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2005 Scion tC Coupe

3dr HB Manual (Natl)

Starting at | Starting at 22 MPG City - 29 MPG Highway

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  • $16,000 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 Scion tC Coupe

Printable Version

2005 Scion tC Coupe

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2005 Scion tC

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

Toyota's all-out attempt to capture America's Generation Y buyers of hot-looking, hot-performing small cars started last year with the simultaneous introductions of the Scion xA 5-door hatchback runabout and the xB microvan, but they are calling the new tC hatchback coupe the first true Scion. The tC is built on the same chassis as the Toyota Avensis, which is sold only in Europe, and uses the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine used throughout the American Toyota lineup, but that doesn't mean this is just another Toyota. This little rocket was developed in only 13 months with a single purpose in mind.

The Scion tC means to make mincemeat of the Honda Civic that is so popular with Gen Y drivers by offering a single, very well equipped model at a nearly unbeatable low price and a menu of options that will allow owners to built cars unique to their tastes.

The engine is quiet, smooth, and plenty powerful. The steering, ride quality and handling are commendable. Braking is powerful, with ABS and electronic brake force distribution standard. This car is surprisingly quiet, the interior materials are first-rate, and attention to detail is evident. The bucket seats are comfortable and there's enough room to suit tall drivers. A 160-watt stereo is standard, and a full array of airbags is available.

This is perhaps the best small Japanese coupe we have ever driven, at a price that is ridiculously low.

Model Lineup

The Scion tC hatchback coupe ($15,950) comes only one way, with no model name attached. (They apparently couldn't call it xC because Volvo already uses XC90 for its sport utility). It comes with all the major comfort and convenience items built in, including air conditioning, power steering, brakes, locks and mirrors, a tilt wheel, a 160-watt Pioneer 6-CD changer AM/FM setup, sport bucket seats with cloth seating and position memory, two-tiered console, reclining front and rear seats, keyless entry, engine immobilizer, cargo cover, and a dozen other items.

There are only two factory-installed options, the automatic transmission at $845 and the side and roof air bag system for $650. To make the car more palatable to more people, Scion has chosen a menu of 40 different freestanding options, more than any other car in its class, ranging from a $4500 supercharger kit good for 200 horsepower to a selection of different chrome and leather shift knobs. Special Toyota Racing Development (TRD) high-performance items for the Scion tC include 18- and 19-inch wheels, a lowering kit, struts and shock absorbers, rear anti-roll bar, a high-performance clutch, a quick shifter, a stainless steel muffler, and a shift-point indicator light kit. Toyota's high-performance arm is already working on a 300-horsepower package of parts for the lunatic fringe.

Walkaround

The look of the Scion tC is one of purposeful performance. It's not blatant, and it doesn't come with spoilers, rocker moldings or wings, but all the ingredients are there. The somewhat bland overall look is meant to be "a blank canvas" for young hot-rodders and customizers. The standard panorama glass roof is an unexpected bonus in this price class, fitted without gaskets for a tight, no-creaks fit. It filters 97 percent of UV rays and 100 percent of infrared, to avoid damage to occupants.

The doors are quite long for such a small car, and the door handles of the reach-around-and-pull variety that we like. The long rear side window suggests a two-door sedan more than a hatchback coupe, and makes the design flow from front to rear gracefully. Wheel arches are exaggerated, suggesting that larger tires and wheels will be fitted as soon as the car is bought (or the buyer can opt for the 18- or 19-inch factory wheels and tires).

The body panel fits are typically Toyota, tight and straight, and quality leaks from every pore. The tC is the first purpose-built Scion, the other two having been developed from concept vehicles, and although it is inexpensive, it is anything but cheap.

Interior Features

Inside the Scion tC, there are lots more positive surprises. Materials are first-rate, there aren't a whole lot of different grains and textures, and the swoopy brushed-metal center stack housing vents, sound system and climate control system, is a marvel of modern design. Everything fits together beautifully, works intuitively and looks great.

The front bucket seats look and feel like they were designed for racing, but that doesn't mean to say they're too narrow or too hard. Very comfortable, with enough fore/aft adjustment to suit very tall American drivers regardless of age. The driver's and shotgun seats can be reclined all the way down into what Scion calls a "sleep" position, and the rear seats recline through 10 stops and 45 degrees of recline to convert the interior into a conversation bin. With seats up, there's more than 26 inches of cargo length there; with the second seats dropped, almost 60 inches; and with the front passenger seat folded over, almost 104 inches of cargo length available.

There are lots of convincing little touches indoors, like the mechanical seat position memory on the front bucket seats, the 60/40 split folding rear seat, the very decent amount of storage space with the seats down, the dead pedal for the driver's left foot, fully closing vents, and a cover for the stereo system's faceplate. A knee airbag is standard, the first US Toyota to have this feature.

Speaking of stereos, the base Pioneer/Scion single-CD system packs a user-customizable welcome screen, MP3 capability, four speakers and 160 watts, with a 10-inch subwoofer optional and a 6-CD slot changer and XM satellite radio also available at extra cost. The three-pod instrument panel is amber-illuminated, deeply tunneled and easy to use, day or night, as are the balance of the instruments and controls.

