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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 661 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

By on Friday, December 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 84,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "reliability"

Cons: "less warmth during winter driving."

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

"Its an excellent car, reliable and strong on the roads. Ideal for the free ways. Wish it warms up faster during winter driving"

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

reliable, sporty drive

By on Thursday, November 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 124,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "good value , only oil changes , normal maintenance"

Cons: "nylon seat material color fades with time"

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

"Sporty, easy handling on the road, great pick up with manual shift and fun to drive. Engine is flawless, no fail . Electronics in vehicle very good, power moon roof, windows always work. Reliable and enjoyable ride."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Solid & Reliable

By on Monday, October 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 93,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Lots of standard features for the money."

Cons: "Paint quality could be better."

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

"I have had this car since it was new. The only problems I have had are having to replace the drivers front tire a few times due to improper alignment from the factory, O2 sensor went out at about 85,000 miles (approx. $350 to replace at the dealer), rear hatch handle/latch bracket broke off (Toyota recall and fixed for free, even after warranty was way over). The paint(black)on the back hatch has faded prematurely, the rest of the car still looks as you would expect for a car this age, almost like new. But nothing else at all, not a sticky switch, not a interior seam separating, absolutely nothing. I'm very happy with it considering how reasonably priced it was."

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Nothing I Would Change About This Car

By on Sunday, October 12, 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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

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

"This car has been the best little car. I love the features: it has a great stereo system, moonroof, power windows and locks, auxiliary jack and cruise control. It gets great gas mileage, is fun to drive and a perfect size for my needs. My tc is getting high in mileage but has retained its value well and the repairs I have had to make have been very reasonably priced. There is nothing I would change about this car."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Overall a great choice for the price

By on Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 65,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Looks, runs, drives, feels, and performs great"

Cons: "Quality could be better"

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

"I bought this car March 2014 with 57,000 miles. Now with 65,000, I feel it's time to write a review. Overall I love this car. You get the reliability of a toyota but you get the style of the scion. Comfort is amazing with the seats, great support, the blind spots aren't bad, stock stereo is good. I have the flint mica color and it shines great! However no car is perfect and this one isn't either. My biggest complaint: the wheels. No, I don't mean the look and style. I think we can all agree these wheels look awesome but the quality is terrible. I live in mass and potholes are a part of life here (sigh) and I've bent TWO WHEELS in the past 6 months.. Mind you, its not even winter yet... So I decided to pick up a set of 4 stock wheels and tires for $200 and that basically solved that problem! The other issue is it's a cheap tc. What this means is the interior may look cool, but it's cheap. Plastic everywhere. Bad quality wheels. Remember this is an 18k car new so you can't complain because you signed up for this. So do i like this car? No. I love it. It's extremely reliable aside the wheels, gets 28 mpg all day long mixed driving, looks mint, drives even better, and people with 150k al say they replace a clutch at most. I'm looking foreward to at least 2 more years with this car, and maybe more if it lets me. Hope this helps"

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

I like this car, very reliable.

By on Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great on gas,fun to drive,kind of fast car,spaciou"

Cons: "Front wheel drive"

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

"Somewhat fast. I've had problems with it probably because it's a salvage car but nothing with the engine. Engine is still running strong. I've only had problems with the stabilizer bar and the shocks. Other than that. Awesome car."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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