Sunday, June 7, 2015

Looking for a small coupe? Take a look at this!

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 With quite a host of small cars to choose from, Scion has made its mark by providing reasonably priced cars that offer lots of options to personalize and modify. In the center of that lineup is the 2015 Scion tC, a 2-door 4-seat coupe. While this car doesn't take home the medal for being the most fun to drive, the tC still has quite a bit of appeal.

     One of the most notable things about the 2015 Scion tC is what it offers in terms of value. Standard features include Bluetooth, a touchscreen display, and a panoramic sunroof. While the tC doesn't get the best fuel economy numbers from the EPA, in real world testing those numbers were pretty easy to beat. Furthering the case for the tC, you have a decent sized backseat, and the large hatch opening in the rear.

     The 2015 Scion tC is a 2-door, 4-passenger coupe and it comes in one base level.

     Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a panoramic sunroof, a height adjustable drives seat, a leather trimmed tilt and telescoping steering wheel, reclining and folding rear seats, Bluetooth, and an 8-speaker Pioneer audio system with 6.1 inch touchscreen.
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     As with other Scions, a wide selection of dealer-sourced accessories are available, including 19-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, TRD performance parts for the suspension and drivetrain, and an upgraded audio system.

     The front-wheel drive Scion tC is powered by a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder engine that produces 179 horsepower, and 172 lb.-ft of torque. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, while a 6-speed automatic with a rev-matched downshift feature is optional.

     During performance testing, the tC with the manual transmission went from 0-60 mph in 7.4 seconds. An automatic equipped vehicle did the same sprint in 7.9 seconds. Both are rather respectable times for this class.

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 Whether it is equipped with the auto or the manual transmission, the tC returns an EPA estimated 26 mpg combined. In testing, I found that it was easy to beat those numbers, and if you have a light foot, you are sure to do even better.

     Standard safety features on the 2015 Scion tC include stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front knee airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front headrests. In brake testing, the tC came to a stop from 60 mph in 123 feet. That is an average distance for this type of vehicle.

     In government crash testing, the tC earned 5 out of 5 stars for overall crash protection.

     Much like its exterior, the 2015 Scion tC's cabin certainly has a sporty feel. With its thick, flat-bottomed steering wheel, cradling seat bolsters and controls canted towards the driver, the tC strives for a high-performance sports car aesthetic. Unfortunately, the ambiance is mucked up a bit by the large amount of hard plastics and thinly padded arm rests.

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     From the standpoint of practicality, the tC is one of your better choices. The rear seats have above average leg room, and getting in and out are pretty easy, at least by coupe standards. Behind the rear seats you can store 14.7 cubic feet of your stuff, while if you fold the rear 60/40 split seats, you can hold even more. The hatchback body style also means its easier to load bulkier items than other coupes like the Honda Civic, or Hyundai Elantra.

     While earlier Scion's have received high praise for stereo quality, most of the competition has caught up. However, the Scion standard knobs and dials are still pretty easy to use. That said, the BeSpoke audio system is worth the money, considering it comes with navigation.

     Though the 179 horsepower 4-cylinder engine in the 2015 Scion tC isn't the most thrilling, it certainly feels powerful, especially when you are lower in the revs. If you are up for shifting your own gears, the 6-speed manual is a good choice as it is easy to operate. But the more popular automatic is just fine, and you won't suffer a hit in fuel economy either.
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     Around city streets, the tC is rather entertaining to drive. It may not be overly exciting compared to the rear-wheel drive FR-S, but well-weighted, precise steering and the cars' light-on-its-tires feel make for some respectable fun. The ride quality however, is on the mediocre side, as many bumps and potholes some to produce a jiggle or vibration. Excessive road noise, and a loud exhaust might also get on your nerves after awhile.

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