2014 Scion tC

MSRP ?

$19,210 - $21,440
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Engine Engine 2.5LI-4
MPG MPG 23 City / 31 Hwy
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2014 tC Overview

Once upon a time, the Scion brand sought to bring more youthful buyers into the Toyota stable. In the early 2000s, Scion launched with its plucky xA and xB hatchbacks, and a lot of people bought into its affordable, customizable, funky lineup – myself included. I was once the proud owner of a 2006 xB, and though the box-on-wheels wasn't really a proper enthusiast machine by any means, I loved its unique driving dynamics, clever packaging and fresh style. Following those two hatches, Scion released its tC coupe – a modestly sporty little thing that stayed true to the brand's core values of being affordable, neat-looking and endlessly customizable. People really dug the first-generation tC, and with good reason – it offered a bit more personality than a comparable Honda Civic Coupe, effectively the only other two-door compact then on the market from Japan. And for folks who wanted a sporty, low-cost two-door, the tC was a pretty decent buy. But then Scion changed. The xA was killed and the comparatively frumpy xD bowed as its replacement. The xB was totally renewed, but it got bigger, heavier and less attractive in the process. And then after a few years of standing idle (will we ever see xD/xB replacements?), Toyota birthed the Scion FR-S – a properly sporty, enthusiast-minded rear-drive coupe created with the help of Subaru. I really dig the FR-S – if I had to buy something from the Toyota/Lexus/Scion stable, it's easily the car I'd want. But by offering a properly good two-door package with its new coupe, where has that left the older, front-drive tC? The tC was still the best-selling Scion in 2013, but at 19,094 units, its deliveries were only slightly better than the newer FR-S, which rang up 18,327 sales. Toyota has given the tC a modest refresh for 2014, so I spent a week with one to see whether or not there's still real merit to the original Scion coupe, or if it's already reaching has-been status. Driving Notes The tC isn't a bad car to drive – let me make that clear right from the get-go. No, it doesn't offer the perfect weight distribution, excellent chassis tuning and great steering of the FR-S, but really, it's still good fun. Allow me to explain. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 179 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque – plenty of grunt for this 3,082-pound coupe. My tester came with a six-speed manual transmission, controlled by a linear, nicely weighted clutch and a shifter that offers decently crisp throws that could be a bit shorter. The tC has no problem getting up and going, and the transmission makes it easy to keep the engine on boil. It may have less power than the FR-S, but the 2.5-liter engine offers more torque, and that's really noticeable off the line. The suspension is tuned for easy, daily-driver fun – while not as feedback-heavy as the FR-S, it's certainly not a …
Full Review

2014 tC Overview

Once upon a time, the Scion brand sought to bring more youthful buyers into the Toyota stable. In the early 2000s, Scion launched with its plucky xA and xB hatchbacks, and a lot of people bought into its affordable, customizable, funky lineup – myself included. I was once the proud owner of a 2006 xB, and though the box-on-wheels wasn't really a proper enthusiast machine by any means, I loved its unique driving dynamics, clever packaging and fresh style. Following those two hatches, Scion released its tC coupe – a modestly sporty little thing that stayed true to the brand's core values of being affordable, neat-looking and endlessly customizable. People really dug the first-generation tC, and with good reason – it offered a bit more personality than a comparable Honda Civic Coupe, effectively the only other two-door compact then on the market from Japan. And for folks who wanted a sporty, low-cost two-door, the tC was a pretty decent buy. But then Scion changed. The xA was killed and the comparatively frumpy xD bowed as its replacement. The xB was totally renewed, but it got bigger, heavier and less attractive in the process. And then after a few years of standing idle (will we ever see xD/xB replacements?), Toyota birthed the Scion FR-S – a properly sporty, enthusiast-minded rear-drive coupe created with the help of Subaru. I really dig the FR-S – if I had to buy something from the Toyota/Lexus/Scion stable, it's easily the car I'd want. But by offering a properly good two-door package with its new coupe, where has that left the older, front-drive tC? The tC was still the best-selling Scion in 2013, but at 19,094 units, its deliveries were only slightly better than the newer FR-S, which rang up 18,327 sales. Toyota has given the tC a modest refresh for 2014, so I spent a week with one to see whether or not there's still real merit to the original Scion coupe, or if it's already reaching has-been status. Driving Notes The tC isn't a bad car to drive – let me make that clear right from the get-go. No, it doesn't offer the perfect weight distribution, excellent chassis tuning and great steering of the FR-S, but really, it's still good fun. Allow me to explain. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 179 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of torque – plenty of grunt for this 3,082-pound coupe. My tester came with a six-speed manual transmission, controlled by a linear, nicely weighted clutch and a shifter that offers decently crisp throws that could be a bit shorter. The tC has no problem getting up and going, and the transmission makes it easy to keep the engine on boil. It may have less power than the FR-S, but the 2.5-liter engine offers more torque, and that's really noticeable off the line. The suspension is tuned for easy, daily-driver fun – while not as feedback-heavy as the FR-S, it's certainly not a …Hide Full Review