2006 Scion tC Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Scion tC Hatchback

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Scion tC Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 160 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 19/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2006 Scion tC

  • With a bargain price tag, a ton of standard features and a fun-loving personality, the 2006 Scion tC is another big hit for the Scion folks.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    High quality all around, unexpected safety and luxury features, tight handling, spacious cabin, bargain price.

  • Cons

    A couple of odd design elements, drab styling.

  • What's New for 2006

    The 2006 Scion tC receives a new three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls, and the Pioneer audio system has a new head unit design and remote mini-jack port for portable music sources. Newly available is integrated iPod connectivity, which delivers iPod display information and allows unit control through the audio system.

Full 2006 Scion tC Review

What's New for 2006

The 2006 Scion tC receives a new three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls, and the Pioneer audio system has a new head unit design and remote mini-jack port for portable music sources. Newly available is integrated iPod connectivity, which delivers iPod display information and allows unit control through the audio system.


With the Scion brand, Toyota is making a credible effort to understand the Generation Y market and give it what it wants without pushing it down its throat. Housed within Toyota dealerships, Scion salespeople are instructed to play it straight with consumers -- this means no-haggle pricing similar to Saturn dealers and the ability to get a car the way a customer wants it in about a week. And by offering over three dozen dealer-installed options, Scion hopes to give its buyers unprecedented opportunity to customize their cars on the front end.

Unlike the xA and xB, which look like they could've come out of a comic book (and we mean that in a good way -- we like their funky yet practical style), the Scion tC is a more mainstream design. Somehow managing to look a little pudgy yet sleek at the same time, the tC has a generic rectangular grille, headlamps with BMW-like "eyebrows" and a body that boasts crisp, clean lines. Still, there are a few head-turning elements. One is the deeply tinted glass panoramic roof that features a power sunroof above the front seats and a fixed glass portion above the rear compartment. Another is the set of double-spoke, 17-inch alloy wheels that look as good as anything in the aftermarket. Both of these high-end features are standard.

Inside the upscale cabin, high-quality materials abound, and features such as metallic accents, damped compartment doors, multiple adjustments for the driver seat and an outside temperature display further this impression. An elegant "waterfall"-style center stack flows into the center console, and both front seats slide forward to allow folks to get into the backseat. On the move, the 2006 Scion tC feels eager to run thanks to its standard 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. Borrowed from the Camry, this is a big engine for this class of car, where 1.7 to 2.2 liters is more the norm. With 160 horsepower and 163 pound-feet of torque, the tC's motor handily beats the starter engines in the Civic and Ion coupes.

Out in the real world, the tC's performance makes good on the promise of the spec sheet numbers. A broad power band means that there's strong pull down low and through the midrange, and when coupled to the sweet-shifting five-speed manual gearbox, the 2006 Scion tC feels sportier than one might expect. Priced under $17,000, the tC is yet another hit for Scion. After all, there's the strong Toyota reputation, the spacious and comfortable cabin, fine build quality, entertaining driving dynamics and plenty of standard niceties. Add in the ability to customize with your own personal touch and there's plenty to like about this affordable coupe.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2006 Scion tC comes in one trim level and is chock-full of unexpected goodies such as one-touch up-and-down power windows, cruise control, air conditioning, steering wheel audio controls, keyless entry, mirror-mounted turn signal lights, four-wheel antilock disc brakes and a 160-watt Pioneer sound system with CD player and remote mini-jack port that is (XM) satellite radio-ready. The only factory option is a side airbag package, but there is a multitude of dealer-installed options. This list includes a CD changer, satellite radio, a subwoofer and a lighting kit for the footwell, just to name a few. A unique iPod connectivity upgrade is also available, and allows full iPod control, including power and display, through the tC's audio system.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard power for the Scion tC comes from a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder borrowed from the Camry, with 160 hp and 163 lb-ft of torque. A smooth-shifting five-speed manual gearbox is standard, with a four-speed automatic available as an option. Fuel economy is average for a budget coupe with a 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway estimate for the manual, and 23 city/30 highway for the optional automatic.


The 2006 Scion tC comes with four-wheel antilock disc brakes (with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution) as standard equipment. Side airbags for front occupants and full-length head curtain airbags are optional. Other standard safety features include a first aid kit, triple side door beams and a driver knee airbag.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the Scion tC is a compact car at just 174 inches long, a relatively long (106.3-inch) wheelbase provides more than ample legroom, especially for those riding in the back. Rear passengers will also enjoy the split seat backs that can individually recline up to 45 degrees. Although it looks like a coupe, the tC is actually a hatchback, which means flexible cargo capacity. By folding down the rear seats as well as the right front seat, a load floor that stretches 103.6 inches is created, ideal for snowboarders and surfers. Cargo capacity is 12.8 cubic feet with the rear seats in use and a whopping 60 cubic feet when they're folded down.

