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2012 Scion tC

$6,297 — $12,709 USED
Coupe
5 Seats
27 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 2 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Steering
  • Smooth-shifting transmissions
  • Crowd-pleaser styling
  • Backseat roominess
  • Seating comfort

The Bad

  • Cabin materials
  • Road noise
  • Firm ride
  • Crude climate controls
2012 Scion tC exterior side view

What to Know

about the 2012 Scion tC
  • 2.5-liter four-cylinder
  • Six-speed manual or automatic
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Hatchback rear, coupe-like lines
  • Newly standard Bluetooth connectivity

Our Take

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview

Scion's sporty five-seat coupe received a complete redesign for the 2011 model year and sees few changes for 2012. Powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the tC competes with coupe versions of compacts like the Honda Civic, Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Golf.

New for 2012
Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming is newly standard and joins new base and premium stereos. Additionally, the right-side taillamp now incorporates a backup light.

Exterior
The tC's headlights recall the Kia Forte, but a large lower grille helps distinguish the tC as a Scion and visually grounds the car. Though the tC is a two-door hatchback, the shape of the rear side windows accentuates the dropoff in the roofline, hinting at a coupe profile. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Blacked-out A-pillars
  • Chrome exhaust tip


Interior
A front moonroof and a glass skylight over the backseat are standard. Between these and the fastback roofline, the cabin gets plenty of light, but shoppers will wish the rear window had a wiper. Interior features include:

  • Standard USB port and MP3 jack for connecting portable music players
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Standard power windows, locks and side mirrors
  • Standard tilt/telescoping leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls
  • Standard cruise control

     
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:

  • 180-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Uses regular gas
  • Standard six-speed manual transmi...
Vehicle Overview

Scion's sporty five-seat coupe received a complete redesign for the 2011 model year and sees few changes for 2012. Powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the tC competes with coupe versions of compacts like the Honda Civic, Mini Cooper and Volkswagen Golf.

New for 2012
Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming is newly standard and joins new base and premium stereos. Additionally, the right-side taillamp now incorporates a backup light.

Exterior
The tC's headlights recall the Kia Forte, but a large lower grille helps distinguish the tC as a Scion and visually grounds the car. Though the tC is a two-door hatchback, the shape of the rear side windows accentuates the dropoff in the roofline, hinting at a coupe profile. Exterior features include:

  • Standard 18-inch alloy wheels
  • Blacked-out A-pillars
  • Chrome exhaust tip


Interior
A front moonroof and a glass skylight over the backseat are standard. Between these and the fastback roofline, the cabin gets plenty of light, but shoppers will wish the rear window had a wiper. Interior features include:

  • Standard USB port and MP3 jack for connecting portable music players
  • Standard air conditioning
  • Standard power windows, locks and side mirrors
  • Standard tilt/telescoping leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls
  • Standard cruise control

     
Under the Hood
Mechanical features include:

  • 180-horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Uses regular gas
  • Standard six-speed manual transmission
  • Optional six-speed automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive


Safety
Standard safety features include:

  • Side-impact airbags for the front seats
  • Side curtain airbags
  • Front knee airbags
  • Antilock brakes
  • Electronic stability system and traction control
  • Active front head restraints

 

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.4
27 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.8)
Performance
(4.4)
Interior Design
(4.3)
Comfort
(4.4)
Reliability
(4.7)
Value For The Money
(4.4)

Read reviews that mention:

(4.0)

good car

by sprt from Houston on June 29, 2018

CLEAN TITLE Mileage: 96,213 miles Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic Exterior Color:BLACK Interior Color: BLACK Engine:I4 Drivetrain:Front-Wheel Drive Major Options:Sunroof/Moonroof, Alloy Wheels Air ... Read full review

(5.0)

It?s more reliable than the car I had before!

by Juliandinho from Kenosha, WI on June 15, 2018

It?s a nice car I like everything of it. I love how the back seats have more than enough room for a hatch! It?s not the fastest but it?s ok with the horsepower it has! Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2012 Scion tC currently has 1 recall


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2012 Scion tC Base

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
acceptable
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Warranty

New car and certified pre-owned programs by Scion

New Car Program Benefits

  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    24 months / 25,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits

  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    7 years/less than 85,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12, 000 miles

  • Powertrain

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    160- or 174-point inspections

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All CPO Program Details

Latest 2012 tC Stories

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The tC received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker