The tC has always been a surprisingly lively and well-rounded offering, but its redesign has quietly turned it into a legitimate sporty car for those on a budget. It starts with a larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder, which provides strong acceleration throughout the rev-range and yet remains smooth and snappy. It plays well with the slick, precise manual gearbox, encouraging smooth rev-matched downshifts. On a small side note, we've officially reached the point where a normally aspirated engine is a welcome novelty, though you do pay for it with mediocre fuel economy. The tC also feels more tossable than its predecessor, even though it's not that light at nearly 3100 pounds. The handling is relatively balanced for a front-wheel-drive car, and the steering, which used to be limp and light, now has genuine feel and feedback. I'm not saying the tC is necessarily a fast car, but it is now a fun car that's easy and rewarding to drive aggressively. Best of all, the tC is still very cheap at $19,305 and is relatively practical thanks to its real back seat, its hatchback versatility, and its Japanese reliability.
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