Sporty attitude; decent back seat; handy hatchback; cool tech features; extensive personalization options; good value
Not quite as capable as it looks
The tC receives new front- and rear-end styling with LED accents, redesigned wheels, retuned suspension and steering, a standard 6.1-inch touchscreen, and a newly optional premium stereo with navigation and Aha smartphone connectivity, as well as an updated automatic transmission that shifts more quickly and matches revs on downshifts. There's also a limited-edition 10 Series model in honor of Scion's 10-year anniversary.
The base tC is a great value, particularly given how much standard equipment Scion throws in. We still prefer the manual, but the new automatic is unusually responsive.
The 2014 Scion tC is offered in two trim levels -- base and 10 Series -- with many optional accessories.
The base tC ($19,965) comes with 18-in alloy wheels, LED running lights and taillights, a panoramic sunroof, a height-adjustable driver's seat, air conditioning, power accessories, cruise control, a first aid kit, a tilt-telescopic flat-bottom sport steering wheel and an 8-speaker 300-watt Pioneer audio system with a 6.1-in touchscreen, HD radio, and iPod/USB and Bluetooth connectivity.
Available extras include 19-in alloy wheels, fog lights, a rear spoiler, a BeSpoke infotainment system with navigation and Aha mobile-app integration, and a variety of mild performance aids such as lowering springs, performance brakes and a sport exhaust.
The 10 Series ($22,195), offered in a limited production run of 10,000 units, comes with special silver paint, xenon headlights, illuminated exterior badges, keyless entry with push-button start, silver seat belts, electroluminescent gauges, dual-zone automatic climate control, a solar-powered illuminated shift knob and 10 Series badging.
The tC model's back seat illustrates the advantages of basing a sport coupe on an existing sedan (in this case, the overseas Toyota Avensis). Unless the front passengers are unusually tall, full-size adults should be able to ride in back for miles without complaint. Rear headroom is the most significant limiting factor.
The cargo capacity seems average-plus at first blush -- 14.7 cu ft -- but that's just the start of it. The tC is a hatchback, believe it or not, and if you open that lift gate and fold down the rear seat backs, you'll have nearly 35 cu ft of cargo space, which puts the tC in a dead heat with the xD 4-door hatchback.
|Basic||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||5 Years/60,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||5 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||2 Years/25,000 Miles|
|Maintenance||2 Years/25,000 Miles|
Honda Civic Si -- More focused on performance than the tC, the Civic Si is a little quicker if you wind it out to the redline. The tC has closed the gap considerably, though.
Ford Fiesta ST -- It may be a 4-door hatchback, but the turbocharged ST is more fun than just about any 2-door car. And it's attractively priced.
Kia Forte Koup -- The new-for-2014 Forte Koup offers a cool turbocharged engine that matches the Fiesta ST model's power and easily bests the Scion's.