First Drive: 2011 Scion tC

#Scion, #TC


The tC is a fun package right out of the box -- and it's easy to see why it's a tuner favorite. Some of the interior materials are a slight letdown, but in sum, this Scion offers a lot for the money. Base price for the 6-speed manual is $18,995 (with destination; the automatic adds $1000) and that includes eighteen-inch alloys and the panoramic sunroof. In fact, the only big omission is Bluetooth audio, which is a dealer-installed accessory, and its availability depends on which stereo you've selected.

Perhaps the same Toyota engineers responsible for the ancient LED clock and the unusable Alpine head unit were also the ones who decided that Bluetooth wouldn't come standard. After all, California and Florida are Scion's biggest markets. California requires the use of a hands-free device, and such a law is pending in Florida's senate. Why force customers to make use of the tC's airbags and crumple zones instead of equipping the car with Bluetooth for, what, $25? This car's average buyer is 26 years old. When was the last time you saw a 26-year-old driving while *not* on the phone? Let's teach these kids to be safe, allright? Oh, and move that damn USB port to the glovebox so they can't futz with their iPhones while driving, either. Putting the USB port out of view also solves the other problem of having to disconnect and hide a USB stick or iPod to avoid grabbing the attention of thieves. See? Was that so difficult?

Um, yeah, as I was saying. tC = cute little car. Fun little car. Funner than before, actually. Better-looking, too. Faster, also. More efficient, even. And only marginally more expensive. Looks like Scion dealers have something to keep them busy until the totally awesome, totally different iQ comes out later this year.

5 of 5
Cammissa needs to fact check better, and learn about prototypes: Hard plastic surfaces in protos (the armrest, for instance) virtually always become soft finished pieces in production. Camry comes with the same 2.5 liter (not the 2.7 found in Venza and Highlander)but popped into a lighter car. Finally, when he gets sideswiped by a driver distracted while scanning his playlist below windshield eye level it will be poetic justice (as long as the PR car he's driving is dinged, and not Jason).
The tC still looks too tame and is still way underpowered. Like the author said, "It's a cute little car," but it really should me more like a GTI, or better yet, a GTI on steroids. The tC (and in fact the whole Scion lineup) should be powerful, hot-looking sports coupes and sedans. Front-drive BMW wannabes for the young ones (and old ones) who don't have BMW money (even for a used one). A perfect tC would be a scaled-down, two-door Lexus IS with a twin-turbo charged V6 or I4. How about a two-door version of the Camry, about three feet shorter with the 270HP V6 from the Camry standard. Cars like that would make Scions fly out of the showroom. Like you said, who was the frumpy old dude who said Scions should be boring little cars? Wasn't the idea to bring in the youth? Youngins (and all people who think young) love gobs and gobs of style and power. Why do you think Camaros are so hot?
@RA65C83: You got me there, that was a typo. The 2.7 is in the Venza. -Jason
In the article it states that the 2.7 Camry version of this engine wasn't considered. What 2.7 version? The 2011 tC DOES have the Camry 2.5. There is no 2.7.
Jean, get this sexist off your staff. Neither my wife nor my daughters would buy an automatic. They can out drive most men and they do know how to use their stick shifts.
This is a great article. Looking at the pictures and reading the article leads me to the conclusion Toyota is building interiors as bad as the old GM. Come on Toyota. Valve springs on Lexus vehicles, some sort of acceleration problem, rust on Tundras, and crapy much for continuous improvement.

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