Car Review: Toyota’s answer to the sporty compact coupe, the Scion tC

The 2013 Toyota Scion tC doesn’t exude high performance points, but it does exactly what it is suppose to do in this category.
Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, March 4, 2013 — A sporty compact coupe that was indeed a pleasure to drive, the 2013 Toyota Scion tC doesn’t exude high performance points, but it does exactly what it is suppose to do in this category. It is snappier than snappy, as comfortable as any you will find in this class and the best part, the price is right too.

The sporty Toyota Scion.

The sporty Toyota Scion.

Competition in this class includes the Hyundai Elantra Coupe or the Veloster, and you might also consider a look at the Honda Civic.

With the five-passenger hatchback, you can choose from two trim options, either the base or the Release Series 8.0.

On the base, you get 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, cruise control, power accessories, panoramic sunroof, height-adjustable driver seat, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and the seats both recline and fold for a 60/40-split rear.

Of course all the technology is also right on track with Bluetooth phone and a Pioneer sound system with all the goodies and jacks as well as the inputs and outputs.

For the RS 8.0 (a limited production of only 2,000) you still get 18-inch wheels but different from the ones on the base trim. There is also an aerodynamic body kit, sport center-exit exhaust, paddle shifters, and special trim on the inside.

There are not too many options other than if you want the automatic transmission instead of the manual. You can also opt for satellite radio, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, fog lights, a rear spoiler, and even seven-color interior mood lighting.

Under the hood, it’s front-wheel-drive with a 2.5-liter inline-4 engine revving out 180 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque complete with a six-speed manual transmission.

For those interested in safety, the 2013 Toyota Scion tC scores high with stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front knee, front side and side curtain airbags, and active front headrests. In fact, government crash test gave this Toyota five out of five stars for overall crash protection.

Inside, the Scion tC’s interior has a sporty feel and look, so take note of the cool steering wheel with a thick-rim on the bottom, making one think of driving a racecar. The seats are also comfortable with a variety of adjustments so everyone is comfy.

Cargo space also scores high on this hatchback with 14.7 cubic feet and even in the back seat, passengers will find there is plenty of room to move and the rear seats even recline.

When driving the 2013 Scion tC, you will find it sporty and youthful, which is one of the main markets this Toyota is aiming for, the younger set in mind or body.

This car can get you on the highway as fast as you need to accelerate and it can take the corners with relative ease so you can sit back and enjoy the above-average sound system, one area that Toyota has made sure comes with this sporty little Scion.

Should You Need to Know: In tests, this Scion took zero to 60 miles per hour in a little over seven seconds in the manual and about eight seconds in the automatic.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Toyota Scion tC offers 23 miles per gallon in the city and 31 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The 2013 Toyota Scion tC price tag is a mere $20,240. 

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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