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2014 Scion tC Review

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2014 Scion tC Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

The sporty 2014 Scion tC coupe isn't the quickest 2-door on the market, and it is eclipsed in the fun-to-drive department by Scion's new FR-S rear-drive sport coupe. But, the tC continues to hold appeal to buyers looking for an affordable and fun coupe loaded with high-tech audio and add-on features all for a price in reach of anyone who can secure a car loan. Toss in an enviable reliability and resale history, a usable rear seat and improvements to the car's performance abilities and the tC seems destined to thrive.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Scion tC for 2014 offers a balanced blend of driving enjoyment, good fuel economy and cutting-edge audio connectivity as to make it an easy choice for most first-time buyers. Numerous accessories and aftermarket parts allow nearly infinite customization options, and the big rear hatch provides excellent cargo hauling potential.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Performance expectations don't always live up to the promise offered by the tC's good looks. If you're looking for a seat of your pants thrill ride, the 2014 Scion tC would be better substituted with Scion's FR-S sports coupe. An abundance of black inside the tC's cabin is another detractor.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.1
  • 6.0
  • 6.4
  • 6.2
  • 6.0
  • 9.8
How It Ranks

#24

out of 24

Fuel Economy

#7

out of 24

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2014 Scion tC Low/wide front photo What's New for 2014

The 2014 Scion tC receives a new front end, LED accent lights and a freshened interior. A new standard audio system incorporates a 6.1-inch touch screen, while a new 6-speed automatic transmission is programmed for quicker shifts and features rev-matching technology. A limited-production 10 Series edition is also offered.

Driving the tC
2014 Scion tC Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions The tC driving experience has always been the biggest source of debate in regards to the car's designation as a sports coupe. Improvements to the 2014 Scion tC move the...

... needle a bit more to the Yes column, but not definitively. A 6-speed automatic transmission lifted from the Scion FR-S now features downshift rev-matching technology and is a vast improvement over last year's automatic. But, we still prefer the 6-speed manual gearbox both for its light clutch pedal and precise, quick shifts. Road manners and chassis feel are improved for 2014, with stiffer calibrations for the springs, shocks and stabilizer bars, as well as a retuned electric power steering setup. Low-rpm engine response is quite good but revving out the 2.5-liter four generates only average thrust. Compared to other coupes in its class, it's not nearly as powerful or capable, though for city driving it's probably good enough for most buyers.

BESPOKE PREMIUM AUDIO
Offered as an enhancement to the standard touch-screen radio, the BeSpoke audio system includes full navigation as well as the Aha smartphone app service that allows access to 30,000 free radio stations including Scion's own station featuring 17 separate music channels.

BUILD YOUR OWN
Personalization is a consistent Scion theme, and between the factory and the aftermarket, it's easy to make your tC really your tC. There are many forums, groups and clubs dedicated to Scion customization.

2014 Scion tC Details
2014 Scion tC Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

For 2014, the Scion tC receives a modest interior upgrade with better seat materials and more contrasting trim on the dash. Color, however, is still absent from the overly black and gray interior palate. The tC's driver's seat is adjustable enough for all shapes and sizes, and rear-seat passengers will be surprised by the amount of room they actually have. Dials and instrument clusters have a round theme that is pleasant and manages to be Spartan without looking like anything is missing. A 60/40-split folding back seat allows trips to actual supermarkets, not just convenience stores.

Exterior
2014 Scion tC photo

The 2014 Scion tC's biggest change can be seen up front, where a new wide-mouth lower grille is topped by a longer hood and new headlights with LED accent lighting. New 18-inch wheels feature a dark gray finish with contrasting machined-spoke surfaces. Where other, smaller coupes in its class can look excessively what-you-see-is-what-you-get, the tC coupe looks aggressively playful. The limited edition Scion 10 Series features Silver Ignition paint, silver seat belts and a solar-powered illuminated shift knob.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2014 Scion tC carries great youth-appeal cred with standard equipment that includes 18-inch wheels and the impressive Pioneer sound system. That sound system includes a new 6.1-inch LCD touch screen and HD Radio capability, and you can connect your phone to it as long as you're running Bluetooth 2.0 or higher. There are two microphones in the ceiling-light array to help facilitate use of the hands-free phone option. Toyota's Star Safety System is also standard and features eight airbags and traction and stability control along with active front headrests.

Optional Equipment

Factory options for the 2014 Scion tC are narrowed to a few items, chief among them the BeSpoke audio/navigation upgrade, rear spoiler and sportier TRD springs and anti-roll bars. A new 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode and downshift rev matching is also available. Aftermarket options for the 2014 Scion tC are as extensive as they are for all other Scion models.

Under the Hood
2014 Scion tC Engine photo

All 2014 Scion tC trim levels carry a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, producing 179 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. Both manual and automatic transmissions are 6-speed units. The automatic's new rev-matching technology allows smoother downshifts and changes gears twice as quick as the old automatic in the 2013 car. The manual transmission's clutch could be accused of being soft but the bolt-action precision of its shifter largely offsets that concern.

