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2008 Scion tC

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2008 Scion tC Review

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The 2008 Scion tC has proven to be everything its competitors feared. Smartly styled, fuel-efficient and a blast to drive, the little tC is more than just a good value -- it has become the poster child for the lucrative aftermarket parts and customization business. Though not as space-efficient as the xD or xB, the tC can comfortably fit two adults and its versatile hatch design makes it easy to carry sports equipment or overnight gear. A near-flawless repair history and excellent resale value are but part of the tC's early success stories. By holding the tC's price well below $18,000, Scion has grabbed a substantial chunk of the all-important youth market, attracting young buyers who may likely move up to Toyota and Lexus brands as they grow older.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you were a long-time fan of Toyota's discontinued Celica, you'll like what Scion has done with the tC. Its robust power, long list of standard equipment and low base price are exactly what young consumers are looking for in a fuel-efficient sports coupe.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The tC is long on style but short on rear-seat headroom. At a certain age, you might think the interior is a little too hip -- and colorful at night. Drivers taller than six feet may feel cramped behind the wheel.

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Scion tC receives a new face including a mesh grille, lattice lower grille and projector beam-type headlights. Interior upgrades include new seat fabrics, Apple iPod connectivity built into the head unit and a Pioneer subwoofer.

Driving the tC

Driving Impressions The tC has inherited much from its Toyota and Lexus heritage. The 2.4-liter engine sings sweetly, with plenty of pulling power, and the five-speed manual delivers crisp, short shifts. Handling...

and braking are also well above average, making the tC a very fun car indeed. Front-seat passengers enjoy ample head and legroom, but the rear passengers will have to stoop if they're over six feet tall. The rear area is better utilized by folding down the seats and creating a large cargo hold; the front passenger seat also folds, allowing longer items such as surfboards to be stowed with the rear hatch closed.

iPod Compatibility
The standard iPod connector allows you to control your iPod via the radio or steering wheel controls. The system is hidden beneath the center console armrest and continually supplies power to the iPod.

LED Interior Light Package
The optional LED interior light package fills the foot wells with neat blue lighting.

2008 Scion tC Details
2008 Scion tC photo Interior

The tC's interior is Lexus-like in its execution. Fit and finish are flawless, right down to the seamless dash-mounted airbag. The instrument cluster is neatly arranged into three separate circular housings and the center stack is covered with a silver finish. A large aluminum knob is used to control the climate system, and above it resides a Pioneer CD/MP3 player hidden behind a flip-up panel. New for 2008 is the addition of rear audio outputs on the optional premium sound system, which allow for easy installation of an aftermarket amplifier. The front seats are properly supportive, with nice side bolsters and new fabrics.

Exterior
2008 Scion tC photo

The tC exterior is handsome, but not revolutionary. From the front, the tC resembles a coupe version of Volvo's new S40, with a set of lighted eyebrows borrowed from BMW. Around back, the sleek hatch and side windows look a bit like an Acura. A unique item is the massive panorama moonroof included as standard equipment on every car. The new SPEC Package removes the sporty wheels and power moonroof but offers a number of front end treatments to please the most demanding tuner.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The tC has a 161-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), rear defroster, power door locks, power windows, remote keyless entry, tire-pressure monitoring system, auto-off halogen headlamps, dual power mirrors, power panorama moonroof, AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 and iPod connectivity, front and rear side-curtain airbags, driver and front passenger airbags, a first aid kit, driver's knee airbag, cruise control, tilt wheel with audio touch controls and alloy wheels. The slightly less expensive SPEC model is designed for the budding tuner and features steel wheels and a fixed sunroof.

Optional Equipment

Options include a four-speed automatic transmission, carbon fiber dash applique, ground effects kit, fog lights, Pioneer Premium audio, high-performance engine and suspension components, under-dash interior light kit, navigation system and a host of dealer-installed options.

Under the Hood

Like the 2008 xB, the tC receives a big dose of power in the form of a 16-valve 2.4-liter engine. The tC is not as quick as some of its turbocharged rivals, but most people should be pleased with the car's combination of good acceleration and great gas mileage.

2.4-liter in-line 4
161 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 (manual), 21/29 (automatic)

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2008 Scion tC Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.1
Out of 10

Based on 672 Ratings for the 2005 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.4/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.5/10
    Performance
    9.3/10
  • Comfort
    9.0/10
    Styling
    9.4/10

Great car. Toyota engine

By on Friday, June 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "toyoto camry engine .Handles well it hugs the road"

Cons: "A rough ride and geared to low in 5th gear"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought 07 TC for our 17 year old son He is now 24 and still drives this car 75000 mile and only thing replaced are tires and brakes"

11 people out of 16 found this review helpful

It's a great car at a great price.

