Saturday Road Test & Scion Preview

Scion iM, iA and tC

Yes Spell Check That Is Correct

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – It was refreshing to find two new Scion products previewed at the New York Auto Show, an indication that Toyota wants to breathe some life and money into the brand that has been languishing on the vine for far too long.


In case you missed our preview, the iA will debut as Scion’s first sedan. It is really a modified Mazda 2 model that is not sold here in the states and powered by a Mazda sourced 1.5-liter four with 106 horsepower and 103-lb-ft of torque. Interested parties can choose either a manual or automatic six speed transmission. Mazda or not, at least it’s a new model for the Scion lineup.


And there is the iM, a five door hatch based on a Toyota model sold in Europe as the Auris. It has lots of standard features and, like other Scion products, a lengthy list of dealer installed options including a grass pad for your doggie. Power wise, there is a 1.8 liter four with 137 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque. Look for the iM in showrooms in the fall along with the iA.


All of which brings us to the weekend road test of the sporty tC, a two door coupe and one of the older models in the Scion fleet. (My spell check is protesting these names!)

It was fun to drive on back roads with a tight suspension consisting of the familiar MacPherson struts up front, and a double wishbone set up to the rear, with disc brakes all around. But the tC needs an injection of about another 20 horsepower to really realize its potential.

Under the hood was a 2.5 liter four rated at 179 horsepower and 172 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can choose either a six speed stick or a six speed automatic – the test car had the latter.

Look for 23 EPA mpg in the city, 31 on the highway, for a combined 26 city/highway and that’s where I came out.

2014_Scion_tC_016 2014_Scion_tC_022

Inside I liked the form fitting seats and flat bottomed steering wheel – two nice sporty touches. There was plenty of room for my 6’ frame but the second row seats are best left to the wee ones. They fold for additional cargo space. (The seats, not the kids!)

Interior materials were not up to the current standard with lots of hard surfaces and I missed having a rear view camera

The tC comes in only one trim level but there is a long list of dealer installed options and factory ones as well.

There were two expensive factory options on the test vehicle – $2,199 for the handsome 19 inch alloy wheels and $1,198 for the premium audio system.

Deleting those two would return the price back to $24,669 from $28,066 with delivery. I would keep the audio system and hack off the $699 TRD performance exhaust that generated a lot of unwanted noise in what is already a less than quiet interior. I would keep the carpeted floor mats, cargo cover, auto dimming mirror but not the $444 Rear lip spoiler.

Heading up the long list of standard equipment was a Moonroof, power door locks and windows, and keyless entry.

I generally enjoyed my week with tC, but those looking for an even sportier set of wheels may also want to check out the BRZ in the same showroom.


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