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To bring you this comprehensive review of the 2009 Scion tC, the car experts at TheCarConnection.com researched some of the best reviews on the Web to put together this conclusive review. Then TheCarConnection.com's editors included comments on their own experience with the tC.
- Competitive base price
- Youthful interior design
- Peppy with the manual transmission
- Steering and handling
- Road noise
- Tight headroom
- Difficult rearward visibility
- Aging design no longer looks fresh
Introduced in late 2004 as an '05 model, the tC is the only coupe model to be sold under the Scion brand, which is offered at select Toyota dealerships. The 2009 Scion tC is based on the European-market Toyota Avensis. Now the oldest vehicle in the Scion lineup of small cars, the tC is updated for 2009 only with new interior fabrics.
The tC is powered by a torquey 161-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine similar to the one used in the Toyota Camry. Here it makes the tC quite entertaining to drive with the standard five-speed manual transmission or adequate for most needs with the available four-speed automatic. The 2009 Scion tC handles especially well, with good, communicative steering and a firm but comfortable ride.
Similar to Lexus in execution, the 2009 Scion tC has a sporty, cockpit-like design, with snug, well-bolstered front seats and a good driving position, though tall drivers will find themselves short on headroom and stout drivers short on hip room. The stylish cabin and instrument panel design look like they could belong to a much more expensive vehicle. The low seating position, high beltline, and thick back pillars can make rearward vision challenging. There's enough space for up to three in the small backseat, with decent access, but the tC's rather narrow body limits comfort (and elbowroom). The engine can be heard as a subtle sporty tone inside the cabin, but coarse road surfaces can introduce an unwelcome boominess, and a loud wind rush at speed emanates from the moonroof.