Scion’;s original coupe is now forgettable
SENIOR MOTORSPORTS EDITOR MAC MORRISON: About one,000 or so folks are buying the Scion tC every single month, and I think about the vast majority of them are pleased with their obtain. For not a good deal of coin, Scion offers a fairly fun-to-drive car — it truly is no FR-S, as you would anticipate — with some racer-ish attributes that should appeal to youthful consumers while not going so far as to flip off prospective older clients.
I was there for the launch of the total Scion brand 10 years in the past, and it is wonderful to feel so a lot time has passed. Certainly numerous in the automotive press snickered initially at the idea, as it appeared perhaps a bit also contrived, but the previous decade has verified us wrong. No, it isn’;t going to move hundreds of thousands of vehicles per yr, or even 100,000, but it has brought a various variety of interest and, in some situations, purchaser into Toyota’;s corporate fold. And other than the FR-S, the tC would be my option.
Trip quality is great at the expense of ultimate sharp dealing with, and the 6-velocity automated does a great task of matching the driver’;s wishes, be it cruising or kicking down beneath challenging acceleration. At 6 seconds or so, its -60 time isn’;t going to move the goalposts in this class, nor does handling or braking this is a solid car that does every thing fairly properly and gives an outstanding sound method, Bluetooth, huge show screen and straightforward-to-use controls. I always enjoy steering wheel-mounted controls, too, which are standard products right here.
Scion says it revised the steering and suspension for 2014, but with no an fast back-to-back drive in last year’;s model, it truly is challenging to quantify just how much more lively the chassis feels. It truly is undoubtedly not a revolution in tC dynamics.
Other than the well-bolstered seats, red-font gauges and flat-bottom steering wheel, the cockpit is fairly bland in a normally Toyota kind of way. Rear passenger area is a pleasant discovery and not necessarily anticipated in an entry-degree coupe, even though I suspect some will likewise be unpleasantly amazed at the rather common fuel-mileage ratings.
I much favored the original tC’;s exterior design and style, but the new-for-2014 updates — new hood, wheels, front fascia — enhance this version’;s presence, even though I nevertheless can’;t really get above the square-ness of it all. Equipped with the optional “high profile” rear lip spoiler, as this check car is, it reminds me of a shrunken Dodge Charger at times, which isn’;t quite what comes to mind typically when we’;re speaking about small, sporty Japanese autos.
Frankly, the original tC was actually exciting on approach, and created me extremely curious as to how it drove. This vehicle — particularly with no any of the wide assortment of tack-on characteristics and trim — somehow reeks of the quite blandness that Scion proclaimed itself to stand against. At this price variety in this class, it really is not too hard for me to accept its typically regular efficiency, but the last thing I anticipate from this lineup is typical physical appearance.
Nonetheless, for not a good deal of cash you get a reasonably trendy, exciting small car to drive, with some nice normal features that appeal to audiophiles in distinct, and then there is usually the Scion “aftermarket” elements cornucopia, the 2 official and nonofficial, that has manufactured the Scion variety a case research in offering consumers what they want, but only if they want it.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: There was a man I knew a few years in the past, a minor bit older than me, who was absolutely geeked about lastly buying a Scion tC. Took photographs of the “assembled in Japan” origin/assembly plate on the door frame and every little thing. It was first-generation tC, and I was attracted to it — it appeared compact, clean and sportier that its layout and powertrain would have otherwise recommended.
Anyway, last I’;d heard he had totaled it, but I guess exactly where I’;m going with this is: This new Scion does not do something for me. I’;m able to keep in mind a good deal about an acquaintance’;s doomed tC several many years following the reality, but I can’;t genuinely don’;t forget much beyond the shade and tough plastic interior of this 1, which I drove a handful of days in the past.
Mac is right it about doing every thing you’;d want a auto in this value selection to do fairly properly, and if the interior were a minor better (and a minor much better insulated from mechanical and exterior sounds) I wouldn’;t have significantly difficulties accepting it for what it is — specifically for $ 23,166.
