Scion tC Review
I have to admit that Toyota is finally doing something to be excited about. With a history of over-priced, under-performing sports cars, Toyota is finally making amends with the tC.
Don't get me wrong, the tC is not a high-performer. But at under $16k with a host of standard features and a 160hp 4-cyl, you cant really complain.
And the Blitz SuperCharger will be available in February next year.
Very nice looking car, cool features. Extremely high quality (more Lexus level than Toyota). Tons of cool and unexpected standard
Suprising power from the manual 4-cyl, unexpectdly smooth power, tight handling. Lots of car for the money, nice styling.
No options for interior color/material.
This car is aimed squarley at the GenY, wannbe tuner. The kid who wants a nice, customized/modified car, but doesnt want to turn a wrench. So basically this car is aimed at the GenY parents as much as the GenY'ers themselves. But it overshoots the mark with more refined (less edgy) styling than the xA and xB and will certainly appeal to the cost-conscious GenX'ers too.
The styling is a refreshing change from the either boring or overdone styling of previous Toyota "sporty" cars and represents a better balance. The car is as fast as it looks and no faster than it looks.
Some of the unique (to this segment) standard features include a panoramic moonroof, turn indicators on the mirrors, 4-wheel disk brakes, nice 17" rims, CD/MP3 6speaker stereo, height adjustable driver seat, tire pressure monitor, and power windows/mirrors/locks.
The list of optional features is more impressive than the standard features including Cold Air Intake, sport exhaust, sport clutch, front strut tie bar, 18" wheel/tire package, lowering springs, sport shifter, strut/shock kit, and coming early next year a Supercharger kit. Aesthetic options include all the normal stuff plus a CF B-pillar applique and a light kit that illuminates the footwells and cupholders. Kinda ricey but cool that these are dealer installed options.
In fact pretty much everything is dealer installed.
You choose color and transmission from the factory and the delaer handles everything else.
Getting into the car, you immediately notice the quality. Everything is tight and solid with the only notable exception being the coverplate that closes over the stereo. Interior materials are all high quality, but not luxury. The seats are made of a cool synthetic material that stays cool even in direct sunlight. I was impressed at how cool the black on black car was sitting in the Houston heat.
The instrument cluster and panel are all very well laid out. The stereo isnt going to win any awards for its design, but it includes a CD/MP3 player, 6 speaker 160watts and can be upgraded to include XM satellite, so no complaints there. Sound quality is good.
I started the car with the door open and the exhaust note suprised me. Not terribly impressive but more than I expected from the stock exhaust. When I closed the door it was solid and more importantly quiet. I was very impressed with how quiet the car was from inside.
Driving the car was a joy. The handling was tight and responsive. Steering was smooth and predictable. The front stabilizer did a good job keeping us level, but the car could benefit from an upgrade. Torque steer did not seem to be much of an issue. I didnt push it hard enough to know if it had an understeer/oversteer problem.
Acceleration was suprisingly smooth and the car pulled harder than I expected. I am definitely looking forward to driving a SC version.
The throw of the brake was longer than I expected so it felt at first that the brakes were light till I pressed farther. Breaking was great once I got used to the longer throw of the pedal.
The clutch had a longer throw as well but engaged smoothly and was not very stiff. Nice for driving in stop-and-go traffic.
All-in-all the car had a very solid feel and I had a blast driving it. I am very impressed. It can use some more power, but what car can't?
I drove an automatic as well and it performed as expected. Get a manual if you buy one.
With this combination of features, quality, Toyota reliability and performance at $16k I just might buy one.
Here is an image I made to display the avaialble colors:
Check it out at Scion.com