2011 Scion tC, Quite Possibly The Worst Coupe Ever!!!

There was a time, not so long ago, that Toyota used to be a brand a car enthusiast could turn to for some exciting cars. They had cars like the Celica, MR2 and the Supra, but sadly they all disappeared over the last decade.
Toyota hence became a brand that sold only boring, beige cars, like the Camry, Venza and Corolla (to name a few). That not only had an effect on its followers, but also in their quality.
You see, when a car company stops making enthusiast products, its best engineers often go elsewhere, looking for exciting projects, and that probably happened within Toyota also.
If there are no gifted engineers on your team, your product will start suffering from issues also. No wonder Toyota has spent the last two-years dealing with numerous amounts of recalls.
However, there is a change in the tides at Toyota, as they are finally getting back into the sportscar business. They have already launched the Lexus LF-A, and are working on a new entry-level sportscar, which is currently known as the FT-86.
For the time being, if you want a two-door coupe from Toyota, and don’t want to spend $415,000 on the LF-A, your choice is limited to tC from their latest sub-brand, Scion.
So how is the tC? Is it worthy of being considered by those looking for some fun, or is it as boring as a beige econo-box? Lets find out.
From a styling point of view, it is OK. It’s not exactly radical or exciting, but its not offensive either. Choose the right color and it can look good, just don’t pick white, or the color of my press car, which I can only describe as primer.
Step inside and you are greeted by very nice seats, but the rest of the interior looks rather plain and boring.
The dashboard looks to be moulded from a single slab of plastic and the quality of the fit and finish is not what I expected from the world’s largest automaker.
Nor did it look like they had put much thought into placing all its switches. I get the feeling that the engineers threw some of its switches into the car and screwed them down where they landed. Not impressed.
Nor was I impressed with its ride comfort. This car doesn’t ride nearly as well as it should (felt like the dampers in the suspension were made from concrete) and it certainly doesn’t have nearly as much sound proofing as it should.
Yes, some can argue that noise is part of the sports coupe game, but there are pleasant noises and unpleasant noises, this one delivers the latter.
This is not an ideal car for long distance driving because there is way too much road noise in this cabin. It almost felt as if Scion forgot to add any sound proofing at all. Just awful.
The motor doesn’t make any great noises either. Under its hood lies a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder motor that produces 180 hp. That sounds promising, but I could never tell from behind the wheel. The car felt like it had a whole lot less power, and any attempt at spirited driving only left me disappointed.
Part of the fault could be due to the transmission of my test car. While a six-speed manual is offered, my tester came equipped with the six-speed automatic, which despite its manual mode was a dreary, hopeless gearbox. It just does not like quick shifts and its demeanor was towards lazy motoring, rather than rapid transport.
Sure it manages very decent fuel economy figures, as I averaged 8.5-liters/100km. But if I want economy, why would I buy a sporty coupe?
Maybe the handling is its savior?
To be honest, it isn’t. First of all, it is front-wheel drive, and not rear-wheel drive as a proper coupe should be. However, Mini and VW has proven to us that a front-wheel drive car can be fun, but the tC isn’t.
Part of the blame is on its suspension set-up, but most of it I place on its dull steering. When going through twisty roads, I felt at times that the steering was connected to a yogurt bowl rather than wheels.
It is remarkable that a car company of Toyota’s experience can make something this flawed, but they did.
I often find some quality in every car that can be its saving grace. That could be its styling, its interior, its engine or its handling, but the tC has nothing going for it.
With prices starting at $20,850, it’s not expensive, but I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.
You know what the strangest thing is? Scion’s econo-box the xD is an absolute hoot to drive, so if you want a cheap, fun car, buy that instead.

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One Response to 2011 Scion tC, Quite Possibly The Worst Coupe Ever!!!

  1. Pingback: Will the 2015 Scion tC Release Series 9.0 change my perception of this little coupe? | Automotive Affairs by Nauman Farooq

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