Driving Impressions

The 2006 Scion tC features a fully independent suspension (with a double-wishbone setup in the rear that maximizes interior space) and Z-rated 215/45R17 Bridgestone Potenzas wrapped around those eye-catching 17s. The result is a precise, well-weighted feel and flat, composed cornering. Ride quality is firm, but compliant enough to absorb most bumps and ruts on battered city streets. The 2.4-liter engine's broad power band contributes to the fun with plenty of pull down low and through the midrange.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2 of 11 people found this review helpful

Not happy at all with

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

We bought a 2006 Scion tc 6 months ago. It had 50,000 miles on it so we thought it would be a good dependable car for us. First off the gas mileage is horrible for a car this size. We have gotten 26 at best averaging 24. The seats are not comfortable on long trips. We have had several check engine lights come on where the mechanic could find nothing wrong. Last night my wife was driving it home and noticed smoke billowing out from under the hood. We took it to a mechanic and found out that it needs a new motor because of a common problem with the head and block. The price tag to fix this is over $6000. This is a common issue that I found out Toyota refuses to recall and take care of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I bought my car new in 2006 with 20 miles on it. I now have put 170,000 miles on it and the only issue I have had is the trunk handle breaking, which is a very common problem. Other than that it has run perfectly and not cost me an extra penny beyond standard maintenance. I'm going to keep driving it until the tires fall off which probably won't be for awhile. I certainly have gotten my money out of this car.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great car

by on
Vehicle: 2006 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

Bought my 06 tC in may 2006 with 53 miles on it, now up to 210,000+ miles. No major issues what so ever. I still have the original car battery, which is impressive. I did have to add some distilled water into it after 6 years, no big feat there. I have a short RAM intake, Borla axle back exhaust, which after adding bumped my MPG to about 31-33 hwy. Most of my driving is hwy, my daily commute is 60 mi each way. and I drive frequently from San Diego to Sacramento, roughly 550 mi each way. The tC is comfortable enough to drive the whole way with no problems. I'm 5'10". Very easy to maintain. Easy access to the oil filter, I always check the placement of that on cars before buying.

1 of 5 people found this review helpful

Fun car but not worth

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Vehicle: 2006 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

After one year of purchase I am selling for another Honda. My accord was totaled so I bought this. Bad mistake. This car is built very cheap and if you look hard enough you will very clearly see it. Driving it overtime you will see many things you hate. The moon-roof whistles so loud and there is no fix, embarrassing to have friends point out how annoying it is. But the worst thing yet is the MPG. averages between 22-26 and that's it! The rating is 19mpg for city! Just awful. Seriously look into another car before buying. Just test drive a Honda and you will immediately notice how bad the TC quality is.

11 of 21 people found this review helpful

A trap!

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Vehicle: 2006 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 4A)

I got my Scion last year and I was honestly pretty proud. However under all the hood there's a horrible secret that Toyota has been hiding. After 80,000 there is a serious coolant leak issue where the threads of the block weaken around the gaskets. It's caused by normal wear and tear and is a prominent scion issue that comes with a minimum $2,000-$3,000 dollar price tag! Toyota refuses to take any responsibility with the issue and refuses to recall Scions BUT they did do recalls on Camrys for the exact same issue... It's a shame that such a nice car has to come to such a disappointing end and Toyota simply ignores the problem.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Worth every penny

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Vehicle: 2006 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Racked up 112,000 mile on my '06 tC, and never had 1 mechanical issue with it! I replaced the clutch after 80,000 miles, and that's it. Truth be told, this is a fun little car to drive and I beat on mine quite a bit. The reason for my review is, I was weary about Scion, because they were new. I bought it because it's a Toyota. Since they had done away with their sporty cars, I took my chances on this. I'm so glad I did. It was maintained with proper flushes, oil changes, tires and brakes, and never had gave me any mechanical issues.

Talk About The 2006 tC

2006 Scion tC Discussions See all Started By

I have a 1991 Ford Explorer as well as a 2006 Scion tC. Both of which, have a five-speed manual. My Explorer started, occasionally, rolling down my driveway (it is on a hill). It would roll back a few...

I have a 2006 TC. I have seen a post with a similar situation when the brakes get hot, they squeal when putting them on with 2 out of 5 brake pressure(5 being the full pressure). It goes away if I bra...

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Gas Mileage


  • 19
  • cty
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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