Used 2014 Scion tC Hatchback Review & Ratings | Edmunds
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Used 2014 Scion tC Hatchback Review

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2014 Scion tC Hatchback

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2014 Scion tC Hatchback

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • The 2014 Scion tC's roomy cabin, generous features list and snappy performance make it a solid pick for people desiring a sporty yet practical entry-level coupe.

  • Pros

    Comfortable ride; quick acceleration; roomy rear seat.

  • Cons

    Not as fuel efficient as most rivals; cheap plastic cabin trim.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Scion tC adopts new styling cues, some upgraded interior features, an improved automatic transmission and a retuned chassis. There's also a special 10th anniversary model.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2014 Scion tC Hatchback

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Scion tC adopts new styling cues, some upgraded interior features, an improved automatic transmission and a retuned chassis. There's also a special 10th anniversary model.

Introduction

Sure, the FR-S grabs the lion's share of attention when talk turns to Scion these days. But after the xB micro-van gave Scion its foothold a decade ago, the tC quickly became a popular coupe purchase for buyers looking for extra style and performance. The updated 2014 Scion tC doesn't stray far from this formula.

Considering the FR-S's popularity, it's perhaps no surprise to see the 2014 tC adopting similar styling cues, such as a more aggressive front fascia, a more sculpted hood and new wheels. There are also upgrades inside the cabin. A 6.1-inch touchscreen now comes standard with the tC's sound system, as do steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth. Those conveniences are certainly appreciated; however, an abundance of hard plastic trim doesn't exactly enhance the cabin's ambience.

Under the hood, the tC's 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine actually loses 1 horsepower, down to 179 hp now. But more notable this year is the revised automatic transmission that shifts more quickly and now rev-matches downshifts. This latter feature makes for smoother, virtually imperceptible downshifts and also provides a slight performance gain. Scion has also retuned the car's suspension and steering and stiffened the body structure with the goal of making the car feel sportier and more enjoyable to drive.

Meanwhile, the affordable tC still boasts a roomy interior fitted with plenty of standard equipment and an overall character that's more relaxed, comfortable and approachable than the FR-S. Granted, although the tC provides a fairly sporty drive, you'll still want to get something like the FR-S or a Mini Cooper if you want a car with truly razor-sharp, ultimately involving handling. But among competitors like the Kia Forte, Honda Civic, Hyundai Veloster and Volkswagen Beetle, the 2014 Scion tC is a solid pick for a fun and quick compact car.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Scion tC is a compact, five-passenger hatchback coupe offered in a base trim level and a special edition "10 Series."

Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a panoramic sunroof, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-trimmed tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, reclining and folding 60/40-split rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB interface.

The limited-production 10 Series adds unique silver paint, 18-inch dark-finished alloy wheels, projector beam headlamps, illuminated badges, LED accent lighting, an illuminated "Scion" center console panel and premium stitching on the seats and steering wheel.

A wide section of dealer-sourced accessories is also available, including 19-inch wheels, performance parts for the suspension and drivetrain, and an upgraded BeSpoke touchscreen audio system. The BeSpoke system includes navigation functionality and smartphone Aha app integration for connected audio and social media services.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2014 Scion tC has a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that generates 179 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, while a six-speed automatic -- now with a rev-matched downshift feature -- is optional.

In Edmunds performance testing, a tC with a manual transmission covered zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds. An automatic did the same sprint in 7.8 seconds, both respectably quick times for this class of car.

The tC returns EPA-estimated fuel economy of 26 mpg combined (23 mpg city/31 mpg highway) regardless of transmission. These are decent numbers, but many competitors do even better.

Safety

Standard safety features on the 2014 Scion tC include 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 stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance among its class.

In government crash testing, the tC received an overall rating of five stars for 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 moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side impact and roof-strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Like its updated outward appearance, the tC has an interior design that evokes a sporty personality. From the thick, flat-bottom steering wheel, cradling seat bolsters, and controls canted toward the driver, the tC strives for a high-performance sports car feel. The cabin's ambience is sullied somewhat by the abundance of cheap plastic trim and thinly padded armrests.

