Scion tC Review

Here's a question I've never asked:

"If Darth Vader were a college student and drove a Scion, what would it look like?"

See above.

Okay, that's probably a bit harsh...but I was more than a bit bugged by the Scion tC.

Not the car itself, which I have always liked a lot...but by the way it was optioned.

The tC, for the uninitiated, is a smart, tight, fun little coupe...with a base price of just $17,000, an EPA estimate of 20 city/27 highway, more handling capability than most vehicles with a Toyota pedigree, and an impressive list of standard features (17 inch alloy wheels, moonroof, 160-watt Pioneer audio system with subwoofer)for the price.

Hard to beat.

But the tester came with $4000 of options that made absolutely no difference. $1083 for ground effects. $430 for a rear pedestal spoiler. $65 for a different shift knob. A metal one. In Phoenix. In summer (okay, that's worse for me than for a lot of folks). $1999 for 18" black wheels and Toyo tires. And $389 to upgrade the Pioneer audio system...though it doesn't specify what the upgrade was, exactly and it sounded about as good as the stock one (at least according to memory).

So $17,000 becomes $21,000...the performance of the car isn't improved (arguably, the 18 inch wheels hurt the ride) and the all-black menacing look....well, c'mon...it's a Scion. It's just not that menacing.

Still love the tC. Great car. Just buy it as-is, bone stock and you've got something. But jacking up the price by more than 20 percent for this stuff? Pass.

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