2011 Scion tC

2011 Scion tC review
The late 1970s and early ’80s were a dark time in our cultural history. Disco, synth-heavy cheese metal and of course, the great Automotive Malaise Era. An unfortunate 90s disco craze notwithstanding, we’ve managed to leave most hallmarks of the era behind, with one exception: exercise wear as everyday attire. The era’s fitness boom brought us the track suit, of which a mere 4% have ever been anywhere near any kind of running event, the remainder accumulating in stereotype-heavy neighborhoods across the country. We’ve come to accept yoga pants, basketball shorts and cross trainers as casual attire, knowing full well the wearers will break no sweat that day.
With its low-slung stance, big brakes, 19″ wheels and aggressive marketing, the Scion tC’s the cross trainer of the automotive world. But is it fit to hit the track, or just wait in line at Starbucks?

Our tC tester showed up in Dirt Magnet Black, sporting no factory options on the window sticker, despite being equipped with 19″ wheels, a big brake kit and an exhaust from TRD. The exhaust is $699, but Scion appears to have no official pricing released on the wheels or brake kit. Ah, but back to the car: $18,275 (plus, plus) gets a pile of features that’s de riguer these days, but impressive to those of us with our minds stuck in the ’90s: AC, cruise, power everything, keyless entry and a thumping stereo with AUX/USB/iPod inputs. Under the hood drones (more on that later) a 2.5L, 180hp 4 cylinder. Thankfully, our tester was missing one $1,000 option: an automatic transmission.

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Among my reviews, you’ll notice a common theme: a low tolerance for poor interior ergonomics, particularly in cars with sporting pretensions.  Poorly laid out driver’s controls, insufficiently bolstered seats, or terrible sight lines are inexcusable in 2010 2011. Why? Because a frickin’ Scion can do them right. The wheel, shifter, pedals, and mirrors were where I wanted them to be and the cloth seat had just the right mix of bolstering and comfort. I shouldn’t have to compliment Scion for building and interior with seats that lean/fold easily and storage trays of useful size and location, but I will. With the the rear seats down, there’s just enough room for a couple of occupied sleeping bags and a box of wine, which is to say all that’s needed for the target buyer. Others who’ve been in the 2011 tC claim the interior materials felt cheap, but I honestly never even noticed them.
Around town or on the highway, the tC makes a great commuter. It’s the kind of car I should be driving on my 85 mile round-trip slog if I wasn’t a nutjob who thinks a 47 year old V8 Falcon is a reasonable car for the job. The 2.5L engine has a broad enough torque curve for easy hill starts without much clutch abuse or chugging along at low RPMs when traffic gets slow. You can also make use of the 6 speed’s relatively tall gears and pull roughly 30mpg despite regularly exceeding the speed limit by 35%.

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It’s amazing what you can accomplish within 30 minutes of my house in northeast LA. For one, you can reach the slightly snowy peaks of the Angeles National Forest. On the way, you can learn a lot about a car. In the case of the tC, it’s evident that any comparisons to the Celica GTS, RSX/Integra or even Prelude of days gone by would be wholly inappropriate. Winding up the mountainside, the tC felt competent, sure, but never nimble. Under the hood strums a lump of a 2.5L motor, not the revvy 1.8 or 2.0s of hot hatches that came before. It sounds no more excited at redline than 3800rpm, just louder. The chassis feels like it needs another 50 horsepower (or 2″ less tire width) to make things interesting. Despite all this, I genuinely enjoyed my Sunday morning drive (in contrast to the same trip in the Camaro), as the whole cabin seemed engineered around someone my exact size.

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In case it’s not yet obvious, the tC is not a sports car. In fact, by the definition of most here, it’s barely a sporty car. Long ago, back in the ’80s and early ’90s, it was still possible to find two-door, manual transmission versions of workaday midsize commuters like the Accord or Camry. These weren’t pretend sports cars, just oddball options combinations for cheapskates. Like the coelacanth or The Darkness, the tC revived a segment previously thought to be extinct: the kinda-sporty-but-not-really-despite-having-two-doors-and-a-stick. On its coattails we find the Altima and Accord Coupes.
In a way, it’s too bad that an otherwise likable vehicle could be considered as a total failure for daring to look a little sporty and offer the manual transmission we clamor so for so loudly. No doubt there are those among our readers with fond memories of flogging an otherwise totally unworthy coupe, aided in their hoonage by a stick. The tC has potential to be such a car, one that a future owner of a real sports car looks back on as being not particularly fast, but not a bad car by any measure. Alas, today two doors = “dood whatz u ring time?”. Which is unfortunate, because viewed through the former lens, the tC makes a dang good car; viewed through the later it’s kind of a joke of a poseur-mobile.

