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Toyota Kills Off Scion tC - Last of the Celicas Is No More

Toyota has no room for the Scion tC despite its long history.


The Scion tC will be discontinued and not brought over to the Toyota Family like the FR-S (Toyota 86), iM and IA, all three of which will be sold as Toyota models for 2017. The tC is still on sale. Production ends this month and within weeks the last new tC will roll out of a dealership somewhere in America.

- Three Reasons Toyota Killed Scion

Toyota's killing off the tC is interesting for a number of reasons. Through the end of July, the tC had outsold many models with a big name, but low overall volume. For example, the tC outsold the Nissan Leaf for the first half of 2016. Looking over at the Scion FR-S, we see that the tC’s 6,890 units sold this year exceeded the FR-S’ 4,465 by quite a bit.

The front-engine, front wheel drive tC traces its lineage all the way back to the 1985 Toyota Celica (did you ever wonder what the “t” and “C” stood for?). That was the year the Celica switched from rear-wheel drive to front. The Scion tC was substantially similar to the 1985-1993 Toyota Celica in pretty much every way. The Celica changed to a different car in 1994 and ran through 2006, but that car had more in common with the old Corolla than the tC and sixth generation Celica.

What Happened To The Other Scion Models?
- iM
- iA
- FR-S (86)


DANNY BAKER (not verified)    August 27, 2016 - 5:30PM

killing the TC is one of Toyotas Dumbest moves!
its really a Camry coupe and shouldnt be compared to the Cheap Corolla. TC rides on the ct200h platform, same as Lexus. I have a 2013 TC and this move by Toyota really makes me mad . I will probably go to Ford Mustang or Nissan Next. Toyota thinks I will go to another Toyota but this may backfire on Toyota !

John Goreham    August 28, 2016 - 4:35PM

In reply to by DANNY BAKER (not verified)

Thanks for weighing in Danny. I'm glad to see I am not alone in morning the tC's demise. Just for clarity, I didn't compare the tC to the Corolla in the story. I respect the current Corolla, but the tC has very little in common with that car. The Corolla I mention in the story is a reference to the old AE86 generation Corolla that was a sporty vehicle similar to the last gen generation Celica.

Dave (not verified)    August 30, 2016 - 8:45PM

I have a 2008 Scion tC (bought new in Nov 2007), with a manual 5-spd Trans, Nav, fog lights, and sound deadening package. I've got 91,000 miles, 2nd set of tires, original brakes (yes they still work fine), original clutch. This car has been fabulous, no issues at all. I only have a couple complaints: a. I would have is that it really needs one more gear as at highway speed its revving much higher than other cars, although it is so smooth and quiet I sometimes find I have forgotten to shift out of 3rd or 4th gear if I'm not paying attention to the tach. b. For this generation Nav, apparently they never made an update map DVD, so its starting to get a little dated. c. The iPod connector was not a standard USB type, so when they went from the firewire to the USB you had to get an adapter to change the signals from firewire to USB, then when they went from iPod 30 pin to lighting, you needed to get yet another adapter to plug into the other adapter, so this is very cumbersome. Its a shame that I would consider to trade it in because the technology part is now out of date before I've even had a brake job.

katrina (not verified)    February 26, 2017 - 3:41AM

In reply to by Dave (not verified)

wow... pretty sure we have twins! '08 purchased new in Nov '07, 5-speed, sound package. i've got 75k mi on mr. shiflett, but i'm on my 3rd set of tires (put a new set on before i drove from fl to wa just to be safe), original clutch and brakes. i must say, i agree with everything you've said. mechanically, the car is fantastic; sound, safe and extremely low maintenance. technologically, however, he's a bit behind the game at this point. shifty will be 10 in november, and while he's nowhere near the end of his life, i had planned on replacing him with a new tC when he finally gives up the ghost. because that is now no longer an option, I'm heavily considering jumping the toyota ship and going back to the civic. it saddens me though, this has honestly been the best car i've ever owned. it's been a joy to dive, a breeze to maintain, not to mention it saved my life. i really wish toyota had put more thought into this decision...

David (not verified)    February 28, 2017 - 5:54PM

In reply to by katrina (not verified)

I thought about getting one of the last 2016 tC's, but I couldn't justify spending the money while mine is still working so good. I did get new front brakes at 98,000 miles because the brake light started to flicker, but they said there was probably still another 5K-10K miles per the brake pad distance. They said the rears still had half their life per the pad wear, so that implies I could go another 100K before the next brake job. Still original clutch.

This car has proven to be pretty much bullet proof. I'm guessing thinks like weatherstripping would probably be next. I haven't even changed out a light bulb yet either. The thing that bugs me most is just the technology piece for the phone adapters and the old Nav data. I could probably get a new aftermarket Nav stereo, not sure how integrated with the steering controls it would be, but thats really my only issue. Paint still looks great (I only wash it a couple times/year at a gas station car wash).

I have been thinking about a Civic if they come out with a hatchback Si model, maybe a Suburu WRX or a Golf GTI. Suburu and Golf I doubt would be as bullet proof as my tC or a Civic. Otherwise there really isn't anything in the Toyota line I'm interested in.

David (not verified)    February 28, 2017 - 6:00PM

In reply to by Ati (not verified)

I think a used one is a good choice. They are utterly reliable, not bad looking, drive decently, and for a two door they have plenty of rear seat legroom and cargo versatility. They are made of Toyota parts, so you can get parts for years to come. It would be the various body parts that would start to get hard to find (new) in the next 5 - 10 years I suspect; quite frankly my 10 year old tC has needed almost nothing that is the fault of the car. For some reason I keep hitting the passenger mirror with the side of the garage because I get too close due to the wife hogging the double garage stall, but I tend to get after market mirrors from Amazon for like $30. I broke the famous electronic trunk release panel at the 8 year mark, got the new improved model and suspect I won't have issues there either.