Scion tC
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The less glamorous of Scion’s sporting duo passes muster on content, practicality and price.

A stout little four-cylinder engine is hooked up to a six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic.

Compared to the newer rear-wheel-drive Scion FR-S, the TC is more of a practical also less-potent four-seasons coupe. For 2014, the tC received a new lease on life that included a front-end overhaul with new headlamps, hood and a large trapezoidal grille intake that’s similar to a number of other Toyota models. In back there’s blacked-out trim and faster-acting light emitting diode (LED) taillamps. The adjustments added significant appeal to a decade-old design, aided by a fresh set of 18-inch spoke wheels. Inside, a new dashboard, control panel and flat-bottom, leather-wrapped steering wheel were installed, the front- and reclining rear-seat fabrics were upgraded and a 6.1-inch touch-screen display that controls the sound system with streaming audio and Bluetooth communications capability were included as standard equipment. Carrying over for 2015 is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that makes 179 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque, connected to either a six-speed manual transmission, or optional six-speed automatic with paddle shifters. One area of tC superiority is its ability to ingest massive amounts of cargo through its jumbo-size liftgate portal. The storage area is fairly shallow owing to the slant of the roofline, but it’s still ideal for toting skis, bicycles and the like. Standard content includes air conditioning, power-controlled panoramic moonroof, sport-style bucket seats (height-adjustable for the driver), 300-watt Pioneer-brand eight-speaker audio system plus the usual power-operated windows, mirrors and keyless remote door locks. Topping the short list of options is an optional BeSpoke-brand audio package with a voice-activated navigation system plus smaller items such as a couple of rear spoilers (low- and high-profile), fog lights and assorted trim pieces. Scion dealers have access to the TRD (Toyota Racing Development) parts bin, where larger 19-inch alloy wheels, a strut tower brace, high-performance brake and exhaust kits and a short-throw racing-style shifter can be installed.