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Part of its problem is its price: playing “I’m not touching youuu” with $20k instantly invites comparisons to the likes of a V6 Mustang, GTI or MazdaSpeed3, all of which have real sporting tattoos to the tC’s rub-on. Whether the the $3-4,000 price jump constitutes significant difference is a matter of some debate. It’s worth noting that for your average 18-25 year old male, there’s a major difference in insurance premiums between a FWD 180hp tC and any of the above. Back down in the 3.0GPA graduation present range, the tC contends in a crowded kinda-sporty segment that includes the base (2.5L) Golf, Sentra SE-R, Mazda3 and Lancer GTS. For my money, I would (and did) take a used WRX, but that’s cheating.
If the previous 927 words didn’t make it clear, I like the tC, despite being a little embarrassed for it. If you’ll permit yet another metaphor in its favor: Apple Jacks neither look nor taste like apples, but they can still make for a delicious Saturday morning.

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  1. joshuman Avatar
    joshuman

    The phrase, "kinda-sporty-but-not-really-despite-having-two-doors-and-a-stick," sums up my old 1987 Jetta coupe when I purchased it used in 1992. Of course things changed during my 14 years of ownership but that's a different topic.

  2. JeepyJayhawk Avatar

    So I read that and understand it to mean "a fairly interesting car for DD work, with enough ability to go somewhere new and enjoy the drive." Also understood that it won't light anyone's pants on fire.

  3. Scoutdude Avatar
    Scoutdude

    I am really surprised that Toyota is still beating the dead horse brand of Scion, especially since they've upped the price. Scion is one of the worst selling brands in America and Toyota just needs to go home and call it a day.

    1. mad_science Avatar
      mad_science

      I'd say it's a bit premature for "dead horse", but you're kinda on to something.
      Toyota seems to be treating Scion like GM treated Saturn: good idea for a new/different brand, successful at launch…then…nothing.
      They've still got life in them, but I fear if there's nothing really cool in the pipeline the brand will be completely devoid of a meaning for existence in another couple of years.

      1. Scoutdude Avatar
        Scoutdude

        I haven't seen the 2010 numbers but what I saw for 2009 showed that sales of all Scion models was only about 100K in the US. Since they are going down the same path that GM did I can see them treating it like Saturn which only made money in 1 year of it's existence. The idea behind the Scion brand was that it was a low price brand to compete with Hyundia/Kia but now they've got them priced way to close to the "mid price" brands so it is no surprise that their sales have evaporated. Why would a smart person pay the price of a mid price vehicle for a low rent name. They also missed their target market by a mile aiming at 20 somethings and the big purchaser of the original XB was the 60 plus crowd. So yeah it is time to throw in the towel and kill the Scion brand or make it a Toyota model. GM should have done that with Saturn years ago before, instead of listening to the dealers and making more and more models that weren't what the traditional Saturn buyer really was looking for.

    2. htp24 Avatar
      htp24

      They promised to refresh the Scion line every few years, which they haven't in the tC's case – and with the refresh of the xB and xA (now xD) they're targeting the same sorts of folks who already buy Toyotas. There's not hip, edgy, interesting or fun about any of the cars in the lineup right now.
      But if you take a further step back, the exact same thing can be said for Toyota. It's not a Scion thing, it's a Toyota thing.

  4. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    This looks like a perfectly adequate little coupe. However, perfectly adequate just isn't enough anymore when the parent maker's reputation for refinement and relentless reliability is slipping down. Be sure to keep looking over your shoulders, Toyota. Feel the hot breath of competitors on the back of your neck yet?

    1. Scoutdude Avatar
      Scoutdude

      Toyota is way too oblivious to even acknowledge the presence of competitors. While they weren't looking GM took back over the title best selling MFG in the US and Ford became the best selling brand in the US.

  5. tonyola Avatar
    tonyola

    Punk never really hit in the US during the '70s outside of the music press and some relatively small scenes in the big cities. Even where punk did take root, it was a fashion statement rather than the call to arms it was in the UK.

    1. scroggzilla Avatar
      scroggzilla

      All true…but in that 12-18 month window, there was a LOT of great music recorded both in the UK and here in the United States. Some of the US punk rock people recognize…(Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, etc)…and some remains hidden treasure (Avengers, The Screamers, The Germs, The Bags, The Wierdos and the rest of the Left Coast scene).