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "picks up speed kick, GPS option, rims, ALL of IT"

Cons: "no 4-wheel drive, winter tires a must"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought mine in Dec 2007 and I have enjoyed driving it since them. It is a great car. I had the GPS (about 2k) added and it has been a great add on to have. It is a bit costly to updates, the CD costs about $300 but it's worth it. The car has Iphone hook ups as well as for AUX, so you have options. The interior is beautiful, very sporty and comfortable. The interior design is pretty nice for the price. I love about the Scion TC that it's a smooth ride, it doesn't take much to make it go, unlike Nissan Altima Coupe and even some Acuras. I previously owned Paseo, which was the car line before Celica. These cars are long lasting. There has not been any mechanical problems just regular wear and tear. Winter tires are a must though, if you want to survive the NE winter."

7 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Wasn't mine but I love riding in it

By on Thursday, May 14, 2015

I don't own this car

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "smooth make, fun to drive,sound system,sunroof"

Cons: "bad on gas, stuck seats,no removable cup holders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I met my fiance (at the time) in this car. He drove a stick version and thought he was too cool. This car drives smooth with no alterations made. The sound system is factory made and the seats are made for fast movement based on the way it hugged your body. I eventually co-owned the car and drove it more over the years. It was my first stick to drive and the car kindly bared with me why I made a couple of mistakes. I loved that it came with an alarm system and key wireless system, also the trunk was just right for all my weekend outings. This car has grown with me but my next purchase of a Scion will be a four door. It's more convenient for the twin kiddies we are about to raise."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

not my idea of a great car.

By on Saturday, April 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 58,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "I guess its ok."

Cons: "just has no class."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Nothing beats my mitsubitchi eclipse! Had 2 both stick shifts.they were leased. When the lease was up they wanted an unreasonable amount of money. So I saw the scion in 08 and bought it.its ok but not my favorite."

5 people out of 26 found this review helpful

2007 Scion tC :)

By on Sunday, March 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 59,700

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "very quick, drives great, enough room for luggage"

Cons: "Not tall people friendly"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

My beauty!

"I've wanted a Scion tC ever since I was 18! I've always loved the look of them. Finally, in February thanks to my JellyBean aka Ford Escort losing its clutch, I got to purchase my very own Scion tC! I absolutely love it! I've gotten so many compliments on my car. It's used, but wasn't driven very long. You can tell the owner of the car before me took good care and put a lot of money into it. I originally was deciding between the Mazda rx-8 and the Scion tC. Had my mind set on the Mazda, but my gut was set on the scion. Definitely made the best decision by going with the tC, especially after researching the rx-8 :-/ my only complaint about my Scion tC....is that since I have 2 kids, one in a booster, the other in a convertible seat....the convertible seat sits behind the passenger..,and so because of the age of my child the seat has to be leaned back as far as possible. My hubby is 6'2 and doesn't ride very comfortably. His legs are scrunched up and his head is basically pressed against the roof of the car unless I have the moonroof open. I would definitely recommend this car to anyone! :)"

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

My beauty!

solid, reliable, fun.

By on Thursday, February 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 170,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "looks good, zippy, good mpg, built to last"

Cons: "2 door vehicles can be inconvenient."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"owner for 8 years, i bought this car new in 2007, for many years i drove over 100 miles per day, never had any problems at all. still has original battery and spark plugs, for the most part scion uses parts that make this car built to last and minimal maintenance. 6th year of ownership i needed new shocks. we have tons of pot holes in mass. 7th year i needed to replace the alternator which cost me about $130 at auto parts store. (it would have costed about $800 for dealership to do it.) some corky things: some times the moonroof button would act up, i would have to tap it a few times to close. and sometimes moonroof would not seal shut and would whistle on highway speeds. also trunk rattles at about 150k miles. not bad though. this car has been reliable and fun to drive, very quick, excellent acceleration, stick shift makes it zippy when you need it. and can get about 30 mpg on highway. snow tires are a must in winter and makes a huge difference in snow. if i went back in time i would buy it again, although an AWD vehicle would be nice like a subaru, but im not sure it would be as reliable as the tC toyota parts."

13 people out of 17 found this review helpful

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