You know, Toyota has had a miserable year. Recalls and bad publicity all around has tarnished the brand in some eyes. But before you entertain any doubts, you need to drive the Scion tC.
And by the way, critics have unloaded on this car as well, and I just don’t get it. Scion was created in 2002 as Toyota’s youth brand. Everyone is familiar with the xB, that upright little sedan that looks like the box it came in. then there’s the little xD that no one ever seems to remember.
But the tC is the best seller of the bunch, and I think the lukewarm reviews stem from a misunderstanding of this car’s place in the food chain. It is an attractive, sporty, quick, nice handling little coupe with lot’s of standard equipment and a 340-watt Alpine tinnitus generator with 8 speakers standard.
Inside is…well…lot’s of plastic, but in Toyota’s defense, it’s first rate plastic which isn’t as easy as it sounds. The back seat is just roomy enough to keep claustrophobics from clawing at the sunroof to escape, and on the road this little coupe is just a blast.
OK, the 2.5-liter, 16-valve four with its 180-horsepower won’t frighten any Camaros, but it won’t embarrass you with a 0-60 time of just over 7 seconds. The only disappointment for me is the mileage with is 23 city / 31 highway. With a car tipping the scales at just over 3000 pounds, and a standard 6-speed tranny, it hoped for better.
But getting all this, plus Toyota quality and resale for under $20,000 is a feat in and of itself, and a reminder of why we all came to love them in the first place.