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

The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) on the 2014 Scion tC coupe starts just under $20,000 with the 6-speed manual transmission. The 6-speed automatic adds about $1,000 to the bottom line. The tC Series 10 has an MSRP just a shade over $22,000. Resale values on the Scion tC have held up well for previous models and the 2014 should be no different, though the arrival of the excellent Scion FR-S rear-drive coupe may have some impact by pulling away the more sport-minded drivers. For the best picture of what 2014 Scion tC models are selling for in your area, check out the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com.

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2014 Scion tC Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 72 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.1/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.4/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

love it

By on Saturday, May 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "sun roof, fun to drive, good on gas, comfortable,"

Cons: "no automatic lights"

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

"I bought the car brand new back in August--love at first sight! I was a little cautious about it only having the 4cyl engine (my last vehicle was a v6), but don't let the engine size fool you-it will get up and go! It's a very smooth riding and spacious car...YES, I said spacious! I love the panorama roof-might be my favorite thing about the car. I was thinking of upgrading the standard audio system before I actually purchased the car, but the standard system works great-very good quality music. I love that the tC is a hatchback, so trunk space is not an issue like a regular car. It gets good gas, steering wheel audio controls are amazing, and just overall perfect! I'm very happy with it!"

sometimes fun to drive, very practical, reliable

By on Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 126,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "price, good driver, plenty of cargo room, reliable"

Cons: "no rear wiper, no lumbar support"

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

"good enough power, sure stance, good in long drives (700 miles), with proper tires good in snow, dependable"

Price point champion- Get more for less

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "$$$ v Performance, Fun Handling, Smile Factor, MPG"

Cons: "Head Room, Front View,"

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

"Review- Plenty of usable power, you really don't need more on the street. Handling is so fun. I drove an FRS and could have bought one. The tC was just more fun. I've read complaints that the car pushes and wondered if the reviewer drove FWDs much. Yes it pushes like most do. This characteristic exists from full throttle down to no throttle and reverses with brake application. It LOVES to trail brake and is SO much fun in that regard. You can quite deftly steer with the brakes into a corner and up to the apex and then steer out with the throttle. Wickedly balanced from my vantage. Doesn't get unsettled at high speed over bumps and the stock brakes hold up well considering they are stock brakes. When pushed really hard you can feel the complaint portion of the suspension and body which isn't unexpected. Body roll is predictable smooth. Weight transfers well. For the average driver you will be more than happy with the handling. If your a performance enthusiast you find a little more street than track day when the g's get into the .8 area. However, that is what makes this car so fun. Feeling the body roll, the weight loading on the outside front, the rear becoming light and slightly / compliantly stepping out, feeling it settle as you release the brake and transfer reward with throttle making the nose drift as the traction light blinks at you indicating maybe your being a little too brave. Needing to "catch" the whip of suspension unload in a tight cambered chicane with a quick lift of the throttle and snap of the steering wheel. SO MUCH FUN. The transmission performs well however wouldn't recommend the hammering the AT trans from the line. As with many 6 speed 1st is just a get you going gear so the differential to 2nd is quite steep. Under full throttle there is some slippage. For most drivers this won't be an issue or noticed. The down shift feature works great for what it is. Between 3k and 4.5k RPM it is very smooth. On either side of that it can be less smooth and for the reason already mentioned I don't ever use manual to down shift into 1st while moving. I do drive almost exclusively in manual mode though. Still if speed isn't your thing, then you will find the ride firm but not rough, cabin little noisy but not intrusive, the engine and trans smooth and functional for your everyday needs. Controls are reasonably placed and easy to navigate without looking at them. Seats are firm and supportive however I'd prefer a little more lateral support. Really I need a 4 point, not the cars fault. The radio has MP3 which is all I really cared about and is one of the better stock systems I've heard. If bass is your thing then it will suffice but you might want to add a sub as the stocker can only do so much. I think the doors are 8". However it is PERFECTLY balance so if you listen to a lot of different types of music and are not trying to break SPL records it performs quite well. The only thing I may do is add some stiffer sway bars and better shock / struts. I don't think this car needs a full coil overs, strut braces, or any of that other stuff. It's left a more than a couple shattered ego's behind where the road isn't straight as it sits now. If you are a drag racer, yeah um, so stay off my streets, keep it on the track and you don't want this car. For the cost of a turbo you can just buy a car with more power. If you are a weekend warrior (track days, cone racing etc..) it needs very little to be very good and is already a blast as it is. If your looking for a good looking reliable car for a great price then it will definitely fill that void if you don't mind the lack of leather seats and a plastic interior. =-) RE Cons: You can not fault a car for is plastic interior or lack of leather seats when that is neither within the market or price point. Simply put you can not get ANY new car with leather seats at this price point and 99% of all car's have plastic interiors now. Take car "FF" starting PP at $18K (2014 price). Once you add options to get a comparable sound system, 17" Wheel (best you can do) the price is becomes $24,680. For that price you get 160 hp. For about 21k with Scion you get 179 hp, MUCH better handling, better looks (IMO),18" wheels, a great sound system, and quality. Cons- I am a tad under 6" and tend to sit up straight when driving. My head almost touches the roof and when I am at a stoplight I have to duck down to see the light. I knew this when I bought it so not really a con I guess, but none the less something to keep in mind if you are thinking of purchasing and is something Scion could have engineered for without altering there objective."

16 people out of 29 found this review helpful

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