high level road holding. In that effort, the 225/45R18 Yokohama Avid S34 radials prove their merit every time you twist the tC into a turn. Completing the delightful driving picture is the fat rimmed, flat bottom steering wheel that assists guidance with excellent feedback. Clutch release is light and accurate, and the stubby knob atop the shift lever assists every up-change and downshift.

2016 Scion tC

Scion has done a bang-up job with the tC’s grey flannel suit interior. The charcoal bolstered seats feature grey and black pinstriped inserts that look so buttoned down they will appeal to senior buyers as well as tasteful millenials. Compounding the harmonious look for 2016 is a striking hammered aluminum dash panel which matches the seat design and feels cool to the touch. Engineering genius is also evident in the use of three gigantic knobs for climate control located beneath the display screen. With irrefutable logic, the left knob controls ventilation position, the center one fan speed, and the right hand temperature and A/C. The design is a thing of beauty in an age when so many manufacturers divert your attention from driving, forcing you to figure out cockeyed digital displays.

2016 Scion tC

At just $20,000, the latest iteration of the tC is a real keeper. Not only is it affordable in terms of purchase price and fuel economy, but it is exceptionally entertaining to drive. This is a rare combination in today’s marketplace, and one that highly recommends this Scion to your attention.

2016 Scion tC

  • Engine: 2.5 liter inline 4
  • Horsepower: 179hp
  • Torque: 172lb.-ft.
  • Fuel Consumption: 23MPG City/31 MPG Highway
  • Price as Tested: $20,000 (estimated)
  • Star Rating: 9.5 out of 10 Stars

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2012 Scion tC Review

Wednesday July 18th, 2012 at 11:77 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By David Colman

For: High Grade Standard Seats, Sunroofs, Vast Hatchback Opening
Against: Expensive TRD Options, No Paddle Shifts

At a base price of just $19,575, the Scion tC puts you in the driver’s seat of a solid, enjoyable product of Toyota engineering. Redesigned with a turret-top and slit headlights for 2011, the striking tC remains unchanged for 2012. Its specification list surprises you with unexpected extras. Under the stubby hood lies a 2.5 liter, in-line 4, decked out with variable valve timing (VVT-i), twin overhead camshafts (DOHC) and 16 valves, all of which conspire to produce a hefty 180hp. Now that almost every engine compartment is hidden from view by plastic modesty shielding, it’s a pleasure to be able to examine the workings of this Scion’s lively four binger without having to remove an obstructive cover plate.

Unanticipated extras keep on coming once you slip inside the low-roofed cabin. The driver’s seat feels like it belongs in a much more expensive vehicle, with its nubby fabric gripping your torso, and its high side bolsters clamping you like a vice. Given the fact that our test tC was optionally equipped ($2,199) with 19 inch anthracite TRD alloy wheels and high g-force generating Toyo Proxes S4 tires (235/35ZR19), the cosseting seats were more than a match for the exceptional side loads posted by this Scion. Another unexpected benefit of the tC’s redesign is the standard double sunroof that brightens the interior. This solarium effect more than compensates for the short side windows that give the new tC its tank-like profile. Once you’re settled inside, you almost feel like you’re driving a convertible. The separate rear sunroof makes even the rear seat seem like a hospitable place, though access to it is inhibited by the car’s short wheelbase and bulky front seat backs.

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2011 Scion tC Review – Calling out to the Millenials, but speaking at low volume

Saturday August 13th, 2011 at 11:88 AM
Posted by: Derek

2011 Scion tC 18-inch alloy wheels
By someone posing as Derek


  • Optional Alpine sound system
  • Smart iPod interface
  • Reclining rear seat


  • New exterior design looks very close to the first generation
  • Too much use of hard plastics inside the cabin
  • Droning exhaust note
  • Uninspiring road handling dynamics

Toyota merrily points out that Scion has the youngest average customer in the industry and that 71 percent of all 800,000 or so Scions have been sold to buyers who are new to the Toyota brand. It seems Scion’s customers are America’s newest generation, the Millennials, who are in their middle of this coming-of-age phase of its life cycle. Its oldest members are approaching age 30; its youngest are approaching adolescence. Interestingly enough, with a median age of 29, it’s the tC coupe’s 310,000 total sales since 2002 (accounting for 41 percent of all Scion production) that manages to attract the youngest customers of all.

