It's tough to regain your place in the market after you have slipped down the slope of popularity, but Scion is trying to do just that with its newly redesigned Scion tC Coupe. Quite honestly, it just might succeed, judging from the smart changes made and the competitively positioned place in its class. Don't look for the Scion tC to jump to the top of the pack, the changes were not that monumental, but Scion is taking a step in the right direction with the 2012 tC model.
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The midsize coupe market is a crowded one, which didn't do the Scion tC coupe any favors. For a time in the last decade, the tC Coupe was popular with young auto shoppers, but like many popular items, feels out of place as the market was flooded with newer cars. The second generation Scion tC, which was introduced in 2011, is trying hard to recapture some of that market share by offering great value; the versatility of a hatchback and lively driving that should appeal to discriminating drivers. As a nod to the younger car buyer in this market class, the tC also offers some technological options that they've come to expect in new vehicles, including iPod compatibility and onboard navigation systems. Interestingly, all features are standard. There are no options to add on except the automatic transmission.
Although the Scion tC Coupe has a number of flashy and very sporty touches like a flat steering wheel and a series of comfortable seats, it's more appearance-based. Don't expect performance to match the appearance. Still, the fun driving dynamics and sleek appearance will certainly appeal to more drivers than would something with a peaky engine and stiff underbody.
The Scion tC Coupe is available as a Base and Release Series 7.0 model. The latter is a High Voltage yellow color and only 2,200 are being made. Both are powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine that delivers 180 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. This accelerates zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, which is decent. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, but a six-speed automatic is available what the tC lacks in power, it makes up for in gas mileage as it returns 23 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway.
This is a vehicle with strong braking power as it was able to stop from 60 mph in a respectable 123 feet. The vehicle is not without its flaws though. One main complaint is regarding noise. The cabin is not silent at all, due to a loud engine and exhaust.