Friday, February 4, 2011

Scion tC is Worth a Good Look

A sporty design meets affordability and great fuel economy in the 2011 Scion tC. 

This vehicle has undergone a full makeover that brings more modern concepts and a stronger yet less thirsty engine to this five-seat coupe.

The tC debuted in 2004 as an alternative small car aimed at young people.

Now, with its 180-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine it is nearly a value version of a sports car. 
The tC has a new six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode.  
This front-wheel-drive car has added 19 horsepower from a year ago, but fuel economy is now 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, which puts it ahead of last year's model. 
The front fascia looks more serious now, and the redesigned headlights, larger, lower grille, blacked-out A-pillars and sedan-like side view give it a sporty and more upscale look.
If last year's tC was a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor All Stars, this year's version is a pair of Nike Air Zoom running shoes.
Toyota, Scion's owner, says the 2011 tC comes with a standard panorama moonroof, which means that there are two moonroofs—one up front and one in the rear.  Both flow into the rear window to provide an open-air feel.  
Toyota also says the new 18-inch alloy wheels and chrome exhaust tip and mirror-integrated turn signals come standard.

On the inside, the tC's cabin has been slightly lengthened, fortunately for us. An attempt at driving the previous model failed because frankly, we couldn't fit into it. The fit continues to be a quite snug one for taller drivers, but at least there is a bit more space. 
The new telescoping steering wheel gives a bit more leg room. On the wheel, you'll find controls for the audio system. 
 A CD player, USB jack and a new stereo with eight speakers all come standard, Toyota says.  Cargo volume is pretty good for a small car, at 14.7 cubic feet (two more than the 2010 tC) behind rear 60/40-split seatback and 34.5 cubic feet total with the seat folded flat.

For simplicity's sake, the tC has one trim level but has numerous factory-available parts that let you create your own car.  Those include front and rear spoilers, LED light enhancements, navigation system, custom 18-inch wheels, ground effects kit, and a dealer-installed supercharger.

The safety features on the tC are plentiful, such as seat-mounted side-impact airbags, side curtain airbags for the first and second rows, driver’s knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, electronic stability system with traction control, front head restraints, and electronic brake assist.

The tC is actually pretty fun to drive, too. It takes corners well and accelerates crisply. 
The tC is priced from around $18,300 to just under $22,000.
For modern concepts and a cool new design, the tC deserves a good look.

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