    2. BrianTheHoon Avatar
      BrianTheHoon

      As someone who actively participated in and managed to survive the LA Punk scene in the early '80's, I'm afraid I can't agree with the movement being a fashion statement. To be fair, it eventually morphed into one but that came after the golden (bloody?) years of 1979-84.

      1. tonyola Avatar
        tonyola

        The US punk scene wasn't anything at all like the UK with its strikes, drastic unemployment, and the feeling that the whole of British society was falling to pieces. 1977-1980 might not have been the most fun years in the US, but it wasn't nearly as bleak as the UK.

        1. BrianTheHoon Avatar
          BrianTheHoon

          While it's quite true that we had less to rebel/bitch about than our British contemporaies, trust me when I say that it was an incredibly violent scene. Rarely was there punk gig back then that didn't culminate with an all-out brawl both in that slam ring (we didn't f*cking MOSH back then, we tried to inflict as much bodily harm as we could) and in the streets. I have far more scars from those years than I do from the rest of my life combined. We were constantly getting in scraps with the glamrock fanbois who thought we were wussies because of our short hair and "weird clothes" (like they had any room to talk). We were also vastly outnumbered back then which made the street fights all the more "interesting."

  6. Maymar Avatar
    Maymar

    Given that Toyota must still make their old 1.8 (the high-revving one Lotus uses), I'd like to see if it would help change the personality of this car, or if it would just feel anemic. On the other hand, I miss being able to drive below 2000rpm.
    Oh, and the leather seats are a ridiculous looking mess – not the end of the world when cloth's better anyways, but I sort of wonder what they were thinking.

    1. mad_science Avatar
      mad_science

      The seats on this car are cloth, leather's not even an option.
      Sorry if the picture's kinda lousy. Click on it to go to the big version on flickr.
      As I understand it, Toyota gave up on the revvy ~170-180 horse 1.8L that used to be in the Corolla and Matrix XRSs, replacing it with the 2.5, which is the base Camry motor. Forgive the stereotype, but it seems that they took a page from Detroit and substituted cubes for engineering.

      1. Maymar Avatar
        Maymar

        Oh no, I was going on a short tangent. They must be a Canada-only thing (consider yourselves lucky)
        <img src="http://www.scionnation.ca/scion/media/custom/big/bpc001.png&quot; width=500 /img>

      2. chrystlubitshi Avatar
        chrystlubitshi

        i agree with everything you said… but just to let you know, i had to give you a thumbs up because this comment makes it appear that you're starting over from zero… and you've got a long way to go..
        thanks!

      3. htp24 Avatar
        htp24

        Didn't give up so much as it was an emissions thing. Or so they say. The 1.8L in the XRS certainly deserved the title of hoon. Great car, shame it didn't last very long.

  7. muthalovin Avatar

    "With the the rear seats down, there’s just enough room for a couple of occupied sleeping bags and a box of wine, which is to say all that’s needed for the target buyer." The homeless?
    Nicely done Tim. I do enjoy reading your reviews.

    1. Seth_L Avatar

      No, then it would be cardboard boxes, and a bottle of Night Train.
      And this probably the most useful and even-handed review of the new TC, that I've read.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        Awww…shucks.
        I might be breaking an embargo or something, but Jeff's got a review of the tC (quite possibly the exact same car) in the pipe at AB. We've discussed it, and he was not a fan.
        It tends to get rough treatment in the motoring press, but despite being somewhat unimpressed, I just inexplicably liked it…can't really explain or justify it.

  8. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    I meant mainstream culture. Regardless of the era, there's always some cool underground/alternative/whatever thing going on.
    While a fan of the Clash, The Pistols and the Ramones, I'm also of the opinion that a lot of early punk is overrated, musically speaking. Being as much about image, message and anti-everythingness as actual tunes, people kinda give them a free pass.
    Of course, I'm from the generation that brought you Blink182, so my muscial preferences are likely to be rendered null and void in the annals of history.
    I'll go back to the Pixies and Primus now, thanks.

    1. SSurfer321 Avatar
      SSurfer321

      Early Blink182 rocked. Everything after "Dude Ranch" was crap.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        Agreed, but I hate having to make that explanation to people.
        See also: Incubus, S.C.I.E.N.C.E. and before.

        1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
          FuzzyPlushroom

          One can similarly divide Green Day between "listenable" and "oh god why" by the first digit of the year of an album's release.

