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2011 Scion tC

Overview
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2011 Scion tC Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.3

Although the boxy xB may be the Scion most people recognize on the street, it's the tC that has been the brand's bread-and-butter car since its introduction in 2005, with over 40-percent of all sales going to the coupe. The 2011 Scion tC compact hatchback is an urban alternative to the Honda Civic coupe and Kia Forte Koup, offering more flash for less overall cash and a no-hassle, no-haggle dealership experience. If you've been looking for an economical coupe with a unique look and a long list of available extras, the 2011 Scion tC may be up your alley.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a feature-packed compact coupe with a dose of attitude, you can't get more in-your-face in this segment than the 2011 Scion tC. With plenty of Toyota Racing Development (TRD) accessories readily available and a powerful base audio system, this coupe begs to be seen and heard.

You May Not Like This Car If...

More standard features on the 2011 Scion tC translates to a higher base price, so if you can do without the 300-watt base sound system (or the in-your-face styling), the Kia Forte Koup or the Honda Civic coupe might be better for you.

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Scion tC is bolder and louder than the previous generation, thanks to more aggressive styling, a larger, more powerful engine and a 300-watt base sound system. If the last tC was more of a wallflower in the Scion lineup, this generation wants to be seen and heard.

Driving the tC

Driving Impressions Thanks to a stiffer suspension, 18-inch wheels and a sport-tuned exhaust, the 2011 Scion tC is a more lively ride around town than the previous generation. The 6-speed manual transmission's...

clutch is light – making it pleasant enough for daily commuting – and shifts are precise. The automatic downshifts nicely, although upshifts seemed to take a little more time. There is a considerable amount of road and wind noise – especially on the highway and in the rear seat – so the base 300-watt sound system comes in handy as a way to cancel out the external noise.

300-watt standard Pioneer stereo with eight speakers
A 300-watt base sound system with eight speakers? In a car that starts under $19,000? Music to our ears.

New look
The last-generation tC was a bit of a wallflower when it came to design, but the newest tC takes a much bolder approach, finally fitting in to the unique overall look of the Scion brand.

2011 Scion tC Details
Interior

The interior of the 2011 Scion tC is far more spacious than its compact dimensions imply. A tilting/telescoping steering wheel with a flat, "race-car-inspired" bottom allows for extra thigh room. Those relegated to the back seat should be pleased by the amount of shoulder and leg room and, just as in the previous tC, the seatbacks recline up to 10 degrees to make sitting under the glass hatch more comfortable. The seats themselves in the new tC are also thicker (with a 6-way-adjustable driver's seat) and more bolstered, outfitted in a fabric designed to look slightly different in every vehicle.

Exterior
2011 Scion tC photo

Compared to its distinctive-looking xB sibling, the last-generation tC wasn't exactly a major style statement in the Scion lineup. But the new 2011 tC takes things in a bolder direction. It's more angular in looks, and its blacked-out A-pillars give the vehicle's greenhouse a helmet-like look from the side. While it's not much larger than the outgoing model, the new tC sports a wider, lower stance, a more prominent grille and a panoramic moonroof.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Scion is all about urban street appeal, so it's no surprise that the tC rolls on 18-inch wheels and its standard audio system in the 2011 tC is a 300-watt, 8-speaker Pioneer stereo system with iPod connectivity. Scion borrowed some of the speaker components found in the much more expensive Lexus LX 570 SUV and tuned them for the tC, resulting in the front doors sporting a low-range woofer, mid-range squawker, and high-range tweeter. Each tC comes equipped with Toyota's Star Safety System, which includes eight airbags, stability/traction controls, and active front head rests.

Optional Equipment

If 300 watts of speaker power isn't enough to rock your world, the 2011 Scion tC also offers an optional sound system with a color touchscreen, HD Radio, Media Expander (to improve compressed audio sound) and front and rear RCA inputs. An optional navigation system includes a 7-inch screen that also allows for HD Radio song tagging and Bluetooth Streaming Audio. If it's what's on the outside that counts in your books, 19-inch wheels are also available.

Under the Hood

The 2011 Scion tC has a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque, and is mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. With either transmission the tC is EPA-rated at 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway, so the transmission choice is based on driving preference, not fuel economy.

2.5-liter 4-cylinder
180 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
173 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31




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2011 Scion tC Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 62 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Good performance, good looks

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, steering, acceleration, reliable"

Cons: "Terrible paint quality"

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

"I purchased my 2014 tC in black back in August. This car is very fun to drive aggressively, or just taking it on a cruise. I had this car for about 8 months now and enjoy driving it everyday. The car is perfect on power for the average person and both transmissions offer great performance. The pioneer system is much better than other companies offer. The interior is very spacious, even for people sitting in the back seat. Nobody can believe how much leg room there is in the back even with the front seats moved back. The seats are comfortable and supportive for longer drives, and they hold you in tight when turning around corners. The only problem I have with the car is the POOR paint quality. My car is black and there are about 5-10 white chips on the hood, and my front bumper's clear coat has about 50 holes in it.I know cars get marked up, but this is just unacceptable for a car that isn't even a year old. I will have to get it repainted when it starts to look worse and get a quality job to avoid this problem in the future."

26 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Good performance, good looks

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, steering, acceleration, reliable"

Cons: "Terrible paint quality"

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

"I purchased my 2014 tC in black back in August. This car is very fun to drive aggressively, or just taking it on a cruise. I had this car for about 8 months now and enjoy driving it everyday. The car is perfect on power for the average person and both transmissions offer great performance. The pioneer system is much better than other companies offer. The interior is very spacious, even for people sitting in the back seat. Nobody can believe how much leg room there is in the back even with the front seats moved back. The seats are comfortable and supportive for longer drives, and they hold you in tight when turning around corners. The only problem I have with the car is the POOR paint quality. My car is black and there are about 5-10 white chips on the hood, and my front bumper's clear coat has about 50 holes in it.I know cars get marked up, but this is just unacceptable for a car that isn't even a year old. I will have to get it repainted when it starts to look worse and get a quality job to avoid this problem in the future."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Good performance, good looks

By on Friday, April 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, steering, acceleration, reliable"

Cons: "Terrible paint quality"

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

"I purchased my 2014 tC in black back in August. This car is very fun to drive aggressively, or just taking it on a cruise. I had this car for about 8 months now and enjoy driving it everyday. The car is perfect on power for the average person and both transmissions offer great performance. The pioneer system is much better than other companies offer. The interior is very spacious, even for people sitting in the back seat. Nobody can believe how much leg room there is in the back even with the front seats moved back. The seats are comfortable and supportive for longer drives, and they hold you in tight when turning around corners. The only problem I have with the car is the POOR paint quality. My car is black and there are about 5-10 white chips on the hood, and my front bumper's clear coat has about 50 holes in it.I know cars get marked up, but this is just unacceptable for a car that isn't even a year old. I will have to get it repainted when it starts to look worse and get a quality job to avoid this problem in the future."

2 people out of 5 found this review helpful

No Complaints!

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: End of Lease

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"I just traded in my 2011 Scion tC back to the dealership due to my lease ending, and my need to go from a 2-door to a 4-door. If I was still able to keep a 2-door car, I would have bought this car once my lease ended. I had it for 3 years, and I cannot think of a complaint about it. It is fun to drive, had no mechanical issues at all, and was a pleasure to lease. The exterior design is a great upgrade from 2010, especially the 18" wheels. The interior is more spacious than you would originally think too. Plenty of leg room in the front and back seats, and a good amount of cargo space with the seats folded down (fit a +6' Christmas tree multiple years). The USB/iPod connectivity is great (although more common in other vehicles now in 2014), and the Pioneer sound system is excellent. The fuel mileage is as advertised. I got down around 23/24 mpg city in the snow with winter tires on, and as high as 35 mpg on a day trip going mostly highway. The seats are comfortable; not the most comfortable but definitely above average. The interior material seemed a little on the cheap side and the MSRP seemed like it could of been a little cheaper in 2011, but those are the only negatives I can think of. It was overall fun to drive and an extremely reliable car over the 3 years I leased it."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

No Complaints!

By on Thursday, April 10, 2014

I owned and sold this car
Reason: End of Lease

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"I just traded in my 2011 Scion tC back to the dealership due to my lease ending, and my need to go from a 2-door to a 4-door. If I was still able to keep a 2-door car, I would have bought this car once my lease ended. I had it for 3 years, and I cannot think of a complaint about it. It is fun to drive, had no mechanical issues at all, and was a pleasure to lease. The exterior design is a great upgrade from 2010, especially the 18" wheels. The interior is more spacious than you would originally think too. Plenty of leg room in the front and back seats, and a good amount of cargo space with the seats folded down (fit a +6' Christmas tree multiple years). The USB/iPod connectivity is great (although more common in other vehicles now in 2014), and the Pioneer sound system is excellent. The fuel mileage is as advertised. I got down around 23/24 mpg city in the snow with winter tires on, and as high as 35 mpg on a day trip going mostly highway. The seats are comfortable; not the most comfortable but definitely above average. The interior material seemed a little on the cheap side and the MSRP seemed like it could of been a little cheaper in 2011, but those are the only negatives I can think of. It was overall fun to drive and an extremely reliable car over the 3 years I leased it."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Best Bang for your $'s 4 $ure

By on Friday, January 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500

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
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, fun to drive, features, Sounds + + + + + +"

Cons: "None really 4 this price 4-Sure"

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

"The Scion tC is a great Touring Coupe for the price & all the features it contains. I love the driver's seating positions and the way the engine & transmission performs. Decent MPG's + the reliability of the Toyota's four cylinder proven engine. Has great torque & performance is above average for this class. It's just not for young adults. I'm in my 70's and enjoy the way this tC handles, performs for it's low purchase price compared to it's competition. A person must drive one to really find out what a great vehicle the Scion tC is on the road. It is the best in it's class to me. I love it. Try one & see for yourself."

15 people out of 26 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

Buying this car?