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Car Review: 2014 Scion tC

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The absolutely red 2014 Scion tC sitting in the driveway caught our attention right from the start. There is something really smooth about this car, and you can’t help but notice the stunning good looks of this three-door liftback. I haven’t driven a bunch of Scions, and was interested in performance and just about everything else, so a week behind the wheel was fitting.

EXTERIOR

The 2014 Scion tC is defined by more assertive styling, starting from the front with distinctive new headlamps and an all-new hood that extends lower toward a more open, muscular grille with an embedded tC logo. The new upper- and lower-grille treatments are bordered by LED accent lighting. This new design raises the level of coolness by leaps and bounds. Beneath the rear bumper, a new black-out valance features an FR-S style, lower-center trim piece and lower perimeter reflectors, while new advanced LED tail lamps complete the picture. New 18-inch alloy wheels with 225/45R18 tires carry the aggressive character through to the car’s profile. Standard on the tC, the wheels feature a premium dark gray finish contrasted by eye-catching machined-spoke surfaces. I was asked by more than a few people as to what kind of car the Scion tC was, because they really liked what they saw.

INTERIOR

Our test vehicle had what was needed in the cabin while keeping the price down to very affordable levels, and we were just fine with that! The 2014 Scion tC’s cabin adds new technology, additional convenience features and upgraded materials. The tC is the first model in the family to come with the all-new Scion Standard Display Audio, featuring a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen. The system was incorporated into all 2014 Scion models, making Scion the industry’s first non-luxury brand to feature a touchscreen audio system as standard equipment across its entire lineup. The new audio system comes equipped with features that Scion drivers will enjoy, including Bluetooth compatibility, HD Radio Technology and steering wheel-mounted controls. By the way, the sport steering wheel in the 2014 Scion tC is one of the best in the business.

The new base audio system is joined by an available, all-new Scion BeSpoke Premium Audio system featuring Aha. This upgraded system includes full navigation, as well as the ability to connect compatible smart phones through Aha to access 30,000 free audio stations, including Scion’s own signature station featuring a lineup of its 17 music channels. In addition to audiobook stations, sports, news and entertainment, the Aha service utilizes location–based services like Yelp and TripAdvisor and integrates most of the popular social media applications, all at a great value for consumers. Added convenience features for the 2014 tC include auto-off headlamps and an auto-up and down driver’s window. The interior is upgraded with premium materials and lighter color fabric on the seats and the headliner.

The big surprise was the amount of interior space in the front and especially for the rear passengers. When you add in the storage area under the liftback, there is serious space for just about any lifestyle.

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PERFORMANCE

We didn’t really look for big power from this car, but rather how the tC performed in terms of handling, and it passed with flying colors. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers 179 horsepower at 6,000 RPM, and it is available either with a six-speed manual transmission or an updated six-speed automatic as tested that can change gears nearly twice as fast as the previous model for both upshifts and downshifts. The automatic transmission now features Dynamic Rev Management technology, adopted from the FR-S, which quickly blips the engine to match its revs to gear ratios on downshifts, limiting driveline shock and adding to the visceral experience of driving the car. Handling is enhanced by making modifications to stabilizer bar hardware, optimizing the shock absorbers, and by increasing the body rigidity with additional spot welds. Driving enthusiasts will also appreciate the retuned electronic power steering that provides a more engaging response. Together, these changes help the new tC to deliver a sportier, fun-to-drive experience behind the wheel. The 2014 Scion tC will arrive in dealerships in June.

Fuel efficiency is strong coming in at 23mpg in the city and 31mpg in highway driving. For a car that has somewhat of a sports car feel behind the wheel, it feels good to know that you aren’t burning through bucks when cruising around.

OVERVIEW

The 2014 Scion tC is a great product that impresses easily with its sporty new look, upgraded interior and enhanced driving experience for the brand’s top-selling vehicle. You normally can’t get your hands on a car with this much going for it at a sticker price of $23,166 as tested. The sportier style and enhanced driving experience will drive sales for this continued success story at Scion.

  

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