2005 Scion tC

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2005 Scion tC review: Our expert's take

By Bob Golfen

Scion tC, an attractive sport coupe from Toyota’s recently minted youth division, deviates from the brand’s quirky image.

Compared with Scion’s two other rides, the stubby xA four-door hatchback and that weird little box on wheels, xB, the new tC is downright conventional. Still, it has the flare and a decent level of performance to turn heads and draw some attention from young drivers.

This also is the first Scion (pronounced SIGH-on) that doesn’t draw from individualistic products homegrown in Japan. This one traces its lineage to the late Toyota Celica and actually replaces that coupe in the Toyota product lineup.

Scion vehicles are sold primarily at Toyota dealerships, with the brand created to spiff up the corporate image among young drivers who consider Toyotas to be sturdy but boring cars that their parents drove. So Scion is vying to lure drivers in their teens and 20s the way Lexus did a generation ago with luxury buyers .

But aside from all that marketing stuff, tC is a sharp little car in its own right. It’s not a minicar, either, but a decent-size coupe with a fairly long 106-inch wheelbase. The interior is roomy enough, though the sloping roofline cuts into rear-seat headroom.

Powered by a 160-horsepower, four-cylinder engine, this lightweight has sharp acceleration and good cruising power, more than you’d expect from a $16,000 car.

So here you have a nicely styled, sporty coupe backed by Toyota’s sterling reputation and enough performance to make it fun to drive, all for the price of basic transportation.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.2
  • Interior design 4.4
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.7
  • Exterior styling 4.5
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews


tC is fun to drive, reliable.

The Release 1.0 limited edition adds some nice styling touches - billet aluminium engine parts, sway bar, rear spoiler. tC 5 speed in (absolute red only ) is stylish and semi sporty for a great price.


Loved every day and mile driven

This vehicle is one of the best if not the greatest vehicle I could have ever owned. Bought it at the auto auction and have had it now going on 7 years and other than routine maintenance it has went beyond my expectations and than some.


Great performance & handling for a little 4cyl

This car is a great commuter with economical MPG and reliability for the low cost value. Obviously well maintained as it has smooth acceleration with everthing solid and tight under the hood.

See all 37 consumer reviews

Compare the competitors


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Scion xD


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