It can be argued that the tC is Scion's most successful model in every way. Even though we tend to associate Scion with the square-box xB, it's actually the tC that steals the thunder. Not only is it Scion's best seller, accounting for over 40% of the brand's sales, but its buyers are also the youngest in the industry, at an average age of 26. Bringing young buyers into the Toyota fold was, after all, the original goal of Scion.
A quick look at the new tC's specs shows that Toyota might have learned its lesson from the sales disappointment that is the new xB: the tC has grown in width by 1.6 inches, but that's it. The styling is a clear and careful evolution of the old car's, and every major exterior measurement is the same.
The tC's looks have been toughened up, using some touches from the 2007 New York Auto Show concept Scion Fuse. Inspired by the side view of a helmet, the A-pillars have been blacked out, resulting in a side greenhouse profile not unlike that of the Nissan GT-R. At first glance, the taillights are reminiscent of a Saturn Ion coupe's (not that the last tC's weren't, too), but the overall design works quite well. The new tC doesn't look quite as bubbly and happy as the last tC; and we think that's a good thing.
While the roof looks lower, the tC's overall height is exactly the same as before, and interior headroom as almost unchanged (your scalp will be 0.1 inch closer to the headliner up front, 0.2 inches in back.)
A wider track (plus 1.3 inches front, 2.1 inches rear) contributes to a better stance -- with the help of standard eighteen-inch wheels -- but likely contributes to a significant increase in turning circle. (Now a rather large 37.1 feet, up 1.3 feet.)
Brake size has increased to help fill the bigger wheels (last year's tC rode on seventeens); the vented front rotors are up just over 0.8 inches to 11.65, rear rotors are up about 0.4 to 10.98 inches. ABS and defeatable stability control are, of course, standard equipment. Brake assist is new, as is an additional (knee) airbag and active front headrests.