Shopping for a new Scion tC?
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QUALITY | 7 out of 10
a nice mix of textures and a rich appearance for its price
ample legroom for passengers in the rear seats
headroom is tight for taller adults
Drivers taller than six feet may feel cramped behind the wheel
Kelley Blue Book
The 2010 Scion tC has great materials, impressive ergonomics, and good ride comfort. That said, it's a two-door hatchback, so rear-seat room is marginal.
In fact, front-seat room isn't much better. Cars.com and others say that "front headroom is marginal." And "the driver seat adjusts for height and thigh support-a nice touch-but legroom is only adequate," says ConsumerGuide. If "you require a larger [or] more practical vehicle," ForbesAutos suggests you "keep looking."
In the second row, "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. And Edmunds points out that "rear riders will also enjoy the split seat backs that can individually recline up to 45 degrees"-unusual in such an inexpensive car. "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."
If carrying people is tight, at least the 2010 Scion tC holds 35 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.
As for fit and finish-typically a Toyota trademark- 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." ForbesAutos comments, "Only a few of the materials used inside betray this vehicle's affordable price." "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." Most reviewers laud an instrument cluster "neatly arranged into three separate circular housings" and a center stack "covered with a silver finish," finding the materials and surfaces far more appealing than the odd central speedometer in other Scion models.
While the 2010 Scion 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 2010 Scion tC's fit and finish look much better than you'd expect from its base price. But you won't be comfortable inside the tC if you're over six feet tall or broad in the beam.