The 2007 Scion tC is an impressive little car. The vehicles in this Toyota-owned brand focus on younger car buyers and typically feature an economy-minded attitude. The tC fits the bill nicely, offering a surprising amount of power and handling capabilities for this class. The amount of features and quality make it hard to believe that it classifies as an economy car. All things considered, the tC makes a great buy. It definitely resides at the top of its class, but other options merit a look. Just the same, the tC merits a thorough examination from buyers and offers some class-leading facets, ultimately making it one of the best budget cars available.
Body Styles: sport coupe hatchback
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Scion tC, Scion tC Spec
For 2007 the Scion tC hatchback expands its lineup with the addition of the Spec. The Spec provides a bare-bones beginning point for the purpose of buyer customization. Aside from the new trim level, the tC sees little in the way of gear, style, or construction changes for 2007.
The 2007 Scion tC comes in two trims: the stripped-down Spec and the base. Standard features on the Spec include 16-inch wheels and a fixed glass roof. Moving up to the base adds 17-inch alloy wheels and a power moonroof to the list of standard features. Most of the factory and dealer-installed options come in the cabin.
Toyota owns the Scion brand. Scion aims to give younger buyers their own brand as opposed to their own models or trim. This car-buying demographic places an emphasis on style and looks and for this reason it seems surprising that the tC shows little design effort. At best the look of the tC can be described as bland or plain. This doesn’t reconcile with the desires of the intended demographic.
The Spec offers a reasonable amount of standard gear such as 60/40 split-folding and reclining rear seats, air-conditioning, keyless entry, an outside temperature gauge, power accessories, and a 160-watt Pioneer sound system with a CD player and auxiliary input jack that comes XM Satellite Radio-ready. The base then adds cruise control and one-touch up/down windows. The only factory option is a side airbag package, but the 2007 Scion tC offers many available dealer-installed options, including a CD changer, satellite radio, a subwoofer, and a lighting kit for the foot well, along with a multitude of other gear choices. A unique iPod connectivity upgrade also provides an option. It allows full iPod control, including power and display, through the tC's audio system.
Performance & Handling
The Scion tC draws power from a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 160 horsepower and 163 lb-ft of torque. A smooth-operating five-speed manual transmission comes standard, with a four-speed automatic available as an option. All tCs use front drive with front and rear anti-roll bars and make use of a double wishbone rear suspension. The tC represents one of the most powerful offerings in this entry-level segment. As such, buyers who want a little more performance for the price should take a look at the 2007 Scion tC.
The Scion tC also offers sportier handling than drivers may expect, given the price. It feels well-weighted and precise with the tC staying flat through cornering moves. This sportiness obviously comes from a firm suspension, but that suspension manages to be compliant enough to smooth most of the bumps and ruts. This makes for a pleasant surprise, to have a balance of performance handling and ride smoothness in such a reasonably priced, entry-level hatchback.
The 2007 Scion tC comes standard with anti-lock disc brakes, a first aid kit, and a driver’s knee airbag. Side airbags for front occupants and full-length head curtain airbags remain available as an option. There have been no crash safety tests conducted by the IIHS. The NHTSA awards four out of five stars for all but one crash safety tests. For front-impact driver safety the tC receives five out of five stars—very respectable ratings for a small and budget-conscious car.
EPA Fuel Economy
Scion tC: 21/29 mpg city/highway
- Extensive list of standard features
- Sharp handling
- Cabin space
You Won't Like
- A few design peculiarities
- Bland style
Great buy for a budget-conscious sport coupe or hatchback.
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