Shopping for a new Scion tC?
SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS
QUALITY | 7 out of 10
ample legroom for passengers in the rear seats
Drivers taller than six feet may feel cramped behind the wheel
Kelley Blue Book
a nice mix of textures and a rich appearance for its price
headroom is tight for taller adults
As a hatchback, coupe headroom is tight; otherwise the 2009 Scion tC impresses with its blend of fantastic materials, ergonomics, and comfort.
"The driver seat adjusts for height and thigh support—a nice touch—but legroom is only adequate," says ConsumerGuide. Cars.com and most others report that "front headroom is marginal." ForbesAutos suggest you "keep looking if you require a larger [or] more practical vehicle"—though with 35 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down, the 2009 Scion tC offers more cargo room than some crossovers.
For a hatchback, "the rear seat is more habitable than most small coupes, though it is shaped only for two and legroom is tight without the front seats well forward," notes ConsumerGuide. "The 60/40 split rear seats are roomy and comfy for two," remarks Car and Driver, but "headroom is lacking due to the glass ceiling and long, sleek hatch." Edmunds attests that "rear riders will also enjoy the split seat backs that can individually recline up to 45 degrees"—a rarity at this price point.
ForbesAutos comments, "Only a few of the materials used inside betray this vehicle's affordable price." Value, fit and finish, and ergonomics have long been Toyota hallmarks, and Toyota's ownership of Scion shows throughout the tC. Car and Driver praises the "smart, upscale interior with rich fabrics, plastics, and metallic-look accents," and is pleasantly surprised that "the large HVAC knob actually is aluminum." "Fit and finish are flawless, right down to the seamless dash-mounted airbag," gushes Kelley Blue Book, who adds, "the tC's interior is Lexus-like in its execution." They and others appreciate the instrument cluster that is "neatly arranged into three separate circular housings" and the center stack that "is covered with a silver finish," finding the treatment far more appealing than the strange center-pod speedo in Scion's other models. The only interior change for 2009 is updated seat fabrics.
Unfortunately, Scion 2009 tC's don't have much sound-deadening material. While the tC is "quiet around town," ConsumerGuide reports that "wind rush intrudes at highway speeds, and tire roar is pronounced on rough surfaces."
Finally, while Kelley Blue Book expects the tC "to retain one of the highest resale values in its class" over a four-year period, J.D. Power reports that the 2009 Scion tC rates only "two out of five for overall initial quality," countering some reviewers’ observations.
The 2009 Scion tC's fit and finish belie its price, but if you're taller than six feet or a member of the big man's club, you will not be comfortable.