    2. Alff Avatar
      Alff

      Even from a mainstream perspective, certain lovable arena rockers would advise you … Don't Look Back.

    3. tonyola Avatar
      tonyola

      Punk ended up being one of the most self-limiting musical styles around – nothing but rapid chord-bashing, machine gun drums and yelling vocals. Rabid fans wouldn't tolerate deviations from the norm. "Keyboards? Guitar solos? Complex chord changes? Who the fuck do you think you are? Pink Floyd?"
      It's no surprise that artists like the Clash and John Lydon were quick to get past it. People like Elvis Costello and Talking Heads were initially classed as "punk" only by association. Except for those who couldn't get past safety pin fetishes, punk was all but dead by 1979 in favor of "new wave", "new romantic" and other genres that took over in the '80s. Of course, punk didn't die off completely – it survived the '80s in the hardcore/metal movements and eventually resurfaced in a way as grunge.

      1. Tim Odell Avatar
        Tim Odell

        My first understanding of punk was 90s Pop-punk/"Mall Punk". NOFX, (early) Blink 182, Lagwagon, et al. For someone to call The Clash or X punk made no sense to me, as I mostly associated them with the sort of whiny, droning new-whatever or alternative of the 80s. God, I hate Morrissey.
        Properly educated in history, I've now the things straightened out, but that doesn't mean I don't prefer music from my own glory days. That said, I can totally understand the horror and apoplexy directed at what I called punk.

  9. Deartháir Avatar
    Deartháir

    DON'T LISTEN TO TIM!
    Seriously, don't listen. Ladies, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong whatsoever with wearing yoga pants out as day-to-day casual attire. We don't care if you're going to or from a gym, and we won't even ask. There is absolutely nothing wrong with those pants, and you just pretend like Tim didn't say a word. And remember, Lululemons look best when you buy them one size smaller than you think you need.

    1. highmileage_v1 Avatar
      highmileage_v1

      Until you see yoga pants that look like a corrugated cardboard box. How's that for a visual?

      1. Deartháir Avatar
        Deartháir

        Okay, yes, fair enough, I don't live in the 'States, so we do have thin girls up here. I forgot about that detail.
        That would explain why Lululemon hasn't really taken off in the 'States.

    2. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      I had to go to jury duty last year, located at The Courthouse in downtown LA. Walking amongst the high rises to the local "get your food here" nexus, I was among all the finance, legal and political crowd. The folks who get dressed up for work, none of this khakis and a blue shirt crap that I sport.
      In the wake of that experience, I was forced to conclude that among outfits remotely appropriate to be cruising around in, there's nothing hotter than (properly executed) female business attire: skirt, fashionable blouse and serious business heels. You can indict me any day, baby.

      1. Deartháir Avatar
        Deartháir

        See, I don't find that stuff even remotely hot. Probably because I've spent the last 6 or 7 years working in that industry, where every girl you see is dressed up like that. All day, every day, it just doesn't stir the soul anymore. Kind of like how I can be dressed in a suit and tie all day every day and not feel "dressed up". Always makes me laugh when I'm in a suit, and I have people asking what I'm all dressed up for. "Uh. This is just how I dress when I'm working."

        1. Tim Odell Avatar
          Tim Odell

          Yeah, I never get dressed up. Every time I have to tie a tie, I either pull out the one that's already tied or look it up online. If I were to wear a tie to work, they'd assume I'd just had a job interview somewhere else. Oddly enough, the HR manager will leave a note on my desk if I wear jeans, though. I find it hilarious that crappy khakis and a ridiculously patterned polo shirt from K-Mart are ok, but nice dark jeans and an untucked button down shirt are inappropriate.
          That said, "properly executed" should've been emphasized, not parenthesized, as an ill-fitting navy blue skirt-suit (is that what they call them?) accompanied by hose and effing sandles or tennis shoes while off duty is totally off-putting.
          (As a minor digression for any female reading this for fashion advice(?): stockings are infinitely more attractive than hose)
          Yoga pants are basically the female uniform in southern California, meaning they're only as attractive as their substrate.
          As always, it's the exceptions to our norms that get our attention. Between warm weather and an overall informal culture no one gets dressed up for anything unless they have to. When they do, particularly young people, you notice.

    3. ptschett Avatar
      ptschett

      However, guys need to park the XXXXXXL basketball shorts in the gym bag at some point, and not be like my neighbor who was wearing them as outdoor wear on the lovely -21 C/-6 F day we were having here yesterday.