Like the softened-up xB, though, the tC has just turn into a bland-if-not-terrible competitor into a crowded segment. I’;m not seeing why this vehicle actually stands out at the moment, but it most likely would not consider a lot more than a medium-intensity refresh/interior upgrade to make me see it in an additional light.
Scion had a type of awesome, edgy point going on when the brand debuted. I feel they need to have to return to that — at this point, I find Kia’;s Forte Koup and Soul and the Hyundai Veloster to be a lot a lot more compelling oddballs. Yet again, Mac’;s certainly appropriate about Scion’;s official aftermarket alternatives. I just want they’;d given us a more interesting blank canvas for us to customize.
ASSOCIATE WEST COAST EDITOR BLAKE Z. RONG: Gather ’;round, kids, and allow me tell you a story. Many years just before the “yoofs” saved up their pennies doing work overnight shifts at the White Hen Pantry for an FR-S, the only Scion 2-door was the tC. It was the only vaguely sporty car Toyota produced that was south of a Solara. For many years, the brand dragged its enthusiast credentials on just that. And could God have mercy on the bad and benighted early adopters who ever believed the tC fit any skewed definition of “sporty motoring.”
The place to begin? In each and every function that defines a car’;s character, the tC appears dowdy and uninspired. Steering is devoid of any feel or fat. The brakes are spongy and squishy. The clutch and shifter on our manual-outfitted test auto in California are light adequate for site visitors but really feel flimsy — Toyota once proved on the MR2 Spyder that a manual transmission could be delicate but also have feeling, an essence that just is not current with the tC. Unusual is the moment when an automatic is preferable, but most Scion purchasers know that, too. Probably most damningly, the 2.5-liter inline-4 loathes to rev.
A number of factors that Toyota received right on the tC: the chassis is tight and responsive and in no way understeers. The trip is fairly relaxed. The hidden hatchback is clever, and there is decent space in the back — though the omission of a regular tonneau cover displays a uniquely American disdain for hatchbacks. Styling of this 2nd generation tC’;s has truly grown on me — one particular of the cleanest shapes in modern auto style acquired weird angles, angry headlights and a enormous, leering grille, but it also seems reliably sporty, like it is begging to be tossed around.
But thick C-pillars swallow up a lot more cars than Robosaurus. A backup camera is not an option on any tC. Each and every door weighs as considerably as a large school football coach. The rest of the auto weighs in excess of 3,000 lbs. Is Toyota smuggling gold bars underneath the seats?
We checked. They are not. We had been disappointed.
If you completely want a sporty Scion, save your dollars and make the $ 3K leap to an FR-S. The tC is a caricature of a sizzling hatch from all around 1999, created for a time when APC “carbon” wings flew off the shelves. (If your preferred auto in the very first Rapidly and Furious movie was that green, exploding Mitsubishi Eclipse, you may well even be enamored with the exhaust note.) It must be functioning — the tC has the lowest typical purchaser age in America, at 28 — but as a 26-yr-old, do I really need to have one more explanation to question my generation?
This is Scion’;s tC by Toyota. Regardless of the conspiracy concept that “tC” stands for “Toyota Celica,” there is minor indication that this auto could carry on this kind of a legacy.
WEST COAST EDITOR MARK VAUGHN: My discovered colleague Blake Z. Rong hated this point. I believe he known as it a “pile.” And even though I had it somebody did, indeed, tuck into the outdoors rearview mirror support a organization card that study, “I Acquire Junk Vehicles!” Now this is not junk nor is it a “pile.”
