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Roadfly Magazine
Chip Foose, Scion tC, VW Phaeton, Mothers, Lidatek, Ultimate Ears
Issue Sixteen
February 25, 2005
Chip Foose & The OverHaulin' Crew
Seven Cars to Watch for 2005
Mothers® Waxes Polishes Cleaners
2005 Scion tC
2004 Volkswagen Phaeton W12
Lidatek LaserECHO LE-30 Laser Jammer
Ultimate Ears:
In-ear Monitors
Porsche Cayman
Spy Photos
Coming Next Issue
Geneva Auto Show
Porsche 911 S
Spring Cleaning
Hot Lap
2005 Scion tC:
Scion's Latest & Greatest - The Versatile tC (continued)

Scion tC engine - 2362cc and 160 horsepower

Scion tC styling is right on the money

Plenty of space in that rear cargo area of the Scion tC

Official Web site:
The 2362-cc VVT-I engine features variable valve timing, and qualifies the tC for ULEV status. It's mated to either a 5-speed manual with short throws and decent gear engagement, or a four-speed automatic that, while none too sporty, isn't quite the painful compromise that most slushboxes are in cars like this.

Nice touches abound inside, such as the standard, covered CD-player and all the power-operated stuff you'd expect. The synthetic and woven materials used befit cars costing twice as much, and even the aluminum-look plastic manages a quality feel. Coolest of all, though, is the panoramic sunroof, which consists of glass panels over both front and rear passengers. Of particular utility during our jaunt to Motor City were the varied configurations of the seats. The rear bench reclines, and the front buckets can fold flush with the rears, creating a nearly-flat bed that's perfect for relaxing or even sleeping on long road trips. Perhaps best of all, though, is the fact that for such a little car, clever packaging leads the tC to feel much bigger inside than you'd expect. There's as much room within as you'd find in any mid-size domestic coupe from a decade or two ago. It's quite a feat, and means tC buyers don't have to compromise on space.

Even rear seat room is sufficient for two adults, although the roofline restricts folks over six feet and the two-door configuration means entry and exit back there is a bit of a contortionist's act. Mitigating that is the hatchback's inherent versatility, with 12.8 cubic feet of 'trunk' space that almost doubles with the seats folded and clever storage compartments all over.

The tC is an innovative machine, with loads of novel little gadgets and gizmos, especially if you're generous with the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) parts. A line of dealer-installed accessories that replace traditional options, they're supposed to appeal to the young 'tuner' crowd (think colored lighting packages and body kits). The TRD upgrades play the part of what would be options in other cars; the only actual factory choices are the paint, the tranny and extra airbags in the doors and curtain areas. From a color-changing face on the optional six-disc CD changer, which can project ten different hues to suit the driver's mood, to a billet oil-filler cap, some of these could be deemed unnecessary. However, the TRD exhaust, various suspension mods, and a 5-psi supercharger (which adds an extra 40 horsepower, for 200 hp total, and could surely be tweaked for even more boost and output) can turn the tC into a true sports car--if that's what you want.

The Scion's goodness is evident in the exterior styling as well. Some reviewers have expressed mild complaints about the design's conservativeness, but we find the lines to be classic, well-proportioned, and evergreen. There are hints of BMW in the C-pillar and rear-end, which is not a bad thing. The 16-inch alloy wheels are standard, and particularly attractive as well. Build quality is evident in the tight shutlines and solid feel of the moveable parts such as the hood, trunklid and doors.

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