2010 Scion tC Expert Review

You'll Like The 2010 Scion tC If...

If you were a long-time fan of Toyota's discontinued Celica, you'll like what Scion has done with the tC. Its robust power, long list of standard equipment and low base price are exactly what young consumers are looking for in a fuel-efficient sports coupe.

You May Not Like The 2010 Scion tC If...

The tC is long on style but short on rear-seat headroom. At a certain age, you might think the interior is a little too hip – and colorful at night. Drivers taller than six feet may feel cramped behind the wheel.

What's New

The Scion tC sees no major changes for 2010.

Interior Features

The tC's interior is Lexus-like in its execution. Fit and finish are flawless, right down to the seamless dash-mounted airbag. The instrument cluster is neatly arranged into three separate circular housings and the center stack is covered with a silver finish. A large aluminum knob is used to control the climate system, and above it resides a Pioneer CD/MP3 player hidden behind a flip-up panel. The optional Pioneer upgraded head unit includes rear audio outputs, which allow for easy installation of an aftermarket amplifier. The front seats are properly supportive, with nice side bolsters and new fabrics.

Exterior Features

The tC exterior is handsome, but not revolutionary. From the front, the tC vaguely resembles a coupe version of Volvo's S40, with a set of lighted eyebrows borrowed from BMW. Around back, the sleek hatch and side windows look a bit like an Acura. A unique item is the massive panorama moonroof included as standard equipment on every car.

Driving Impressions

The tC has inherited much from its Toyota and Lexus heritage. The 2.4-liter engine sings sweetly, with plenty of pulling power, and the five-speed manual delivers crisp, short shifts. Handling and braking are also well above average, making the tC a very fun car indeed. Front-seat passengers enjoy ample head and legroom, but the rear passengers will have to stoop if they're over six feet tall. The rear area is better utilized by folding down the seats and creating a large cargo hold; the front passenger seat also folds, allowing longer items such as surfboards to be stowed with the rear hatch closed.

Pricing Notes

The well-equipped tC still has a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting under $18,000. Even with XM Satellite Radio, an automatic transmission, navigation, premium audio and upgraded wheels, the tC remains below $25,000. The tC is a hot commodity and a look at the Fair Purchase Price shows the typical transaction price to be at or very close to the MSRP. The pain of paying closer to retail than dealer invoice for the tC is somewhat soothed by the car's excellent resale value. Over a five-year period, Kelley Blue Book expects the tC to retain one of the highest resale values in its class.

Notable Equipment

The tC has a 161-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), rear defroster, power door locks, power windows, remote keyless entry, tire-pressure monitoring system, auto-off halogen headlamps, dual power mirrors, power panorama moonroof, AM/FM stereo with CD/MP3 and iPod connectivity, front and rear side-curtain airbags, driver and front passenger airbags, a first aid kit, driver's knee airbag, cruise control, tilt wheel with audio touch controls and alloy wheels.

Notable Options

Options include a four-speed automatic transmission, carbon fiber dash applique, ground effects kit, fog lights, Pioneer Premium audio, high-performance engine and suspension components, under-dash interior light kit, navigation system and a host of dealer-installed options.

Favorite Features

iPod Compatibility

The standard iPod connector allows you to control your iPod via the radio or steering wheel controls. The system is hidden beneath the center console armrest and continually supplies power to the iPod.


LED Interior Light Package

The optional LED interior light package fills the foot wells with neat blue lighting.

Under the Hood

Like the 2010 xB, the tC receives a big dose of power in the form of a 16-valve 2.4-liter engine. The tC is not as quick as some of its turbocharged rivals, but most people should be pleased with the car's combination of good acceleration and great gas mileage.


