2012 Scion tC Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com
 

2012 Scion tC Hatchback

 
 

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Scion tC Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.5 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 180 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2012 Scion tC

  • The 2012 Scion tC is a good choice among compact coupes thanks to its roomy interior and generous cargo capacity. Just don't expect its driving dynamics to match its sporty looks.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Comfortable ride; snappy performance; roomy, reclining rear seat; smart iPod interface; well-equipped; easy purchase experience; excellent crash scores.

  • Cons

    Droning engine and exhaust note with automatic transmission; cheap interior materials; mediocre fuel economy; not as sporty as it looks.

  • What's New for 2012

    For 2012, the Scion tC gets an upgraded base audio system, which features Bluetooth audio streaming and HD radio capability. The…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)


Love my yellow tc!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Scion tC Release Series 7.0 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

We love our TC! It is fun to drive, easy on the eyes, and has all the safety features that we were looking for. I love that the backseat is large and that the passenger and driver seats move all the way to the dashboard for easy entrance and to and from the back seat. My husband loves to drive this car and also loves the fact that he is 6'9 (all legs) and fits comfortably!



5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Love my scion!

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

Ive owned a 2006 release series 2.0 and recently decided to upgrade to the 2012 scion tc..and i LOVE it! i bought the base model with an manual transmission and i have been getting inbetween 31-33 IN TOWN. no exageration on that either. the new model has much more room, in the front and back and has a sleeker look. It has Plenty of horsepower for a car that only cost me $18500! great reliability and great design. i recently added foglights which i love and a K&N intake and it gives the engine a good bark! long story short, couldnt be more happy with my purchase and i recommend this car to everyone!




Scion2012

by on
Vehicle: 2012 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

Traded 2003 RSX Acura. Have had it since Sep. 2012, have driven it 9000 miles. Best bang for the buck considering the 180hp smooth reving engine. incredible value: panoramic sunroof, 300 watts blue tooth pioneer, 18in alloys, flat bottom thick steering, six speed auto...Very comfortable, roomy inside, leg room is incredible in the back, cargo room huge, comfortable ride for a coupe, handling is prdictable and sharp. huge brake calibers. This car is begging to be driven cross country. looks expensive, you donn't see many on the roads. Yes the interior is plasticy as others have mentioned, but it's only $20k.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2012 Scion tC Review

What's New for 2012

For 2012, the Scion tC gets an upgraded base audio system, which features Bluetooth audio streaming and HD radio capability. The limited-edition Release Series 7.0 also debuts, sporting flashy yellow paint, a body kit and keyless ignition/entry.

Introduction

Recovering former glory is an elusive feat. Just ask Christina Aguilera or the 2012 Scion tC. In case of the former, we'll leave it up to the folks at TMZ to tell you why. In the case of the latter, a cautious redesign and some worthy new rivals haven't done the tC many favors.

During the mid-2000s, the tC was one of the most popular affordable coupes on the road. Yet like most things that are attractive to young shoppers, the tC's popularity waned over time. The second-generation tC, introduced last year, is intended to recapture some of the model's former fame. Indeed, there is a lot to like here with the latest tC, including an attractive value proposition, hatchback versatility and snappy performance. The tC also takes into account the younger generation's affinity for electronics with a standard audio system designed specifically for an iPod.

Although the tC has a number of overtly sporty touches (such as a beefy flat-bottomed steering wheel and well-bolstered seats), it's more show than go. Even the new Release Series 7.0, with its aggressively styled body kit, is no hard-edged sports machine. That said, the 2012 Scion tC's combination of broad power delivery, pleasant driving dynamics and supple ride will likely appeal to a broader spectrum of drivers than would something with a peaky engine and stiff underpinnings.

Then there's its styling, which was a big reason for the tC's early popularity. We wonder if the 2012 model is fresh and exciting enough to be considered cool. We'll let you decide, but the fact remains that the 2012 Scion tC still has plenty of appeal. We would still suggest checking out some other competitors, including the Honda Civic coupe and Kia Forte Koup. The all-new Hyundai Veloster is also worth serious consideration given its innovative three-door design and superior feature content, but the practical yet enjoyable 2012 Scion tC has plenty to recommend it, despite its existence out of the spotlight.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Scion tC is a compact, five-passenger hatchback coupe available in two trim levels: base and Release Series 7.0.

The base tC comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a panoramic sunroof, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, reclining and folding 60/40-split rear seats, driver track and seatback angle memory (for rear seat access), and an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system with CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, an iPod/USB interface and RCA output jacks. Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity is also standard this year.

The Release Series 7.0, of which only 2,200 will be made, comes exclusively in "High Voltage" yellow and adds a lower body kit, black 18-inch wheels, keyless ignition/entry and yellow-accented black upholstery.

Aside from an automatic transmission, there are no factory options. However, there are a number of dealer-installed items, including a navigation system, satellite radio, upgraded audio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, seven-color interior mood lighting, remote ignition, a cargo cover, foglights and a rear spoiler.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Scion tC is powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine good for 180 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional.

In performance testing, a tC with a manual transmission went from zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, while a tC with an automatic did it in 8 flat; both are quick for the compact coupe and hatchback class. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined regardless of transmission. These are respectable numbers, but most other competing models are notably more fuel-efficient.

Safety

The 2012 Scion tC comes standard with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front knee airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front headrests. In Edmunds.com brake testing, the tC came to a stop from 60 mph in a respectable 123 feet.

In government crash testing, the tC received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the tC earned the highest score of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Though the tC isn't especially sporty to drive, the interior does its best to indicate otherwise. The rim of the flat-bottomed steering wheel is incredibly thick, as if pulled from a racecar. The controls are canted toward the driver and the very comfortable front seats are nicely bolstered. These aspects of the interior might be a bit contrived, but they work well. Unfortunately, the interior is filled with hard, flimsy plastics that seem cheaper than those found in the cabins of the competition. In particular, the center armrest is rock hard.

Yet the tC does have notable advantages. Cargo space is one, as the tC's hatchback design and folding rear seat create a relatively cavernous cargo area that puts other compact coupes to shame. The rear seats also recline and feature impressive legroom, meaning even 6-footers can sit back there. Front seat room is also generous.

Scion identifies the stereo as a key attribute for young drivers, and as such, the tC gets a standard head unit that would easily be an upgrade (or not available at all) in its rivals. Its iPod interface is especially impressive, as a large knob mimics the iPod's ring wheel, allowing the user to control volume and explore the various menu items displayed on the sizable screen. An upgraded head unit with an even larger screen and navigation capability is also available.

Driving Impressions

The 2012 Scion tC can best be described as "urban agile," meaning a car that's responsive and involving enough to keep you entertained when comfortably commuting around town, but not so sporty that you'd relish driving it on a back road somewhere. The steering doesn't provide much feel, and the stability control has a tendency to kick in frequently during aggressive driving. The Scion tC won't put you to sleep, but you will have more fun in other coupes.

Meanwhile, the 180-hp four-cylinder engine provides good power for the class, especially down low in the rev range. If you're game for shifting your own gears, the six-speed manual is the best choice, as the engine accelerates significantly quicker and doesn't seem to suffer from the rather agricultural droning that plagues it when the automatic transmission is in place.

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