I bought this car as a replacement for my 2000 Focus ZX3, seeking something sportier, but not completely impractical. The tC came to the fore after some difficulty trying to nail down the local Honda dealer on a price (and availability) on a Civic Si. Both were in the running, but after a bit of time at the Scion/Toyota dealer, the quality of the tC and the great buying experience at the Scion dealership made it a no-brainer. Toyota quality/reliability (and the accompanying resale value) is gravy. This car is a tremendous value if you can restrain yourself at the options checklist, with power windows, locks, remote entry, great audio and God's own sunroof as standard make it a tough car to overlook.
The nicely controlled and taut handling without the accompanying punishing ride. This car has strong acceleration and decent fuel economy. I like its clean and tasteful, if fairly derivative styling. It has great fit/finish and materials throughout. I had a spectacular buying experience at Scion dealer. Minimal insurance premium impact.
The hinged/spring-loaded door that covers the stereo head unit is somewhat fiddly and a bit flimsy-feeling, but the steering-wheel mounted audio controls help to offset this. I'd like it if the privacy cover in the cargo area were attached to the hatch and rose with it as well.