When The Scion tC debuted in 2004, some automotive journalist compared it to the fabled Toyota Corolla GT-S. It wasn’t an all-out sports car, but here was a practical sports coupe with a 160 hp inline-four, good looks, well equipped and a sub-$20k price tag, not to mention it came with Toyota’s reputation for reliability.
Fast forward to 2011, and we get to see how the car is handling middle-age and fighting off compentition from the quick learning Korean manufacturers. High Gear Media head-honcho Marty Padgett got to drive the 2011 Scion tC and posted his impressions over on Motor Authority.
Styling wise, Marty thinks the coupe will be attracting a lot less female customers looking for a sports coupe. While below the beltine, there hasn’t been too radical of a design change, but the flat roof and ruler straight lines gives up the femininity of the previous generation for something more masculine. Inside, the cockpit has some nice touches, but there seems to be some fit and finish issues.
Performance is brisk thanks to the Camry Sourced 2.5L four, producing 180 hp and 174 lbs-ft of torque. Mid-seven second 0-60 times can be had, making it pretty good for what it is. The car has two six-speed transmissions available, a manual or an automatic with sequential shift that remembers your driving style. What it doesn’t make up for in straight line performance it makes good in mileage, delivering 23/31 for both transmissions (take that Honda CR-Z!) Marty doesn’t go much into handling, instead focusing a bit on the harsh ride, thanks to the TRD bits that Toyota installed on the car.
The tC’s base price is about $19,000 and comes with the following: power windows, locks and mirrors; cruise control; steering-wheel audio controls; XM satellite radio; tilt/telescope steering and sunroof. However, check the options boxes, and the prices gets alarmingly close to the much quicker Ford Mustang according to Marty.
The final verdic is that the Scion tC better than cars like the Ford Focus Coupe or Kia Forte Coupe, but doesn’t have that same value as it did in 2004.