      1. FuzzyPlushroom Avatar
        FuzzyPlushroom

        I believe I also speak for Charles here by suggesting that perhaps, while the shorts are a stupid idea during the winter, a smaller size might be more ideal during the warmer months…?

  10. BrianTheHoon Avatar
    BrianTheHoon

    Sid Vicious was the prototypical "poseur punk." He couldn't play the bass to save his life (He wasn't even plugged into the board when the Pistols played live). That f*cker McLaren insisted that he be part of the group because he "looked the part."
    Just ask Johnny Rotten was he thinks of either of those d-bags.
    In period automotive terms, and with all due respect, the comparison is akin to grouping a GTI, a Yugo and an R5 Turbo. Guess which one's Sid?

  11. Rust-MyEnemy Avatar

    Nicely reviewed, Tim, and hitting a lot of nails squarely on the head.
    With Benz, the vast majority of C-Class we sell are the "Sport" trim level, with their shades-of-AMG styling, and fair enough, some of them, (the 350 and 350CDi) have the poke to justify the image. Most of the rest, though, are vaguely embarassing. Their lowered, stiffened suspension shudders gracelessly over potholes and their broad tyres send constant roar through the cabin. All totally unnecesarily. Worse; their aggressive styling treatment sends out threatening messages about the cars capabilities, which are made lies the moment anybody spies the "C180" decal on the transom.
    I would far, far rather have a car which looks slow but bites your legs off, than race-car outside, shopping car underneath.
    Also, If it had been my review I would have been unable to have avoided the Marley pun "Iron, like a lion, in Scion".

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      I'd be surprised to learn that there's any iron in this car at all…maybe the front suspension knuckles are cast, but that's probably it.

  12. GTXEliminator Avatar
    GTXEliminator

    I don't know why people says the Malaise Era ended int he early 80s, my 1988 Bronco's 302 has 185 HP. I guess you could say build quality started to go up though. Funny thing is that the best trucks in build quality Ford wise tend to be between 73-79.

  13. facelvega Avatar
    facelvega

    To change the tone, does anyone think there is any hope for anyone offering a sub-$20k car that actually handles well and can be breathed on without too much trouble? It seems to me that as the "hot hatch" segment has become increasingly refined and replaced cheap dedicated sports cars (except the ole Miata and maybe the FT-86 if that turns out to be okay, I guess, but both in the $25k zone. Dare I speculate on the Veloster?), it has also gone up to the midsize car price bracket. Does that leave us with no remotely fun to drive car in the economy bracket?
    Obviously most enthusiasts shopping the sub-$20k bracket go for recent used cars. But surely there is room for one or another of the cheap new options to be the fun one, more than say the supposedly-fun but ultimately gutless Mazda2. I'm not looking for a rocket, just something that doesn't sap your spirit dry like a corolla does.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      If you're an enthusiast who knows how to shop, there's absolutely no reason to buy a new sub-20k car given what can be had used. And I'm talking like 1-2 years, sub-25k miles used.
      The performance difference (and upgradability) of a used sports car (Mustang, Speed3, WRX, Miata, etc) over something like this, a Golf, 2 or Fiesta is just too great.

      1. facelvega Avatar
        facelvega

        Well, I would never buy a new car. Heck, I rarely own a car less than 20 years old. But surely there is a market for the kind of car I'm talking about. And even I might consider a five year old sporty beater at $7-8k but not the $15k you'll pay for a WRX or speed3 of that age. I actually am considering a 2004/5 Focus hatch with the mazda 2.3 that was given to the smog states for one season while ford scrambled to produce a cheaper in-house PZEV offering, something to replace my current beater. Paired with a manual, this engine was enough to move the car just a little slower than an SVT without the insurance cost, and now SVT suspension kits are a cheap upgrade. That relatively sporty blip on the radar was a fluke, not a gesture to the enthusiast. I'm just wondering whether there is any prospect for a similar blip happening now.

      2. dustin_driver Avatar
        dustin_driver

        We bought a new Mazda5 because I couldn't find a used one with a manual transmission within 1,000 miles. So there are times one would opt for a new car over a two-year-old car.
        My other car, however, was purchased two years after it was manufactured with just 24k on the clock. Saved about $5 grand.

    2. tonyola Avatar
      tonyola

      Honda Fit Sport for around $17,000.

