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2013 Scion tC Styling

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Styling

Toyota has the good fortune and the burden of having the successful Celica in its past. For almost 30 years, the sporty coupe defined the brand, and led some dramatic styling changes until it was dropped from the lineup. The Scion tC took up the same mantle, only without the name--and in its first generation, it wore everything Celica in its look but the badging.

The rounded, soft looks gave way in the 2011 model year, when Scion rebaked the tC into a more masculine plaything. The angles are sharper, the corners more creased, the attitude a little more brusque. From some angles it's still recognizably Toyota--from others it's a little alien, from the Cylon-like helmet shaped into the rear roofline that's also a nod to the Nissan GT-R and Chevy Camaro, to the shoveled nose and tail that fall into line with an Eighties subtext running through its sheetmetal. It's a Celica at heart, still, we think, but maybe one that's into a little cosplay.

With more creases in its coat and pops in its collar, the latest Scion tC is no curvy Celica.
Carried through the cabin, that magically rediscovered T-square puts some starch in the Scion tC's instruments and controls and some glaring lapses in finishes. The fat steering wheel has a flat bottom, and begs your attention as soon as you slide into the wide, sculptured front seat. It's not enough to distract us away from the trifecta of differently grained plastics that hook up in an unnatural way right over the glovebox, but the cockpit wears red-lit gauges well, and the cut-tube gauges and Reese's-sized climate controls inject some much-appreciated function-over-form simplicity.

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