By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Chas on Saturday, November 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun and sporty"
Cons: "Plastic cheap interior"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Too much plastic in interior. Sunroof cover is a joke come on Toyota you can do better! Great looking sporty car so far no issues."
7 people out of 17 found this review helpful
By kyle94 on Wednesday, October 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "price, fun to drive, sporty, big sunroof, mpg"
Cons: "no automatic lights, stock tires don't last long,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I had a 2011 tC that I foolishly got rid of for a Fusion. I missed the gas mileage and sportiness of the tC."
5 people out of 15 found this review helpful
By Shreinersz on Tuesday, October 21, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "quality and safety features"
Cons: "not enough power"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Nice car rides nice has given me no problems. The interior could use a face lift use nicer materials. It has good pick up for a 4 cylinder however I think they would sell alot more of these cars if they put a 6 cylinder in them. I would say it needs a larger engine such a sleek head turning sporty looking car but not enough performance to match."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful