"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."
"I bought my TC with 11 miles on it in September of 2005 and now (03/28/2013) I have 186,000 miles on it and have not once taken it to the shop for any repairs other than replacing tires. Mind you, I am not that good with being on time with maintenance, even once pushing 5,000 miles OVER the 5,000 miles for oil change mark. I absolutely love my car and will buy newer models from now on. Til this day, I keep getting compliments from strangers for my car. :)"
"My wife and i bought this car when it was 2 years old. It had 30 thousand miles on it then and since we have put 100 thousand on it. Car still runs great doesnt use oil, love the sportiness with the fuel mileage, which is about 31 hwy. I have a big truck so my wife drives it since i drive over 100 miles a day to work and she drives 20. We both love this car. Do wish it had more head room. I am 6 flat and I have problems getting in but once I am in plenty of room. More insulation in the rear underneath the cargo area would be great too since the toyota racing exhaust does get loud inside the cabin. The back seat is great but hard to get into and hard to put a car seat in"
Pros: "Affordable, well equipped, fun to drive, reliable."
Cons: "The hatch handle/release tends to break, careful!"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought the car new when I was 18. It's been everything to me. It's gotten me through a lot. You'd be surprised what a fun to drive, reliable car can do for your whole outlook and quality of life.
My tC has never let me down, and has even led to friendships I wouldn't have discovered outside of the Scion community.
I'm sadly looking to part with it in about two months, in order to get the newest member of the Scion family, the FR-S. I'm truely going to miss this great car, and I hope it's next owner takes care of it and loves it as much as I have.
Go buy a Scion. You won't regret it."
"I purchased this tC as a commuter car. It already had high mileage ~150k, but was priced well. When I first drove it I knew I would be doing some work to get it back to it's original condition. I started with tires which can expensive because of the size, but I found stepping up the side aspect of the tire to a 50 series lowered the tire cost considerably. I also replaced the struts and went through a full tuneup. The 2.4 2azfe is a great mechanics car, as it has a lot engineering to make servicing easier. Such as;
The oil drain and filter located in a clear area and right next to each other making oil changes a breeze.
A antifreeze block drain in an easily accessible area.
A timing chain versus belt which will usually last the life of the vehicle.
4 wheel disc brakes with a separate system for the emergency brake.
What this means to the average consumer is far lower repair costs than other vehicles in its class. Now for the things to be beware of. Although it is difficult sometimes to determine whether you will buying someones headache, be vigilant of some key things.
Previous crashes, which may or may not be reported to car fax. Look for distortions in body panels, water leakage, rust, or paint color/sheen changes. The car I purchased had no mention of a crash, but I found key indicators that it had been in one. The owner fessed up only after I grilled them with facts. The next expensive mistake on this car is that the catalytic converter is integrated into the exhaust manifold making it a very expensive repair ~$600. This will be a concern mostly to California drivers. The biggest let down for me has been that I discovered that my vehicle is actively burning oil. I purchased the car from a graduating college student and should have known she was keeping up on oil changes like she should have. Toyota's are very sensitive to oil changes and once the piston rings wear prematurely there is no going back. I currently burning about 1 1/2 quart every 1000 miles. I tried to simply replace the valve stems but no luck, still burning oil. Removing the engine on the tC requires the sub frame to be dropped, so I'm just going to run till she dies. All and all this is still a good car and when properly taken care of, will last you years and years."