The tC sports coupe, the best-selling vehicle in the Scion lineup, carries over unchanged for the 2009 model year after receiving minor changes last year. The tC Spec Package is discontinued for 2009. The tC remains one of the best values in its segment and has EPA fuel economy estimates of 20 city/27 highway for the manual transmission and 21/29 for the automatic. In addition, the tC is rated ULEV.
The tC's sporty package is distinguished by an upper mesh grille, lattice lower grille and projector-type low beam headlights with black trim in front, and tail lights similar in style to the headlights with round combination lamps.
A 2.4-liter double overhead-cam four cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i) powers this CARB-certified Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV) to produce a punchy 161 horsepower. The tC features a five-speed manual transmission or an available electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission.
The tC features a 106.3-inch wheelbase and 69.1-inch wide stance which facilitates roominess and ride comfort. Four-wheel independent suspension, strut-type front suspension and double-wishbone rear suspension add responsive handling.
Four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution (EBD) are standard on the tC. A two-step brake booster increases power assist in proportion to pedal force to provide precise pedal feel. The anti-lock brake system (ABS) helps to prevent the wheels from locking during severe braking maneuvers, while EBD monitors differences in front- and rear-wheel speeds and distributes optimal braking force to all four wheels.
Like all Scions, the tC comes standard with front dual stage airbags, front seat-mounted side airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, tire pressure monitor system, headrests, three-point seatbelts in all five seating positions and a first aid kit. The tC also features a driver's knee airbag.
Audio System Choices
Scion's standard 160-watt maximum output Pioneer AM/FM/CD audio system features a head unit with iPod connectivity and control. This head unit integrates track, artist and album information from the iPod into a one-line display on the head unit's screen. Connectivity is achieved by simply plugging the iPod into a port via a connector cable, providing outstanding sound quality through the car's stereo system and constant power to the iPod. Music is controlled through the head unit and steering wheel audio controls. A standard mini-jack port also allows users to listen to their portable music collection through the tC's Pioneer speakers.
The tC's optional Pioneer premium audio system adds several more features to the standard head unit including the ability to download "skins" to play on the organic electroluminescent (OEL) faceplate. Customers can download images, four-second video clips and eight-second movies from Pioneer's website. In addition, Pioneer software allows customers to personalize their head unit by burning their own images and movies onto a CD and uploading them onto the available head unit.
Since many Scion customers add in-car entertainment systems to their vehicle, the optional premium audio system comes with head unit outputs in the rear allowing for the addition of external amps to boost power to additional speakers and subwoofers. All head unit features remain unchanged if this feature is used.
Both the standard and premium head units retain key Scion audio system features such as Scion Sound Processing (SSP) where listeners can choose from three pre-set equalizer settings, satellite radio compatibility, a user-customizable welcome screen, MP3 and WMA capability, Automatic Sound Leveling (ASL) and Sound Retouch Technology (SRT), which provides clearer CD sound quality. Both systems will also feature seven speakers: a tweeter and woofer in each door panel, two full range speakers in the rear and the subwoofer under the cargo area.
Scion navigation system is also available featuring a 160-watt maximum power audio/video/navigation unit with seven-inch LCD touch screen.
Comfort and Class
The tC features unexpected utility, detail and content for its class. The comfortable front sport bucket seats feature driver's side height and thigh support adjustments, along with a walk-in function with memory for both the seat and backrest. For easy access to the rear seats a wide step-in space is available at the push of a convenient lever at the top of the seat back.
The center console's waterfall design is complemented by shutter-type flush-closing dash vents. In addition, a genuine cast-aluminum temperature control dial flanked by soft-touch electronic buttons, and an LCD display showing exterior temperature, seven fan speeds and a clock are features of the metal-tone center console.
The interior is also accented by a deep orange combination meter on the instrument panel, and silver-colored accents on the door assist grips and center cluster.
Details of the interior were not overlooked as the dash and upper door panels are covered with unique trim that was inspired by the texture of Japanese paper. In addition, the front-passenger airbag is seamlessly integrated into the dash. Dampers are used for the interior moving parts and ensure smooth operation. With the extensive use of sound absorption materials the tC maintains low NVH levels.
The tC's rear seats deliver utility and comfort. The rear can recline to 45 degrees and can be adjusted into 10 different positions. The 60/40-split rear seats fold forward for a nearly flat cargo floor, and when both are folded flat provide more than 8.5 feet of length for cargo. Standard tie down hooks in the rear seat and cargo areas provide added convenience.
Storage is abundant in the tC with four roomy map pockets, bag hooks in side panels, numerous CD, bottle, cup and cell phone holders, and a two-tiered fabric-covered center console.
Generous Standard Features
All Scion models come well-equipped in a "mono spec" trim. The tC offers full standard equipment so the customer only needs to choose between manual or automatic transmissions and vehicle color.
Standard features include the panorama glass power moonroof (a first in this segment), air conditioning, cruise control, exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal lights, power door locks and mirrors, rear cargo tonneau cover, auto up/down power windows with jam protection, in-key remote keyless entry, rolling-code engine immobilizer security system, auto-off headlamps, electronic hatch release, chrome-plated exhaust tip and a unique audio unit cover.
All Scion models come with complimentary factory-recommended maintenance services for the first 5,000 mile and 10,000 mile intervals, to be performed by an authorized Scion or Toyota dealership.
The tC model is available in a choice of seven colors: Flint Mica, Super White, Black Sand Pearl, Classic Silver Metallic, Sizzling Crimson Mica, Wave Line Pearl and Nautical Blue Metallic. Exterior colors are complemented by a high-quality dark charcoal fabric interior.
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