First launched back in 2005, and reworked six years later, the tC sport coupe has been Scion’s top-selling model. Boldly stylish and driver-oriented, the compact five-seater is built on a simple front-drive platform. While falling short of authentic sports-car status, its 179-horsepower engine provides a satisfying road experience coupled with appealing fuel economy, helped by relatively light weight.
USED 2016 Scion tC FOR SALE NEAR ME
2016 Scion tC Overview
What's New for 2016
A new audio system features a Pioneer seven-inch touchscreen display and voice recognition, with Bluetooth hands-free connectivity and streaming audio. An Aha app offers access to some 100,000 internet radio stations. Also new for 2016 are a Smart Key with pushbutton start, rear wiper, center console tray cover, and leather-wrapped shift knob.
Choosing Your Scion tC
Like other Scions, there’s little choice of trim levels. Just one, actually, plus a limited-edition Release Series. Buyers are encouraged to customize their tC sport coupes to suit their personal tastes, using available accessories.
All tC coupes hold a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 179 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 172 pound-feet of torque at 4,100 rpm. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, while the optional six-speed automatic transmission includes paddle shifters and Dynamic Rev Management.
Aiming at fun and efficiency more than performance and precise handling, the tC is priced reasonably for this category. Besides, it’s refreshing to have no complicated trim levels to choose from. As usual, however, adding options (especially those TRD extras) can raise the cost considerably. A fully loaded tC with automatic could top $30,000. Unless you’re a dedicated manual-shift fan or always prefer automatics, it’s prudent to try both transmissions before buying.
2016 Scion tC Review
Scion has long prided itself on offering cars that were a bit off the beaten path in terms of styling, and the 2016 tC continues with the unique styling that has made the brand popular with younger buyers.
Pricing and Equipment
Scion has a unique “no haggle” pricing process and the tC is pretty aggressively priced at $19,385 with a manual transmission and $20,535 with an automatic.
Standard features include:
- Touchscreen display
- Panoramic sunroof
There are a few options, but dealers offer an array of accessories. This à la carte approach means buyers can customize their cars with the specific features they'd like instead of paying for factory-installed option packages that often include unwanted equipment.
Being directly related to Toyota means buyers expect outstanding reliability, but we also think the tC has fun-to-drive potential:
- Precise electronic power steering
- Four-wheel disc brake stops quickly
- Manual-transmission model hits 60 mph in under eight seconds
The tC's relationship to Toyota also has its downsides. One of these is that we wish there were more power to play around with:
- 179-horsepower 2.5-liter feels underwhelming
- Fuel economy isn't great for its class
We appreciate some of the unexpected niceties in the cabin. Some of our favorite bits are:
- Thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel
- Wide front seats with lots of support
- Intuitive control placement
As a budget-minded sporty coupe, the tC gives has to cut corners somewhere, and these become obvious in the interior:
- Lack of storage space is an oddity for Scion
- Seats are pretty tight
- Cheap plastics make the cabin feel uninspiring
The Most Pleasant Surprise
The Scion tC is nevertheless very well equipped for a car that starts at less than $20,000. The panoramic sunroof, flat-bottom steering wheel, and touchscreen display all add lots of value to this funky coupe.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
While the tC looks quite sporty, it definitely is not a sports car. We'd like a much more visceral feel from the tC, particularly with the automatic transmission. And, unfortunately, it doesn't compensate for this not-quite-athletic performance with great gas mileage.
The Bottom Line
The tC is a great coupe for buyers on a tighter budget. However, don’t expect the sort of performance its looks would seem to promise. Where the tC delivers the goods is in the value it adds in the form of higher-end standard features.