2.4-liter in-line 4

161 horsepower @ 6000 rpm

162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/27 (manual), 21/29 (automatic)

Editors' Notes

The 2010 Scion tC has proven to be everything its competitors feared. Smartly styled, fuel-efficient and a blast to drive, the little tC is more than just a good value–-it has become the poster child for the lucrative aftermarket parts and customization business. Though not as space-efficient as the xD or xB, the tC can comfortably fit two adults and its versatile hatch design makes it easy to carry sports equipment or overnight gear. A near-flawless repair history and excellent resale value are but part of the tC's early success stories. By holding the tC's price well below $18,000, Scion has grabbed a substantial chunk of the all-important youth market, attracting young buyers who may likely move up to Toyota and Lexus brands as they grow older.

Road Test Video Reviews

2010 Scion tC Owner Reviews

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Don't get this car if you struggle getting in and out of any car that's low.

For what I paid for, it has been a great investment for me after having it for 8 years. Definitely comfortable seating, and I can see easily over the dashboard due to my short height. The size of the car is perfect between a simple transportation to and from work/school when I was attending, and for road trips, especially when my husband and I did a road trip from Northern California to home for 5 days. Gas mileage is really good, especially for the time I purchased it. Easy to maintain and parts are not expensive. I use the hell out of the bluetooth system so I can talk on the phone hands free. Great also for when I use my Google Maps.

- Arlyne D

My review for scion 2010.

Its making a sound no matter how much they tune up my car. Loose parts here and there. Sometimes the car doesn't go on park. Other than that I am really happy with my vehicle ever since I got it(brand new) I have never encountered any major problems except the fact that I think there are loose parts. Its making a rattling sound everywhere. Plus the latch where the airbag is on the back passenger seat always comes loose.

- Hannah B

The scion is a pretty cool car.

The pioneer head unit/touch screen is quite out of date and slow to process. I love how comfy the seats are and how much room the car's box shape provides. Because it's older it doesn't drive as smooth as it used to but everything functions great with the occasional tune up. I enjoy the personal touches you can add to the model like the TV screens in the back headsets and the lights in the front interior.

- Sage F

The space inside the back seat. It�s only a two door but very spacious

So reliable. Very easy to get in and out of. It's performance is great. I really enjoy that when it does need new parts the parts aren't so expensive I cannot fix the car. Also, the car is very easy to do labor on yourself. I love my car. It's fast enough, but also doesn't get up and go for a young driver. Even though it is two door it is very spacious in the back seat.

- Cj S

Want a sleek nice, compact vehicle?

It's comfortable for someone with no children. It runs smooth, good price. There's an aux cord, space in the back, and a very nice and sleek interior. The trunk is also very big as well. It doesn't require much maintenance either. I would say if you need a reliable car at a good price, this car is the way to go for sure.

- Mia H

Nice sporty car good fuel mileage fun to drive looks great.

This vehicle is great and very reliable would recommend to anyone have had brand new for 8 years nothing but brakes tires and oil changes. Anything from Toyota Lexus scion is great product strongly recommend local dealer Olathe Toyota as well for any possible repairs needed have been servicing veh's there for years now.

- Adam W

I love the sunroof and a moonroof.

This is a great car for a single person with a lot to do. It gets great gas mileage it has a great sound system and I have had very little problems with it. The seats are comfortable end it actually looks really nice. The only issues are things that just come with regular upkeep. No problems really.

- Zenobia O

It has a very good stereo system.

It is a faster car for me. It is my first car, and it is very nice. Easy to drive. I love the stereo system, it is good on gas. It is smaller, but has a good trunk space. It is cute and was affordable. No issues with my car at all, and it runs well. I love it, and definitely recommend it.

- Julie S

Economical and reliable in overall features.

Scion tic is a reliable good car. It's not too fancy but it serves its our pose. Its economical with gas. Handling is good though power its only 4 cylinder but it's fine for me. I wish this car would be a little bit higher like a SUV type but I learned to adapt on its overall feature.

- Teddy G

Scion tc is a great starter car for young adults.

Overall a great car, never had any major problems. The grill is always loose, and the car is very cheap on the outside damages easily. Performance is great lasts a long time. Has a sun and moon roof. Has a lot of room for a 2 door car. Doors are very light and the slam very easily.

- Jodi A

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