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2011 Scion tC Review
Looks sportier than it drives.
Reviewed by Automotive on
The 2011 Scion tC is a compact, two-door coupe manufactured by Toyota and sold under its Scion marquee. It is manufactured in Japan and exported to the United States. The Scion tC was released to the U.S. market in June 2004, and the name tC stands for Touring Coupe. The second generation of the Scion tC was launched at the New York Auto Show in 2010.
Engines: 2.5-liter straight-four engine
Transmissions: six-speed manual (standard); six-speed automatic (optional)
Models: Scion tC base model; Scion tC Release Series 7.0
Compared to the previous year’s model, the 2011 Scion tC remains the same in terms of exterior and performance, but the interior receives a few changes. The base model gets a HD radio and Bluetooth audio streaming feature. Moreover, the limited edition Scion tC Release Series 7.0 becomes available.
The 2011 Scion tC looks very sporty on the outside, and retains many aspects of its popular mid-2000s version. The Release Series 7.0 model is especially sporty, with a bold yellow paint scheme, keyless entry and ignition, and a sporty body kit. Even the base model looks very sporty with its aggressive front portion and smooth, aerodynamic design.
The base model 2011 Scion tC comes with exterior features like 18-inch alloy wheels, panoramic sunroof, and power accessories. The Release Series 7.0 model is a limited-edition version and comes with the ?High Voltage"" yellow paint, black 18-inch alloy wheels, and a lower body kit.
Despite its looks, the 2011 Scion tC is not very sporty in terms of performance. Nevertheless, Toyota has tried to make up for it by providing a sporty interior. The flat bottom steering wheel has a very thick rim like a racecar’s steering wheel. The controls are positioned for the driver to access them easily, and the front seats are comfortable and snug. These sports car-like attributes may seem over-the-top for a coupe that delivers a commuter-like performance, but they work to the car’s advantage.
The interior is generally comfortable, but the overall quality is quite dismal. Upon closer inspection, the dash and center armrest will reveal hard, substandard plastic components. This is manageable in a hatchback, but not when other compact coupes deliver higher quality interiors. The base model is fitted with standard features like air-conditioning, height-adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, 60/40-split folding and reclining rear seats, eight-speaker Pioneer stereo system with CD playback, auxiliary audio jack, USB interface, iPod interface, RCA output jack, and HD radio.
Overall, the 2011 Scion tC has an average interior, but it does get many things right. For one, the cargo space is one of the best in its segment. The folding rear seat adds a generous boost to the car’s cargo capacity as well. Moreover, the rear seats recline, which is a rare feature in a two-door coupe. The car’s interior also boasts of good rear legroom, which is spacious enough to keep a six-foot person comfortable. Front seat legroom is quite good too.
The 2011 Scion tC interior also includes elements aimed at its target audience: the generation Y drivers. These elements include a head unit that comes standard, iPod interface with a large knob similar to the iPod’s clickwheel, and an upgrade for the head unit that includes a larger screen and a navigation system.
Performance & Handling
A 2.5-liter straight-four engine delivers 180 hp of power and 173 lb-ft of torque to both 2011 Scion tC models. The numbers are average, and so is the performance. The 2011 Scion tC can go from standstill to 60 mph in 7.4 seconds with manual transmission, while the automatic transmission coupe reached the speed in eight seconds. This makes the Scion tC one of the quicker compact coupes, but the fuel economy is strictly average. Regardless of the choice of transmission, the 2011 Scion tC gives a combined 26 mpg, but its competitors can deliver more.
The car has very good riding and handling. It has a very lively performance and delivers an entertaining ride, even on mundane commutes. However, the steering is not very tactile and the stability control gets jumpy at times. Overall, the 2011 Scion tC delivers a fun, if not fast, ride but is not a first choice when compared to its competitors.
The 2011 Scion tC received the highest rating in terms of side-impact, frontal-offset, and roof-strength tests. Both models are fitted with safety features like anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, active front headrests, front side airbags, front knee airbags, and full-length side curtain airbags.
EPA Fuel Economy
- Lively performance
- Comfortable and roomy interiors
- Reclining rear seat
- Good number of features inside
- Reasonable price and good buying experience
You Won't Like
- Continuous humming noise from engine and exhaust, especially with the automatic transmission
- Lack of quality interior materials
- Unimpressive fuel economy
Looks sportier than it drives.
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