2010 Scion tC

#Scion, #TC

I eagerly await Toyota's return to building proper sports cars with the FT-86. But in the meantime, this Scion tC is one or two improvements away from being a fantastic enthusiast's bargain.

Although it's been on the market for some time, the tC remains one of the better-looking vehicles to come out of Toyota recently. I especially like the interior, which features snug bucket seats and a nicely grained dash with a dual-binnacle instrument panel that recalls the old Datsun 240Z. As you'd expect from a Scion, there's a heavy-hitting Pioneer stereo that makes even NPR talk shows sound bass-heavy.

For a base price of less than $18,000, the tC is also surprisingly competent as a sport coupe. The five-speed manual is extremely precise, and the 2.4-liter four-cylinder, though lacking high-rpm fireworks, is reasonably powerful and sounds plenty smooth. Ride is decent even with this example's optional eighteen-inch TRD wheels. The tC's only major fault is its overboosted steering, which is easily disturbed by hard braking and acceleration. Aside from that issue, though, you have a cheap little coupe that even a Honda Civic Si buyer should consider.

David Zenlea, Assistant Editor

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After reading all the Toyota's latest horrible recall information, I am hesitated to buy another Toyota. I was led down by the first Scion xB, and the tC is not doing enough to entice me back. There is currently no other comparable coupe for the price range (the Civic is economy car, not a sporty coupe and the SI is overpriced), but I am moving up to the Genesis coupe 2.0 T. That 210 hp feels much more substantial compared to this tC. And Korean cars are getting better, while Toyota, the mother of Scion, are getting more and more bad coverage for their questionable build quality these days.
@FacelessSounds like you have long legs and arms that allow you to sit with the seat pushed farther back, so you're under a higher section of the sloping roof. Maybe McCausland has a proportionally taller torso and shorter limbs--I can imagine how someone shorter could have a harder time getting comfortable in a car without a telescoping steering wheel than a taller person.
I have a 2009 Scion tC that is virtually identical. Having driven it 20K miles so far, generally I have to agree that it's a nice car. However, a couple of your comments are weird. First, Zenlea especially likes the interior, whereas to me the interior absolutely screams "CHEAP!" The upholstery is this slick stuff that reminds me of doubleknit. Eccch! I also find McCausland's comment odd (saying that at 5'-10" he can't fit), because I'm 6'-4" and actually bought the car because I fit so well in it.

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