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2014 Scion tC Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2014 Scion tC was new.


Performance: 7.1

Although test drivers are disappointed that the 2014 Scion tC isn’t as fast or agile as its sporty design suggests, they say the tC is a good performer that offers smooth shifts and adequate power. Fuel economy, however, is disappointing for the class.

  • "Compared to other coupes in its class, it's not nearly as powerful or capable, though for city driving it's probably good enough for most buyers." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Retuned steering, new stabilizer bar hardware and reworked shock absorbers should make the new tC a more capable handler than its predecessor, but this isn't the coupe to buy if engaging dynamics are a major purchase factor." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Scion tC won't put you to sleep, but you will have more fun in other coupes." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "Quick enough on takeoff with either transmission, but the manual version feels a bit livelier. The manual transmission has light clutch and shifter action. The automatic is generally smooth and responsive." -- Consumer Guide (2012)

Acceleration and Power                                             

The Scion tC comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 179 horsepower. Both a six-speed manual transmission and a six-speed automatic are available. Regardless of the transmission you choose, the tC gets an EPA-estimated 23/31 mpg city/highway, which is low for the class.

Reviewers agree that the tC’s engine offers plenty of oomph for everyday driving, but they also say it’s not as sporty or powerful as other coupes. Both the manual and automatic transmissions offer smooth shifts, test drivers say.

  • "A 6-speed automatic transmission lifted from the Scion FR-S now features downshift rev-matching technology and is a vast improvement over last year's automatic. But, we still prefer the 6-speed manual gearbox both for its light clutch pedal and precise, quick shifts." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Even though it boasts rather quick acceleration, the 2013 Scion tC falls into the sporty category, as it doesn't quite deliver the type of driving entertainment that its sleek exterior would suggest. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing." -- Edmunds (2013)
  • "Quick enough on takeoff with either transmission, though not quite as peppy as the sporty looks suggest." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Handling and Braking

The tC offers a smooth ride and handling is competent in most situations, reviewers say. However, they do say that other cars are more engaging to drive, and that driving enthusiasts may prefer the sharper handling offered by rival coupes.

  • "Around city streets, the tC is entertaining to drive, and the ride quality is pretty smooth. But if you're looking for something truly sharp and involving to drive on unimpeded back roads, there are better choices. Of course, that's why Scion also sells the FR-S." -- Edmunds
  • "The Scion tC is a compact coupe that belies its sporty looks with a comfortable ride and predictable but uninspired handling." -- Left Lane News
  • "The tC driving experience has always been the biggest source of debate in regards to the car's designation as a sports coupe. Improvements to the 2014 Scion tC move the needle a bit more to the Yes column, but not definitively." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "While tC doesn't feel quite as nimble as its looks suggest, its handling is pleasant and confident. In turns, body lean is well checked." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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