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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)

Leg room is plentiful in the Scion tC

Scion tC Gauges and controls are easy to read and reach

Innovative interior allows for seats that fold completely flat in the Scion tC

Official Web site:
In fact, it's so good that the tC has pretty much written the death sentence for the Celica, Toyota's traditional sporty coupe. The Celica offers pretty much the same shape, quality, and power at a price that starts several thousand dollars up the ladder. Further, the tC brings even better styling and more innovative features. While the Celica has soldiered on for decades as Toyota's enthusiast offering, it can't match the tC's usefulness or value--nor, with the right TRD parts, its sportiness.

We'd be remiss if we didn't mention that some folks have aired grievances about the fledgling automaker, however. First-year Scions did suffer a below-average Initial Quality rating from J.D. Power, for instance--but that doesn't apply to the tC, and our problem-free experience with our test vehicle leads us to believe it'll live up to Toyota standards.

Also, some buyers have complained that although Scions are sold, Saturn-style, with no-haggle pricetags, they still have to deal with polyester-clad glad-handers. Seems that although the possibility of price-gouging has been removed, the financing and insurance sales process remains the same as at any dealership (called F&I, which includes dickering over your interest rate, extended service contracts, etc.). Nevertheless, we dismiss such grumbling as undeserved whining. We think being given a set, low sticker price trumps the uncertain calculus (invoice plus destination minus customer rebates divided by dealer incentives, etc.) involved in most car-buying these days.

For all this, buyers need pay only a scant $15,950. That gets you the base tC, with keyless entry and power windows and locks, a single-disc stereo, manual transmission, and that cool sunroof--the kind of car appreciated by people with the wisdom and experience that age brings. Or, if you live your life like a Pepsi commercial, you can make your tC as flashy and exciting as your youth demands, with the TRD line of 30 or so often cosmetic accessories. While necessary or not, these customization opportunities run from under a hundred bucks to around $2,000 for the blower--perfect for tuners on a pizza-delivery budget, saving up those tips for each and every upgrade. There's also the aforementioned suspension pieces, which are recommended for the weekend warriors who want their tC to be a true corner carver. Basically, you can have your Scion as a speedy autocrosser, a souped-up hot-rod off the showroom floor, or an attractive economy car with good build quality and value at a nice price. Compared to your average bottom-rung vehicle, well, the tC (like other Scions) really is a Great Leap Forward.

Whichever way you specify your tC, you don't feel like you've made any sacrifice at all. We can easily imagine folks buying this car for its looks, comfort, versatility and driving experience--with the value quotient, high as it is, being only a secondary priority. After all, if a car is this good, you don't have to be on a budget to buy it. On the other hand, some buyers will certainly be cash-flush twenty-somethings, equipping their tCs with every off-the-rack part available, and thus completely gratifying Toyota's fondest wishes. Scion's advertising campaign and intended target demographic may not encompass everyone, but the tC itself sure does.

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