From the standpoint of practicality, the tC is one of your better choices. The rear seats have above-average legroom, and getting in and out of the back is pretty easy by coupe standards. Behind the rear seats the tC can hold up to 14.7 cubic feet of luggage, while folding the rear seat yields additional cargo space. The hatchback body style also means it's easier to load bulky items in the tC than it is for traditional coupes like the Civic or Hyundai Elantra.

In years past, Scions stood out for their above-average sound systems, but for 2014 the playing field is much more level. That said, the optional BeSpoke audio system is worth the money considering that it provides a navigation system and smartphone integration that connects Internet radio, Yelp and other popular social media applications.

Driving Impressions

The 2014 Scion tC's 179-hp four-cylinder engine makes good power for the class, especially at lower rpm. If you're up for shifting your own gears, the six-speed manual is a good choice, as it's easy to operate. But the more popular automatic is just fine, especially this year given its ability to execute smoother, quicker shifts.

Around city streets, the tC is entertaining to drive, and the ride quality is pretty smooth. This year's suspension and steering tweaks have bolstered the tC's performance credentials. Well-weighted, precise steering and the car's light-on-its-tires nature make it enjoyable to drive through turns.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 11 reviews) Write a Review


More than meets the eye.

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Vehicle: 2014 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

My particular model is a 2014 with a Six-speed manual. I have had it since the late spring of 2014. My choices were down to three cars: the 2014 Corolla S manual, the Scion FR-S and the tC. My criteria was relatively simple, first it HAD to be a manual. Secondly, it had to have decent cargo room. During my test drives, the Corolla was crossed off. While it is a good car with some incredible features and nice looks, Toyota gears the manual paired with its 1.8L more for fuel economy, so the gear range is spaced rather widely apart and I wasn't as keen on its very high revving engine. The FR-S had good performance and very good gear selection. But while it is a good car for somebody who can garage it during the winter, it doesn't make the most practical machine where my average commute to work is about 20 miles and measurable snowfall is a possibility from November to May. So I settled on this. As a plus, the tC is a hatchback, which I prefer to trunks. Performance-wise, it is not an FR-S, but the power to weight ratio of the car is very good for its size. The 2.5L engine is the exact same unit found on the Camry and it is the closest thing to a bullet-proof engine you can find. Problems with this powerplant are very rare and it has a 10,000 mile oil change interval with Synthetic oil from the factory. It uses a timing chain instead of a belt, so it will easily go over 100,000 miles with only the chain tensioner needing to be adjusted once in a while (all this meaning lower cost of maintenance). The shift throws feel very good, as does the clutch pedal. Because it is a front wheel drive, it tends to under-steer a little bit while under power, but you can still drive it like a knucklehead if you wish to. At the same time, it calms down nice for long road trips. Gas mileage is not as good as a Camry even with the same engine due to how it has been geared, but if you stick to non-ethanol regular gas and/or premium it hits the target MPG numbers nicely. In my case, short shifting helps to gain a little more MPG in the city, so I tend to average right around 29.5 to 30 MPG for my mixed road commutes (even with the AC on and going full blast). Seat comfort is very good IMHO, mainly because Toyota put about the same amount of padding in these seats as the Camrys and what I like most is I have enough room to stretch out and adjust my posture in the seat a little during long drives. By comparison the FR-S seat, while comfortable, is form fitting like a fighter cockpit and I can only tolerate that for so long. Rear seat comfort is excellent As for the factory Pioneer sound system... put it on the "Powerful" setting and it will make you feel like you are in a live concert. Trust me, include testing out the sound system as part of your test drive and it will probably win you over. Others might complain about the interior and dash being "cheap plastic" but I will give Toyota credit, after two years of use it has not developed any rattles or squeaks. Road noise is not excessive in my example and I like how the engine sounds at highway speeds. After 10 years of use, it will probably be the same. One extra I splurged for during purchase was the BeSpoke Audio, which gives me Aha and a factory navigation system. Aha works well, but I seldom use the internet radio because it is a real data hog. Instead, I have nearly 3000 tunes loaded onto two memory sticks, which I alternate in the standard USB port. The navigation feature works great and is easy to understand/use. I have only encountered two drawbacks with my tC. First, the nose sits a little low, so be careful if you go up a steep driveway or park near a curb to avoid scrapes. Secondly, while the tires are good for all-season use, major snowfall or snow with ice underneath can cause problems as they are NOT snow tires. You can get around, but plan your driving route accordingly. If you go for a used tC, the 14 through 16 models are pretty much identical for the most part. The 16 adds a smart key with push-button start and a rear window wiper (both first offered on the 2014 limited production Monogram series tC). I am considering trading in my 14 for a 16 so I can get these features. The 16's radio has a 7 inch touch screen and to do it, they sacrificed the CD player. In my case, it should be possible to swap in my 2014 radio since the 16 doesn't have a backup camera. Other than that, the engine, wheels, body, moonroof and interior are identical. If you shop for used, get a Certified one with a good maintenance history and the added warranty coverage (it will likely have new tires as well). A new one will give you standard Scion Boost/Toyota Care with 2 years, 25,000 mile paid maintenance. Not sure what Scion going away in 2017 will do to resale values, but mechanically the car is as solid as any Toyota and can last decades with proper maintenance while looking good as well.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Perfect first car

