The Budget-Friendly Sports Coupe – Scion tC

Table of Contents

Overview of Scion tC

Scion tC was a compact sports car that was produced by the now-defunct Toyota’s Scion brand. The major aim of Scion was to produce elegant yet affordable cars for youngsters. With the production of Scion tC, they brought a sleek and sporty vehicle into the market, with a distinctive panoramic sunroof and a spacious interior. Though Scion tC comes with confident handling and well-controlled body motions, its rivals outperform tC in many ways. However, the feature that makes Scion tC stand out is the customization option that helps buyers personalize their vehicles with aftermarket accessories of their choice.

The Origin and History of Scion tC

Scion tC was launched in the US in 2004. This car was majorly a response to the changing market dynamics. The first generation of this car lasted from 2004 to 2010. It made its first debut as a 2005 model year. Compared to other traditional vehicles in the automotive market, Scion tC came out to be much more stylish and affordable. The panoramic sunroof and sleek design were the major attention seekers in this vehicle.

The second generation of Scion tC was introduced in 2011 and lasted till 2016. We saw improved performance, better infotainment features, and a refreshed design. This car maintained its reputation well as a sporty car.

However, the shifting market trends compelled Toyota to put an end to the Scion brand. This resulted in integrating existing Scion models into the Toyota lineup; however, the production of the tC ceased after the 2016 model year.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Throughout the production run of Scion tC, you will find a four-cylinder engine under its hood. Its 2.4-liter Four-Cylinder is capable of producing 160 to 180 horsepower and comes in both manual and automated transmission. Buyers can pick according to their preferences. The 5-speed manual transmission appealed to those drivers who want greater control over the gear selection. On the other hand, drivers who prefer convenience can get a 4-speed or a 6-speed automatic transmission vehicle. No matter whether you pick the manual or the automatic transmission, this car has an estimated 26 mpg combined.

Scion tC offers outstanding handling due to its well-tuned suspension system. This allows a fun driving experience even on twisty roads. Other than that, a lot of credit for its stability and exceptional handling can be attributed to the front-wheel-drive system. In just 7.3 seconds, Scion tC reaches 0 to 60mph, which is quite a good time for such a car.

Interior of Scion tC

When you step inside the Scion tC, you will see a spacious interior with a large headroom and legroom that gives quite a sporty look. The rear seats of this vehicle are also spacious enough to accommodate the adults comfortably. This is best for those that need rear seats for passengers. The interior is made using soft material or leather upholstery that makes you feel super comfortable. There’s also a thick, flat-bottom steering wheel with audio control.

The feature that makes Scion tC stand out is the panoramic sunroof that is so big that it extends over both the front and back seats. This sunroof gives a sense of openness and allows the entry of plenty of natural sunlight, making it fun to drive on sunny winter days.

Interior Color Options

Scion tC has varying interior color options depending on the model year and trim level. Below are some common color choices you may find in Scion tC.

  • Black – Gives a classic and sporty look
  • Gray – Gives a neutral and understated appearance
  • Beige – Provides a lighter and open feel
  • Red – Gives a bold and vibrant look

Cargo and Space

Despite the compact exterior, you will find a generous cargo space in Scion tC. This accounts for 14.7 cubic feet. The rear seats are designed such that they fold down to a 60/40 split configuration so that you can put them down to expand the space to 34.5 cubic feet. This gives the owner the flexibility to expand the cargo space whenever needed.

Apart from that, there are various storage compartments here and there throughout the cabin. They include cup holders, a center console, door pockets, and many other convenient places to keep smaller items.

Navigating the Infotainment Technology in Scion tC

When you start the vehicle, it powers the infotainment system, which consists of a seven-inch Pioneer home screen with a touch display. Its infotainment system is the same as you can find in a Scion iM. AM/FM/HD radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition, and the Aha app connectivity are also available. In general, you will see quite a lot of aesthetic touches that are added to increase the overall interior appeal of the car.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Again, the driver assistance and safety features in Scion tC vary greatly depending on the trim level and model year. However, there are some common features that you can find in almost all of the Scion tC models. Let’s shed light on a few of those:

  • There’s a comprehensive airbag system in Scion tC that includes front, side, and side-curtain airbags. They work to provide safety and protection at the time of collision.
  • The Brake Assist feature increases brake force during emergency braking situations.
  • A backup rearview camera displays a live feed of the area behind the vehicle, which can be used during parking.
  • The tire-pressure monitoring system alerts the driver during low tire pressure conditions. It leads to decreased handling and increased risk of blowouts.
  • Another traction control feature, along with stability control, helps in preventing wheel spin during acceleration, especially in low-traction situations.

Scion tC’s Stand Among Competitors

Scion tC remained in production from 2004 to 2016, bringing out a unique niche in the compact sports coupe segment. The major reason why it stood out was the affordability. Since it offers a budget-friendly option for people to enjoy the perks of a sports car, it was an attractive choice for people. Other than that, Scion tC appealed to the customers due to a great deal of customization options, allowing drivers to make upgrades according to their preferences.

Moreover, it offers a spacious interior and comfortable seats with a panoramic sunroof to achieve soothing sunlight during the winter. All these features make it a compelling choice for buyers looking for an affordable option.


✓ Cheap car in terms of economy

✓ Contains a spacious and comfortable interior

✓ A good range of aftermarket accessories available for customization

✓ Offers decent gas mileage


✘ Noisy cabin

✘ Uncompetitive fuel economy

✘ Outdated infotainment system in pioneer models


2016 Scion tCPrice
Manual transmission$20,180
Automatic transmission$21,330
The 2016 Scion tC – Evolution and Characteristics

The 2016 Scion tC is the final model year for this car. From the time of its production till the final model, we didn’t see much change in its engine and other features. However, there are a lot of changes that we see in its styling. For instance, the 2016 model received a new front grille design and restyled headlights that gave it more of a sporty and modern look. Besides that, we could see the addition of a rearview camera and touchscreen audio system in the latest model.

The same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in previous models continued in 2016 tC. That said, this model offered the similar power and performance that were offered by previous models. However, the 2016 tC remained competitively priced and continued to provide affordable options in the compact sports coupe segment.

Other standard features of this model include folding side mirrors with LED turn indicators, 18-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, keyless entry and ignition, and a panoramic sunroof along with dual manual sunshades. You will also find Bluetooth connectivity, voice controls, folding 60/40-split rear seatbacks, audio controls, a leather-wrapped shift knob, and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel.


The reason for Scion tC’s popularity was the perfect blend of affordability and sporty characteristics. For anyone looking for a budget-friendly yet sporty car, tC is the best choice. It offers a spacious interior and panoramic sunroof that adds to its appeal and makes Scion tC stand out among its competitors. This car has an engaging driving experience that keeps a driver happy on the road. Other than that, it’s quite a reliable and durable vehicle for the price.

However, Scion was discontinued as a brand in 2016, which also caused the ceasing of tC production. Most Scion models, including the tC, are now integrated into the Toyota lineup.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: What is the most common issue with Scion tC?

Most Scion tC owners have reported excessive engine oil consumption, which is a concern for the long-term health of the car’s engine.

Q: Did Scion tC come with a warranty?

Yes, almost all Scion vehicles come with a warranty. However, it varies greatly with the model year and driving conditions.

Q: What kind of wheel-drive system does Scion tC have?

Scion tC comes with a front-wheel drive system that is available with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.

Written by: Motorcardata

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