I bought this car used after a leasee returned it to the dealer. My initial impressions of the car were favorable. The seats are supportive and the 6spd is smooth. This achieves exactly what I think Toyota set out to achieve with this car being a "my first sports car" type car.
After putting some long highway miles on it there are a number of things that started to creep up on me that wouldn't have been apparent to me in the test drive. The first is the quality of the interior build. The bass from the radio rattles the panels around the window control buttons. I'm not sure I'b a big fan of the vinyl sunroof cover either. The exhaust note may or may not be your thing during a long drive.
The car is very basic all the way around, but I would have to say the suspension is probably my favorite part of this vehicle. Its comfortable enough to eat the bumps on the highway and aggressive enough to have fun on the on and off ramps.
I'd also have to give a shout out to the dash and center controls. I'm a fan of spartan interiors and in a world where cars are starting to have more buttons than sense its nice to see just a few knobs and easy to use steering mounted radio controls.
The engine for this care is woefully anemic and is the primary contributor to the "meh" feeling that I get from the rest of the car. Pulling out of toll booths and trying to beat out a tractor trailer isn't as sure a thing as I would prefer.
If you are over 6ft tall then you might run into an issue with the low roof line. You may have to avoid pulling all the way up to stop lights for lack of vision.
The word of the day however, is horsepower, and this car really needs it.
Aggressively styled exterior, although not sure what to make of the dash materials them coming off as a coated plastic, nothing felt cheap nor did I feel slighted in the least. This is a fun point a to point b vehicle with some extra curricular teases. This car was too easy to fall in love with for what it was and hard to hate for not being what would cost another 4-5 thousand green backs out of pocket to get. If youre looking for sporty DO NOT LOOK HERE. But if youre looking for a convenient, stylish way to get around without sacrificing efficiency or your pocket book this should be in your considerations. Overall this is a Toyota and its drive, comfort and lives to that name.
What I wasnt expecting is what I could not see. I popped in my latest physical disc purchase, an at the time popular hip-hop artist and turned the round ergonomically placed knob clockwise. I was pleasantly greeted with an ear full of dramatic sounds from all sides bass, vocals, treble al mashed and smashed into a quite pleasing audio experience. Yes, an audio experience. 8 speakers had a small orchestra occupying my surroundings. A few more twist and turns on the dash brought me the feel preset. This brought the car to life. Rear passenger room rivals Lexus IS and all around comfort of the vehicle is exceptional.
I fired up my new ricer hearing a low rumble as the engine purred. Yes purred the 2.4 liters that this Thunder Cat (TC) came equipped with gave a hollow purr that can only be heard clearly with the AC off and the music low. A hum if you will. Nothing special but again stock exhaust what more could I ask for at idle? That partnered with the fact that it is an engine transplant from the established family mobile but otherwise snooze worthy Toyota Camry. Dash and detailing could have seen a little more love.
The new Scion tC seems to be the same car in a new wrapper. The 2.5L inline-4 doesn't provide enough power to make this car feel sporty. The huge C-pillars present the driver with large blind spots. The large rear quarter panels also make the car look longer and heavier than it needs to be.
This car offers a lot of standard features for the money. It will serve its role as a commuter car well.
Scion cannot bring the Toyota FT-86 rear-wheel drive coupe soon enough! Those who want a sporty, affordable coupe should wait until the Toyobaru/Suyota arrives.
I purchased this 2011 w/6 manual in magnetic gray with rear spoiler (spoiler made the purchase point for me). After looking at a 2010 & 2011, the interior blew me away for quality, and style for the new 11 vs the 10. The new engine and drive train and hands down better than the 10. Driving the 10' seemed to be like a driving a turd. And the while the 11' is most certainly full of power, it still isn't a SPORTS car. The improved width made comfort hands down top notch, and while I'm 6'1" and a huge dude, i feel comfortable in the back seat, something rare for a two door. The 6 speed manual is smooth, and the gears fall into place naturally, without fumbling.
The radio is something to note, while at the dealer the radio wasn't installed, but had it been installed, i probably would have not even needed to test drive the car. Really your getting a top quality car, loaded with features for a bottom dollar price, pay extra and get a few more features.
The biggest down fall, i feel is with modern vehicles entirely, i hate the new electric gas pedals, i really miss the cable pull type. Just feathering the gas w/manual trans causes a jerky feeling, either give it gas and accelerate, or no gas and get the opposite. Will be upgrading sway bars 2.
Had my tC for 5 days and, after driving my 05 Mini Cooper w/ sport suspension, I'm beginning to settle in with the Scion. Handling and ride are very good, the steering, though somewhat light, tracks right on center. Corners well, brakes are superb. Haven't pushed it too hard, but the reserve power is there if I need it. The manual trans shifts smooth and gear changes are easily executed. I appreciate the new style for its looks and practicality. Perfect vehicle for my wife and I who are both retired and love to do road trips as well as ski the North East mountains. I've received compliments on the car for its attractive lines and roomy interior.
Roomy hatch design, good looks, ride and handling, standard features.
Back up warning beeps, (like Kia Forte SX) Blue tooth standard, more padding on interior surfaces, push button start.