2014 Scion tC Review – Video

Lukewarm hatch gets more style for 2014

2014 Scion tC Review – Video

Happy Birthday Scion! You are 10 years old. And while most spend a 10th birthday wishing for ponies, PlayStations and puppies, Scion is hard at work looking for a greater share of the market.

FAST FACTS

1. The only engine available is a 2.5L 4-cylinder making 179 hp and 172 lb-ft of torque.

2. A new six-speed automatic transmission blips the throttle on down shifts.

3. Fuel economy should remain the same at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for both the automatic and manual version.

4. Pricing for the 2014 tC is $19,965 for manual versions and $20965 for the automatic including delivery charges.

To date, Scion has spent $100 million on the arts to help engrain the brand into youth culture and it seems to have worked with the lowest average age for buyers of any car brand.

Still, the child of Toyota has suffered a lack of popularity in recent years, due mostly to some rather stale product.

GAINING TRACTION

 

Helping solve part of the problem, the FR-S launched last year bringing one new model to the lineup while increasing interest in the brand overall.

With an average owner age of just 31, the FR-S proved to be another hit with younger buyers, despite its higher price tag (for a Scion). That’s nothing, however, compared to the tC, which continually wins over youth buyers with the youngest average age of any car in the industry at just 28.

To continue the sales momentum, a large refresh of the tC coupe occurs this year to keep things current and with buyers whose attention spans are shorter than the grass on a putting green. First shown off at the New York International Auto Show, the 2014 tC has been reworked to resemble the FR-S in both looks, and, to lesser extent, feel.

MORE STYLE

 

To see if all these changes have made a difference, Scion brought us to Hollywood California to put the tC through its paces. The new model is instantly recognizable as something completely different compared to previous tCs. The old and somewhat conservative looks have given way to a far more daring design. Up front there are angular new headlights, a new hood, a gaping new grille and LED accent lighting. The back-end features new LED tail lights and a revised lower rear valance to resemble that of the FR-S.

The overall goal of this restyle is to make the tC look more like the FR-S, and there definitely are some styling cues in this new design. Still, the tC doesn’t look any more like the FR-S than it does other Toyota models, namely the restyled Avalon. Most of the updates work like the new 18-inch alloy wheels and headlights, but some features, like the taillights, look straight out of The Fast & the Furious (we’re talking the 2001 original here).

Get the Flash Player to see this player.

With plenty of personalization features in the past, from audio upgrades to larger brakes and lowering springs, the 2014 tC gets more of the sporty components right from the start. Taking inspiration from the FR-S, body rigidity is improved, while more sport-oriented shock absorbers and stabilizer bars are utilized.

The power steering has been reprogrammed as well, helping to improve steering feel and response. And the automatic transmission now features the same Dynamic Rev Management technology found in the FR-S where it blips the throttle on downshifts.

REVISED CHASSIS NOT ENOUGH

 

Unfortunately though, these changes do little to make the tC engaging. The steering still feels vague, over boosted and not that sporty. It does bite better in the corners, but the chassis isn’t terribly well balanced and is prone to body roll.

Under the hood, the engine remains the same 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine found in last year’s tC, but is down 1 hp and 1 lb-ft of torque to now develop 179 hp and 172 lb-ft. Power is sent to the front wheels by either with a six-speed manual transmission or the previously mentioned updated six-speed automatic. Power still feels decent and torquey and the tC is expected to hit 60 MPH in roughly 7.4 seconds. The exhaust does emit a bit of a snarl, which is fitting for a compact coupe with sporty pretensions. Fuel economy, you guessed it, should remain the same at 23 mpg city and 31 mpg highway for both the automatic and manual versions of the tC.

CHEAP, BUT PRACTICAL INTERIOR

 

Inside, the 2014 tC has not received much love during the 2014 restyle, which is unfortunate. Out-of-date hard plastics cover most surfaces, a family trait found in most Scions, and sightlines remain interesting.

There are a few highlights inside like the thick rimmed steering wheel, comfortable seats and new standard display audio system. The latter is a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen infotainment unit that is making a debut in the tC, but will find itself as the standard entertainment unit in all 2014 Scion models. This is great news for potential buyers and may have Features Editor Sami Haj-Assaad scrambling out to his own 2013 FR-S with a tape measure to see if he can retrofit this unit.

