2014 Scion tC Performance

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Performance

The 2014 Scion tC gets a few tweaks that should bring meaningful performance improvements and a somewhat stronger attitude; but the reality is that they're not going to punt the tC into the realm of other affordable performance coupes like the Ford Mustang, Mazda Miata, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, or even Scion's FR-S sports car. Instead, think of the tC as first and foremost an everyday-comfortable sporty coupe--with stronger chops than you might think.

There's nothing significantly new under the hood for 2014, but the tC remains a solid performer. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, making 179 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque, is paired with a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic, and can get to 60 mph in 7.6 seconds with the manual or 8.3 seconds with the automatic—this year adding downshift rev-blipping.

The Scion tC is a strong performer among front-drive coupes--and it's received a little more tuning attention for 2014.

Although we haven't driven the 2014 version with the revised automatic, we've found previous auto versions to nicely straddle the line between economy and performance, with smooth downshifts and respectable performance. Tuner-intending owners will opt for the nicely weighted manual--although we're always surprised by its crazy-light clutch uptake. Scion's skipping any kind of shift paddles for now, which we hate, but at this price point it's not much of a surprise.

The electric power steering feels good, as do the big all-disc brakes, and ride quality's obviously a priority, as the big 18-inch wheels and tires don't make things too harsh. For 2014, Scion does claim to have increased body rigidity and made “modifications to stabilizer bar hardware.” It's also retuned the suspension and added additional welds for improved dynamics. Look for an update here on how those updates work.

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