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2009 Scion tC

Overview
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2009 Scion tC Review

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The 2009 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 2009

No major changes for 2009.

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.

2009 Scion tC Details
2009 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. The optional Pioneer upgraded head unit includes rear audio outputs, which allow for easy installation of an aftermarket amplifier. The front seats are properly supportive, with nice side bolsters and new fabrics.

Exterior

The tC exterior is handsome, but not revolutionary. From the front, the tC vaguely resembles a coupe version of Volvo's 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. Toss in the new Make It Mine Package number 3 option and the tC gains a Borla Cat Back exhaust, fog lights and 18-inch Enkei wheels.

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.

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 2009 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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2009 Scion tC Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
9.2
Out of 10

Based on 654 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

I have gotten older, it is harder to get in/out.

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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
8/10

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

"Car was used as second vehicle in household, but it has become hard to get in and out of at this time. It only has 8000 miles and runs great with the large 4 cyl.and auto trans."

3 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Hate to lose it :(

By on Tuesday, June 24, 2014

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

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "No major issues or expenses since 2007!"

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

"The only, ONLY reason I need to trade in this car is because it's a stick shift and the amount of hill driving I'll be doing for my new job would turn into a nightmare. I purchased this car for my husband, then took it as my own 5 years later when I traded in my other care for his new SUV. I was ECSTATIC to get this car as a hand me down and for it to become my daily driver. It is the first car I owned past making payments and I'm going to miss it something terribly. Maybe I'll sell it to my brother instead of trading it in for something else, he drove it once and fell it love with it. He's a mechanic, so I'd guess that's a standing ovation. There are very few downsides to this car and I'm sure they all just come from age, most of them. 1) The back panel cover for the hatch release came loose and occasionally I have to stick it back in place. 2) After years of heavy use I need to trigger the hatch release twice before the hatch door can be opened. This happened before the paneling became loose and likely caused it by me pulling up on the hatch door before it's latch was fully released. 3) Pulling up the emergency brake can he heard though the stereo, it causes feedback through the speakers. Only when it's actually being engaged/disengaged, not the whole time it's on. I've only noticed it when I have the stereo on AUX input. The AUX jack is inside the center console behind the eBrake so I'm guessing that over time a barrier between the two has become flabby. 4) The center console light has malfunctioned and turns off when I turn on my headlights. The dealership said this was a common glitch and offered to fix it (for a price). The car was out of warranty when this happened and it wasn't worth spending what it would cost to replace."

Great First Car!!!

By on Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 67,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great price, Fun to drive, Roomy."

Cons: "Front wheel drive, semi weak engine (165hp)"

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

Still for sale :)

"Highly recommend this car if it is going to be a first car. I have a 2007 5 Speed and these cars are perfect to customize to your own taste. These cars look great with any rim and body kits look great. Because they are so common it is easy to get a great price and they hold value very well."

9 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Still for sale :)

May Never Sell

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 98,500

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Reliable, Maintenance Free, Fun, Sporty"

Cons: "Minor Rattles"

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

"This car has been a great car, purchased it brand new back in 2004 and its still runs like the day I drove it off the lot. Minus a couple squeaks and rattles (normal for 10 yr old vehicle) this is a diehard, reliable vehicle. Starts every day and has NEVER had any type of mechanical issue. Put the right tires on and this beast will blaze through snow covered roads! Hearing about issues other car owners go through with their cars, I consider myself lucky to own a vehicle like this. Because of that, I may never sell it."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

great car to drive, not so great in an accident

By on Thursday, April 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "awesome to drive"

Cons: "safety not so great"

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

"LOVED driving this car but was recently in a minor accident with it and the body didn't hold up very well. Will definitely miss that car."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Very reliable fun daily driver

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 105,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive, easy to work on, very reliable"

Cons: "rattles, rattles rattles."

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

"I have owned this vehicle the last 55,000 miles and love it! The only thing outside of routine maintenance I have had to do is replace the waterpump. That costed me $60 dollars and an hour or two in the garage with a friend. Other than that this vehicle has been dead reliable and runs great all the time every time. Never had an issue starting, never had any sensors go bad, nothing. The interior isn't the best. It tends to shake and rattle, but after a few weeks driving you don't really notice it. This car is great for someone who likes to do custom work to it. I put in a subwoofer and sound system in my tc and it took me no time at all to put it in. They designed this car with simplicity in mind. All the panels come off easy, all parts that need to be accessed for maintenance are easy to get to. Working on it is simple as can be. The rear seat is really roomy too if you put down the back seats. I can fit my 125 pitbike (kids dirtbike) back there no problem. One last thing to mention is that the fuel mileage (MPG's) that the car is rated for it not true. The car gets much better gas mileage than what it says on here. I drive pretty quick and average 27mpgs for most tanks. I have gotten up to 32mpgs out of a tank fully loaded down on the interstate."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

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