Pros: price, features, engine
Cons: big heavy doors, silly radio cover, ugly shifter
While everyone knows that scion is just a branch of toyota, it has come quite a long way of setting itself apart from the actual "Toyota" name. The cars represent more of an urban, contemporary style that would never be found in any toyota. The 2006 scion tc is no exception. Its an extremely stylish coupe, that catches eyes without causing controversy due to extreme styling. That being said, it really doesnt fit in with the rest of the scion line... does it? Well anyway, Im reviewing on the 2006 scion tc with 5 speed manual gearbox, and just the base equipment.
Performance: Well, there is no surprise here. The Tc is powered by the same engine as the american marketed camry.. which provides 160 horsepower, and can launch the tc to 60 in 7.5 seconds. Add some aftermarket parts from the scion dealer, and I would say that you can shed about another second to second and a half off that time. the gas mileage was rated at 22/29 for the manual, and 23/30 for the automatic which doesnt really make sense to me because isnt the manual transmission supposed to getbetter mpg ratings? Anyway, The clutch was smooth, and shifts were relatively effortless as the shifter moved with little effort, however the throws were kind of long, and made you work a bit more than I would like to. Yet the clutch took little getting used to, and wasnt too touchy, or too dampened. The power right off the line was nice, but I think it built up speed alot better when it was cruising, most of the time when I went to pass someone I didnt even feel the need to downshift. The brakes worked extremely well, bringing the car to a complete hault from 75 without any doubt in itself. The steering however, does feel kind of heavy when making quick turns... or maybe its just me? Before I wrap this section up I have to mention one huge gripe I had with the car, the front wheels spin on dry pavement way to easy, even when pressing the gas pedal about halfway it peeled out, that could definitely get me in trouble with the cops :D
Looks: Aggressive, but bubbly and cute seems to describe the outside of the tc. With its smooth lines, semi-aggressive front end, and bubbly rear end, it seems to be a perfect mixture of sportiness, while at the same time not looking like a dodge charger with a huge hemi engine. The inside of the tc is tastefully appointed, with a chrome and black dash, and silver-backed gauges. The dash is kind of plain jane I thought, as it reminds me kind of how a 1997 accord dash looks with all the instruments sloping down towards you. However one thing I could definitely do without is the cover for the radio... I know you find these in higher end automobiles and stuff, but Im sure people who purchase the tc use their stereos quite a bit, and to have to flip thatthing up and down just really kind of gets on my nerves. There are also times when loading a cd, that it gets in your way. Or maybe its just because I have pudgy fingers? Although, either way it can be quite a pain. Probably the best thing about its style though, is the panorama standard roof.. It has a huge glass panel for the front passengers, and one for the rear passengers as well. Only the one for the front passengers opens though. Still, its an amazingly cool concept for such an inexpensive car. Now I only have one more problem with the interior. THE SHIFTER for the manual transmission is huge, sticks up way too far, and just isnt very pleasing to look at, and doesnt really match anything in the car. It kinda looks like a thumb, with a glove over top of it.
Comfort: This car surprised me in this area. As soon as I sat down I was comfortable, which is extremely rare for me. Since I am 6'2, I usually need to do some adjusting with the seat, and the steering wheel. But I fell perfectly in the seats. Speaking of the seats.. WOW, it contours to your shape perfectly. It reminds me of the beds that have memory foam. The seats really come in handy when you go for those fast turns and corners. The ride quality also surprised me. But when I saw the specs I understood better. The ride was smooth and more sport-luxury like than sprty. I took bumps without any harsh sounds or vibrations, although there was some jarring on uneven pavement. Yet the car does weigh 3000 pounds, and the weight is extremely unproportioned with a 61/39 front/rear ratio. None the less, this is by far one of the most comfortable coupes I have driven.
Reliability: Well, figuring that scion is a toyota brand, and it has the same engine that powers the camry... It should be safe to say thatyou can expect the tc to last quite a while. Toyota engines are known for their excellent reliability and durbaility, though I wouldnt think of doing anything too extreme in this car.
Accessories: For a 16k brand new car... it is pretty well loaded up. The stock features include: Power windows, Power Locks, Power mirrors, Power panorama sunroof, air conditioning, 6 speaker am/fm/cd/mp3 player, cruise control, split folding rear seats, 17 inch wheels, and there is a plethora of after-market gadgets and gizmos you can get for the car, which include colored ambient lighting, lighted cupholders, visual effects packages, and a ton more. Needless to say for the price, the car comes pretty well loaded but you should definitely watch the options you get, because getting carried away is pretty easy with all of the accessories you can add. Plus the prices arent too cheap to add things like the lighting bars, and visual effects.
Safety: The car has abs, 6 standard airbags, dual front, side, and side curtain airbags, and traction control so rest assured that should you ever be in an accident, you will be pretty well protected. It got a 5 star crash test result for driver, and 4 stars for passenger in the governments offset crash test.. which is very good.
Overall: If your a first time buyer looking for a cheap car that wont break your budget, but you want all the gizmos and toys that come with a high price tag, then this is definitely the car for you. It has a youthful demeanor, and im sure there are million of people out there who greatly appreciate it.