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 comes on the standard model and a six-speed automatic is optional. The fuel economy is at arbout 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway alongside a 26 mpg combined in spite of the transmission that is used. These are great but most other models in the same line are more fuel-efficient, thus making the tC less notable.
The Scion tC coupe is a compact, five-passenger hatchback available in two trim levels: base and Release Series 7.0. The base model of the tC has 18-inch wheels, a keyless entry system, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a panoramic sunroof, an adjustable driver seat, an adjustable steering wheel, rear seats in a 60/40-split, a driver track and even its own seatback angle control system. There is also an eight-speaker sound system from Pioneer with a CD player, an HD radio, an audio jack for other devices, an iPod/USB audio interface and even some RCA output jacks. Also, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity are standard features.
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 black upholstery with yellow accents.
Aside from the optional automatic transmission, there are no factory options available for the Scion tCC coupe. Fortunately, there are sevearl things that the dealer has installed. This include such things as a full navigation system, a satellite radio system, an auto-dimming mirror for rearview needs, a seven-color interior mood lighting system, a remote ignition device, a cargo cover, convenient foglights and even its own a rear spoiler.
The Scion tC coupe has many standard features like stability and even some traction control functions, antilock brakes, additional airbags for the front knee and front side, side curtain airbags and even active front headrests. In extensive brake testing, the tC came to a stop from 60 mph in a respectable 123 feet. In IIHS crash testing, the tC earned the highest possible scores in the frontal-offset, the side-impact and also the roof-strength tests. This makes it one of the safe cars in its class, mainly due to the extensive placement of airbags throughout.
Even though the tC coupe isn't the most sporty car to drive, the interior does its best look like a sportier car. The rim that is located on the flat steering wheel is very thick, as if pulled from a racecar. The dashboard controls are tilted toward the driver and the very comfortable front seats are nicely bolstered. Unfortunately, the interior is also piece together with hard, flimsy plastic pieces that seem cheaper than those found in the cabins of most of the competition. In particular, the center armrest is rock hard, making for an uncomfortable place to rest your arm.
Yet the tC does offer a few advantages over its countless competitors. Cargo space is one of the most impressive we've seen in this coupe class, as the tC's hatchback design and folding rear seat create a pretty huge cargo area that puts other compact coupes to shame. The rear seats are designed to recline back and can even include impressive legroom so even the tallest people can sit back and not fold up their legs. The front seat also has space with many storage spots that make full use of all available space.
All in all, Scion has pulled off a pretty nifty turn around with its latest tC coupe. It no longer looks like the car your mother in law would drive, and it's a good handling driver with plenty of room for additional upgrades. This is good enough for many becuase they want to get nice cars that are cheap and easy to afford. And, at its $18,275 starting price, that's exactly what Scion has produced.