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2014 Scion tC

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Cheryl Autoby Cheryl Eldridge and Wire reports

Are you looking for an automobile that is small but has so much to offer? Scion’s 2014 tC is a total package that has everything that a driver needs.
The 2014 Scion tC’s roomy cabin, generous features list and sharp styling make it a solid pick for people desiring a sporty, yet practical, entry-level coupe.
My two-door blue streak metallic tester had aggressive new styling, enhanced driving syndetics and touch screen audio standard.
The 2014 Scion tC is a compact, five-passenger hatchback coupe offered in a base trim level and a special edition “10 Series.”
Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories, a panoramic sunroof, a height-adjustable driver seat, a leather-trimmed tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, reclining and folding 60/40-split rear seats, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and an eight-speaker Pioneer sound system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen display, a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack and an iPod/USB interface.
The limited-production 10 Series adds unique silver paint, 18-inch dark-finished alloy wheels, projector beam headlamps, illuminated badges, LED accent lighting, an illuminated “Scion” center console panel and premium stitching on the seats and steering wheel.
A wide section of dealer-sourced accessories is also available, including 19-inch wheels, performance parts for the suspension and drivetrain, and an upgraded BeSpoke touchscreen audio system. The BeSpoke system includes navigation functionality and smartphone Aha app integration for connected audio and social media services.
Powertrain and Performance for my tester included front-wheel-drive. The 2014 Scion tC has a 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine that generates 179 horsepower and 173 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission comes standard, while a six-speed automatic – now with a rev-matched downshift feature – is optional.
In Edmunds performance testing, a tC with a manual transmission covered zero to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds, which is respectably quick for this class of car.
The tC returns EPA-estimated fuel economy of 23 city/31 highway and 26 combined mpg regardless of transmission. These are respectable numbers, but many competitors do better.
Standard safety features on the 2014 Scion tC include stability and traction control, antilock brakes, front knee airbags, front side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front headrests. In Edmunds.com brake testing, the tC stopped from 60 mph in 123 feet, an average distance among its class.
In government crash testing, the tC received five out of five stars for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash testing, the tC earned the highest score of “Good” in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side impact and roof-strength tests.
Like its updated outward appearance, the tC has an interior design that evokes speed and sport. From the thick, flat-bottom steering wheel, cradling seat bolsters, and controls canted toward the driver, the tC strives for a high-performance sports car feel. These elements are slightly contrived, but they work if your expectations are in line with the Scion’s affordable price tag.
From the standpoint of practicality, the tC is one of your better choices. The rear seats have above-average legroom, and getting in and out of the back is pretty easy by coupe standards. Behind the rear seats the tC can hold up to 14.7 cubic feet of luggage, while folding the rear seat yields additional cargo space. The hatchback body style also means it’s easier to load bulky items in the tC than it is for traditional coupes like the Civic or Hyundai Elantra.
In years past, Scions stood out for their above-average sound systems, but for 2014 the playing field is much more level. That said, the optional BeSpoke audio system is worth the money considering that it provides a navigation system and smartphone integration that connects Internet radio, Yelp and other popular social media applications.
Around city streets, the tC is entertaining to drive, and the ride quality is pretty smooth. In a nutshell, the tC was entertaining and for $23,112, you get more than you pay for.
Until next week, drive safe, buckle up, and please don’t text and drive, it’s the law.