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2015 Scion tC Review

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more. See what you should pay

2015 Scion tC Expert Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 7.0

While the 2015 Scion tC isn't as quick as its sporty styling suggests, it still holds appeal for buyers who want an affordable, good-looking and fun-to-drive coupe. Loaded with a high-end audio system, plenty of visual upgrades and even a few performance parts from TRD, Scion's in-house aftermarket division, the Scion tC splits the difference in price and performance between rivals like the Honda Civic EX and Si models, with a price starting just under $20,000 without going much higher. The usable rear seat makes it more practical than other sporty cars, and the hatchback is easy to load and surprisingly roomy. While it's handily outclassed by Scion's own FR-S coupe, the tC's reliability and solid resale history help this little 2-door thrive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're looking for a sporty-looking coupe that offers good fuel economy, an excellent audio system and a fun-to-drive attitude, then the 2015 Scion tC is a good call. First-time buyers will appreciate the no-haggle pricing, the numerous accessories allowing nearly infinite customization options, and the big rear hatch providing excellent cargo room.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the Scion tC looks quick, it's left in the dust by similarly sized and priced competitors like the Honda Civic Coupe – even the Scion FR-S sports car isn't too much of a stretch. An abundance of black inside the tC's cabin is another detractor.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 7.0
  • 5.9
  • 6.3
  • 6.1
  • 5.9
  • 9.7
How It Ranks

#7

out of 7

Fuel Economy

#1

out of 7

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.5 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Scion tC Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

After numerous visual and performance improvements last year, the 2015 Scion tC's changes are limited. The automatic transmission gets new steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and there are two new colors available: Blizzard Pearl and Cosmic Gray.

Driving the tC
2015 Scion tC Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions Whether the 2015 Scion tC is a sports coupe, or just a sporty-looking one is a matter for debate. Last year, Scion nudged the needle more toward "sports coupe" with...

... an improved automatic transmission and better suspension. The improved road manners and chassis feel were welcome, but the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, despite being bigger than many competitors, isn't exceptionally powerful, and the tC isn't exactly quick. However, we do like the downshift rev-matching technology borrowed from the FR-S, and it's a vast improvement over the old automatic. We still prefer the 6-speed manual gearbox both for its light clutch and precise, quick shifts. Still, 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
Scion offers a BeSpoke audio system as an enhancement to the standard touch-screen radio. It adds full navigation to the system, 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
One of the hallmarks of Scion is its personalization options. From exterior enhancements like spoilers and wheels, to performance upgrades like bigger brakes and stiffer springs, there are a lot of options to help make your tC unique. Since they can be wrapped into your regular payment, they're affordable, too.

2015 Scion tC Details
2015 Scion tC Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2015 Scion tC offers up a comfortable and modern interior. The multi-adjustable driver's seat can accommodate just about any height, and the rear seat is roomier than you'd expect, considering the tC's small exterior dimensions. Alternatively, you can fold the 60/40 rear seatbacks for better cargo room under the hatch. Upgrades last year included better seat materials and slightly more contrasting trim on the dash, and we like the straightforward simplicity of the gauges, center stack and controls. If there's a downside, it's the overly black-and-gray interior palate. A little color would help dress things up considerably.

Exterior
2015 Scion tC photo

The 2015 Scion tC doesn't look any different from last year's model, unless you get it sprayed in one of the two new colors. That's okay though, as last year's styling updates improved things significantly. We particularly like the wide-mouth lower grille, topped by a long hood and headlights with LED accent lighting. It's an aggressively playful look, and we like the fact that it isn't a 2-door version of a sedan, such as the Honda Civic, but its own car.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even with its sub-$20,000 base price, the 2015 Scion tC comes nicely equipped. Its street cred includes 18-inch wheels and an impressive Pioneer sound system with a 6.1-inch LCD touch screen and HD Radio capability. Bluetooth is also standard, as are air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls and automatic headlights. Toyota's Star Safety System is also standard and features eight airbags and traction and stability control along with active front headrests.

Optional Equipment

Unlike many cars, the Scion tC isn't a slave to various option packages, and the basic car is just about what you'll get, feature-wise. The exception is the BeSpoke audio/navigation upgrade, which we think is worth the extra $1,200 or so. However, there are numerous individual options, many of which are dealer-installed. For example, there are different wheels, a rear spoiler, sporty TRD springs and brakes, and so on. The 6-speed automatic transmission gets steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to improve ease of manual shifts.

Under the Hood
2015 Scion tC Engine photo

There's only one engine available for the 2015 Scion tC: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 179 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to either a 6-speed manual or an automatic transmission. Last year, the automatic received rev-matching technology to allow smoother downshifts, changing gears twice as fast as before. This year, it gets shifter paddles mounted to the steering wheel, meaning gear changes are just a click away. We like the manual transmission's positive feel, and while the somewhat soft clutch isn't the sportiest out there, it's certainly easy to use.

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

You can get behind the wheel of a 2015 Scion tC for a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $20,000, including the destination charge. If you must have the automatic, you'll add about $1,000 to that price, and the BeSpoke audio system adds another $1,200 to the bottom line. If you can restrain yourself from the various TRD aftermarket parts, the resulting automatic-equipped Scion tC's price of about $22,000 is a couple thousand less than a Civic Coupe with navigation, and about the same as a more lightly equipped Volkswagen Golf or Beetle. The Scion tC offers good resale values, although the excellent Scion FR-S rear-drive coupe may have diminished that somewhat. For the best picture of what 2015 Scion tC models are selling for in your area, check out the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com.

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2015 Scion tC Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.5
Out of 10

Based on 63 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 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

The best vehicle for the price.

By on Thursday, September 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,600

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: "Best price for a sporty fun to drive coupe!"

Cons: "interior colors are limited"

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

"It has been very reliable and the vehicle is loaded with lots of equipment for what you will get for the price of others in the same class. The reliability of this tc I can say is the best I have seen. It also provides more leg room & head room in its class. Sporty, and fun to drive! You definitely get more for the buck! I'm completely happy with my Scion tC and I plan to trade up to the 2015 tC."

6 people out of 12 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."

28 people out of 42 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

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