In August 2016 Toyota transitioned away from its Scion brand. While three Scion models were rebadged as Toyotas, the tC was discontinued. One reason could be that the last generation tC saw an overall sales decrease of 27% from 2011 to 2015. The tC received a lot of flak on the internet as well, for being a “fake” sports car; a sheep in wolf’s clothing. Let’s take a look at one of the last examples built.
The tC looks like a stretched out Infiniti G35, and that’s not a bad thing. While the front is curvilinear the rear is squared off. The stock tires, Yokohama AVIDs, are low profile and quite sticky. They’re a pleasant surprise from a car at such a low price point.
The interior of the tC is highly functional. All controls are precisely where you would expect them to be. The stock car comes loaded with options including an easy to use, powerful Pioneer touchscreen head unit with 8 speakers. There are three speakers in each door alone.
The tC also comes with a unique dual roof with two pieces of glass. One piece is the sunroof itself, and there’s another piece above the rear passenger cabin. That way your passengers can look up into the sky and stars.
Front-wheel drive cars’ handling has come a long way (think Focus ST). The tC hugs curves well with those Yokohama AVIDs, without the tires even letting out a squeak. The car itself sits low and the 6 speed manual transmission is incredibly easy to use. The car pulls nicely in 3rd and 4th.
While the tC is not a proper sports car, after all it’s not rear wheel drive, it is sporty. The ride is somewhat harsh like a sports car, and once you get going on the highway, you can hear the exhaust note. These elements add up to a sporty experience.
It’s a shame that Toyota decided not to add the tC to its family of vehicles. However, many low-mileage examples are available in the used market, including the rare tC Release Series, pictured above, that includes TRD exhaust and lowering springs. In a world of autonomous and connected vehicle talk, a raw, simple, manually-driven car like the tC will surely be missed.