See Also: Hyundai Veloster Turbo vs Scion tC RS 8.0 – Video

The system’s interface looks good and is easy to operate. Within minutes we were navigating through all of the menus and customizing our audio and navigation setups. As has always been the case, the sound system in the tC is exceptional for a vehicle in this price range thanks mainly to the three range speakers grafted into each door. Rear seat and trunk dimensions are unchanged which means they remain on the small side, but, thanks to the tC being a hatchback, can accommodate medium sized items.

THE COMPETITION

 

It is this unique coupe shape with hatchback utility that continues to keep the tC playing in a lonely field without any real, main competitors – for better and for worse.

On paper, it matches up well with the base Kia Forte Koup and Volkswagen Golf 2.5. But, the tC is more coupe than the Golf and more hatchback with the Forte Koup. Fringe competitors include the Hyundai Veloster and Honda Civic coupe, both of which the tC is a step above performance wise. But when it comes time to play with the big boy versions of these cars, the Civic Si or Veloster Turbo, the Scion falls short. We’ve said it before and we will say it again, the tC is a lukewarm hatch.

THE VERDICT

 

So, have the changes for 2014 completely changed the tC? No. It will most likely continue to be a small time player in the compact car market. Still, by improving and modernizing the tC, it remains a great alternative for buyers who go to a Scion dealership planning on buying a FR-S, but who are not ready to live with some of the drawbacks found in a dedicated sports car. That, and its no haggle base price of $19,965 makes it an attractive option that’s thousands less than its rear-drive sibling.

« Back
SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES, TERMS AND CONDITIONS

AutoGuide.com’s Monthly Overlay Newsletter Signup – By subscribing to our email newsletter, Entrants are eligible to win one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card (value of $100.00 USD). One (1) winner will be chosen every month at random and contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. *Amazon.com is not a sponsor of this promotion. Except as required by law, Amazon.com Gift Cards ("GCs") cannot be transferred for value or redeemed for cash. GCs may be used only for purchases of eligible goods at Amazon.com or certain of its affiliated websites. For complete terms and conditions, see www.amazon.com/gc-legal. GCs are issued by ACI Gift Cards, Inc., a Washington corporation. All Amazon ®, ™ & © are IP of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. No expiration date or service fees.

1. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN THIS SWEEPSTAKES. AGE/RESIDENCY RESTRICTIONS, VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.

2. PRIZE: One (1) Winner will be randomly selected every month to each receive: one (1) $100.00 Amazon.com Gift Card (the “Prize Supplier”). Total approximate retail value of all prizes is approximately $100.00 USD. Prizes are not transferable and no cash or prize substitution is allowed. Prize package is awarded "as is" with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied.

3. ELIGIBILITY: From the time of entry through the final date of prize fulfillment, each contest entrant and selected entrant must be a permanent lawful citizen and resident residing in the 50 United States or the District of Columbia or in Canada, and be twenty one (21) years of age or older. VOID IN PUERTO RICO, THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS, IN ALL FOREIGN COUNTRIES OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES, AND ALL OTHER U.S. TERRITORIES OR CANADA AND POSSESSIONS AND WHERE PROHIBITED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW. Employees, officers, directors, agents and representatives, of the Sponsor and the Prize Supplier and each of their respective parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries, advertising and promotion agencies, promotion partners and any entity involved in the development, production, implementation, administration or fulfillment of this Sweepstakes, and the immediate family members (e.g., spouse, mother, father, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, grandparent, in-law, daughter and son, regardless of where they live) and persons living in the same household (whether or not related) of such individuals are not eligible to participate or win. Only one selected entrant per household. All decisions of the Sponsor with respect to this sweepstakes are final. The Sponsor shall have the right at any time to require proof of identity and failure to provide such proof may result in disqualification from the Sweepstakes.

4. ENTER BY INTERNET: You may enter this sweepstakes via the Internet by logging onto AutoGuide.com and subscribing to our email newsletter via the pop-up overlay.

5. SELECTION OF WINNER: One (1) Entrant will be selected by random selection who have subscribed to our email newsletter. The winner may be announced publicly on AutoGuide.com and will be contacted by VerticalScope Inc.’s staff. The winner will be required to provide a mailing address (that is not a P.O. box) to receive the prize which will be shipped free of charge.

