Ending my time with the Scion tC and reading through the numerous reader write-ins (that weren't jabs at VW for some reason) it seems the vehicle's greatest asset is value and not its considerable performance. Although some will say that performance works its way into the value column as well.
During my week in the tC I was continually surprised by the numerous features the $17,000 coupe had hidden everywhere. The automatic windows for both driver and passenger, both up and down, were terrific and should be in every car with power windows. The headlights turned off automatically which was a welcome treat. I don?t think I can live without them now either, especially as winter approaches and daylight hours are short.
The dual sunroofs were really cool and I wish I had more friends to fill the back seats and more sunny days to fully enjoy them. Spacious cargo room was also a bonus and the fold flat rear seats were a snap to lower and raise. Little things like a padded armrest and lit cubby hole (to find change on tollways at night!) are what really endear the tC to everyday drivers and not strict car enthusiasts.
However, if I were in the market for an affordable car to equip with performance goodies it would be the tC. Right off the lot there is already considerable performance value in the engine and even more in the suspension. You wouldn?t have to upgrade wheels or tires for a while either. In fact the first thing I would buy would be the factory or dealer installed supercharger. Not voiding the warranty on something like that would also influence the purchasing decision for me.
Oddly enough my one pet peeve with the Scion line is the stereo choice. Yes it is nice to have a standard 6-disc changer and all that power. But when it sounds like a muddy mess playing 75% of my discs what?s the point? None of the CDs I selected sounded crisp or clear on any of the settings. Often you have to turn up the volume to a high level to get a decent quality and in the end I was listening to talk radio so I could take note of all the creaks and clanks the sunroof and undercarriage was making. I think a quick trip to the dealer would probably fix the noise issues from a mechanical standpoint. But I?d have to take a trip to Circuit City to fix the stereo problem, and that would be coming out of my own wallet. For a line that is so in tune with buyers that value music I?m shocked they have really missed the quality of the sound the Pioneer stereo produces in their vehicles.
But considering everything you get for your money in the tC, having a custom stereo set-up might be the first order of business and wouldn?t really bother me as a buyer. The supercharger still might trump the stereo in order of ?necessity.?