I will admit at very first I imagined the shifter and the clutch have been, certainly, low-cost. I might have mentioned “flimsy.” But there is a far stretch between flimsy and piledom. There is a TRD “QuickShifter” offered for just $ 145 that sounds like a promising resolve for this shifter vagueness. I would advocate it sight unseen. It would have to be an improvement. After a week of hammering the tC with out the QuickShifter I more or much less got the hang of it and genuinely started out wailing. It is enjoyable to launch at maximum acceleration and listen to a single of the front wheels spin, generally the within a single.
The 3,082-pound tC is powered by a fairly huge — for the class — 2.5-liter 4 creating 179 hp. That is 17.2 lbs per hp, which is not bad for automobiles in this class, numerous of which have engines smaller sized than 2.-liters. Combined with that manual transmission in our California check vehicle, it seems like it just may well get down the street. A couple of runs returned a -60 mph time of 71 seconds. Much more runs and far more practice engaging the clutch just right would have meant a quicker time. Published figures record anywhere from 7.3 to 7.8 seconds to 60, so, unless people guys are lying, you will almost certainly get into the 6s. The trick is to management wheelspin to get a great launch. Just a tiny clutch slip then give it the rest of the throttle and you are off.
Once you get it sorted, you can wind it out to redline all day and normally have a blast. Scion need to be commended for even supplying this or something with a manual transmission in this age of like-sized econoboxes with continuously variable transmissions. Those factors could suck the existence out of a 1999 New Years’; Eve celebration with Prince headlining. So thank you, Scion, for providing us a guide, even if it was almost certainly accomplished to save a half a mile per gallon and you did not have a CVT sorted out yet. What ever the cause, I and maybe 4 or 5 other enthusiast drivers enjoy it.
I didn’;t feel the electrical electrical power steering, additional throughout the tC’;s 2010 total makeover to conserve yet another half-mile per gallon, was likewise as undesirable as BZR claims. How considerably steering truly feel do you want in a FWD econopile? Oops, I did not suggest to imply, recommend or state that the tC is in any way, shape or type a pile, as Blake has obviously stated.
And mileage? The EPA costs it at 23 city/31 hwy/26 mixed. I ran by means of 2 tanksful, the 1st one particular returned 22.5 mpg and the second 23.8, but both of people were at higher speeds and tough launches (very good title for an autobiography). Efficiency would go up had this been a smaller displacement engine, but Scion’;s not about efficiency it truly is about type and enjoyable.
Although the enjoyable factor is fairly nicely laid out, the style, at least of this factor, is debatable. I never took to the look of this model, especially the roofline, accomplished at the last style makeover to offer much more rear headroom. That rear C-pillar, which I took to calling the killer pillar, is massive. Why block so much vision with that extra-double-wide point? It really is not like it helps make the vehicle search great or something. And there was no backup camera on our check tC to assist in not flattening cats when backing out of the driveway.
The tC begins at $ 19,965 with a guide transmission. With a couple possibilities, the price tag of this test automobile went up to $ twenty,543, while the automatic tester in Detroit rang in at $ 23,166. What else would the performance-minded buyer seem at in this segment? A plain outdated Mazda 3 is a couple grand less, the Mazdaspeed 3 a few grand more. The Ford Fiesta ST and Fiat Abarth are about 2 grand or so much more. I may save up and get the Fiesta ST, 1 of the best performance bargains in the FWD hatch section.
But if you don’;t like the current tC, word on the street is that the new 1 is coming subsequent yr. So hold on and have a look then.
2014 Scion tC
Base Cost: $ twenty,965
As-Tested Cost: $ 23,166
Drivetrain: 2.5-liter I4 FWD, 6-pace automated
Output: 179 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 172 lb-ft @ 4,100 rpm
Curb Bodyweight: 3,124 lb
Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Mixed): 23/31/26 mpg
AW Observed Fuel Economic climate: 23.1 mpg
Choices: BeSpoke premium audio such as voice-activated GPS navigation with touchscreen, aha ($ one,198) rear lip spoiler high profile ($ 444) illuminated door sill ($ 375) carpeted floor mat ($ 184)
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