Review: 2005 Scion tC

Owning a Scion is about making a statement with the car choice and how it is later customized. Dealers offer a long roster of cosmetic and performance enhancements from both TRD and respected aftermarket companies, making it easy to purchase a tweaked ride and finance the entire cost, without later requiring a credit card to place an online order. Suspension, clutch, body kit, lighting, the whole works, makes ordering a tC much like building up a car in a "Need for Speed: Underground" video game.

Beyond the halo of Toyota's reputation, the Scion is covered by a standard 3-year/36,000-mile warranty, as well as a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain and 5-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty. At 22/29 mpg, city/highway, the tC fuel economy trails similarly priced coupes, though few can rival the powertrain's immediacy. For the asking price, the tC offers a lot of car, quality, and features, though research has shown its five-year cost of ownership to be Average.

The heir to the Celica is a more complete and mature take on the sport compact segment, offering more torque, space, and dealer options. This is a boundary-pushing car at an affordable price point that will delight bargain shoppers.

What's Hot

  • Torquey I-4
  • Clever features
  • Abundant personalization options

    What's Not

  • Chunky styling
  • Headroom, f/r
  • Elephant skin interior textures

    The tC is an all-new car for Scion, with the only significant late addition being the optional TRD supercharger, good for 200 horsepower total.

    A Scion is all about presence and personality, making the ground effects body kit an appealing addition at $995. Other cosmetics such as aluminum pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and exhaust tip can affordably dress up the car further. A prudent choice would be the side and curtain airbags for $650.

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