Scion owners and buyers asked for a better quality car, and the new Scion tC was born. Owners wanted more room and power, better brakes and greater fuel efficiency; their suggestions were taken and the new model meets those needs, but the new Scion tC is priced about $1,200 higher than the original model.
Some are saying that the 2011 tC is a bit out of range for young buyers getting a first-time car loan—a very difficult undertaking in itself. If the car costs over $20,000, it may not even be a viable purchase option.
The 2011 tC basic platform still resembles the European-market Avensis. Its wheelbase and length are the same as the original model but it has been made wider, which gives owners more room in the rear seat.
The engine is the same as the base Camry, and gained some displacement and 19 hp and 11 pounds-feet of torque. This means the Scion tC is almost a second faster than the original, accelerating 0-to60 in 7.6 seconds with the six-speed manual transmission and 8.3 seconds with the six-speed automatic.
Improvements were also made to the size of the rear and front brakes. Engineers also widened the track and lowered the floor, giving the tC a lower center of gravity and improving handling. The suspension was made more rigid, and the power steering system is now electric instead of hydraulic.
New safety features for the 2011 tC include brake assist, a brake override system, knee airbags for the passenger, defeatable traction control and stability control.
For comfort, the Scion tC rear seats recline 10 degrees further than in the original model, and the front seats have position memory which can be used when there are back seat passengers. The moonroof, which tended to shatter on the original tC, now has a mesh wind deflector. Forty-five accessories will be available on the new model, with some performance pieces from Toyota Racing Development in the works.
The average Scion tC owner is 26 years old, and may have difficulty purchasing and financing the car. It’s an important model for Toyota and makes up 41% of the brand’s almost 800,000 sales to date. The improvements were needed, but the question remains whether or not the younger age group that buys the car will be turned off by its higher price.
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