      1. facelvega Avatar
        facelvega

        I liked the old Fit, a fairly fun drive around town and with unquestionable utility, though the stock brakes weren't great. Too bad hondas hold their value so well. I don't like the new Fit, though, it feels bloated and awkward to me from behind the wheel, sad just when I was sold on the old version.

    3. SSurfer321 Avatar
      SSurfer321

      In 2009 we bought the wife a brand new Subaru Impreza 2.5i (read: non-turbo) with 170hp/170lb ft with a 5-spd. Sticker was $18,500. It's sporty, fun to drive and can be breathed on through STi and be covered under warranty.
      So in short, yes there is a market out there and cars available. The Golf, Mazda 3 and Lancer were all cross shopped before we purchased.

      1. facelvega Avatar
        facelvega

        My girlfriend also bought an impreza (outback) around the same time, and with limited time and dealer options (and her father's SUV-inclined influence present) we cross-shopped the Golf, GTI, CR-V, Fit, SX4, Volvo C30, and Forester. The VWs felt much cheaper than I expected but alright, the steering and cornering on the SX4 were surprisingly good, the Hondas were terrible as I expected, and the only surprise that the Volvo was actually quite nice. I've spent a few hundred miles behind the wheel of the Subie in all variety of road situations, and though it's not too bad, personally I think my friend's 2004 Focus (5spd, mazda 2.3) is a far more sporting drive.

        1. SSurfer321 Avatar
          SSurfer321

          In the Impreza Outback's defense, it has a higher ride hight than other Impreza models, thus taking away some sport due to higher center of gravity.
          And my idea of sporty may be skewed as my DD is a big slow lifted F150.

    4. Eggwich Avatar
      Eggwich

      The new V6 Mustang is a solid under-30K sporty car for under 20K. Unless you're looking for the near unattainable lightness, we are in a golden age of cheap power with decent handling.

      1. facelvega Avatar
        facelvega

        True, cornering measurements and straight line performance are both way up from previous decades, but every new car I drive feels anesthetic to me– 50mph in a Triumph Spitfire feels much faster and more sporting than 90mph in a new Mustang, or a GTI, or a WRX, etc. Something like a 3-series or A4 feels post-root-canal to me. I guess I need a rattly old jalopy for my driving pleasure.

        1. Eggwich Avatar
          Eggwich

          Own a mustang for a few years, it will rattle plenty. I totally hear what you are saying though, the driving experience has definitely changed as much as the numbers have. The only thing with new cars I have trouble with, honestly, is drive-by-wire.

          1. facelvega Avatar
            facelvega

            For me, performance is about precise control and exhilirating feedback right up to the edge of what the car can do. I just like to keep that edge down to where I can access it regularly without losing my license or unduly endangering the public. But yeah, I'd toy with getting a Mustang, though for me it would probably be an 80s 5.0 LX notchback sleeper with a few judicious aftermarket tweaks, something my brother has talked me into kind of wanting.

  14. dustin_driver Avatar
    dustin_driver

    When the Scion first appeared on the scene I though it looked really good. Kinda futuristic. Good proportions. Nice stance. But that only lasted for about a month, after which I thought, "meh." In black with those big old wheels it's looking better, but still not striking. Heck, a four-door GTI is more lust worthy.
    At any rate, they race Scion tCs in the celebrity races. With superchargers. I guarantee that if the tC had a S/C option, it would be one bad mother. Toyota did it with a truck, fer chrissakes. They should do it with the tC.
    Or, a RWD version with the LF-A's mill. Oh yeah.

    1. Tim Odell Avatar
      Tim Odell

      Tempting.
      Also, that's basically what Mazda, VW, Mitsu and Subaru do: one basic option in the high teens, forced induction and a change of character priced in the mid 20s. Not a tough one to figure out…

  15. htp24 Avatar
    htp24

    I had an '06 Scion tC, back when they weren't really on the road yet and it had something of a distinctive look. It was a fun, capable daily driver. It had an aggressive look, and it could move kind of quickly on the highway, but in no way did the car give you the impression that it'd handle at the track.
    For my and my wife's needs, it was fine. It was a daily driver that we were happy to get into and go places. It was reliable as all Toyotas are, and really that's all that's going for it.

  16. Eggwich Avatar
    Eggwich

    I think the cost of insurance cannot be stated enough in regard to this car selling to its intended audience. It drives well enough, looks good enough, is priced decently, and people can afford to actually own them, not just buy them. Would many young twenties folks prefer a hot hatch or a muscle car? Sure. Will they get one? No. Will they be happy with this? Pretty much. Will I ask unnecessary questions? Guarantee it.

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