2015 Scion tC Expert Review

3.6 Overall Score
Performance 3.6 Comfort 3.5 Styling 3.5 Value 3.8

Editor's Overview

The Scion tC is one of the brand's most successful models, accounting for 40 percent of all Scion sales since the company's inception. Credit a combination of price, styling, entertainment features, plus a wide range of custom add-ons for the Scion tC’s loyal following that's less concerned with speed and power than with fun and functionality.

You'll Like The 2015 Scion tC If...

If you're looking for a sporty-looking coupe that offers good fuel economy, an excellent audio system and a fun-to-drive attitude, then the 2015 Scion tC is a good call. First-time buyers will appreciate the no-haggle pricing, the numerous accessories allowing nearly infinite customization options, and the big rear hatch providing excellent cargo room.

You May Not Like The 2015 Scion tC If...

While the Scion tC looks quick, it's left in the dust by similarly sized and priced competitors like the Honda Civic Coupe – even the Scion FR-S sports car isn't too much of a stretch. An abundance of black inside the tC's cabin is another detractor.

What's New

After numerous visual and performance improvements last year, the 2015 Scion tC's changes are limited. The automatic transmission gets new steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and there are two new colors available: Blizzard Pearl and Cosmic Gray.

Interior Features

The 2015 Scion tC offers up a comfortable and modern interior. The multi-adjustable driver's seat can accommodate just about any height, and the rear seat is roomier than you'd expect, considering the tC's small exterior dimensions. Alternatively, you can fold the 60/40 rear seatbacks for better cargo room under the hatch. Upgrades last year included better seat materials and slightly more contrasting trim on the dash, and we like the straightforward simplicity of the gauges, center stack and controls. If there's a downside, it's the overly black-and-gray interior palate. A little color would help dress things up considerably.

Exterior Features

The 2015 Scion tC doesn't look any different from last year's model, unless you get it sprayed in one of the two new colors. That's okay though, as last year's styling updates improved things significantly. We particularly like the wide-mouth lower grille, topped by a long hood and headlights with LED accent lighting. It's an aggressively playful look, and we like the fact that it isn't a 2-door version of a sedan, such as the Honda Civic, but its own car.

Driving Impressions

Whether the 2015 Scion tC is a sports coupe, or just a sporty-looking one is a matter for debate. Last year, Scion nudged the needle more toward "sports coupe" with an improved automatic transmission and better suspension. The improved road manners and chassis feel were welcome, but the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, despite being bigger than many competitors, isn't exceptionally powerful, and the tC isn't exactly quick. However, we do like the downshift rev-matching technology borrowed from the FR-S, and it's a vast improvement over the old automatic. We still prefer the 6-speed manual gearbox both for its light clutch and precise, quick shifts. Still, compared to other coupes in its class, it's not nearly as powerful or capable, though for city driving it's probably good enough for most buyers.

Pricing Notes

You can get behind the wheel of a 2015 Scion tC for a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just under $20,000, including the destination charge. If you must have the automatic, you'll add about $1,000 to that price, and the BeSpoke audio system adds another $1,200 to the bottom line. If you can restrain yourself from the various TRD aftermarket parts, the resulting automatic-equipped Scion tC's price of about $22,000 is a couple thousand less than a Civic Coupe with navigation, and about the same as a more lightly equipped Volkswagen Golf or Beetle. The Scion tC offers good resale values, although the excellent Scion FR-S rear-drive coupe may have diminished that somewhat. For the best picture of what 2015 Scion tC models are selling for in your area, check out the Fair Purchase Price on KBB.com.

Notable Equipment

Even with its sub-$20,000 base price, the 2015 Scion tC comes nicely equipped. Its street cred includes 18-inch wheels and an impressive Pioneer sound system with a 6.1-inch LCD touch screen and HD Radio capability. Bluetooth is also standard, as are air conditioning, a leather-trimmed steering wheel with audio controls and automatic headlights. Toyota's Star Safety System is also standard and features eight airbags and traction and stability control along with active front headrests.

Notable Options

Unlike many cars, the Scion tC isn't a slave to various option packages, and the basic car is just about what you'll get, feature-wise. The exception is the BeSpoke audio/navigation upgrade, which we think is worth the extra $1,200 or so. However, there are numerous individual options, many of which are dealer-installed. For example, there are different wheels, a rear spoiler, sporty TRD springs and brakes, and so on. The 6-speed automatic transmission gets steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters to improve ease of manual shifts.

Favorite Features

BESPOKE PREMIUM AUDIO

Scion offers a BeSpoke audio system as an enhancement to the standard touch-screen radio. It adds full navigation to the system, as well as the Aha smartphone app service that allows access to 30,000 free radio stations including Scion's own station featuring 17 separate music channels.


BUILD YOUR OWN

One of the hallmarks of Scion is its personalization options. From exterior enhancements like spoilers and wheels, to performance upgrades like bigger brakes and stiffer springs, there are a lot of options to help make your tC unique. Since they can be wrapped into your regular payment, they're affordable, too.

Under the Hood

There's only one engine available for the 2015 Scion tC: a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder with 179 horsepower and 173 lb-ft of torque. It's connected to either a 6-speed manual or an automatic transmission. Last year, the automatic received rev-matching technology to allow smoother downshifts, changing gears twice as fast as before. This year, it gets shifter paddles mounted to the steering wheel, meaning gear changes are just a click away. We like the manual transmission's positive feel, and while the somewhat soft clutch isn't the sportiest out there, it's certainly easy to use.


