2008 Scion tC Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Scion tC Hatchback

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Scion tC Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 161 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 20/27 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Scion tC

  • With peppy performance, room for four, a kickin' stereo and a mild price, the 2008 Scion tC is a budget sports coupe with plenty of appeal and few compromises.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Generous standard equipment list, power and handling suitable for everyday driving, roomy backseat and cargo area.

  • Cons

    Limited headroom for taller drivers, not as involving to drive as some competitors.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Scion tC heads into 2008 sporting fresh front and rear styling, an updated instrument panel and new seat fabric. As in other 2008 Scions, an auxiliary audio input jack now comes standard.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (32 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great car

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Vehicle: 2008 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Purchased the car used with 17k miles on it in February of 2010. It now has close to 40k and has been great! Excellent performance for a 4 cylinder engine. The car actually has some torque so its not necessary to downshift every time you come across a hill. The transmission is a little clunky, and it would be nice to have a 6th gear for extended periods on the highway, but its not enough to take away from the car. Stock tires were junk, but still had a little tread left @ 35k. Good sound system for a factory stereo, and its nice that its ipod compatible. Overall its been a great car!!



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Scion tc's need rear windshield

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I love my car..Nothing but routine maintenance for my Tc. No problems what so ever after 2 1/2 years of ownership. Will probably buy a new battery for her. The only thing that scion forgot to put on these cars was a rear window wiper/sprayer assembly. Other than that, ,everything has been great. I would not mind having a 6th gear on this manual transmission. And scion, ,please put a short throw shifter in during assembly, ,with a shorter height to shift lever also. No need for a truck like shifter in a sporty car as the tc. That is why I lowered mine. Great car and will buy again when that time comes.



7 of 7 people found this review helpful

Great bang for the buck

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Vehicle: 2008 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

My 2008 is the second brand new Scion tC that I have purchased. It is a well built vehicle with the Toyota quality. After almost 100,000 trouble free miles on my first one I decided to purchase another brand new one. The 2008 tC was planned to be a performance modified race & show car, of which it is now. Being a mechanic the tC has been one of the easiest vehicles I have ever worked on and maintained. I have seen countless testimonies of owners getting 100-200K and higher miles on the tC with virtually no issues outside of normal maintenance. While no vehicle is perfect, I definitely would say that you get a lot of car and quality for the price.




My baby

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Vehicle: 2008 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I love my car. It is fun to drive, great gas mileage and a real head turner. I am an empty nester and this car reminds me of all the fun I used to have driving. I am always up for a road trip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!




Superb value

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Vehicle: 2008 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Great acceleration and fun to drive, but with toyota build quality and reliability. I get a lot of comments from folks admiring the car.




Fun economical car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Had this car for 1 year and 7 months so far and have had only one issue. The front left brake caliper seized, but was covered under warranty. Other than that oil changes and weekly gas fill-ups and the car runs perfect. Has a lot of leg room in the back seats, but head room may be cramped for anyone over 6'. Audio system sounds great stock, and the build quality is typical Toyota fashion. Great car to own, usually see 28mpg. I would have kept it longer if I didn't want something faster! lol



Full 2008 Scion tC Review

What's New for 2008

The Scion tC heads into 2008 sporting fresh front and rear styling, an updated instrument panel and new seat fabric. As in other 2008 Scions, an auxiliary audio input jack now comes standard.

Introduction

The best-selling Scion tC always seemed best aligned with the brand's youth-targeted focus. After all, nothing quite attracts the kids like a two-door body style, racy 17-inch wheels and a fairly muscular engine. The tC easily has enough performance to be a fun ride, even if it doesn't fit the traditional mold of a high-revving Japanese sport coupe.

But then, the 2008 Scion tC is more about achieving a balanced set of virtues. Thanks to a well-tuned suspension, its willing handling peacefully coexists with compliant ride quality. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood has meatier low-end torque than smaller-engined competitors like the Honda Civic coupe and maintains decent fuel economy, too. The interior feels well-crafted, and it's rare for a sport coupe to have a rear seat that's so accommodating.

Of course, being a Scion, there's plenty of opportunity for shaping the car to one's liking. While the tC's styling got spruced up for the year, dealers have a wide array of wheels, spoilers, graphics and interior trim pieces for creating one's own look. Even more notable is an optional supercharger that boosts horsepower up to 200 and puts the tC in closer competition against the Civic Si coupe, Mini Cooper S and Volkswagen GTI. However, the supercharger is rather pricey, especially when you include the additional labor costs of having it installed at your Scion dealer.

The 2008 tC's base price, on the other hand, is entirely reasonable. Starting at around 16 grand and not ranging much higher, the 2008 Scion tC represents a value even a full-grown adult can appreciate.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Scion tC sport hatchback comes in two trims: the stripped-down Spec and the higher-grade base model. Standard features on the Spec trim include 16-inch wheels, air-conditioning, split-folding and reclining rear seats, keyless entry, full power accessories and a Pioneer CD stereo with an auxiliary input jack. Step up to the base trim and the list grows to include 17-inch alloy wheels, a moonroof, cruise control and one-touch up/down windows. The only factory option is a package containing side airbags for front passengers and full-length curtain airbags for all side occupants.

Powertrains and Performance

Standard power for the Scion tC comes from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine making 161 hp and 162 pound-feet of torque. It provides acceleration that's ample though not outstanding. Sold as a dealer accessory, the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) supercharger takes you up to 200 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on the tC, with a four-speed automatic optional.

Safety

The 2008 Scion tC comes with antilock disc brakes, a first aid kit and a driver knee airbag as standard equipment. Side airbags for front occupants and full-length head curtain airbags are optional. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration frontal crash tests, the tC earned a perfect five stars for driver protection and four stars for front passenger protection. A Scion tC without the optional side airbags earned four stars for front and rear side impact testing.

Interior Design and Special Features

Though the Scion tC is the size of an average compact car, its longish 106.3-inch wheelbase provides ample legroom for passengers in all seats. Rear riders will also enjoy the split seat backs that can individually recline up to 45 degrees, and owners will appreciate the wide hatchback opening and 35 cubic feet of cargo space (with the rear seats folded). The interior is mostly lined with high-quality materials, and the standard Pioneer sound system is both crisp and powerful. About the only downside to the tC's interior is its somewhat skimpy headroom.

Driving Impressions

Although not as sharp or engaging as newer rivals like the Civic or Mini Cooper, the 2008 Scion tC features flat, composed cornering and a nimble feel. Its aggressive 17-inch wheels provide plenty of grip, and its brakes are strong and fade-free. Ride quality is firm, yet compliant enough to absorb most bumps and ruts on battered city streets. The 2.4-liter engine has a nearly equal supply of horsepower and torque, resulting in relatively strong pull from both low and high speeds. We'd advise buyers to go with the manual transmission, as it has crisp shifting action and a smooth clutch. Automatic-equipped tCs are less enjoyable, as the four-speed can be hesitant and indecisive during enthusiastic runs on back roads.

Talk About The 2008 tC

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 20
  • cty
/
  • 27
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs