Are mainstream coupes on the endangered species list? If not, they should be. The Honda Civic is the last front-wheel drive coupe on the market. Two doors aren’t extinct yet, but their demise means cheap two door coupes will be hard to find in about ten years. For now, we can console ourselves with this 2006 Scion tC, which still looks pretty decent.
When I think of Scion, I think of the xB and tC. Given its design, the xB was arguably the one vehicle people associate with the division. But the coupe was the vehicle that resonated with me the most. Toyota didn’t build terribly exciting vehicles during the 2000s. The tC bucked that trend.
Scion promised to deliver customizable vehicles at a no-haggle price. Their feature content was designed to appeal to millennials. Overall, the first generation xB and tC were compelling vehicles. Toyota eventually screwed that up, as Paul famously demonstrated. This particular Scion is likely destined to serve a member of Gen Z.
Will younger drivers like the tC? If they’re looking for something with decent creature comforts, then yes. It’s got cruise control, keyless entry, a panoramic moonroof, and a digital climate control system. with A/C. Perhaps more importantly was the standard 160 watt Pioneer sound system. A previous owner replaced the original head unit with a newer Kenwood model. A wise decision that enables the Scion to offer Bluetooth and a USB input for something like an iPod. But dedicated audio players are something for older people who still haven’t fully warmed up to streaming music. In reality, a Gen Z driver is probably using their phone for Spotify.
Cloudy headlights aside, the vehicle seems pretty clean. It will likely surprise anyone unfamiliar with the tC’s powertrain. The coupe inherited the Camry’s 2.4 liter four cylinder, which boasted about 160 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque in this application. It also featured a double wishbone rear suspension. These were impressively sprightly vehicles for the time.
I experienced a tC just once, but it was dynamic enough to leave an impression on me. Toyota definitely geared the coupe for drivers who would appreciate a car with a composed ride. Its handling was decidedly Germanic and quite different from anything else in the Toyota lineup at the time.
With the Camry’s powertrain and a $3500 asking price, this Scion is a decent value. I’d be happy taking it home for $3000. Even at 140k, this car has a lot of life left in it and I suspect its future owner will be a satisfied customer.
You can find the ad for this tC here.