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2011 Scion tC Review – A Trendy Sport Coupe for All Ages

Friday August 20th, 2010 at 8:88 AM
Posted by: D.Colman

By contributing editor David Colman


  • Generous bump in horsepower and torque over the previous generation
  • Retuned suspension makes the new tC fun to drive
  • Flat-bottom, fat-rimmed steering wheel adds to the fun factor
  • Available TRD options for off-the-scale fun


  • Sequential transmission missing steering wheel mounted shifter paddles
  • Inside sunroof cover is flimsy
  • Small buttons and knobs make it difficult to use the Alpine stereo
  • 5 inch navigation screen too small and difficult to read with a quick glance

Despite the fact that Scion would like you to think that their new second generation tC is the perfect parcel designed exclusively for Gen Y, this smart new coupe outsmarts its own parent company by appealing to all age groups. No, you don’t have to love discordant music played at ear splitting levels to love the new tC. Nor do you need to cock your flat brim farmer’s cap sideways to appreciate this latest effort from Toyota’s youngest offspring company. In fact, it’s something of a mystery just why Scion limits their marketing to an age group that can barely afford to purchase a tC without parental assistance.
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2007 SEMA News: 2008 Honda Accord Coupe HFP and HF-S Concept

Thursday November 1st, 2007 at 4:1111 PM
Posted by: Derek

SEMA: 2008 Honda Accord Coupe HFP

2008 Honda Accord HFPAlbeit less impressive than the Accord Coupe HF-S Concept that we showed you yesterday (click here), the Accord Coupe HFP is a nicely customized vehicle that’s sporty but not flashy. It is equipped with dealer-installed Honda Factory Performance (hence the name “HFP”) components including a sports suspension package, 19-in. alloy wheels in 245/40R-19 rubber and a full aerodynamic body kit (front, sides and rear).

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2007 Scion tC Review – Sporty Little Coupe That Won't Break Your Bank Account

Monday August 6th, 2007 at 12:88 AM
Posted by: AKramer

by Alex Kramer

Scion tC sport coupe


Ten years ago I wouldn’t have considered buying any car that wasn’t small, sleek, and sporty. If you couldn’t throw it around a cloverleaf at 50+ miles an hour with a grin plastered to your face, I wasn’t interested. Nowadays, I look for more mundane, practical features when car shopping, such as cargo space, air bags, fuel economy, etc. But every now and then I wish I could throw practicality out the window and buy a car just because it’s fun. Enter the Scion tC. Can Scion satisfy with this hip and sporty little coupe?


  • Understated yet attractive styling
  • Peppy engine and slick shifter
  • Solid suspension and smooth ride
  • Toyota build quality
  • Great value


  • All-season tires loose traction way too quickly
  • Diminutive rear seat and trunk
  • Overall style is bit too conservative

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2007 Toyota Scion tC Review

Monday July 30th, 2007 at 6:77 PM
Posted by: jorgemonkey

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

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2007 Scion tC Review – OMG! So sik. Luvz it!

Monday July 30th, 2007 at 5:77 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

by Kurt Gensheimer

2007 Scion tC


  • Gutsy 4-cylinder VVTi motor
  • 30MPG on the highway
  • Nausea-free styling
  • Standard features list scrolls longer than Kerouac’s On the Road manuscript
  • Aftermarket accessories brochure thicker than War and Peace
  • Lexus-like qualities with a sub-Toyota MSRP


  • Lots of highway noise from tires and engine
  • Portly and unsettled in the twisties
  • Bulbous shifter
  • Rear seat headroom fit for someone with no head
  • What’s with the “R” instead of “E” on the gas gauge?

Ruling: For the money, this little Toy…er…Scion is a no-brainer.

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