They pretty much look the same but I did notice some slight differences. For one, the seats are darker. When you put the A/C to the coldest position, it says A/C Max. If you have a manual transmission, the shifting is a lot easier in the 2009 than the 2008. I think the gears also rev higher in the 2009. Other than that, they are pretty much the same.
The thing I like best about the Scion tCs are its safety features. The car kept me out of the ER when my Scion tC 2008 was wreaked. That's why I bought the same thing in the 2009 version.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.