2006 tC New Car Test Drive
The Scion tC is an affordably priced but well-equipped coupe that benefits from Toyota's attention to quality, durability and reliability. Though inexpensive, it is anything but cheap. The body panels fit tight and straight, and quality construction is evident.
The engine is quiet, smooth, and plenty powerful, and the car is surprisingly quiet underway. Its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine generates 160 horsepower and gets an EPA-rated 30 miles per gallon on the highway. Steering, ride quality and handling are commendable. Its four-wheel disc brakes are powerful, and ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution come standard. A full array of airbags is available to enhance safety.
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, the 2006 tC gets a host of audio upgrades including compatibility with that latest must-have accessory: the Apple iPod. The tC offers a menu of options that allow owners to build cars unique to their tastes. The tC was launched as an all-new nameplate for 2005, so there are no major changes for 2006.
The Scion tC ($16,200) 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 AM/FM/6CD, 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.
Scion tC is powered by a 160-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It comes standard with a five-speed manual; a four-speed automatic is optional ($17,000).
Safety features include an optional side-impact and curtain air bag system ($650) designed to provide torso and head protection in a side impact, the latter the leading cause of death in side impacts. A knee airbag is standard, along with the mandated dual front airbags. Anti-lock brakes and Electronic Brake-force Distribution are standard.
An optional upgrade for 2006 models allows iPod users to control song selection through the car's stereo head unit.
More than 40 freestanding options are available, ranging from shift knobs to a supercharger kit good for 200 horsepower. Special Toyota Racing Development (TRD) items 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.