2.5-liter inline-4

179 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

173 lb-ft of torque @ 4,100 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/31 mpg

Editors' Notes

While the 2015 Scion tC isn't as quick as its sporty styling suggests, it still holds appeal for buyers who want an affordable, good-looking and fun-to-drive coupe. Loaded with a high-end audio system, plenty of visual upgrades and even a few performance parts from TRD, Scion's in-house aftermarket division, the Scion tC splits the difference in price and performance between rivals like the Honda Civic EX and Si models, with a price starting just under $20,000 without going much higher. The usable rear seat makes it more practical than other sporty cars, and the hatchback is easy to load and surprisingly roomy. While it's handily outclassed by Scion's own FR-S coupe, the tC's reliability and solid resale history help this little 2-door thrive.

Road Test Video Reviews

2015 Scion tC Owner Reviews

4.42
38 Reviews
50% 42% 8% 2 star 0% 1 star 0%
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2015 scion tic 6-speed manual transmission.

It is a 2 door hatchback with cargo area which is actually quite roomy. The bank seats also fold down for added space. Has a 6 speed manual transmission, with good power, and easy handling. I do not like that the two rear side windows are difficult to see out of when backing up. It also has a sunroof in the front and a moonroof in the back seats, added to the hatchback window there is plenty of light let in. It gets a combined average of 26 to 28 miles per gallon on gas. I consider this pretty reasonable considering it is kind of a sporty car. Airbag system includes front driver and passenger impact airbags, knee, driver and passenger side air bags, overhead airbags as well in 1st and 2nd row. Comes standard equipped with 4 wheel disc brakes, traction control (which comes in handy on gravel, water, snow, etc. ) 4 wheel abs system, brake assist, immobilizer, remote keyless entry, panic button, 18" wheels, front anti-roll bar, steel spare wheel, turn signal indicator mirrors which also fold in, front and rear cupholders, full floor console, 12v dc power adapters, touch screen radio/cd player with Bluetooth and auxiliary, lock glove box. Many more great features.

- Jennifer C

I have a grey Scion tc 2015

Has a lot of space, especially since it's a hatchback and you can put the seats down in the back to put more stuff in the truck. Also have great fuel economy, I average about 23 mpg. It's basically a Toyota corolla but with a sportier look to it. I would definitely recommend as a FIRST car, but I wouldn't get it as a second, third car unless money is a big issue. It doesn't have any spectacular features but you could get it with a rear view camera in some packages. The speakers are ok, but not the best, especially if you enjoy blasting music while you drive. However it's a very comfortable car which makes up for the lack of features.

- Cris M

Fun and sporty little car to own!

My tC is very fun to drive! It has plenty of maneuverability and great handling in dry or wet weather. The interior is snug and with the sporty seats it makes it feel like you are driving more of a sports car. I have had a little work done on mine since I bought it, which was fairly inexpensive and easy to install parts for do it yourself out there. Lighting kits and air intake were the two modifications done to mine. It does sit very low in the front if you have the ground effects kit on yours so beware of those parking bumps and steep dips in driveways!

- Angel S

Compact and curiously spacious

I love my car! Smooth drive, amazing sound system and the back seat folds down for loading bulky items. The one downside is that it only has two GIANT doors. I have to be mindful of wear and how I park to comfortably open the doors. Other than the slight inconvenience of making sure the driver side door has clearance, I think the is the best vehicle I have ever owned.

- Jennifer G

Honest review about a great car.

Very comfortable and reliable car. Has a lot more room than you might think and with the fold down seats, it is perfect for large objects. Handles very well on long trips and the on wheel controls for the entertainment system help a lot. The only downside is the trunk is see through because of the panoramic roof, so I wouldn't keep any valuables in the trunk.

- Andres F

More Roomy Than You Would Think!

I really haven't had any issues with the car with the exception of big mechanical purchases at one time (I.e. new tires and brakes). It has otherwise been very consistent and reliable. It's a comfortable car. It's a little bit smaller than I like but the car has more than enough room for a small family to sit comfortably.

- Amanda A

My car is white, it is a manual, it accelerates quickly and it is fun to drive.

I haven't had any issues and it is extremely comfortable! The headlights could be brighter, but I could probably just replace the bulbs. I do not have any complaints. I love driving a manual, and this car makes it even more fun. I think more people should look into owning a scion. I wish they didn't stop making the tcs.

- Madison P

Economical and comfortable

I like my vehicle because it is small and great for commuting. I dislike that it has blind spots and that the temperature gauge is part of the mileage counter screen and you have to click the odometer button multiple times to see the temp. I love the color of my car and how it drives. I'm happy that it has bluetooth.

- Caitlin K

the body shape is an aggressive body style, nice looking car

goes through tires quick. My ac had shut off the other day then kicked back on once I went to leave to head somewhere else. Kinda hard to see at night with headlights from other cars shining in. could def use some better tint factory, other than that I like the vertical overall. Comfortable nice sound system

- Ryan F

The car is a nice grey cosmo color that is reflective in sunlight.

Not comfortable for long trips. It drives nice. We installed a bigger stereo. But stock stereo is still good. Performs well. The seats are too hard and become uncomfortable after about an hour. Do not know how to fix it. We looking for a new car for comfort but would keep this one for gas mileage.

- Morgan F

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