6. ODDS OF WINNING: Odds of winning a prize are determined by the total number of eligible entries received.

7. RESTRICTIONS: The prize package consists of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card with an approximate value of $100.00 USD. If prize cannot be awarded due to circumstances beyond the control of the Sponsor or Prize Supplier, no substitute prize will be awarded due to the unique nature of the prize. Sponsor and Prize Supplier shall not be liable to the winner or any person claiming through winner for failure to supply the prize or any part thereof, by reason of any acts of God, any action(s), regulation(s), order(s) or request(s) by any governmental or quasi-governmental entity (whether or not the action(s), regulations(s), order(s) or request(s) prove(s) to be invalid), equipment failure, utility failure, internet failure, terrorist acts, threatened terrorist acts, air raid, blackout, act of public enemy, earthquake, war (declared or undeclared), fire, flood, epidemic, explosion, unusually severe weather, hurricane, embargo, labor dispute or strike (whether legal or illegal) labor or material shortage, transportation interruption of any kind, work slow-down, civil disturbance, insurrection, riot, or any other cause beyond Sponsor's or Prize Supplier's control (collectively, "Force Majeure Event"). Sponsor shall not be responsible for any cancellations, delays, diversions or substitutions or any act or omissions whatsoever by the performers/events, other transportation companies or any other persons providing any of these services and accommodations to passengers including any results thereof such as changes in services or accommodations necessitated by same.

8. CONDITIONS: By entering the Sweepstakes, entrants agree to be bound by the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions and that Sponsor has the irrevocable right to use in perpetuity entrants' names, user names, likenesses, photographs, voices, home mailing address, biographical and prize information, and entry materials, without notice to entrants and without compensation or obligation, in any and all media now or hereafter known throughout the world, in any manner whatsoever, to advertise and promote Sponsor, its products and services, the Sweepstakes, and for any other purpose except where prohibited by law. Entrant waives the right to assert as a cost of winning a prize any and all costs of verification and redemption or travel to redeem said prize and any liability which might arise from redeeming or seeking to redeem said prize. Sponsor is not responsible for fraudulent calls or emails made to entrants not by the Sponsor. If the Sweepstakes is not capable of running as planned by reason of damage by computer viruses, worms or bugs, tampering, unauthorized intervention, fraud, technical limitations or failures, any Force Majeure Event or any other cause which, in the sole opinion of Sponsor, could corrupt, compromise, undermine or otherwise affect the administration, security, fairness, integrity, viability or proper conduct of the Sweepstakes, Sponsor reserves the right, in its sole and absolute discretion, to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend all or any part of the Sweepstakes, and to select a winner from among all eligible entries received by Sponsor up until the time of such cancellation, termination, modification or suspension, as applicable. Sponsor reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual that (i) tampers or attempts to tamper with the entry process or the operations of this Sweepstakes in any manner, (ii) violates the Official Rules, Terms and Conditions or (iii) acts in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner, or with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any other person. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY AN ENTRANT OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THIS SWEEPSTAKES IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, SPONSOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SEEK CIVIL AND/OR CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AND/OR DAMAGES FROM ANY SUCH PERSON TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. Any expenses and receipt and use of the prize and federal, state and local taxes and fees applicable in connection with the prize awarded are the sole responsibility of the winner. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued in the name of the winner for the actual value of the prize received. This Sweepstakes is subject to all federal, state and local laws of the United States. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sponsor, Prize Supplier, and their respective officers, directors, parent companies, affiliates, subsidiaries and advertising and promotion agencies, employees, representatives and agents are not responsible for and shall not be liable for (i) any injuries, losses or damages of any kind caused by a prize resulting from acceptance, possession or usage of the prize, or (ii) printing, distribution or production errors. Sponsor or its affiliates may rescind any promotion found to contain such errors without liability at its or their sole discretion.

9. SPONSOR: The Sponsor of this contest is VerticalScope Inc. (the owner and operator of AutoGuide.com), 111 Peter Street, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 2H1.

Subscribe to our email newsletter and automatically be entered to win.
*Restrictions apply. See offer for details

Get Breaking Automotive News, Reviews and Video in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked