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:

  • Bluetooth
  • 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.

Performance Pros

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

Performance Cons

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

Interior Pros

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

Interior Cons

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.