If the Scion tC were to come to life, it would most likely embody a male teen who’s surrounded by devoted friends, has an ever-changing fashion sense as well as an edgy reputation. Much like that description, the Scion tC is a youthful vehicle, with a loyal following, one that gives owners a blank canvas on which to put their personal stamp.
Company officials are banking on attracting those loyalists as well as others unfamiliar with the brand that was first introduced six years ago.
And the 2011 Scion tC, which debuted in car showrooms in early October, brings plenty of improvements to the table, including improvement in horsepower and torque, a four-mile per gallon improvement in fuel efficiency on the highway, faster response time and five new safety features.
“When the tC first launched in 2004, it quickly became Scion’s best-selling vehicle,” said Dawn Ahmed, corporate manager of Sion. “We took the already successful tC, added a long list of enhancements, and attached a price tag that makes it a tremendous value. The new tC will no doubt launch Scion into a whole new dimension.”
A day-long media test drive of the 2011 tC (both standard and automatic transmissions) demonstrated that it provides an aggressive ride with spirited pick-up, solid handling and responsive maneuverability. Whether on the highway, city streets or country roads throughout Cary, N.C., the tC performed well. However, for me, the most exhilarating ride was found in the six-speed automatic model, which was incredibly nimble.
The 20011 Scion has a new 2.5-liter engine that produces 180 horsepower—19 more than before—and offers a choice of two six-speed transmissions, 18-inch aluminum wheels and a few safety features such as active front headrests, brake override system and brake assist.
Rear seating was surprisingly generous—a real roomier-than-it-looks experience, and though I found the cabin somewhat spartan, one of the members of the tC auto club who was on hand showed me why basic is better. Chris Sherbert, 24, has made more than 20 modifications to his 2006 tC, including lowering the vehicle by two-and-a-half inches, adding orange crush velour and orange trim to the interior, and installing a carbon fiber shift knob and three 12-inch subwoofers.
Priced in the $18,000-$20,000 range, the tC is the kind of car that its male-dominated audience will likely rally around.