Most of you don’t know this, but I had to say goodbye to my beloved 2003 Acura CL Type S in mid-October. It was a period of mixed feelings, parting with a dependable friend, but starting a new chapter in my life.
To begin said chapter, I picked up a 2013 Scion tC 6-speed. It has been a quick 3 months and 9,ooo miles with the 4-cylinder hatchback — I know I have put on some serious miles in a short stretch of time. In addition to trips to Atlantic City and Washington DC, we can thank Hurricane Sandy for some of those extra miles — I was making 100 mile round trips to Pennsylvania just to get gas for a good two weeks after that damn storm. I feel I am ready, then, to share some of my impressions with you.
As I mentioned, the tC comes standard with a 180-hp 4-cylinder that makes 171 lb-ft of torque. Engine performance is pretty good considering these numbers, and is better than other cars in this class. It handles very well, thanks to a tight standard suspension that includes impressive anti-roll bars and a stiff strut assembly. That, when coupled with 18-inch wheels (standard) and tires that are well-matched to the suspension, provides for a car that swerves and turns with the best of them in the class.
For me, the styling is very appealing. I am a coupe guy at heart, so when taking the plunge with a hatchback, I needed a hatchback/coupe as opposed to a wagon-like body. The tC has an aggressive stance and maintains a shorter-looking wheelbase — all of the right parts for a “coupe” in 2013 (you can see more about my opinion on coupes here).
Talk about value! Scion does pure, straight-forward pricing, so there’s no haggling. For about $19,500 (about $20,500 for the automatic transmission) you get a tremendous array of options and safety features, including a 300-watt, 8-speaker audio system, Bluetooth(TM) streaming and calling, panoramic power sunroof, traction control, vehicle stability control (VSC), and the list goes on.
It’s not a sports car, but it’s definitely a sports “coupe”. It’s not the best at any one thing, but put together it is a tremendous value and fun to drive.
Chuck can be followed on Twitter @ChuckWhatTheF where he tweets about cars and other things “dudebros” are talking about.