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Vehicle: 2014 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

Some people get pretty basic first cars, and there's nothing wrong with that. I was lucky to get something a little more than that. The 2014 tC has seen a pretty drastic exterior styling change from 2013, and while some say its bland (how?), I think it's just what this car needed. The lines are sharp and aggressive, and takes several styling cues from the F-rs. While the front grille and rear diffuser are nice, it really is a bit too much plastic. The wheels are also very nice. The interior is very well laid out, and the standard touch-screen display is great, but again, a little too much plastic. The ride is pretty good for its class, the acceleration is good, and the steering is above avg.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Love this car!

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Scion tC Monogram Series 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

I bought this car new exactly one year ago, and it is fantastic. Very reliable, comfortable and looks great. I get endless comments on its looks and how roomy the back seats are. Hatchback trunk has saved me from renting trucks for moves, and the car has handled well in the State College snow. With all the added features this car is an absolute bargain, I'm so happy with it. The headlights are HIID - I feel much safer driving at night and the voice-navigation system is so handy. Only Con: while on the phone through bluetooth you are unable to see the navigation screen, the "calling ___" screen overrides the navigation. Very minor problem, I'd strongly recommend this car.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Best car i've ever owned

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Vehicle: 2014 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6M)

I bought my Scion TC in Apr of this year. I spent more than 6 months researching this vehicle comparing it to other models. What I discovered is this is the car for me. I don't fit the demographics I'm 55. This car is an amazing vehicle I have owned it for 6 months now and driven it close to 14000 KM's. I have loved every moment of it. This car is a smooth drive on long and short trips. Its fast and agile and a real eye turner I have the metallic Blue with a few add on's I just wish it came with a turbo. I highly recommend this car lots of room for cargo and passengers. This is quality built vehicle. Its the first car that I have purchased that doesn't have a ton of little issues.




The blue bullet

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Vehicle: 2014 Scion tC 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

What a car. Sharp, head turning exterior, got it in streak blue. I catch myself from time to time gawking. Interior is well done. Unique styling. Love the sporty steering wheel and dash layout. Sound system is great! Three speakers on each door?! Heck yeah! Seats are sporty, really support you in tight turns. Plus friends have plenty of room in the back. Trunk has a lot of space with its large door and folding seats. Now for the most important part: Performance! Engine is punchy and responsive. Handling is spot on, I feel in control and confident when taking fast turns. Everything feels like it was well thought out. Not just another cookie cutter car.



3 of 4 people found this review helpful

Still going strong

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Vehicle: 2014 Scion tC Scion 10 Series 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 4cyl 6A)

This is an update to my original review. I now have over 11,000 miles, and not a problem. I had the oil changed at 5,000 miles, I did not want to wait till 10,000 miles with there free service. It was $43.00 total, worth the money. I had purchased the 3M chip protector for the car when new also. The car is spotless, I usually have tons of chips by now, because I travel through the mountains in the winter. I have never bought this product before, I would purchase it again, but price shop it. This was the first Toyota/Lexus product to pass the IIHS small overlap test. They have since resubmitted some models that did not pass and retrofitted to pass. I still get compliments on this car daily.



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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 23
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
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