Scion tC — Affordable sports car attributes

By David Finkelstein

In a moment, I'll be sharing with you some of the momentous features of the 2016 Scion tC, but I wanted to begin with some background regarding the Scion brand in general. Scion is an offshoot of Toyota and has been the “test laboratory division” since back in 2003. They're mission statement has been to offer products and processes that stand apart from the rest of the crowd.

Scion offers distinctive vehicles that reflect owners’ passions with a model line-up that tends to be personalized on a number of levels. This occurs when the car leaves the factory, and gets additional intervention of Scion's local dealer network as well.

Specialized offerings of unique accessories are installed that help to make the Scion an extension of your lifestyle.This makes Scion's products quite singular, when placed up against others in its segment. And company policy is to sell new vehicles with a no-haggling buying experience. This isn't new to the industry, but has gained traction over the years with consumers.

For '16, Scion's top selling tC now has a number of included upgrades and driving features. The “short list” includes: a new audio sound system plus and upgraded interior features including a convenient Smart Key with push-button start and the welcome addition of a standard rear windshield wiper. Also new are the reworked interior door handles, changes with the center console assembly and a leather wrapped shift knob. All of this helps to raise the bar when it comes to driver functionality.

The eye-catching lovable look of the 2016 tC will captivate drivers seeking a sports car with an alluring price point. The bold front fascia features a sloping hood design that leads to angular projector headlamps and LED front accent lamps. The muscular look is enhanced by a lower grille treatment.

The tC sits on 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels that come standard with  premium dark gray paint and contrasted machined-spoke surfaces. At the rear, tC has an enticing theme with a blacked out painted center section plus bright/attractive LED tail lamps. The overall look from all angles is quite desirable.

All models come standard with a panoramic moonroof, dual sunshades, folding side mirrors with LED turn indicators plus an attention drawing chrome exhaust tip, channeling the engines throaty engine sound.

The car is available in seven colors including Cosmic Gray, Black, Magnetic Gray Metallic, Blue Streak Metallic, Absolutely Red, Cement and Blizzard Pearl, which is available for an additional $395 up-charge. Powering the car is their 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine which produces 179 horsepower. Dual variable valve timing with intelligence contributes to the tC’s fuel economy and quick acceleration.

To help enhance the overall driving experience, owners will be able to choose between two transmissions, a refined automatic or a crisp shifting manual six-speed gear box. If the automatic transmission is your choice, it delivers a sporty driving experience with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. This helps to keep the driver more connected to the vehicle on those challenging roads. Regardless of the transmission choice in this front-wheel-drive car, tC has an EPA-estimated fuel economy rating of 23 mpg city, 31 mpg highway and 26 mpg combined.

The tC's MacPherson strut front suspension and double wishbone rear chassis setup further helps give the car a sure footed feel. On the car's interior, there are a standard leather covered “thick rimmed/racing inspired” three-spoke tilt and telescope steering wheel with a flat bottom design. Easy touch audio controls also help make up the steering wheel's configuration.

The front bucket seats have a seat-back angle memory function which easily helps to position the six-way adjustable seat and backrest into your favorite positions. At a glance, drivers have access to an outside temperature gauge, tachometer, and trip mete. A new large 7-inch touch screen display and voice recognition technology lend a completely new look and feel. Additionally, on-the-go connectivity and on-board navigation is available with the optional BeSpoke Audio system.

Push-to-talk voice navigation and geo-located points of interest add convenience to any drive. Like the standard audio system, Aha is included, but it also has routing capabilities. Drivers also can find local restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, and weather updates through location-based services like Yelp and TripAdvisor, along with popular social media applications, sports, news and entertainment venues.

All versions of tC come standard with eight airbags, including supplemental restraint system driver and front passenger airbags, driver and front passenger seat-mounted side airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, and side curtain airbags.

The 2016 Scion tC has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price of $19,385 with a six-speed manual transmission. The delivery and handling fee is $795 and is not included with this posted price. The base warranty is for three-year/36,000-miles. Powertrain coverage is for five-year's/60,000-miles. Normal factory maintenance service coverage and roadside assistance is also included for two years or 25,000 miles.