$14,095 - $14,813

2016 Scion tC Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Scion tC was new.


Performance: 6.4

The 2016 Scion tC isn't the fastest or most nimble sports coupe in its class, and reviewers complain that it rides harshly on rough pavement. However, as long as you're not expecting overly thrilling driving dynamics, auto writers say you'll find the tC to be a satisfactory choice.

  • "… if you want something that is going to pin you to your seat as you're carving up the curves, the tC isn't that car." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Around city streets, the tC is entertaining to drive. It may not be particularly exciting compared with the rear-drive FR-S, but well-weighted, precise steering and the car's light-on-its-tires nature make for respectable fun." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "Quick enough on takeoff with either transmission, though not quite as peppy as the sporty looks suggest." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Acceleration and Power

The 2016 Scion tC comes with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 179 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is available. With either transmission, the tC earns an EPA-estimated 23/31 mpg city/highway, which is low for the class.

While some rivals are faster, most reviewers are satisfied with the Scion tC's acceleration. They add that the manual transmission is simple to operate and they like the automatic’s rev-matching feature, which increases engine speed on downshifts for a sportier driving experience.

  • "With a 179-horsepower engine, the tC is no slug and its available manual transmission speaks to those who prefer to engage with their cars rather than just sitting and steering. Even the available automatic features steering-wheel paddle shifters and downshift rev-matching technology borrowed from the FR-S. Off-the-line performance isn't as quick as with a Honda Civic Si or Hyundai Veloster Turbo, but the tC can certainly keep pace with a Mini Cooper or VW Golf." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Those are fairly strong numbers for the segment, and buyers can make the most of the output with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic that was recently tweaked to provide quicker shifts and a racy rev-matching function." -- Left Lane News
  • "Though the 179-hp four-cylinder engine in the 2015 Scion tC isn't the most thrilling powertrain in the class, it definitely feels powerful, especially at lower rpm. If you're up for shifting your own gears, the six-speed manual is a good choice as it's easy to operate. But the more popular automatic is just fine, and fuel economy won't suffer, either." -- Edmunds (2015)

Handling and Braking

The 2016 Scion tC has composed handling and strong brakes, test drivers say, but it's not a great choice if sporty driving is a priority. Critics also note that the tC doesn't ride smoothly on uneven pavement.

  • "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 ride quality is mediocre, however, as many bumps or potholes seem to produce a jiggle or vibration." -- Edmunds (2015)
  • "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)
  • "The brakes, enlarged for 2011, impart solid stopping power." -- Cars.com (2011)

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