2014 Scion tC Review: Aggressive Styling Inside and Out Makes a Better Sport Compact

The Scion tC has received a refresh for the 2014 model year that includes a substantial facelift on the outside, a sportier interior and a lightly reworked suspension setup that all work together to make the 2014 tC more attractive and more fun to drive than the 2013 models.

While I prefer rear wheel drive sports cars like the Scion FR-S, Ive enjoyed previous stints behind the wheel of the front wheel drive Scion tC. Since being introduced back in 2005, the tC has offered a mix of sporty driving, solid fuel economy and a low purchase price – making for one of the best overall sporty cars in America but even with the new generation that was introduced for the 2011 model year, the tC still looked a bit too friendly. The first generation was downright cuddly in terms of exterior design and the harder lines of the second generation were a big step in the right direction but it still lacked that special something to make it stand out in the segment. The 2014 model year facelift is that special something and thanks to the aggressive new look, the tC finally has a look that matches its attitude.

The 2014 Scion tC comes very nicely equipped with a base price of $19,965 (including destination) and you can have all of the fun of that the tC has to offer for that low price. However, if you want a sportier look and an improved sound system Scion has an impressively long list of options that can make your tC fit your tastes. My test car was equipped with the TRD Performance Exhaust system ($699), 19” TRD wheels ($2,199), a high profile rear lip spoiler ($444), illuminated door sills ($375), carpeted floor mats ($184) and the BeSpoke sound system that adds premium sound, navigation and hands-free phone control for $1,198. All said and done, my test car priced out at $25,064 with all of those options above.

The Exterior
The exterior refresh is really the biggest news for the 2014 Scion tC and while the car is shaped very similarly to the 2013 models, the changes to the front and rear go a very long way in making the newest model year tC so sporty. The second generation tC which was introduced for the 2011 model year was substantially sportier and far less rounded than the 2005-2010 tC but the 2014 model year refresh takes the aggressive nature of the front drive Scion sport coupe to the next level both in the front and out back.

Scion tC front

The new front end of the 2014 Scion tC is the star of this show as the angry face of the tC makes it one of the most aggressive looking cars in the segment. The large central grille area has a far sportier look with sharply chiseled headlights mounted on both side of the angular front fascia. The lower portion of the front fascia is widened with the fog light bezels mounted towards the outer corners and an integrated splitter design molded into the chin area of the front end. The angular headlights flanking the massive central grille opening make for a much sportier face but the basic shape of the front fascia with the accentuated flare towards the bottom really makes this new tC look more like a sport compact wearing an aftermarket body kit.

Scion tC Side

Along the sides, the 2014 Scion tC doesn’t differ much from the 2013 models but the revised headlights and taillights do make the side view a little sportier as well. The doors and roofline remain unchanged for 2014 but as you can see in the images shown here, my tC test car was fitted with a set of great looking gloss black 19 inch TRD wheels that bolster the sporty look of this compact hatchback. At $2,199 these TRD rollers are pricey but they look great…enough so that I would call them a must have feature for anyone not planning on swapping to aftermarket rims. The optional TRD rear spoiler is also a great addition to give the tC a more aggressive silhouette and while the Cement gray paint wouldn’t be my first choice – I would configure the exterior options for my own Scion tC exactly like my test car.

Scion tC rear

As is the case with the front end, the back end of the 2014 Scion tC has been given a far more aggressive look that you would have previously been forced to seek from the aftermarket. The new lower rear fascia includes a large blacked out area that extends up into the middle of the rear bumper area with bold flares on each side holding the reflectors and giving the rear end of this car a far more aggressive stance. The taillights are similar in their shape but the red lenses of the 2013 model year have been replaced with a clear lens setup with a collection of LEDs providing plenty of light out back.

Even with the 2011 model year refresh, the Scion tC struggled to stand out in the crowd but the changes made for the 2014 model year allow this affordable sport compact to shine in a segment where looking sporty is every bit as important as being sporty. The angry looking front end and the chiseled rear end work nicely with the lines of the second generation tC while also combining forces with the clear taillights to give the new tC a distinct tuner crowd look. This is a sports car that finally looks the part from front to back and I’d give the styling of this 2014 tC a very sound A+.

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"sports car"??

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