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FEATURES | 8 out of 10
If one judges by the marketing guff, Scions aren’t so much cars as rolling stereo delivery devices
Car and Driver
the Alpine's entire user interface sucks so bad
far more than floor mats and cargo nets
redundant audio controls on the steering wheel
Very well-equipped even at its base price of about $20,000, the Scion tC comes with some standard features that might be better left on the options sheet. As usual, though, the Scion experience lets owners tweak the list with all sorts of custom equipment, from mild aero add-ons to more exotic trim pieces and upgrades.
The single tC model, with either transmission, has standard features that include power windows, locks, and mirrors; air conditioning; cruise control; and an audio system with satellite radio and steering-wheel controls. If it were our twenty-kay, we'd skip the sunroof; it cuts into the available headroom, and the sunshade that rides shotgun to it rattles in its housing and slips off track more than the average drifting amateur. The sunroof's wind deflector makes a lot of noise, too, and doesn't seem to fulfill its mission to cut down on air turbulence.
Scion's audio offerings are a little more exotic than the usual under-$20,000 stuff, too. The standard Pioneer audio system has AM/FM/CD capability as well as iPod and USB connectivity. Opt for the Alpine Premium system and its fussy interface, and you'll also get a 4.3-inch color touch screen, HD Radio, MX and RCA inputs, and subwoofer capability.
As before, Scion tC buyers will have a long catalog of possible aftermarket appearance and performance upgrades, available through the dealership.
As usual with Scion, the basic features are good--but it's the custom catalog that'll get you spending lots of optional dollars.