It’s hard to believe, but the 2014 Scion tC is celebrating its 10 year anniversary with this model year. Scion has kept the tC true to what makes it popular. It’s still a great entry-level sporty three-door hatchback. With a price of just over $20,000, tC is an affordable economy coupe that’s fun to drive. This week we’re testing the 2014 Scion tC 3 Door Liftback ($20,210). We’ll see if it’s as fun to drive as it looks on the outside.
What’s New for 2014?
The 2014 Scion tC gets a newly styled front fascia, a more sculpted hood and new 18-inch wheels. The 3 Door Liftback also gets upgraded interior features and an improved automatic transmission. There’s also a “10 Series” 10th anniversary model. Inside the cabin, the 2014 tC features a 6.1-inch touchscreen that now comes standard with the tC’s sound system, as do steering wheel audio controls and Bluetooth.
First impressions of the cabin are positive with the improved quality of materials inside. Scion is gearing their models to a younger group of buyers and the tC’s cabin fits this segment well. It has a sporty feel that goes along with the new outward design changes. The front end of the tC reminds us of a Lexus F Sport with its more aggressive styling. The cabin definitely has a sports car feel to it too.
tC is sporty and practical
The tilt/telescoping leather-wrapped thick steering wheel has a flat bottom like other more expensive sports cars. The bucket seats are supportive and offered six-way adjustability. Visibility is good for a sports coupe and there is ample leg and headroom up front. As one might expect in a compact three-door coupe, there’s not much rear legroom at 34.6 inches. If you need to transport more than one friend, they will need to be on the smaller side.
But from the standpoint of practicality, the tC impressed us this week. I had to transport a number of boxes for work, and the tC made it easy to load and unload the extra cargo. The rear hatch was a welcome feature to have while still having a sporty coupe to zip around town in. The back seats offer a 60/40 split reclining feature and fold flat for even more cargo carrying ability if needed. We were able to load a number of large boxes with the seats folded flat.
tC is a driver’s car
The 2014 Scion tC is definitely a driver’s car and has a sporty demeanor on the road. The 3 Door hatch is powered by a 2.5-liter 179 hp four-cylinder engine with 173 lb ft of torque and has enough power at lower rpms to make it a fun ride. Our tester came with the new 6-speed sequential automatic transmission that received some much need upgrades. It now comes with a new Dynamic Rev Management technology.
This new automatic gearbox comes from the two-door FR-S sports coupe and can change gears much quicker than the outgoing model for both upshifts and downshifts. We took the tC up in the mountains and tested it out on some tight mountain curves and we were impressed with the new automatic gearbox. It comes with a Sport mode for manual shifting that worked well in the tight corners. The shifts were smooth and quick.
Around the city, tC is easy to maneuver on narrow streets and the ride quality is good for a compact entry-level coupe. Handling is improved over the previous model and it comes with new stabilizer bars, shocks and additional body rigidity for better driving dynamics. It also features a retuned electronic power steering that feels more engaging and responsive. Fuel mileage is average for a compact coupe and EPA estimates are 23/31 city/highway. We didn’t get anywhere close to that, but we were more interested in testing the tC’s performance over economy.
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The 2014 Scion tC gets a sporty new exterior look and interior upgrades that make it look and feel like a more expensive sports coupe. But the best upgrades for driving enthusiasts come under the hood with a new sporty 6-speed sequential automatic transmission that gives the tC a more engaging driving experience. tC also comes with a six-speed manual, but we like what Toyota has done with bringing in the FR-S Dynamic Rev Management technology to the three-Door coupe. If you are looking for a sporty compact commuter with real world practicality, the 2014 Scion tC is a sporty hatch for around $20,000.