Vehicle Type: Compact Coupe

History/Description: Launched for model year 2011, the second-generation Scion tC advanced the original model’s offering of affordable sports coupe goodness combined with plenty of customization and low running costs, but with new styling, new features, more power and better overall performance.

Here’s the sticky: all tC models from this era ride the third-generation Toyota Avensis platform, get two doors, four-cylinder power and front-wheel drive. The tC is a worthy alternative to models like the Honda Civic Coupe, Kia Forte Koup and Hyundai Elantra Coupe, and is noted for strong safety ratings and plenty of interior space. With plenty of factory and aftermarket upgrades available, there should be plenty of unique tC models available in the used marketplace.

Feature content may include various factory performance enhancements like strut tower bars and air intakes, body-kit provisions, lowering springs and wheels. Other available equipment included navigation, a premium Alpine stereo, remote start, an oversized sunroof, heated seats and more.

Engines / Trim: A six-speed transmission is included on all models, in either manual or automatic. All units are front-wheel drive, with output from Toyota’s 2.5L four-cylinder rated at 180 hp and nearly as much torque. Special edition models were available too, including the Five Axis model, with factory-installed body-kit.

What Owners Like: Most owners comment positively on the tC’s excellent maneuverability, peppy performance, excellent fuel mileage, and agility when moving through traffic. Comfort is rated well, as is overall interior volume and flexibility. Many owners report using their tC easily for camping, pet-hauling and more.

What Owners Dislike: Typical complaints centre around noisy transmissions, dated and cheap interior trim, the wish for a ‘taller’ sixth gear for lower and quieter cruising revs, and a sometimes-fussy navigation system, if equipped.

Here’s a look at some Scion tC owner reviews on

The Test Drive: Toyota reliability appears alive and well in this model, though shoppers after a used model are still advised to take several steps to ensure they’re getting as worry-free a unit as possible. Start by checking a few fussy little complaints that some owners have reported, confirming that the fuel door opens consistently via the internal release lever, and that the sunroof rails aren’t causing an annoying rattle that’ll eventually drive you bonkers. Here’s some more reading on rattly sunroof hardware. Note that a rattling sunroof may be suffering from loose tracks which can prevent it from closing properly, so be sure to run the sunroof through its paces a few times to be absolutely sure it’s hunky-dory.

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