Driving Impressions

The engine in the Scion tC has been around in one form or another as a car and truck powerplant for many years, continuously improved for power, torque, and Toyota levels of quietness and reliability. It comes with electronic variable valve timing for good low end torque development, and twin balance shafts for smoothness. Tuned to 160 horsepower and 163 foot-pounds of torque for this application, the engine is quiet, smooth, and plenty powerful in a 2900-pound car, and at full throttle, it sounds powerful without being intrusive, because it has a valved muffler that opens up at high rpm and can be worth as much as 5 horsepower.

The transmission gearing in the automatic that we drove for this test is wholly unsuitable for bigtime acceleration, with an overall ratio of just over 10:1 (the first-gear ratio times the axle ratio), while the manual is almost 50 percent lower, almost 15:1, for maximum acceleration in first gear. However, the automatic does move out smartly, it's obviously much easier to live with in gooey traffic, and will get significantly better highway mileage than the manual, which is saddled with a very low 4.235 axle ratio. No complaints on the powertrain.

The steering, ride quality and overall handling of the Scion tC were commendable, in part due to its 106-inch wheelbase, longest in the class. It steers with a hefty touch, but accurate pointing, and transitions are easy and without drama. That's because the tC has low-cost MacPherson strut front suspension coupled with an expensive independent double-wishbone rear suspension not found on many cars in this price class. Bridgestone Potenza tires originally developed for the hot-rod Lexus IS 300 are standard.

Braking is accomplished with a combination of ventilated front and sold rear discs, 10.8 inches front and 10.6 inches rear, generously sized and quite powerful for a car this light, with both ABS and electronic brake force distribution built into the standard price. The pedal feel and travel is very much to our liking, with very little dead space at the top of the pedal travel.

One of the things that came through after our initial drive was the quietness of this small, inexpensive car, which turns out to have more sound insulation in it than any other Toyota product this side of a Lexus V8. The front suspension strut tower is connected to both the dashboard and to the A-pillar for extra strength and solidity, and the rear suspension has three steel subframe supports that also add quietness and rigidity.

Summary

If your physical size and family size can tolerate the tC, it can most certainly transport and entertain you for less than $17,000. With the killer 40-item option list and the TRD parts catalog, you can build a unique car. All it takes is money. There's nothing missing. It's all here.

For performance-minded youth, the option list and the TRD parts list will enable you to build a unique Scion tC hot rod without ever leaving the dealership, and the hot-rod parts carry the same warranty as the car itself.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$15,950
Model lineup:
Scion tC ($16,645, including freight)
Engines:
160-hp 2.4-liter dohc 16-valve inline-4
Transmissions:
5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
ABS, front airbags, knee air bag
Safety equipment (Optional):
side-impact and roof airbags
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Tasumi, Japan
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Scion tC ($15,950)
Standard equipment:
air conditioning, power windows, power locks, power mirrors, power hatch release, audio cover, cargo cover, remote entry, engine immobilizer, AM-FM 6CD 6-speaker stereo, cruise control, panorama moonroof, chrome exhaust tip, 17-inch alloy wheels
Options as tested:
automatic transmission ($800), side and roof air bags ($650)
Destination charge:
515
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$17,915
Layout:
front-wheel drive
Engine:
2.4-liter dohc 16-valve inline-4
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
160 @ 5700
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
163 @ 4000
Transmission:
5-speed manual
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
23/30 mpg.
Wheelbase:
106.3 in.
Length/width/height:
174/69.1/55.7 in.
Track, f/r:
59.3/59.3 in.
Turning circle:
5 ft.
Seating capacity:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, f:
37.6/53.2/41.6 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
36.6/47.3/33.6 in.
Cargo volume:
12.8 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
not rated lbs.
Suspension F:
independent
Suspension R:
independent
Ground clearance:
5.2 in.
Curb weight:
2905 lbs.
Tires:
P215/45ZR17
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS, EBD in.
Fuel capacity:
14.5 gal.

Printable Version

2005 Scion tC Coupe

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Side Head Air Bag Opt
Rear Head side Air Bag Opt

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Opt
Electrochromic Rearview Mirror Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Printable Version

2005 Scion tC Coupe

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Miles

Months

Scion Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Warranty.*

7-year/100,000-mile Limited Powertrain Warranty**

*Whichever comes first from date of Scion Certified Pre-Owned Vehicle purchase. The Comprehensive Warranty covers any repair or replacement of components which fail under normal use due to defect in materials or workmanship. (Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii.)
**Whichever comes first from original date of first use when sold as new. See your Scion Certified Pre-Owned Vehicles dealer for warranty details. Program not available in Puerto Rico and Hawaii. For AL, FL, GA, NC & SC, warranty coverage differs in the following ways: 7-year or 100,000-mile Scion Certified Limited Powertrain Warranty coverage begins on January 1st of the vehicle's model year and zero (0) odometer miles and expires at the earlier of seven years or 100,000 odometer miles.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 / 85,000
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection Reconditioning and 160-point
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50/Visit

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 Scion tC Coupe

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