Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Scion tC - With Something Special

Photo: Victor Llana (www.boundlesscaptures.com)
I just spent a week zipping around in a Super White Scion tC. It's definitely a car for the young--or the young at heart.

The tC is a hatchback coupe--not one of the boxes (xB) that has been part of Toyota's youth-oriented brand since its debut in 2004. That means it's a bit more stylish (at least in a traditional car way). The car got redone for 2011, too, which brings more assertive lines inspired by the Scion Fuse concept designed at Calty, Toyota's California studio.

One of the things Scion has always pushed is the monospec concept. Pick a model, transmission and paint color and then--customize away! There are any number of different sets of wheels, spoilers, audio systems and other aftermarket items to add--and many you can spec out right at the dealership.

For example, my car had a heavily upgraded audio system, which, for $1,999, added a 7-inch touch screen and navigation system. It also wore a sharp set of 19-inch alloy wheels ($2,199) and performance exhaust ($699) from Toyota Racing Development (TRD).

And beyond that, my 2012 tester had a special body kit by Five Axis. Read about Troy and his design ideas. The kit was subtle, and extended the body down towards the ground, as a good body kit should. It didn't look added-on, which is the highest compliment.

The engine got bumped up to 180 horsepower in '11, up 19 hp. New intake and exhaust systems improve performance--and give it a more appealing sound when you step on it.

Fuel economy is rated at 23 City, 31 Highway (average 26 mpg). I got 24.7.

Tc models start at $18,995 for one with a manual transmission. Mine, with an automatic, a rear lip spoiler ($444) and the aforementioned extras, stickered at $26,368. The body kit wasn't on the bill--that would cost more.

This is not a fancy car--the hard, black plastic interior is not luxurious, and even showed a few mold marks, but it is a fun one. I felt younger in it.


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